Hotel, AirBnB, or Bed & Breakfast: What’s the Difference?

Filed under: About Asheville, Carolina Bed and Breakfast

Hotel, B&B, AirBnB, Where to stay?

Hotel, B&B, AirBnB, Where to stay?

Hotel, AirBnB, or Bed & Breakfast, what’s the difference?  When it comes to lodging you have a lot of choices and it can be confusing if you don’t know what to expect. Each of these options can be a good choice depending on where you are going, what you need and what you expect.

Hotels tend to be the most consistent.  Decor and amenities will pretty much be the same.   Depending on the chain, it may be difficult to tell what city you are in if you don’t leave the room.  Hotels also tend to be expensive. The room itself may be reasonable but after that nothing is free.  From parking to WiFi to food and drink, everything comes with a charge and sometimes it can be quite steep. Your stay at a hotel will be impersonal at best.  The staff should be friendly but they will generally work shifts so you may not see the same person twice during your stay.  The Concierge at your hotel will be able to direct you to a restaurant or suggest activities but chances are these will be cookie cutter suggestions, designed to please most people without any personalization for you.

Hotels: generic, large and impersonal

Hotels: generic, large and impersonal


AirBnb is the leading member of the “sharing economy”.  It is one of a number of short term rental websites.  People with an extra room can join them and rent the room to visitors passing through.  Of the three choices, this will be the least consistent.  The offerings on their website range from whole houses and apartments to small rooms in the owner’s house.  And while the website includes guest reviews, I know from personal experience that these can be misleading.  It’s pretty much hit or miss so it can be an adventure!  It can also be very inexpensive.  Depending on your choice, there may be nothing in the way of amenities beyond a bed and towels.  Parking is often your responsibility and will probably on the street. Breakfast may or may not be included and can range from wrapped muffins and yogurt to something more elaborate. In many ways, the shared economy rooms resemble the old style bed and breakfast before the B&B’s upped their game.  But don’t be fooled by the “BnB” moniker. Like the hotels that would have you believe they serve a free “breakfast” and then offer you mini-boxes of cereal, individual serve yogurt, industrial muffins and apples,  these short-term rentals are  nothing like the Bed and Breakfast Inns.



The modern Bed and Breakfast Inn in a competitive market (like Asheville)  features luxury linens, top of the line mattresses, and quality amenities.  Off street parking is a must, and it is free as is Wifi, breakfast, and more.  At the Carolina Bed & Breakfast, breakfasts are carefully prepared using fresh, seasonal, produce and home-baked muffins and bread.  We think your meal should be a celebration of all that food can be, not a hastily thrown together get-me-through-the-morning hodgepodge.    And we are not unusual in this.  You can expect this same care and thoughtfulness at any reputable B&B.

Here’s what else you can expect.

A traditional Bed & Breakfast should offer comfort and luxury in a small intimate setting

A traditional Bed & Breakfast should offer comfort and luxury in a small intimate setting

Your room will be unique. Decor will varying from inn to inn and room to room.  But, as previously stated, it will have the finest of modern amenities.  These rooms were created with our guest’s needs and comfort in mind.  They will be very clean.  They will have private baths, big tubs and Jacuzzis.  They may have fireplaces.  There may be gardens to walk in,  front porches to sit on, and quiet places to relax.  No “lobby” to pass through, no sense of being in someone else’s house.  You can expect your host to know the local restaurants and activities from first hand experience and be happy to give you good advice for your stay.

Here in Asheville we believe that staying in a Bed and Breakfast is part of the Asheville experience.  Our town is multifaceted.  You never know what you will find but you can be pretty sure it will be interesting.  It may be fun, it may be inspirational, it may be eccentric, historic, individualistic, unusual or more.  And the Bed and Breakfast Inns of theAsheville Bed & Breakfast Association reflect this quality.  Each inn is different, pleasing to different people, but they are all of the highest standard and each will bringing you an experience you can get nowhere else.

We hope you will elect to stay with us at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in the Historic Montford district.  But if we are full or you are looking for something else we encourage you to look at the Inns of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association.


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