One the best parts of staying at Bed and Breakfasts is that they are each unique and can reflect the best elements of what you are wanting to experience in the area you are visiting. But some may not be what you want or need. Related to that we are often we are asked something like, “how can you know how to pick the Bed and Breakfast that you will love to stay at?” So with that question fresh in mind, below is a discussion of what we have learned over the last almost twenty years of staying at Bed and Breakfasts and now ten years of owning a BnB here in Sedona.
First thing would be to determine what does “best” mean to you. Some may say location (in town or out of town), or breakfast. Others type of bed (for instance I will only stay at places with king beds, that’s a go, no-go decision right there) and/or is there a private bathroom. Or maybe it’s more about access to activities – hiking, biking, birding. And how many people, and of what ages, are in your travel party? Will you have pets along? So my advice would be to make a list of features (including location, views, access to activities/restaurants) and prioritize the “list” highest to lowest … then start your research.
Luckily the internet has changed everything when it comes to learning about B&Bs at your destinations. Back in the day you had to rely on print publications to get the name and address of establishments and then you’d call or mail (with a stamp) the establishment and request a brochure. Now you have direct access to the B&B’s website, take the time to read through the different sections, you should be able to get an idea of what’s important to the hosts and what they aren’t focusing on; it is human nature to highlight the positive, and avoid the negative. So first visit and explore the respective BnB’s websites!
The next step in the quest for your ‘best’ B&B is for is to read guests reviews and just as important the responses to those reviews from the owner/manager. At the Cozy Cactus of Sedona we make an effort to respond to each and every review for two reasons, first of course we want to thank our guests for taking the time to share their experience (even when they are providing some constructive feedback) but second so potential guests can understand how we interact with our guests, our personalities, priorities and general demeanor. TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, BedandBreakfast.com are just a few sites where guests leave reviews. Channel sites like Expedia and Booking.com have guest reviews as well, however do keep in mind that B&B’s pay hefty commissions if you book through these channel sites. (just an FYI as most people don’t realize this)
Put into terms of our guests’ decision making lists, here is what they say helped them chose Cozy Cactus:
- They wanted to stay in the Sedona area amongst the red rocks with unobstructed views and easy direct access to hiking and biking trails.
- They were also looking for king beds and private keyed entrances (no walking into someone’s house).
- They insist on private baths.
- Breakfast (a major part of what we do) is complex, some of guests are morning people and foodies and love our 3-course breakfast, but others have different plans. We know that even the same people can want breakfast one day and the next be different, so if you don’t want breakfast we are happy to take money off your rate so you can eat at your leisure.
- Which brings us to local restaurants and cuisine, if you want a B&B that has good restaurants within walking distance then once again the Cozy Cactus would rank high on your list. We are in an extremely “walkable” neighborhood of Sedona.
- Other items that might be on a prospective guest’s priority list (and also avalable at the Cozy Cactus)
- WiFi and HDTV,
- tasteful yet interesting room décor (not an old childhood bedroom) and,
- an expansive fully furnished patio with unobstructed views of Bell Rock and Coconino National Forest.