Always seek out ‘Real’ B&Bs

Finding real B&Bs can be difficult. Some travelers get confused by vacation rental options masquerading as bed and breakfasts.

Listings on airbnb, we’re looking at you.

Now, some real B&Bs do list some rooms on airbnb because of the exposure on the platform. But what makes them real B&Bs is that they meet all local ordinances and are licensed if required, insured, and they remit taxes like good citizens. And then there are the great breakfasts….

2017 Michigan Lake Logo, the mark of real B&BsBut many other places found on the platform are part of the unregulated sharing economy. They operate under the radar of local laws that require protections for you — important little things like fire safety, health safety and insurance. They would like you to think they are legitimate, but they are copycats riding the coattails of a legal and regulated bed and breakfast industry built on quality hospitality, superior service, cleanliness, luxurious beds and baths and the best breakfasts in the world.

If you are looking for real B&Bs in Michigan, look for the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association logo. It means that an independent reviewer has evaluated the inn using our 10-page list of quality-assurance standards and recommendations.

Real B&Bs seek seals of approval…

Real B&Bs in rural or unincorporated areas are not always obligated to be licensed and inspected. That’s where the association’s seal of approval comes in handy. But in most cities and towns, B&Bs are required to procure special land-use permits and to be regularly inspected by the various departments of health and safety to continue their licensing from year to year. They also must show proof of insurance — specialized insurance that applies to the commercial lodging establishments they are. Illegal home shares may call themselves “b&bs,” but they can’t declare themselves legitimate.

Now you know why it’s important to make sure the bed and breakfast inn you are booking clearly states its legitimacy on its website. If it doesn’t, how do you know it’s a real B&B? Now that you know their dangers, you won’t want to stay at a poor substitute.

P.S. Did you know that real B&Bs which use sites like airbnb or Expedia often don’t list all rooms and all dates? To maximize selection and service, always #BookDirect on the B&B’s own website.