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Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the legal requirements that must be met in order to be a licensed bed and breakfast in Wisconsin?

A: B&Bs must have eight or fewer guest rooms within the physical residence of the owner/innkeeper's private home. The home may house no more than 20 guests. Bed and breakfasts may serve breakfast but are not allowed to cook any other meals for guests unless they also carry a restaurant license.

Q: I've stayed at a cabin that called itself a bed and breakfast. Isn't it one?

A: Cabins outside the owner's home are NOT bed and breakfasts. They only qualify for a "tourist rooming house" license and are not permitted to cook for guests (unless they have a restaurant license). Some owners of hotels, motels, cabins or cottages sometimes advertise their properties as bed and breakfasts, when really they aren't, because they are trying to convey a sense of warm and gracious hospitality that only truly can be found at a real bed and breakfast. B&Bs are very special and not surprisingly other lodging facilities like to market themselves as B&Bs because they aspire to be bed and breakfasts, hoping to convey a sense of the charm, individuality and high quality experience that only an on-site bed and breakfast innkeeper can deliver. Because we actually live inside the B&B, we are readily available and can offer attentive hospitality that just cannot be achieved in a hotel, motel or a cabin.

Q: I've never been to a B&B. What can I expect?

A: You are a welcome, paying guest in someone's home. Upon first arriving, you should always ring the doorbell (because it is a home) and wait for the innkeeper to greet you. We are in the hospitality business and innkeepers will immediately make you comfortable so don't worry about feeling awkward. Some innkeepers will give you a tour of the house and other rooms/facilities that you are welcome to use. You will be shown to your room and the innkeeper will make sure that you are settled in comfortably. Some may even offer welcome snacks. Innkeepers are always happy to answer any questions that you may have to make your stay an enjoyable experience. Sometimes you will be given keys to the house so you may come and go as you please. You can expect other guests at the B&B to be very pleasant people. The golden rule applies when staying at B&Bs -- treat everyone else with the same courtesy you would like to be treated.

Q: When is breakfast?

A: Each inn is different. Some offer a full, formal breakfast in the dining room at a set time. Others offer breakfast over the course of a few hours. Others may bring breakfast to your door, if requested.

Q: What if I have special dietary needs?

A: Most innkeepers are willing to accommodate people for health reasons such as diabetes, heart-healthy, low-fat diet or food allergies, provided you inform them of your special needs in advance.

Q: Do I have to eat breakfast with a bunch of strangers?

A: For many people, the opportunity to socialize with others over a delicious breakfast is one of the best reasons for staying at a B&B. But if you're not feeling sociable, ask the innkeeper if it is possible for you to eat at a different time or be served in your room.

Q: Can we bring our children?

A: Because many bed and breakfasts are romantic destinations with an adult atmosphere, it would not be appropriate to bring children. There are some B&Bs that readily welcome children and they make that clear on their website. (State code does not allow children or any other guests to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags or on air mattresses in a guest room.)

Q: May I bring my pet?

A: In most cases, B&Bs cannot accommodate pets. Insurance companies don't want to be responsible for other people's pets. We must also consider the comfort of our other guests as far as allergies and bad behavior of pets. The few B&Bs that allow pets make that known.

Q: Do I have to share a bathroom?

A: In the majority of B&Bs nearly all the guest rooms have private baths. A few inns offer private and shared baths. An inn that only has shared bathrooms is very rare. These facts are clearly posted on this website and should be on the inn's website. Always ask the innkeeper if you're in doubt.

Q: Why do some inns have a specific check-in time?

A: Most inns are run by couples or single people. There is not a desk staff as there is at large hotels. Many innkeepers also hold jobs outside the B&B, need to run errands, shopping, etc. We want to make sure there is someone there to greet you when you arrive. Innkeepers also need to schedule private time with their families. If the check-in time does not work for you, please discuss it with your innkeeper. Often special arrangements can be made as long as you are specific with the time you will arrive. Very late check-ins are difficult for innkeepers, who need to get up early to start on breakfast. Some innkeepers have a self check-in procedure for very late guests.

Q: How do I arrange payment?

A: All our inns display their preferred method of payments: cash, check or credit cards. Most inns require a deposit to hold the room. Some require pre-payment. Others will charge you the balance at check-out time. Ask the innkeeper if you are in doubt as to their policy.


If you have a B&B question you would like answered e-mail us or call us at (608) 525-8001.