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Michael Franco

What's Your Style?

By December 13, 2012

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Courtesy IK's World Trip/Flickr

Even though I was the owner of a Victorian-style bed and breakfast for nearly five years, when my wife and I vacationed, we rarely chose to stay in a similar style of accommodation. While our guests loved the inn and we were proud of the furnishings, decor and quality we offered, it simply didn't reflect our personal taste in lodging.

Why, you might be wondering, would we helm an inn that wasn't representative of our personal tastes? The short answer is because we purchased our inn based more on its growth potential and business model than its style. So we adhered to the Victorian decor to not alienate returning guests who'd come to love the inn just the way it was.

Of course we did make small changes over time. Lots of lace bit the dust, dried flowers received a proper burial, and froufrou clutter was replaced by antique gadgets like microscopes, typewriters and cameras (collecting antique gadgets is a passion of mine -- one my wife wishes I'd abandon). But the parlors stayed pink, a variety of Victorian furniture gave guests comfortable seating choices, breakfast was served on Royal Doulton china and sherry was served to guests from a stunning antique tea cart.

If you're thinking about buying an existing inn, its current decor is something worth considering. You can always choose to redecorate if you don't like the previous innkeeper's style, but if the bulk of your guests kept coming back because they liked the atmosphere of the inn, you risk losing them. If possible, it's probably best to find an inn that is appealing to you both financially and aesthetically.

So what kind of accommodation do my wife and I choose when we travel? We like ultra-modern, quirky rooms. And if they can be set in off-the-beaten-path locations or unusual structures, so much the better. Kind of like these five bed and breakfasts I've recently written about.

If you know of any other unconventional inns worth sharing, let me know in the comments below!

Image Courtesy of IK's World Trip/Flickr

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