Almost every phone call we answer here at Avenue Inn is prefaced by the phrase “I was calling to get your rates and availability.” They more than likely already have in mind the rich experience they will enjoy when staying at a bed and breakfast. No matter the budget of a prospective overnight guest however, everyone wants to know the cost of a room at a bed and breakfast in New Orleans, and they look to compare nightly rates and value. The answer to that question is: it depends.
Flat Rate: Some bed and breakfast inns charge a flat rate for the weekdays and one for the weekends.
Seasonal Rate: Others tie their rates to the time of year: there can be a winter rate, a summer rate, a holiday rate and special event rate. But the rate is generally consistent for many weeks or even months at a time.
Rate Management: Other bed and breakfast inns follow a rate management system of offering rates. Based on demand, or lack of it, the rates can change daily, similar to how the airlines offer rates on the internet. There is some advantage here, not only for the Inn during high demand periods, but for the consumer as well since rates will adjust with all demand days, and a guest can benefit from dramatically lowered rates when rooms do not sell. In the middle of a high season, room rates may be lowered if rooms are not selling or for length of stay or for less popular room types (two beds may not be in demand for a couples reunion event).
So how much does a room cost at a bed and breakfast? It depends, as we said, but your best option is to do some quick research on the internet for hotel and inn rooms in the area, then call the inn that meets your lodging standards:
- Ask for the rate of the day (for the days you need), then ask if the rate is negotiable for a lesser amount (coupon, AAA, senior, etc) or if an upgrade is available at the quoted rate.
- Make sure you inquire about amenities that are included in the rate. Free parking, breakfast, Wi-Fi, telephone calls, printing of boarding passes, complimentary food and beverage, and anything else that might be considered value-added.
- Consider what your money is buying. Commercial hotel rooms tend to look and feel the same for sure, and their rates within classifications are comparable. But a bed and breakfast room is one-of-a-kind. Commercial establishments are more cut-and-dried, while bed and breakfasts often have more charm, unique amenities, a more at-home feel, increased personal contact with your innkeeper for concierge services and recommendations, and any number of other benefits.
- Also remember that most quoted rates are per-night before tax – don’t forget to add tax to your budget! Besides sales tax, lodging taxes (for ANY type of lodging establishment) can include occupancy taxes, and any state/local-based tax add-ons for governmental or project purposes. You can figure that in most cities, hotel taxes (including B&B’s with a few exceptions) are 5-8 percentage points higher than the local sales tax.
The room rate alone does not tell the full story. A better rate elsewhere may not be so good if you are nickle-and-dimed to death. And keep in mind that rate is not everything. If you cannot afford a $10-$20 per night difference in room rates, perhaps your budget should be reevaluated. And the phrase, “we just need a bed, we are not going to be in the room much” really takes away your opportunity for a unique positive experience. So be mindful of the cost, but be open to a better way to stay in a charming, and often times historic, bed and breakfast inn.