Keri recently wrote about discovering staying in apartments rather than hotels when you go on short breaks. However, another option, that I must confess that I don’t often think about, is a bed and breakfast.
We’re both just back from a short trip to the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate and our base during the stay was Alamah Guest House, giving us the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves what it’s like to stay in a traditional British B&B.
The Alamah is handily placed on King’s Road and is just a short ten minute walk into the centre of town. It’s just across the road from the Harrogate International Centre, a conference and exhibition space most well known for hosting the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest (which was won by Germany, in case you’re wondering).
Owners Judy and Sue have done a great job converting their 19th Century Victorian town house into a welcoming guest house. We were both impressed at how well they managed to combine contemporary decor with the house’s original features. The high ceilings made the rooms feel spacious despite the subdivision for the bathroom and the stained glass (which is some areas was original) lent a period feel to the otherwise modern facilities.
One thing that can really set an independently-run B&B apart from a chain establishment is the personal touches offered by the owners. For us, the excellent service from the Alamah started before we even got there.
Keri is on a special low-fodmap diet at the moment so she contacted Judy and Sue to let them know and before even arriving the lovely ladies had done their research and were able to offer her a selection of fodmap-friendly options for breakfast. And when I mentioned I liked peppermint tea, they very kindly stocked up the room’s tea tray to make sure I didn’t run out.
And in fact it was these kind, welcoming features that we thought can set B&Bs apart from other types of accommodation – from being at the door to welcome us when we arrived to giving us lots of hints, tips and practical info that really helped us make the most of our stay.
We had a lovely stay at the Alamah and it reminded us that we shouldn’t overlook B&B options when planning trips away. They provide many of the features you expect at a hotel, but with more of a homely, unique feel and often at a very good price.