A Brief History of Bed and Breakfast Lodging

Posted by: admin September 15th, 2015

Middle-Ages-MonasteryWhile the typical bed and breakfast of today looks much different than that of our predecessors, the concept still remains the same – a private home/family home where a guest is provided a place to stay for the night. But, do you know how the bed & breakfast (B&B) of today came about? Read on to find out.

The concept of bed and breakfasts has existed in one form or another since the beginning of man … albeit rudimentary at best. In the Middle Ages, monasteries were known to serve as bed and breakfasts for weary travelers, and in some cases still do. Before the 20th century, it was very normal for country travelers to stay the night at a private house rather than an inn. However, prior to the 19th century, this kind of thing was an informal arrangement based upon acquaintance and social rank. For example, a doctor might stay with another doctor or pharmacist, while a nobleman would stay with the local gentry. And so the rise of B&Bs began.

early-settlers-tavernThis seemed to be a common occurrence overseas for many years, but the United States obviously didn’t grasp the concept until the time of the early settlers. In other countries you might see these establishments being referred to as paradors, gasthaus, pensions, shukukos, minskukus and pousados, but in America the traveling pioneers who sought safe refuge in homes, inns and taverns as they traversed the countryside referred to them as bed and breakfasts. This brought a great rise to the concept of B&Bs in America.

The Great Depression, then, changed the manner in which bed and breakfasts came to be known as many homeowners began to open their homes to any and all travelers in order to bring in additional money for the family. Hence, the rise of the term “boarding house.” Then, everything changed in the early 1950’s (after the Depression), when these establishments came to be known as “tourist homes” and were thought of as overnight stops for low-income travelers or drifters. This “black eye” ended up putting a halt to the amount of establishments that offered these services, but today, in large part due to the number of Americans traveling abroad in Europe, the B&B has been “rediscovered” in the United States.

Frisco Lodge.jpgSometimes referred to as a “homestay,” the bed and breakfast of today typically includes breakfast with the price of the room, its own unique personality, between 4 and 11 rooms and offers a different lodging experience than a typical motel, hotel or inn. But it’s not necessarily a low cost alternative anymore as bed and breakfasts such as the Frisco Lodge are forced to compete in a competitive tourist marketplace. We like to think that our Frisco bed & breakfast is an appealing alternative to the standard chain hotel or motel room, though. Why you ask? We cater to the notion of “Your Home Away From Home” with top-notch hospitality and service, gourmet culinary delights, luxuriously arranged guest rooms and unparalleled historic ambiance.

So, come see what you’re missing and book a room today. You may or may not be a weary traveler, but either way the concept of yesteryear still remains the same.