The Best Reasons to Book at a Historic B&B vs. an Historic Hotel

Lets be honest, if you are looking for historic accommodation during your much earned holiday, you want it to be the best experience possible. Many of today’s “historic hotels” are historic in name only; they are often more of an amusement park version of history than an authentic experience.

In fact, modern hotels have only existed for a little over a hundred years. Before indoor plumbing and central heating, innkeepers had to deliver fresh water and firewood to guests rooms one at a time. Without elevators, buildings were limited to two, or sometimes, three floors. Because of all the manual effort, hotels rarely exceeded a dozen rooms, and most were just half that size. Meals were served at a set time, just as if you were a guest in someone’s home. The concept of arriving in the dining room whenever you want and ordering from a menu is a fairly recent invention.

A high proportion of North America’s early inns were sole female owners. George Washingon’s journal through the newly formed United States notes this time and again. Often these sole female owners were widows needing to earn a living – this certainly was the case for the Bailey House in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. It was owned by the young widow, Elizabeth Bailey, who had three daughters to support.

So few of these early accommodations survive as they were often in prime locations and were demolished time and again to build larger and more modern hotels. The hard working widows offering personalized lodging gave way to corporations.

We believe that the travelling public should be more aware of these genuinely historic accommodations and we’ve list a few reasons why believe this to be true. 


1. Personalized Service

  • Historic inns often provide a more intimate and personalized experience, with innkeepers who take the time to know their guests and offer tailored recommendations.

2. Unique Ambiance

  • The charm and character of a historic inn often surpass that of a historic hotel, with unique decor and architecture that reflect the local culture and history.

3. Support Architectural Heritage

  • A truly historic inn usually only has a few rooms and higher than normal maintenance costs. Thus their cost per night may be more than a chain hotel, however, if they are not supported by guests, they could be turned into private homes, or worse, lost forever through neglect or demolition.

4. Homemade Breakfasts

  • Many historic inns offer delicious homemade breakfasts, often included in the room rate, giving guests a taste of local cuisine and hospitality.

5. Tranquil Atmosphere

  • Historic inns typically offer a quieter, more relaxed environment compared to the sometimes bustling nature of larger historic hotels.

6. Exclusive Experiences

  • Staying at a historic inn can provide access to exclusive experiences such as private tours, cooking classes, or personalized excursions that larger hotels might not offer.

7. Local Expertise

  • Innkeepers at historic inns often have deep local knowledge and can provide insider tips on hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions.

8. Community Feel

  • The smaller, more intimate setting of a historic inn fosters a sense of community among guests, often leading to meaningful interactions and new friendships.

9. Unique Rooms

  • Each room in a historic inn is often uniquely decorated, providing a distinct and memorable stay compared to the more standardized rooms of a hotel.

10. Personal Touches

  • Historic inns often feature personal touches such as welcome gifts, handwritten notes, or complimentary snacks and beverages, enhancing the guest experience.

11. Historical Immersion

  • Staying in a historic inn can offer a more immersive historical experience, with many inns located in buildings with rich, storied pasts.

12. Romantic Getaway

  • The cozy and charming ambiance of historic inns makes them ideal for romantic getaways, offering a perfect setting for couples.
Coffee and Croissant
In conclusion, choosing to stay at a genuinely historic inn over a modernized “historic” hotel offers a more authentic and enriching experience. These inns preserve the charm, personal touches, and historical significance that modern accommodations often lack. By supporting these historic establishments, travellers not only enjoy a unique and memorable stay but also contribute to the preservation of important cultural heritage.
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Bailey House Inn
150 Saint George Street,
Annapolis Royal, NS B0S 1A0

2024 Bailey House Inn

 •  150 Saint George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

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