Is it rude to bring a baby to a bed & breakfast?
February 15, 2014 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Wifey and I are headed to Hawaii for our first vacation post-pregnancy. We've loved staying at B&B's in the past, but don't want our hosts or other guests to cringe when we show up with our 6-month-old daughter. Be honest: have we outgrown this mode of lodging??

We're not resort or hotel people, we prefer alternative lodging, and we'll likely end up going the AirBNB/VRBO route. But I'm curious about others' experiences at B&Bs with kids - either as a guest, as a parent, or as a host. Would it be inconsiderate? Does it depend on the place? Our daughter is very quiet as babies go (almost never makes a peep at night), but we don't want to be "those people"...
posted by atreyu to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The advantage of a B&B is you can contact the owner and get a pretty rapid, personalized, and direct response as to just how "child friendly" they are. There are B&Bs that really do cater to "couples weekends away" and I don't think an infant in close quarters would meet the expectations of any guests who would be there, but there are also B&B's that do in fact cater to a more family experience. (I've been at both types, and I would not have wanted very young children in the same house when I was expecting/paying for the first scenario. The time we were at one near family-friendly ski destinations to, well, ski, it wasn't such as issue.) You may not think of yourselves as "hotel people" but hotels really can be advantageous for parents of young children--no one thinks an infant at the Marriott is a unreasonable imposition on everyone else.

Contact the places you're looking at--they know best the clientele they attract and what their expectations as guests are.
posted by blue suede stockings at 8:12 AM on February 15, 2014 [20 favorites]

I would take it up with the proprietors of the B&Bs you are considering. Most likely they differ in clientele and the extent to which they may be infant-friendly.
posted by slkinsey at 8:13 AM on February 15, 2014

How thoughtful of you to ask! As a fellow guest who goes to B&Bs to enjoy a romantic getaway with my wife, I would definitely cringe at the very least to see a baby at the place. Even if you know she's quiet for a baby, other people don't know that and/or won't have the same idea of what constitutes "quiet" or unobtrusive on their special getawawy. But I have to think that there must be family-friendly B&Bs out there that would be more appropriate for you and your family, or who might even have other babies there the same weekend - maybe you could specifically seek one out?
posted by DingoMutt at 8:14 AM on February 15, 2014 [5 favorites]

I think blue suede stockings' answer is great. I'd add "we have a 6 month old, so I wanted to see if you had a room set a little away from the others, because we might have earlier nights and earlier mornings than some other guests."
posted by mercredi at 8:15 AM on February 15, 2014

Nthing to contact the owners and find out. That's very considerate of you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:17 AM on February 15, 2014

I have two young children, one of whom -- as much as I adore her -- I would never subject other B&B goers to, haha. I'd have trouble relaxing since I'd be worried my little noisy and energetic early riser was alienating/annoying other guests. However, I have been to plenty of B&Bs that have rooms that are a bit more private, like in a separate wing, and some even have small guest houses that are separate from the main house. The latter scenario might work really well for your family. Aside from seeking out such places, I think blue suede stockings nails it -- just ask the owners what they think.
posted by katie at 8:24 AM on February 15, 2014

In my experience many B&Bs make their position clear on their website, either "No children under N years" or "Family friendly, children welcome", because both of those things are good selling points (and both seem common).

So a good google for "family friendly B&B" or "B&B children welcome" and the name of the area you are interested in could bring up the goods.
posted by emilyw at 8:29 AM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree - contacting the B&B is your best bet.

I also just wanted to put in a plug for the vrbo/airbnb experience in Hawaii. I stayed in two different vrbo places on Kauai and both were delightful. One was very private - an apartment in gorgeous little gully. And the other was more like a B&B - we could go into the main house and got advice from the people who lived there - but was actually a separate building. It was also really nice to be in a neighborhood with no other tourists - it really felt like we experienced what it'd be like to live there. So a situation like that might give you the advantages of a B&B without any of the potential downsides.

Have fun!
posted by leitmotif at 8:52 AM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

nthing that you should just call - and be as plain about it with them as you are here! I will say that I have been to a few B&Bs and I always look for the ones that ask guests not to bring children under 12 or so. That way I know I'll get what I'm looking for so I don't have to feel like a jerk for being uncomfortable around kidlets when I want a quiet time away. Everybody deserves a vacation, so those of us who don't want to be around kids should be careful about choosing places with clear rules about this stuff, is my opinion. Most B&Bs already have a policy in place to make this easier. I would just call and ask "what is your policy on children - we have an infant we'd like to bring with us" and see what they say!
posted by pazazygeek at 9:26 AM on February 15, 2014

BTW, one thing to consider is that your normally quiet, good sleeper of a baby might not do as well away from home. Assume you'll be up a few times a night when making plans. My daughter traveled well up until about 5 months, but after that she started feeling a little less sanguine about sleeping in something that wasn't her usual crib.
posted by town of cats at 12:25 PM on February 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

VRBO is awesome with babies. Usually you can rent at least a 1 bedroom with kitchen (or kitchenette). A sleep area with a door that shuts rocks. A kitchenette to prepare baby snacks rocks. You probably want to go that route.
posted by crazycanuck at 12:34 PM on February 15, 2014

Best answer: Two thumbs up to AirBnB or VRBO as options. Here's the thing about traveling with a kid -- having at least two rooms is so great. It can be 1 bedroom with a sitting room but if you don't have that, when baby goes to sleep, you're stuck sitting there in the dark and quiet. So, for your price, doing a vacation rental that is also likely to have a kitchen (making bottles or snacks anytime! for cheap!), a washer/dryer (spit-up, begone!), and a separate sitting area from the bedroom so that you can have some adult time is great. I've tried on several trips to find a BnB that would work for us but some are very up-front about not recommending it for children and most just aren't set up to accommodate kids. It's a bummer but understandable.
posted by amanda at 1:20 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been to a couple BnBs, but they appeared to cater to adults only - I never saw mention of children anywhere and they all had rooms conducive to couple intimacy - nothing for children.

That said, I'll be honest and say I'd absolutely cringe at the thought of staying in a BnB alongside couples that have young children.
posted by stubbehtail at 11:32 AM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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