Inn Etiquette in Alaska

Staying at an Anchorage Alaska B&B offers much more than just a bed for the night—you can experience Alaskan style hospitality. If you have not yet had the pleasure of spending the night in a B&B, allow us to offer a few comments on how the guests and innkeepers might expect to interact with one another for the best possible experience at an Alaska inn. We look forward to hosting you and your family on your next trip to Alaska!

Lodging at one of our B&Bs offers you the opportunity to get to know friendly Alaskans. Our innkeepers are professionals who have your comfort in mind, so the hosts are available if we can make your experience in Alaska more rewarding, but you can also expect the conveniences you might be familiar with from staying at hotels.

Staying at a bed and breakfast in Alaska can be a little different than what you might know about B&Bs in the Lower 48 or in other parts of the world. Typically, B&Bs in Alaska can be more economical than hotels because of our lower overhead “way up here” where costs are high. Another added value is that many of our B&B hosts enjoy offering local dishes for breakfast, such as sourdough pancakes, caribou reindeer sausage, wild berries and other delicacies.

How do you choose an Anchorage B&B that is right for you? Ask the innkeeper questions before you decide. All innkeepers will gladly answer your questions by phone and send you their own brochure or point you to their Web site.
- Are children welcome?
- Are there resident pets? Dogs and cats are not uncommon.
- Bed size? Can you only sleep on a queen, or need twins?
- Are non-smoking (or smoking) rooms available?
- Does the B and B have a smoke free environment?
- Are reservations required in advance?
- What are the Inn policies regarding: Cancellation, breakfast, check-in/check-out times, room payment, guest pets, minimum stay?
Some Members are NOT open year 'round. Rates may vary by season since Alaska is typically “full” in the summer, and fewer visitors come during the off-peak times. Please consult the B&B of your choice in advance.

What’s different about B&Bs in Alaska?

It is not unusual to be asked to leave your shoes in the front entry-way. Driveways and walkways are frequently gravel, and with so many of our activities based outside, hosts try to limit the amount of dirt tracked in. Many hosts offer freshly laundered slippers for your use in the house. Because it is light almost all night in the summer, Anchorage Alaska Bed and Breakfast Association members provide room-darkening window-coverings. You’ll rest well, even when it’s sunny outside at 11 p.m. or 3 a.m. Thousands of moose are residents of Anchorage and more than a few bears as well. It’s not uncommon to have wildlife right outside your B&B. Be sure to give them plenty of space. Moose and bears might look placid but move much faster than you might think. Rather than walking up closer for a good photo, use your camera’s zoom or lens!

It is a good idea to call in advance to be sure a room is available. Advance deposits are often required; and cancellation policies vary, so be sure to ask when you call. In addition, advise your innkeeper if children or young adults will be accompanying you. Special arrangements may be necessary.
Rates vary. You can expect luxury accommodations for $150+ per night in a busy resort or larger metropolitan area. Likewise, you can expect something very simple and perhaps a bit like staying at Grandma's house for $45 per night In most cases, Anchorage B&Bs offer good value compared to other lodging.
It is our practice to include breakfast at no additional cost. It is usually offered one of three ways: Continental: rolls, muffins, or coffee cake, coffee or tea & juice; Continental Plus: extras are added to the standard Continental breakfast like cereal or fruit; Full: often includes many of the above items and one or more hot items. Some B&Bs serve you at the table, some offer breakfast buffet-style, and others may offer breakfast in bed.
How do I act at a B&B?
Courtesy is the key. Mutual respect is the mode of operation between the innkeeper and guests as well as between the guests themselves. Guests are usually informed either verbally or in writing (a letter posted in your guestroom or elsewhere), of policies which the innkeeper asks that guests honor. They are established to help guests become comfortable and familiarize themselves with how things work at each B&B. The rule of thumb: When in doubt, please ask.
A B&B is not an appropriate place for a noisy party. You will find that many B&Bs have a no smoking policy. If you have arranged to check-in at a specific time, please do so, or call ahead to arrange an earlier or later arrival. It’s easy to lose track of time under the Midnight Sun. When coming and going from the inn in the evening, be mindful of the fact that sounds carry easily. If you stay at a bed and breakfast in which you share a bath, it should be left the way YOU would like to find it.

Staying at an Anchorage B&B is a wonderful experience and great fun. Read the rules, ask a few questions and you'll soon feel at home. During your stay you will meet new friends, enjoy exceptional hospitality, and learn all there is to know about the local area. You are sure to love it so much that you will soon become a regular B&B traveler.

“Our hosts were so thoughtful. It was our anniversary and we really appreciated the special touches during our stay.”

Emily and John, Anchorage, AK

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