Bed and Breakfast or Guest House?
Though Strawberry Fields is often referred to as a Brighton Bed and Breakfast we are more inclined to refer to ourselves as a Guest House. This got me thinking…is there really a difference? Are we a guest house or a bed and breakfast? Let’s explore a little further shall we?
The origins of the term Guest House are from the 15th century. Encyclopaedia Britannica company Merriam Webster offers two definitions, the first referring to a private building for guests separate from the residents’ main house, the second, a small hotel or private house that accepts paying guests. Wikipedia suggests a guest house is quite similar to a bed and breakfast, further commenting that a distinctive feature of a guest house is that there are no full-time staff.
Up in Scotland the St Andrews Bed and Breakfast Association draws a clearer distinction. According to their website both Guest Houses and Bed and Breakfasts offer breakfast, but a Bed and Breakfast doesn’t normally accommodate more than six guests or offer an evening meal, a Guest House on the other hand, has more than four rooms and is run on a more commercial basis. A similar view was taken by The Caterer magazine in an article I found from 2009. Versus a Bed and Breakfast, they call a Guest House a ‘proper’ business, sometimes having a liquor license and offering dinner (something Strawberry Fields chooses not to do as there is such a fantastic variety of bars and restaurants both in our Kemptown neighbourhood and Brighton centre). I noted a few other websites and blogs offering a similar view.
So if we are sticking strictly to definitions; Strawberry Fields, with its 27 rooms, is probably a Guest House more than a Bed and Breakfast. But this doesn’t solve the problem that less people are using the term Guest House. My web expert tells me that each month 3600 holiday makers search for the term ‘Bed and Breakfast Brighton’ but only 320 search for the term ‘Guest House Brighton’. I don’t need my web expert to tell me which group I should be after!
So perhaps Bed and Breakfast it should be then but I should be very clear we don’t like to be pigeon holed at Strawberry Fields. We always like to do things a little differently, and dare I say it…Better! Take breakfast for example, if our guests want to get up for breakfast we encourage them to try some of the amazing local eateries in our Kemp Town neighbourhood or central Brighton which is only 10 minutes away. If they’d rather a lie-in, which a lot of our guests do, we supply a special Brunch in bed service. The best of both worlds we think…