What is the difference between a hotel and a bed and breakfast and a guest house?

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    M Adamopoulou

    Joey very nice topic I’m a little confused.
    I think that B&B is a room in a small lodging where a guest can stay overnight and have a breakfast in the morning.
    Guest house maybe can be an apartment in the back of a large home designed to provide a place for guests to stay.
    A hotel is a big lodging with many rooms, double, triple suites etc usually offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, all inclu, full board etc.
    I’m not an expert at all please let us have your professional description.

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    B&B is can be hotel as well that can be 1-3 stars and dunt have much facility offer.

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    Bandara Hotels & Resorts

    Guest House, is more feeling like, owner home

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    M Adamopoulou  Thank you for your kind words. I am confused by the words too. The confusion is caused by some owners erroneously describing their place in the wrong category. This can be done for fiscal reasons, for marketing reasons or for avoiding having to be scrutinised too closely. Let's hear some more ideas of what makes a hotel and what makes a bed a breakfast,

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    Sorry Bandara - I don't think your definitions throw any light on the subject - they are even more confusing than my original question :-P 

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    Most people cannot tell the difference between a Bed & Breakfast, a Guest house and a Hotel. And justifiably so: the terms are not used consistently around the globe, so one cannot draw sharp distinctions.

    But we would not be far from the truth by saying that there are three key factors that differentiate these types of lodging:

    1. Size

    One can safely say that B&B’s and Guest houses are usually smaller than hotels. They can accommodate less people and they offer a limited set of amenities, although some of them are prized by the visitors more than the hotel ones, like a homemade breakfast.

    2. Ownership and Employment

    B&B’s and Guest houses are mainly family businesses, not employing permanent staff and not offering a reception desk or a concierge. By contrast, hotels are operating around the clock, employing full time staff, with dedicated roles and functions.

    3. Law

    In several jurisdictions the law treats differently the B&B’s or Guest houses from the hotels, requiring from hotels more strict operating standards and more wide services offered.

    While the above may highlight the differences between B&B’s and Guest houses on the one hand, and hotels on the other, they do not explain the difference between B&B’s and Guest houses.
    Again, the differences are not clear. Guest houses are kind of larger than B&B’s though, as most of the B&B’s historically originate from family houses that were rented to visitors a as mean to supplement the family income.
    B&B’s are therefore more limited in capacity, more ‘homey’ units, than Guest houses. Apart from that the differences are blurred.



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    Re OP


    Have you read the BDC definitions fro these, IMO they're wildly different to anything I've seen or heard of, quite mad actually!

    For me;

    Bed & Breakfast: a converted (to variable degrees) house or other building having private bedrooms with either private or shared bathrooms.

    Guest house: a small scale hotel, usually with less common area amenities

    Hotel: Larger concern, more general amenities, services and choice.


    Ref. your second point; happens all the time. We are in a dense area of hotels and see this regularly, usually only last one or two high seasons and then disappear.

  • Well I also have a little issue with placing my property in either of the groups. Rooms wise it's a 4 room villa, but size wise it's bigger than a small "pension" as they call it here.

    So 500 sqm for 4 guest rooms and other area like a dining area, lounge, sauna, office, meeting room, 2 kitchens (1 attached to a room/apartment), technical area and balcony, large terrace, 2 car garage (big one).

    For amenities, we have most of what bigger establishments have except the restaurant part as we only serve a gourmet breakfast.

    So what would this be? A B&B or a Guesthouse?

    We call it a Guest House, but sometimes people refer to it as a B&B. It confuses us too :)

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

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    Yes, Zsolt, I agree with you the dstinction between a guesthouse (Though guesthouses often serve supper while b and bs don't) is very hazy. But the distinction between the two and a hotel is miles apart. 

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    fluff Can you please give us a link to the BDC definitions or just paste the text if it is not too long? Thanks.

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    I think you only see them when setting up a property, which I've just got into. Once done it's done.

    I'll ask though, watch this space...

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    Oh what the hell, let's do it!

    This is the first page, as per the thread I chose the third option and from  there "single property" which leads to...


    Comments welcome.

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hi all,

    fluff , that's super interesting. 

    So basically, according to BDC:

    Hotel - No host lives here, guest rents a room. Premises has restaurants etc. 
    B%B - No host lives there but it's a private home, and somene needs to provide breakfast to the guest who is renting the entire home... ?
    Guesthouse - Guest rents a room in the home of a Host. Seperate living though.  
    Homestay - Guest rents a room and shares the home of a host.

    Booking.com logic?  I feel the other categories are much better explained. Even suggests which type of guests are normally looking for that type of accommodation. 

    <(O.0)> dunno

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    Fluff - thanks for that - that is super confusing. Now I don't know what I own! 

    Edit: definitely not a love hotel rented by the hour though. I didn't know that BDC catered for that sort of thing too....

  • That clarifies it for me. Bed&Breakfast it is.

    I would definitely try to register my next property as a love hotel. I am interested how that will work :))
    I know it's a big business in Panama and very well known.

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    Thuild Make sure you have a big laundry if you're going to be washing sheets every hour :-P

  • The laundry setup that I have caters to a 20 room unit. I have 4 :) I can manage that if someone is hired to iron all day :))

    I already have a location, which is still in process of clarifying some documents and legal things there, after which it might become a hostel/student dorm or this love hotel thing as it's in a central area, yet hidden and not near the main road.

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    Oh the names you could come up with for a Love Hotel!


  • "Banana Inn" =)))))))))))

    "Business trip"

    "The weasel stretcher" :)))

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    Zsolt, stick to what you're good at. Naming brothels is not your strong point :-P

  • I bet it would take off really well with the first name. :)

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    You're thinking like a man (well ok clients would be men) but I'd try and be a little more subtle :-) And BTW I don't understand why weasels popped up.

  • It just popped into my head.

    Well, because of the name being not so subtle, I guess people wouldn't take these things so seriously and actually go for it easier in a fun way.

    But that's another story. Let's hope next year I can do something with that building :)

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    Hello all

    My "guesthouse" has 4 rooms available to guests plus the room myself and my boyfriend stay in.  There is only one lounge, one dining room and one kitchen.  

    I am also confused as to whether I should be a B&B given there are shared communal areas?

    Thoughts please?  Should I perhaps re-brand as a B&B?  I think the expectation level of some guests lead to bad reviews?

    Thanks all

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