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Arguably the most intimate form of accommodation is the preserve of the bed & breakfast.
Bed and Breakfasts range from sharing a home with the owners – often a historic building of some kind – to a petite, unique-style resort at some passionate location, but all have one ubiquitous feature: personal service.
For the owner, B&Bs offer an income from a special lifestyle utilising an existing residence in retirement or a small business centred around a specially developed complex at a beach, in a forest, on a peak, part of a working farm… the variety is limitless.
For the investor, B&Bs offer an opportunity to enter the accommodation industry for a modest outlay and develop further as the business grows, as it undoubtedly will.
The returns obviously depend on the size of the establishment. Tariffs generally are in the middle range and therefore incomes for one or two guests are modest, but with four or more additional units, small business enterprises can generate quite tidy profits, especially for family-run concerns. Larger B&Bs can be most profitable but, where staff become involved, care must be taken to maintain that personal connection with the guests.
Marketing is usually a very much easier exercise than for a large accommodation business because of the infinite flexibility, unique buildings, superior locations, passionate service and an easily identifiable (and reachable) target market of a B&B.
For the guest, it does provide a more profound yet informal lodging experience that larger establishments are unable to give. The opportunity to immerse oneself in local foods, wines and activities plus the sumptuous comfort of a B&B is relished by a large and growing sector of travellers.