Inn Etiquette for a Great Stay in Alaska
Staying at an Anchorage Alaska B&B offers much more than just a bed for the night—you will experience Alaskan style hospitality. If you have not yet had the pleasure of staying with AABBA member inns, 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. 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 to make your experience in Alaska more rewarding. Many of the conveniences you might be familiar with from staying at hotels are part of this experience, such as having someone familiar with local tours, sights, restaurants and other services which can help you select choices for your activities.
Staying at a bed and breakfast in Alaska may differ from 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. And you can learn about each inn on this website!
- Are reservations required in advance?
- What are the Inn policies regarding: Cancellation, breakfast, check-in/check-out times, room payment, guest pets, minimum stay?
- Bed size? Can you only sleep on a queen, or need twins?
- Does the B & B have a smoke free environment? Is it environmentally friendly?
- Are children welcome?
- Are there resident pets? Dogs and cats are not uncommon.
Some members are 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. Even in the winter, B&Bs fill quickly for the Iditarod and other events!
What’s different about B&Bs in Alaska?
It is not unusual to be asked to leave your shoes in the front entry-way. 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, AABBA 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. 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!
Make your reservations in advance and re-confirm just before your arrival. Advance deposits are often required; and cancellation policies vary, so be sure to. In addition, advise your innkeeper if children or young adults will be accompanying you so that you are assured of finding the perfect accommodations for your travelers. Special arrangements may be necessary.
Rates vary. In most cases, Anchorage B&Bs offer good value compared to other lodging. Each inn is independently owned, so check for their rates.
Breakfast is provided 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 offer self-serve or breakfast in bed. Be certain to alert the innkeeper of special dietary needs. If you plan to decline breakfast, please see that the innkeeper knows at least one day before!
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 familiar with how things work at each B&B. The rule of thumb: When in doubt, please ask.
Talk with your innkeeper – but if you prefer solitude, we will see that you are not disturbed.
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, leave it the way YOU would like to find it. And no matter where you stay, review the safety exits and policies that are posted for the unexpected!
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.