Difference Between an Inn and a Bed and Breakfast in Anchorage and a Traditional Hotel
Bed and Breakfasts and Inn's in Alaska can be a great type of accommodation for a family vacation or those looking to get a more local flavor. Understanding how a bed and breakfast, lodge, and inn operate verses a traditional hotel can help in deciding what type of lodging accommodation is right for you and your party.
Prior to the early 1990's, Anchorage bed and breakfasts provided more lodging rooms within the city than traditional hotels. Between the uncertainty of oil prices and production, highly seasonal tourism, limited flight and travel schedules, and a
host of other factors, Anchorage bed and breakfasts were highly valuable for guests wanting to explore and visit Anchorage and Alaska.
So What is the Difference Between a B&B, an Inn? And why choose one over a hotel?
Right off the bat, a bed and breakfast and inn are rarely different in the type of accommodations they provide. A bed and breakfast will typically provide fewer rooms than an inn, and as the size is slightly larger for an inn, there are often more staff to help with the operations. A bed and breakfast is more often than not owner occupied and owner/family operated, whereas an inn is likely owned by a local resident, but may have an innkeeper to manage the day-to-day operations. Both will typically offer a wonderful breakfast each morning of your stay along with snacks available in the evening to tide your appetite until the following morning! An Inn may have a dinner or additional meals available, often at an added cost. Rooms offered at a B&B or inn will often have unique character or charm often fitting to the room name, and the common spaces may be filled with personal collections, family photos, and local information. Lodges, though more common in more remote parts of Alaska, will often be all-inclusive (meals, lodging, activities, sometimes transportation within the facility, etc). The remoteness of many lodges in Alaska require these services to be provided to make guests stay comfortable as even basic amenities such as a grocery store may not be within walking
A traditional hotel on the other hand are often corporate non-locally owned, provide cookie cutter rooms, have many more rooms, and until more recently provide amenities at an added cost (breakfast, Internet, flexible check-in/check-out, snacks and beverages, and parking). Hotels certainly have their place and arguably their most notable amenity they offer is
consistency. When booking a "2 Queen Bed, 1 Bath room" most guests know exactly what they are getting.
Is an Inn or Bed and Breakfast the Right Choice for Me?
Anchorage bed and breakfast or inn owners are often more than happy to provide detailed travel information so you and your party get the most out of your time while in Anchorage or Alaska. Alaskans love to explore their state and
often have first hand knowledge of what tour operators provide a unique and special experience as well as what sites to see along your travels. During the reservation process they want their guests to be happy and comfortable
during their stay and will make every effort to provide a detailed
description of what rooms/suites they have to offer and whether they may be a good fit. A host does not want an unhappy guest! Innkeepers and hosts will often make every attempt to cater to special requests, special dietary restrictions, and a more personalized stay. Due to the smaller size, a bed and breakfast or inn has the capacity to provide these services as well as the hosts natural inclination to make every guests stay as comfortable as possible.
Anchorage bed and breakfasts and inns provide guests and locals the opportunity to interact directly and provide one-to-one communication. When a guest emails or calls a B&B or inn they are often talking to the person(s) that they will meet during their stay. Also, when reserving a room at a B&B
or inn, the money spent goes directly to a Anchorage resident providing and promoting more local economic activity. Additional research may be required by the guest to ensure that the accommodations they are looking for can be
provided by the B&B or inn of their choice, but that added time can greatly add to the experience they may have when spending their time in Anchorage. Recommendations on where to eat, what to see, and in general, how to get the
most of your Alaskan experience can be assisted by your host.
Choosing the hotel route for your Anchorage lodging needs will likely result in a comfortable, but impersonal stay. Special requests and needs may be met, but will require requests to be made on the spot when hotel staff may be occupied with other guests and responsibilities. Non-local "chain" hotels often employ local staff (housekeepers, front desk, concierge, cooks, management) but send profits to their corporate office located outside of Alaska. Their back-end side of the business (IT, reservation software, website development, finance, etc) are also managed at the corporate level and not provided by local residents.
When looking for Anchorage lodging and accommodations we highly encourage you to consider a local Anchorage bed and breakfast or inn.
About the Author: Zack and Krista Walker own and operate the Alaska House of Jade Bed and Breakfast in Anchorage Alaska. The Alaska House of Jade has been providing Anchorage lodging service since 1987. Reservations can be made by visiting Alaska House of Jade Bed and Breakfast Anchorage or by calling 907-337-3400.