What a hotel addict learned from a bed-and-breakfast stay

After a recent experience at a lovely bed and breakfast, this blogger is questioning why he bothers staying at chain hotels at all.

Robert A. Martin/The Free Lance-Star/AP/file
Ellie's Suite, one of three rooms for rent at Lavender Heights Bed and Breakfast of Falmouth, Va., as pictured in this August 2012 file photo.

I love using points and miles to earn free travel, so I try to stay in chain hotels that help me rack them up whenever possible. But I recently spent the night along the backroads of Washington state's Cascades, at the Run of the River Inn and Refuge. After my experience at this lovely bed and breakfast, I'm suddenly questioning why I even bother staying at chain hotels at all!

Here's what a chronic hotel patron learned from his first B&B experience.

I arrived in Wenatchee, Washington's airport (which hilariously sports the airport code EAT), ready to journey into the trees for a much-needed weekend of relaxation. What I found was that Run of the River was more than just a bed and breakfast; I was continually surprised by the difference between my expectations of a traditional B&B, and what I experienced during my visit.

For one thing, Run of the River is a traditional lodge, with seven suites each sporting a different theme. Mine was called "The Great Northwest," and it looked directly out into the beautiful Icicle Creek, where I often found bears, deer, and other wildlife grazing during my stay.

The owners provide guests with a comfortable bed, heated floors during the winter, a rainfall shower, birdseed to stock your private balcony feeder, water bottles, and even personal mountain bikes to use during your stay. Oh, and a five-course breakfast awaits you at 9 a.m. every morning.

Another plus? The amazing German-inspired town of Leavenworth, which is practically like being in Munich. The Christmastime atmosphere, I'm told, makes the holidays a peak season at the Inn. The city is so authoritarian about its German heritage that even the local Starbucks and Subway must adhere to the town's strict signage policy, which requires all businesses to write their store names in antiquated script on wooden signs.

So, am I giving up on hotel chains forever?

No. Chasing status for the benefits, like free breakfast, suite upgrades, and bonus points, can be fun, but sometimes it's important to slow down a bit and just enjoy the destination in front of you. No chain hotel could provide the same quality stay as Run of the River Inn could in this fantastic location.

Most frequent travelers have experienced some kind of existential moment -- à la Up in the Air -- when they've wondered "is the status really worth it?" I wondered that myself as I watched from my Run of the River balcony a squirrel loading up on birdseed intended for the mouths of birds. Alas, there aren't enough Run of the River Inns out there in the world, so our Hyatts and Hiltons must suffice. But this experience reminded me of the importance of sometimes taking the long way home. If you're too busy driving fast down the interstate, you might miss something really special in between.

This story originally appeared on Brad's Deals.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to What a hotel addict learned from a bed-and-breakfast stay
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today