What do you need in a B&B?

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  • What do you need in a B&B?
  • I’m going to start doing B&B for mountain bikers in the summer and I’m currently getting stuff for the bedrooms. What are people opinions? How much storage is needed? How many people unpack their clothes if they are staying one or two nights? ,TV in every room? (we have a room that could be a guest lounge with TV in it). Tea/coffee making facilities? Anything else that people would like to see in their room? (Apart from the obvious like a bed!)

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    Personally (and I suspect I’m eccentric in this regard) I do not need:

    – TV
    – Radio alarm clock that doesn’t work
    – ceramic bird standing on a doily
    – trouser press
    – raffia donkey wearing a sombrero
    – ensuite bathroom
    – wardrobe
    – more than one towel

    But I do like:

    – a mug to make tea in
    – half decent biscuits if you’re going to bother at all
    – plenty of tea bags
    – a proper reading light
    – airer on the radiator


    Bed and urm, a breakfast.

    – Reliable hot water supply
    – Clothes washing/drying facilities
    – Shoe drying area
    – Big towels (none of those tiny ones!)
    – decent reading lights (too many places have weedy ones)

    – Buxom bikini clad lovely in every room

    Premier Icon GrahamA


    Although I am your guest I in no way share in interest in art, nick-nacks, wicker furniture, knitting, flock wall paper, patterned carpets, china cats and above all dolls of any sort.

    I do need a on-suite shower/bath room that I can swing a cat in (I’ll supply my own cat) preferably not pink or avocado.

    A Radio that works, and by work I mean that it receives the Radio 4 without interference. You would be surprised at how complex this seems to be.

    A pint glass.

    Free WiFi

    If you choose to supply a TV a remote control make sure that the batteries are charged.


    Personally, I rarely unpack my bags unless I’m travelling on business or staying for more than, say, 4 days.

    My requirements would be:
    Comfy bed with comfy pillows.
    Somewhere to dry clothes/shoes.
    Secure bike storage.
    Secure bike storage. (yes, it is THAT important!)
    Kettle and tea/coffee making goodies. Like someone else said, if you provide biscuits, make sure they’re nice ones!
    Hot water any time of day and a good strong shower.
    Towels that are actually big enough to go round you, rather than ones the size of a tea towel.

    No need for a TV in rooms if there’s a lounge area.
    (I am always quite depressed how few people actually use the communal areas at B&B’s – me and J always go and share a bottle of wine and read/play a game and very rarely does anyone join us. We’re really not THAT scary!!)
    And while we’re on the communal area – interesting books! And maybe some games – cards, backgammon, twister (if you’re feeling brave/mischievous!) And also, printed up and laminated local rides – local knowledge is way better than just plucking a route out of a guidebook!

    That’s really good stuff! I agree so much especially with the pint glass! But I’m sure I would have forgotten about it if nobody had mentioned it. I also hate the tiny useless little ones that all the hotels/B&B seems to use.

    I don’t see it mentioned – a licence to serve alcohol.

    Nothing better than landing at the B&B/hotel or whatever and convening for post-ride beers before heading out to eat.

    Get proper local beer in – even if you only serve it in bottles (which is best for low turnover bars).

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Second (or third or whatever) a drying room, but stress that it must actually be warm so my clothes stand an outside chance of drying.


    Proper sized cups (ie mugs) for tea & coffee and more than one tea bag / coffee sachet. A kettle that boils in less than half an hour.

    Also agree re the bar, we went to one in Scotland last year that had a little bar (honesty bar) and it was great.

    Secure bike storage & drying room.

    Oh and please learn how to cook scrambled eggs properly so you don’t just plonk a piece of yellow rubber on a plate.


    Discerning – where you thinking of doing it?


    some nice little (or big!) jumps out back, maybe a bit of north shore for mucking around on.

    secure bike lock-up again!

    good communal area’s, both inside & outside – if it’s for mtbers mainly, you’ll probably have large groups from time to time, in which case these areas are more important than size and colour or the bedrooms.

    in opposition to graham, i’m gonna go out and say i do like a bit of random artwork/photo’s etc on the walls. possibly stuff to do with outdoor pursuits. maps and photo’s of the local area are always a good bet!

    maybe even a BBQ, which would definately boost your beer sales if you get a license!!


    Spacious comfy shower. Spacious comfy bed. Coffee and tea with biscuits. Clothes drying capabilities. That about it, unless you’re in the fields, then a few drinks in might be nice. I’ll leave my bikes locked in my car, I’ll go out for a beer if theres a pub near.

    And unlike one in Edinburgh that I visited a year ago, I’d like not to have a disapproving look when I come with my girlfriend who isnt my wife and we sleep in the same bed.


    – A window you can open and central heating you can control from your room – too many B&B’s I’ve been to have been hotter than the sun.
    – A vegetarian breakfast option
    – A decent pot of coffee
    – Non caffeine drink option in room
    – No matter how careful you are, when you’ve been mountain biking you tend to get mud in places you weren’t aware of until you’ve carted yourself/your luggage into a lovely room with cream carpets. Preferably something to avoid that kind of thing…not sure what though??
    – Tasteful yet individual…I like a B&B with personality, so don’t mind a few odd artefacts around the place, it makes it more memorable. The weirder the better, as long as it doesn’t give me nightmares (dolls and clowns a big no no).

    Good luck with the business, I hope it works out for you!


    went to one last year where thay had left some ‘first day trail snacks’ cake bars/ trackers/ flapjacks or summit (i can’t really remeber) that was ace.

    a glass of sherry – that was shit.

    wine glasses – that was good.

    tiny water glasses – was pants.

    i agree with simplicity, the place we stayed had cheap ikea bed, plain walls one picture, plain curtains. very nice to stay in.

    i do not wanna stay somewhere that is all floral and my grandma may appreciate.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    Square taper, please. Definitely not ISIS.


    No little knick-knacks around.
    Hot water, decent shower that works at the same time as the one in the next room, seconded good towels.
    Real milk for tea/ coffee in the rooms.
    Porch area for removing /dressing filthy wet clothes before entering the house. Radio for me, but not TV.
    No rubber under the sheets.

    Preference for NON-divan beds, so I can sling stuff under them out of the way without unpacking.
    Selection of crap easy to read books, and OS maps


    Ooh, yeah, another vote for proper sized cups and glasses.


    No rubber under the sheets.

    Did you have to make a trip to the pharmacist?

    I’d love to get a license for alcohol, but isn’t it quite difficult and expensive? The very cosy local pub (the Fox for anyone near Mellor/NewMills area)is only 10 minute beautiful walk away.

    We are on the edge of the Peak district and which ever direction I go I have absolutely superb technical trails and the rides can finish and start with superb descents! I’d love to share it with other mountain bikers and do guiding if wanted! (done guiding course) and since I also love to cook and clean and socialise I thought B&B would be perfect!

    I mean it literally starts from the front door!

    I’d love to get a license for alcohol, but isn’t it quite difficult and expensive?

    I wouldn’t have a clue – I just know I always look for B&Bs that are licenced.


    Comfy bed – Too many B+B’s i’ve stayed in have got this wrong

    Plenty of towels

    Clean En-suite

    Plenty of milk with the tea and coffee (not just 2 of those tiny uht pots)

    Nice clean room – I don’t want to find someone else’s pubes anywhere in my room

    Premier Icon kimbers

    bike storage
    drying room
    lots of hot water

    beyond that i dont really care as rest of the time im out riding, asleep, or in the pub

    nice sausages with my breakfast and nice bacon, hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms, sliced haggis, free range eggs and wholemeal toast and as much OJ as i can drink out of a man sized cup

    Premier Icon ransos

    Not sure you need a licence for an honesty bar? Seeing as technically, payment is voluntary…

    I do need: decent tea & coffee facilities, including proper milk and biscuits. Alternatives to traditional cooked breakfast (I find it a bit heavy if I’m cycling). Something like porridge, or scrambled egg on toast.
    I don’t need: the curtains, bedspread & lampshade to match.

    I assume that you have secure storage for bikes? A workshop area and hosepipe would be good too.

    Plenty of milk with the tea and coffee (not just 2 of those tiny uht pots)

    Absolutely – I very rarely drink coffee in a B&B as it simply does not taste like coffee. I would be most impressed if I could get a real one (or ‘real’ instant even). How about a central coffee/tea station with free drinks for all rather than separate ones in rooms?


    A decent breakfast with proper sausages, nothing lets a full English down like cheap bangers.


    Sounds good buddy – how about big roaring open fire? Friendly dog? Mahoosive brekkies inc porridge, museli, yoghurt – good healthy stuff as an option to cooked.. 😉

    Secure storage, good bike wash, pub near by..


    More than 2 tea bags per room
    Decent sized mugs – sod the cup + saucer, give me a pint mug
    Maybe UHT milk in the room, but would be nice to have access to fresh milk for a proper brew
    Supply of biscuits – one digestive (ie sharing a two pack) doesn’t even hit the sides
    Bike work-stand for a bit of tweaking
    Big towels
    Supply of old newspapers to stuff into shoes for drying them

    and how much do you think it should cost??


    I’d agree with most of the above and add:

    – pillow(s) that are not similar in size, depth and texture to oversize teabags.
    – a breakfast option that is not a full fry-up, i.e. a good selection of cereals, lots of toast, that sort of thing.

    I stayed in a B&B that had a table on the landing with proper coffee/tea making stuff and a fridge with milk (for free) and snacks. There was also always a bowl of fruit which I think was free, and an an honesty system for the snacks – which included some more substantial things which was great as I was too lazy to go out to eat one evening. This worked really well I thought.

    Reading books and packs of cards in a communal area is good – and you could make it an swap point for books.

    Even if you don’t have one for each room, a hairdryer which you lend out is nice for people with long hair. And in the showers those large bottles of showergel that are stuck to the wall, and bottles of handwash are loads better than the little packets.

    Don’t do what my last B&B did which was to say they would give me a lift to the airport at 5am then fail to wake up… I had a very early morning walk with about 25kg of luggage and nearly missed my flight.


    Ndt. I know your house really well and think this is a great idea.

    Just a few more points, please have hanging space and at least a small chest of drawers, quite often mtbers will take their partners who may want to do other things other than outdoorsy stuff.

    Blackout lined curtains are a must.

    Also as other people have said, clean bedroom and bath/shower rooms are essential.

    Also maybe offer the option of a packed lunch or sell the energy drinks and bars.

    Good hearty breakfast is a must, with as much local produce ( fresh ).

    Maybe have the option of afternoon tea, like a ski chalet.

    Good luck.


    Lots of good points above. I like the idea of a central drinks / honesty bar / social place, it works really well in the B&B we use when we ski in Whistler. Guiding is a great idea, there are so many great trails round the area you can easily ride for 2 hours without being more than 3 miles from the front door!

    You could offer a pick-up service for people coming by train – going home, well it’s mostly downhill to Strines station isn’t it?

    Wifi access would probably be a plus point, most people on here are so geeky they would be on the laptop before cleaning bikes 🙂

    En-suite is a must, a big bunch of blokes may not mind but most couples I know (us included) will only use en-suite B&Bs, you do *not* want to encounter me going for a pee in the middle of the night

    Local OS maps with good trails marked out for reference – walking and riding. If a trail is better in one direction, mark it as such

    I don;t unpack, but a drying room would be *very* handy to save hanging wet gear in the room

    off for tea now, more later 🙂 Good luck!

    Premier Icon Drac

    Comfy bed

    Hot water

    Pub nearby.

    Hotties on tap.


    Stay in a lot of B+B’s for work! Things my work buddy and I look for are in no particular order

    Clean and welcoming.
    If a twin room decent space between the beds.
    En-suite with a bath and a shower(helps if the shower is powerful and hot)
    Good breakfast with decent bacon and sausages.
    Comfy bed with a duvet big enough to cover you.
    Black out curtains.
    Window that opens
    Good toilet and sink combo (the ability to have a bowel movement and a spew at the same time is handy)
    Free Wi-Fi

    Things we don’t like
    Carpet in the bathroom.
    Decent sized room not cluttered with pointless chairs and tables.
    Out of date UHT milk.
    Glade plug-ins in every second socket.

    I could go on all night

    Good luck

    Premier Icon GrahamA

    How about a small fridge in the room?

    Agree with the comments about not unpacking.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    Comfy bed that doesn’t creak every time you move.
    A good proper shower that works even when taps/other showers are turned on. And, connected with that, a constant supply of hot water.
    Proper coffee with real milk.
    Keep it simple and spotlessly clean.
    Good breakfast with the items delivered at the right time – I don’t want my Full English dropped on the table when I’ve only just started on my cereal!

    Not that I’m demanding at all, oh no! Best of luck with it.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    De-humidifier in the drying room to speed the drying process.


    Just one to add no carpet in the Bathroom it’s a big no no for me and her carpet in a bathroom yuk

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