Bed and Breakfasts sprung up in the United States in the early 1980s. Prior to that time, the closest thing to a bed and breakfast in the US was the Tourist Hotel. The first bed and breakfasts had no phones, no TV, no gourmet food, no private baths and no extras or amenities (as we refer to them today). Those early B&Bs were modeled on the bed and breakfasts in Europe, many of which still remain the same.
By 1990, there were aproximately 5,500 bed and breakfasts listed in the US Yellow Pages. They have continued to grow and change (mostly upgrading) and have recently reached proportions of 25,000 or more in the US alone, 1500 of which are in New York.
At one time, running a B&B was means to pick up a little extra money, Today however, it is a career for many and a primary source of income. As this increasingly becomes the case, more and more amenities will be added which, in turn, will increase the overhead and, therefore, increase room rates.
Professional associations, rating systems and standards have come into existence in the past few years resulting in even more emphasis on amenities such as whirlpools, fax machines, computer hook-ups, exercise equipment, more elegant furnishings and linens, and gourmet food. In addition, the Travel industry and publications such as "Country Inns Bed and Breakfasts" magazine are demanding more for today's travelers. All of these factors, of course, have resulted in driving rooms rates up even higher.
Actually, a bed and breakfast is just that: a bed and some breakfast... Anything more is extra and, as I pointed out, extras cost more. If you've never stayed in one, you ought to know that B&Bs are very different from Hotels and Motels and even Inns. There is no room service (in most), no bellboy, concierge or 24 hour front desk service. It is usually someone's private home, the owner of which takes in paying guests. The price always includes breakfast. The house is always home to the owners who are the hosts and it is always occupied by the owners. In fact, most of the time guests are greeted at the door by the owner. There are many complimentary items that many hotels and motels don't offer such as afternoon snacks, pastries, tea, coffee, sherry, wine, or soft drinks and fruit.
A good bed and breakfast will provide you with a clean room and bed in a clean house and breakfast. They cannot compete with Holiday Inn for the amount of amenities and service provided because they are usually run by only one or two persons. And so, they cannot pick you up from the airport or provide laundry service or (in most cases) carry your bags or check you in any hour of the day or night. In fact, they don't even answer the phone 24 hours a day. There may be an answering machin greeting you when you call. There are no ice machines, pop machines or coffee machines. There are no restaurants and no swimming pools.
However, they are generally more friendly, hospitable and more individually furnished and decorated (sometimes with costly and beautiful antiques and art objects). They usually have more caring hosts who are there to cater to and pamper you, if that's what you like. They don't have an air of "forced" formality as many hotels do; they're more intimate, relaxed and homey. In most cases, they are safer especially for women travelers and offer more opportunities for socailizing with both the innkeepers and other guests, who are often interesting and friendly people.
They afford the traveler an opportunity to see a particular area through the eyes of a person who actually lives there and who wants their guests to have the best experience possible. Hotels and motels usually give the tourist very general information. A B&B host can provide their guests with information about places they may never hear of in a hotel or motel; about restaurants and food often experienced first hand by the hosts.
Finally, bed and breakfasts, in many cases, provide complimentary beverages and snacks. They may have elaborate private baths with whirlpool, fireplaces, four-poster beds, TV/VCRs, fax machines, computer hook-ups; a varity of extras. But this is strictly up to the owner and, of course, affects the price of your room. Every bed and breakfast has its own personality which usually relflects the likes and dislikes of its owner.
The bed and breakfasts of Louisville have grown in number and quality over the past years. Most are now geared to accommodate not only tourists, businesspersons and conventioneers, but a wide variety of guests attending weddings, theater performances, trade shows, meetings, exhibitions and sports events to name a few. Rooms have been updated, many with phones, air conditioning, TV/VCRs, computer hook-ups and fax machines. However, comfort and hospitality still remain the primary focus, with gourmet cooking an added attraction of many.
Opened in March of 1996, the ALEKSANDER HOUSE is a fine example of what Louisville has to offer. With many of the above features, the ALEKSANDER HOUSE can accommodate up to ten guests, offering the finest in gourmet cooking, Victorian surroundings and an intimate atmosphere that caters to to individual guest.