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A Definition of Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in One Place May Not be the Same as in Another
by Philip Suter

I was going to visit Barcelona, Spain in February and meet up with relatives who had stayed there before. They had previously stayed at a reasonably priced hotel in the centre of the city.

I tried to find out more information on the Internet, but unfortunately they did not have their own website and was listed on one of those sites that you could add your own comments and photos to. The photos of the room (taken by a previous guest) did not too exciting so I searched the Internet for alternatives. Hotel prices in Barcelona appear to be fairly high, even in February so being resident in England and knowing that Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the UK and Ireland and the Chambre d’hôtes (equivalent) are good value tried searching for Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Barcelona.

I soon found a place that was in the city centre, had en suite accommodation and called itself “A comfortable, quiet and modern Bed and Breakfast in the most central place of Barcelona”.

Arriving at the place on a warm February evening, we were shown the place. 2nd floor apartment with a double room with en suite facilities, plus communal lounge, 2 further twin bedrooms and bathroom and a kitchen. The place looked like the good photos on the owner’s website. One thing was missing – Breakfast. Now in Britain and Ireland the B & B business has traditionally provided a cooked breakfast although more and more establishments are now providing a croissant/rolls and coffee/tea continental type breakfast, as you would find in France. In this Barcelona B & B after 5 nights stay there was no breakfast!

Upon my return home, I took another look at their web site. In small print was the phrase “Another advantage of this bed and breakfast is the full equipped kitchen where guests can prepare their own breakfast, lunch or dinner, or help themselves to cold drinks or fresh fruit whenever they want.” My comment would be – although a modern kitchen, it did lack anything to make coffee with (no kettle) only a saucepan and considering the accommodation was for two other double rooms as well, the two small cups would not be much use! The operators of such establishments in Britain, France and Ireland could not get away with this and in the UK could be prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act. On the 2nd March 2006, I decided to email them...

Dear Sir / Madam -You advertise "Bed and Breakfast" and when we stayed there for 5 nights in February, never had breakfast delivered. Surely you should not be advertising your place as a Bed and Breakfast unless you actually provide breakfast? - I look forward to hearing from you. Regards Philip Suter

At the 9th March 2006, I had still not had a reply. So much for good customer relations.

If you are booking such a place, confirm by phone or email that if they call themselves a Bed and Breakfast that they actually serve it. They did state on the booking receipt sent by email that they wanted to be paid on arrival. What they did not state, was that they would want 10 euros extra to process a credit card.

My relatives stayed at the “not too exciting” hotel, it was not luxurious, but had the owners portrayed it themselves on a website and shown the room we visited then we would have stayed there. The price was much cheaper than the B & B and you paid extra for breakfast. (But you would have got it) Take care on your travels and if someone is offering bed and breakfast in Barcelona be prepared, although you might get a bed you might have to find your own breakfast somewhere else.

©Philip Suter 03-06

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See also Barcelona FactFile by Dick Suter and Barcelona, Spain in February 2006 Was Fabulous

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