Why Clear Bed and Breakfast Policies Can Attract More Guests To Book A Stay

Why Clear Bed and Breakfast Policies Can Attract More Guests To Book A Stay

Your bed and breakfast policies, including answers to frequently asked questions, can sway more guests to stay at your inn. Use your website to answer questions about your policies, questions that guests often ask you, questions people search for online, and questions that, if answered, will save you and your staff valuable time.

Frequently Asked Questions Page Setup Example



Q: What is a frequently asked question?

Click on the text box to add the answer to your frequently asked question.


A: This is where you would answer that question. You can include links to another part of your website (if there is even more information about the topic there).

Select this whole box and click Add New Toggle in the menu.

Booking, Check-In, & Check Out

If your inn requires guests to stay more than one night, be sure to indicate that on your website. Also, give a recommendation for how early guests should book in advance with you. Inns typically require guests to provide their credit card information, as well as a deposit.

You may want to state that state and local taxes are not included. You can mention which credit cards you accept. Some inns specify that checks are never accepted.

Be sure to list your regular check-in and check-out times. Mention how you respond to early or late check-ins. Some inns add a fee. Specify for guests to make special arrangements with you ahead of time. Some inns state that early checkouts do not receive a discount. No shows may be charged for the entire stay.

Special Events & Special Rates

Your inn may offer the ability to book all rooms, especially if your inn hosts weddings and other private events. If so, be clear about your special events, group reservation, and/or whole-house rental policies.If you offer discounts to active military or career veteran retirees, for example, please state that. Some inns also offer corporate discounts to encourage business travelers to return. You may want to specify how early guests can check out (since professionals may need to leave early). Some inns offer breakfast to go.

Gift Certificates

Please let potential guests know what, if any, gift certificates you accept. Please indicate your inn has a gift certificate for sale and if there is an expiration date (some inns redeem it for up to a year, while other inn’s gift certificates don’t expire). Moreover, members of Select Registry properties may honor their gift certificates.

Your inn may want to promote the purchase of gift certificates at specific times of the year, such as near Valentine’s Day and the winter holidays. Income earned from gift certificates can make the slow season easier for you. You may specify that gift certificates are not redeemable for cash.

Cancellation Policies

Cancellation charges vary depending upon the inn. Some have an administration or service charge for cancellations. Some inns require cancellation up to 14 days prior to your check-in date, in order to receive a full (or partial) refund. Each inn has established their own rules, including cancellation policies. Guests will also need to cancel their spa services and/or restaurant reservations if booked in advance.Some inns recommend guests seek traveler’s insurance, which they can get through their local travel agent or online. Guests who book through 3rd party booking sites are also subject to their cancellation policies and fees.

Damage Policies

Many inns state they do not allow candles, open flames, incense, or essential oils on the property. Some inns allow smoking in select outdoor areas on the property, while other inns state they are a smoke-free facility on all the grounds. Inns will charge a cleaning fee (& even a night of lodging) to guests who smoke in their rooms. Moreover, any intentional damage to property will be subject to charges. We found a couple websites that tell their B&B guests to leave their firearms at home. However, most inns do not even mention firearms in their bed and breakfast policies.Some bed and breakfasts state they are not liable for damage to guest property (including guest travel documents, their credit cards, or guest vehicle damage or theft). In addition, the owners/management are not responsible for guest injury during their stay.

Physical Accessibility & Historic Properties

Be sure to mention how accessible your inn is to those in a wheelchair, for example. Given the historic significance of some properties, they may not be able to make changes to comply with today’s ADA guidelines.

Be sure to state if your inn has an elevator. Also, please indicate if any of your rooms are ADA-compliant. Guests appreciate knowing this ahead of time, so they don’t need to inquire.

Child & Additional Guest Policies

Each B&B inn has its own rules regarding the age requirement of guests. Some inns have a strict no children allowed policy. Other inns require a minimum age of 10, 12, or 16, for example. If you allow children, you may specify that children should not be left unattended. Some inns require someone at least 21 years of age to book the room. Your inn may also include information in their bed and breakfast policies about how they handle more than two guests per room. Often this means additional guest charges. Especially if breakfast is included in the stay.

Complimentary Breakfast

Knowing if there are any guest dietary restrictions or preferences ahead of time is ideal. You may state that guests should notify in advance if they have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Many inns often have vegetarian breakfasts upon request. If your inn also accommodates those looking for gluten-free, vegan, or diabetic friendly meals, for example, this is a way to stand out to potential guests.

Inns with restaurants may have a dress code. If so, please state what clothing is appropriate for your guests to wear. Also, indicate the hours open to guests and the hours open to guests and the public.

Pet & Service Animal Policies

Be sure to indicate your policies regarding pets. Some inns have pets on site, but do not allow guests to bring pets. For the inns that do not allow guests to bring pets, some suggest nearby pet lodging services.

Other inns go out of their way to accommodate dogs. If your inn allows dogs in one or more guest rooms (or in some guest cabins or cottages on the property), please specify the number of dogs allowed (many times it is just one or two) and if there is a weight limit (ex: does not weigh more than 40 lb.).

Guests with legitimate service animals, as defined by the ADA, are allowed in most cases. However, the ADA does not accept emotional support animals as service dogs. The dog must be trained to do one or more tasks for the owner. You must not inquire about any person’s disability, but you may ask what the dog is trained to do.

Other Policies

Other bed and breakfast policies that inns may have statements for:

  • Covid-19 precautions & policies (ex: your inn’s added cleaning efforts)
  • Hurricane policy (i.e., what happens in the event of a hurricane)
  • Parking policy (ex: inn not responsible for damage or theft)
  • Pool policy (ex: no lifeguard on duty)
  • Privacy policy (ex: how the inn uses guest contact information)
  • Quiet hours policy (ex: 10 pm to 8 am)
  • Website accessibility policy (e.g., text describing the images for guests who use e-readers)

Your Guest Amenities

Some inns list the amenities that come with their guest rooms, including:

  • Bath amenities, bath robes & hairdryer
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Fresh linens & towels
  • Housekeeping services
  • Individually controlled room temperature
  • Private bath with jacuzzi tub and/or shower
  • Radio with alarm clock
  • Refrigerator & other appliances
  • TV, cable, streaming entertainment

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These are actual answered FAQ questions from some B&B accommodation websites:

  • How far in advance should I book?
  • What should I pack?
  • What is included in an overnight stay?
  • How far is it to ____?
  • Who may access the property?
  • Do you have free parking?
  • Do you have a fitness center? A business center?
  • Do you have rooms for my out-of-town guests?
  • How old is the inn?
  • May I purchase a gift certificate?
  • Do your guest rooms have private baths?
  • What’s the best way to book?
  • Do you offer luggage storage before check-in?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • Can we book the whole mansion?

Our B&B Consulting FAQ Page

We have our own Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for website visitors like you. If you’d like us to add the answer to another question, please let us know. Also, you may have other bed and breakfast policies that specifically apply to something unique about your inn.

Moreover, Rob Sales offers a free initial consultation if you are thinking of buying or selling a bed and breakfast property in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Contact Rob today!