Affordable Travel Guide to Inns

The Intimate Middle Ground in Accommodations

Inns

Inns serve a unique place in between the grandeur of hotels and the smallness of B&Bs, and they tend to be located in towns rather than cities. Sometimes tucked into a row of buildings in massive cities like London, inns may be innocuous (and sometimes hard to find) or stand out for their individuality, like the Gingerbread House Inn, in the small town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Their rooms are seldom cookie-cutter that you find in motels, and in cases such as the accommodations at the stunning McKinnon-Cann Inn in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (yes, Nova Scotia by its nature is dotted with lovely inns!) the rooms are completely different, each dedicated to a decade in the 1900s.

Inns may have on-site dining, or not, but almost all have breakfast included. There are often common sitting rooms where you can read by a roaring fore or watch a film on the television, and balconies where you can enjoy a beverage while watching the sunset, but not all are licensed to serve alcohol, so you may have to BYOB!

Inns are more suitable for people who like their privacy and don’t want to be forced to socialize, as is so often the case in more “public” B&B accommodations.

How are Inns and B&Bs Different?

Generally run by an individual or couple, much the same as B&Bs, and offering breakfast included, inns differ from B&Bs in several ways:

Inns

  • 5 or more rooms 
  • en suite bathrooms 
  • a mansion or similar 
  • individual dining tables 
  • meal services 
  • suites 
  • privacy 
  • formal check-in services 
  • greater amenities

B&Bs

  • 4 or fewer rooms
  • some shared bathrooms
  • a house
  • often a common table
  • breakfast only
  • common sitting areas
  • more social
  • relaxed check-in
  • limited amenities

Which is Better for a Romantic Getaway?

Our vote goes to inns. There is less time spent in the company of the owners or other guests and that invites more intimate time for a couple. Some inns that are geared to couples and romance have features like hot tubs and fireplaces in the rooms, and will provided goodies such as champagne and chocolate truffles to add to the experience. Because B&Bs are often just normal homes with rooms separated, there is a fair amount of noise penetration, not what you need in a romantic moment.

Inns are excellent choices for small wedding groups. They mostly have a room or outdoor space that suits a wedding party of 20 or more, and many also have a dining space that can provide a formal or buffet lunch or dinner for the bride and groom, and guests. Wedding guests can book rooms right there at the inn, so there is no driving involved after all that champagne, and there is the opportunity to wish the happy couple bon voyage at breakfast the next morning. A good inn will even be an ideal place to spend a honeymoon. It’s a perfect, single-location spot for such an event.

The Advantages of Staying at an Inn

While big city hotels have concierges to look after your needs, inns are supported by savvy owners, mostly who live on premises or nearby, and have vast knowledge about local restaurants, attractions and events. This applies in major urban centers as well as small towns and rural locales. Inn owners and managers will have local restaurant menus available for your perusal and will be happy to call to make your reservation. They know what is worth seeing and doing in the area, and what day trips might suit you and how long they will take for travel times.

Inns are the ideal “in between” that ride the center in terms of services and amenities offered by hotels and B&Bs. Usually the preferred accommodations of adults, they are also places where travelers can find peace and quiet without the intrusion of children (who they may be escaping from at home!). An inn is a true getaway; a place for accommodations, but also an experience in and of themselves. There is little other form of accommodations that affords intimacy and privacy, in tandem with full-tilt service, than an inn.

Explore Inns

Gingerbread House Inn

Gingerbread House Inn

Charm and Character in One of Nova Scotia’s Prettiest Towns
The MacKinnon-Cann Inn

The MacKinnon-Cann Inn

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
The Old Orchard Inn

The Old Orchard Inn

A Convenient, Full-service Motel in the Annapolis Valley
White Porch Inn

White Porch Inn

White Porch Inn Provincetown, Cape Cod

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