B&B vs Short Term Rentals

People ask us – How is your Airbnb? And we are quick to tell them we don’t have an Airbnb; we have a professional Bed and Breakfast. Most people don’t know the differences, and have become accustomed to hearing Airbnb as it most often makes headlines, but not in a good way.  An Airbnb is not a bed and breakfast.  Interestingly, the Airbnb concept chose the name as; air bed no breakfast but wanted it to sound like a B&B because of all benefits and positive images that B&Bs conjure up Yet, beyond the names BNB and B&B, there are so few similarities between a B&B and an Airbnb.

So then, what are the distinct differences between B&Bs and short-term rentals?

A B&B is a more traditional hospitality offering that, includes a bed for the night and a delicious homemade breakfast in the morning, within a more intimate, home-like setting, along with B&BS having their own website to showcase their business.

In contrast, short-term rentals typically refer to the renting out of a furnished living space for a brief period, which can range from a few days to a few weeks or longer. These properties are often listed on a variety of platforms like Airbnb and VRBO, where homeowners can monetize their spare or empty rooms or, homes/condos and apartments for extra income.

The key differences between short-term rentals and B&Bs can be summarized as follows:

Regulation and Professionalism: B&Bs are required to be licensed and are regulated by local laws, ensuring they operate to professional hospitality standards. They are subject to inspections for building and fire code regulations, parking requirements and they must carry insurance with the expressed purpose of running a Bed and Breakfast. Many B&B’s also have to meet food safety requirements and be certified in a Food Safe Program. Short-term rentals, on the other hand, may not be subject to the same level of regulation, or inspection, or have any requirements for insurance to operate as a Short-Term Rental.

Service and Experience: B&Bs have always prided themselves on providing a unique and personalized experience. This includes luxury accommodations, high-quality amenities, along with warm, welcoming and genuine hospitality. This includes a unique breakfast experience featuring local products and creative breakfast dishes. B&B hosts are knowledgeable about their neighbourhood, local events and attractions, and can offer personalized recommendations, adding great value to the guest’s stay. Short-term rentals may not offer the same level of service or personal touch, as the interaction with hosts can be minimal or non-existent.

Community Impact: Licensed B&Bs are typically established businesses that contribute to the local economy and maintain a professional reputation within the community. They have a vested interest in the quality of the guest experience and the well-being of their neighborhoods. Short-term rentals, especially those not requiring the host to be on-site, can lead to issues such as “party houses,” which can be disruptive to local neighbourhoods and may not contribute as significantly to the local economy.

Capacity and Guest Interaction: B&Bs have defined capacity limits and are designed to accommodate a certain number of guests per room. They also ensure that hosts live on-site to interact with guests, have guests’ comfort and safety in mind, and maintain the property. Short-term rentals may not have capacity limits or not enforce them, and do not always guarantee that someone will be on-site to manage the property or guests.

In conclusion, while both short-term rentals and B&Bs offer lodging solutions, they differ significantly in terms of regulation, service, community impact, and guest interaction. B&Bs provide a more regulated, service-oriented, and community-conscious hospitality experience, while short-term rentals offer a more flexible and often less personal lodging option.

It is important to note that in British Columbia, B&Bs are subject to an annual filing with the BC Government through BC Assessment where they have to state the exact number of rooms and patrons, they can accommodate that are within the limits, and must provide the square footage of their B&B to show that is indeed residential in nature.

Our professional, long-standing, award winning B&B has been offering Bed and Breakfast to guests from around the world since 1982. We have always had commercial insurance with innkeeper liability, and offer our guests personalised, welcoming hospitality. Along all the safety requirements and with all the comforts of home. And since breakfast is half our name we pride ourselves in serving creative delicious home made breakfasts that are raved about by all our guests.