What is a real Bed and Breakfast?

Let's spend a night together

Bed and Breakfast’ (B&B in short) is mainly meant for a stay of one or two nights. So, ‘Bed and Breakfast’ is exactly what it describes,

a bed and breakfast – but most B&B’s do this in their unique way. So, what is a real Bed and Breakfast? Well, in short, to be honest, it is not easy to give a precise definition and need a little more explaining. In the light of the formal definition, a Bed & Breakfast is only that: bed and breakfast. A bed for the night and a breakfast to get you cracking in the morning.

A Bed and Breakfast accommodates, for example, travellers for leisure or business, who arrive in the late afternoon or early evening, who go out for dinner to a nearby restaurant, visit a cultural event, visit the theatre of the film and check-in again later in the evening. After a good night’s sleep, and a fine breakfast in the morning, they are on their way again.

B&B-Tilburg House front, view from the Tivoli-park

Staying in a private family house

So, but to clarify this definition a bit more, than we would like to add:

Bed and Breakfasts are small-scale lodging accommodation that offers as we already pointed out; an overnight stays and breakfast. Besides that they are small-scale, Bed and Breakfasts are often situated in private family homes. So the accommodation is run by the owner of the property, often together with their partner and usually, the hosts and hostesses live in the house.

Bed & Breakfasts are therefore personal; they reflect the personality and passion of the owners. This makes them fascinating and different every time. That’s what makes it so difficult to categorise Bed & Breakfasts. Each B&B has its own special characteristics.

So B&Bs mainly owe their charm to their small-scale character, the personal nature, special themes or interior layout. Because they have such a small number of rooms, you can count on excellent service. They have home-washed bedding and special home-made products for breakfast. The guest rooms are usually compact, but luxury accommodations, with all the comfort you wish for.


The B&B-host not only gives you a personal warm welcome, but the hosts also welcome you in their house. Explain the remarkable historical facts or details of the accommodation. He or she is what we call “the local in the know”, and knows his or her territory or town in detail. When asked, they will give you tips about the area, what to visit or where to find the restaurants with your favourite taste and atmosphere. With these tips, you will get the chance to get to know the city or the area as a local, and you will end up in places you would normally have walked past. In this way, your visiting stay will almost automatically get better quality.

Besides, you like your privacy, a Bed and Breakfast is an excellent choice. Most B&B’s are discreet tucked away and respect your privacy. No mass gathering point for many tourists, no high numbers of different personnel to cope with. Bed and Breakfasts are perfect for relaxing and spending quality time together. Are you looking for a special B&B for a romantic weekend getaway? Would you like to go for a walk into nature, take a bike ride to discover the surrounding countryside? Often a route map is awaiting you in your Bed & Breakfast and bicycles can be borrowed.

What are the differences between Bed and Breakfast and a Hotel?

A B&B is small-scale and far more personal. A B&B has no bar, but the host will offer you a drink. There is no restaurant and is usually at someone’s house. A B&B concentrates on offering you a quality stay, quality time, a good bed and a fine breakfast. Breakfast is usually not in the room but is served in a ‘communal’ room, as the dining room or Salon.

A hotel offers a wider range of services. There is a bar and you can have lunch, dine in the restaurant, have buffet breakfast and sleep there. It’s much more anonymous and mostly large, five floors high, elevators and long corridors, distances to be covered.

Usually, people stay there in large numbers and there are staff for various tasks, from reception to room service. All amenities come with a price-tag. A B&B is mainly for one night or a short period, a hotel offers you stays for a longer period.

B&B-Tilburg kijkje in de gastensalon

Sustainable tourism

More and more travellers attach great importance to sustainable tourism and are opting for a Bed and Breakfast. B&B’s have no negative impact on the environment, people, nature or the local culture. They are usually set up in existing buildings so that new construction is not necessary. Many B&B’s have taken decentralised sustainable measures to stop dysfunctional energy usage, for instance, installed solar energy and isolation. Check here our sustainable policy.

The owner does not have to take drastic measures to create an experience: a stay in a Bed & Breakfast is an experience in itself.
Thanks to their sustainable character, Bed and Breakfasts are also attractive for companies and business travellers. By the way, one in three B&B guests is a business traveller. For them, it is pleasant to ‘come home’ to a Bed and Breakfast with their homelike character, after a long day in an anonymous meeting room or large meeting.

B&B-Tilburg Ontvangst met een kopje thee op het terras

Is there a B&B for everyone's taste?

Because there are so many different, fun bed & breakfasts, you can always find accommodation that offers just what you’re looking for. Are you in the mood for the cosiness of a village, the vastness of the countryside or the vibrant atmosphere of a big city? Would you like to relax or spend an active holiday in nature? It can all be perfectly combined with a Bed and Breakfast stay. Choose a trendy guest room in the city, with shops, restaurants, and nightlife just around the corner. Retro-nostalgia of the twenties and thirties? Book a monumental property by the sea, an ecological farm with a vineyard, or a chalet in the forest. Whatever your travel plans may be, you can find your perfect stay in a Bed and Breakfast.

What is more reliable?

Well, it is difficult to define reliability, but noticing that a B&B is more small-scale, more personal and you directly doing business with the owners, we tend to give preference to a Bed and Breakfast, above that of an intermediate booking platform or a hotel chain. But of course, there are fine operating hotels with reliable service too. That being said, talking about cleanness and hygiene, again we would rank a B&B above the scores of a hotel where underpaid staff have to do the cleaning in too little time.

What is cheaper; a B&B or a Hotel?

Cheap comes with a warning, as the Dutch saying goes: “Goed-Koop is Duur-Koop” which means cheap is, in the end, more expensive. A low price is a bad indicator if the quality is important. Having said that, everything comes with a price. Some B&B’s will outrun the bargain prices of a hotel, but in most cases, hotels with their ‘aeroplane-seating-pricing-strategy’ for their room pricing will outrun B&B room prices. Then as we already noticed, in a hotel, everything comes with a price tag.

B&B-Tilburg, City Park Green Deluxe Room, Park view

How do I choose a great B&B?

Think about what you wish for? What features or qualities you want from the accommodation you would like to spend your stay? Should it be near to a place you want to visit, at walking distance of a theatre, a music venue, nightlife or the train station? In the countryside, nature, close to a wellness centre? Then compare your wishlist to what is on offer; check pictures, read the accompanying text, the facilities on offer, compare pricing to your budget. And last but not least, think ahead. You are probably not the only one, who has a special pic on a certain date for that lovely accommodation. If there is a special event, a festival or a happening, some accommodation may be booked upfront ahead of the specific date. Here the small-scale nature of B&Bs aggravates the competition. So be timely to book your favourite B&B, and we will be sure you will have a great stay.

How do I book the best Bed and Breakfast?

Even as we know, lots of B&Bs are listed on booking sites; like Booking dot com, AirBnB dot com, and even the Dutch Bed and Breakfast organisation: BedandBreakfastNederland dot nl is nowadays run by Booking dot com. Like they also own Tripadvisor. The best way though is still to check out the website of the Bed and Breakfast itself. Maybe, they are not yet as fancy and adaptive to mobile, their website contacts directly to the host. Call the telephone number for extra information, or send an email to the given email address or form, on their website. Though some B&B-websites give the possibility to check availability and to book directly online.
On top of that, check for certifications and reviews. You should think Tripadvisor is still a quite reliable indicator. The problem is since Corona has arrived, Booking dot com doesn’t show the category B&B’s on Tripadvisor anymore. So if you want to find a B&B, you need to fill-out the right name in the search window, to find the right accommodation. Quite nifty.

All the more reasons why so many travellers happily choose B&B’s as their favourite form of accommodation.  So book your stay at B&B … If you want to explore Tilburg, book your stay at Bed and Breakfast Tilburg Gust van Dijk.

B&B-Tilburg Tivolipark in maart, Magnolia waterval