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Bedroom Specifications in a B & B

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 2 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
Guest Rooms Bed And Breakfast Hotel

Getting the design of guest rooms in a bed and breakfast is one thing that you have to get right, even though there are hotel and fire regulations to conform to as well as aesthetics.

No-one can tell you which decoration or style will woo the guests, you'll have to decide what is going to fit in best with the property you have and the market you are aiming at. But there is a layer of basics that you can get right and then it's up to you to put the decorative layer on top.

Guest Room Sizes

If you are getting into a large conversion, restoration or extension project you must conform to the latest size requirements. They are currently:
  • 10.3 square metres for a twin bed room
  • 8.4 square metres for a double room
  • 5.6 square metres for a single room.

Larger Victorian and Edwardian houses won’t have a problem with these guest room size limits but earlier cottage-style properties and some more modern ones might struggle. This is particularly so if you are taking space from the bedrooms for bathrooms, having decided to go en suite throughout. You will need to do this if you are aiming to get the five star rating now in force with Visit Britain and their associated tourist boards.

Furniture in Bed and Breakfast Guest Rooms

The star grading system will also have an impact on the bed sizes too, so make sure you have allowed for the up-to-date sizes in your guest rooms. Quality beds are a must, and mattresses too, probably erring on the firm side but not too hard. It's impossible to cater for everyone's preference of mattress from the softest to the very hardest, but you could invest in some mattress toppers that you can add on top to make a hard mattress a bit more yielding.

Make sure there's enough storage space for the number of people who will be in the room, bearing in mind they might stay for up to a fortnight. This means a decent sized wardrobe and a chest of drawers or dressing table as a minimum. Bedside tables and lamps should be at both sides of the bed and if you buy bedside chest that have two or three drawers then you might be able to get away without a large chest in the room.

If there's enough space, but only if there is, you should consider a table or desk for writing and an easy chair too. It depends on the size of the room but also whether your guests tend to go out a lot or sit in their rooms. If you can't fit a dressing table in, make sure there's a mirror on a table or chest and ensure that there are a number of power points close to it for people's electric dressing accessories.

Should Bedroom Design Include Televisions?

Power points should also be either side of the beds for chargers for mobile phones and the like. Whether or not to put televisions in guest rooms is a thorny issue, although radio/CD players ought to be there regardless. Many bed and breakfast owners will swear that it is a minimum requirement these days, but many guests actively seek out places without TVs as part of giving themselves a real holiday.

One solution is to have televisions in all the guest rooms but offer to remove them if people prefer not to have them. For hotels aiming at the family market you may find that DVD and video players and perhaps satellite are minimum requirements as well as the television, in order to keep children occupied.

Keep Guest Room Design Subtle and Clean

The rooms must not be cluttered, so less is more in this regard. It's not only the way it looks but fire regulations will be broken if there's too much furniture to enable guests to escape easily.

With these basics in place you can attend to decoration. The best advice is to keep it simple and plain, and have the fancy touches in the bedding and curtains rather than one the walls. Then you can refresh and update the design relatively easily every five to ten years, as you'll need to replace those anyway if you are hoping to maintain a high quality reputation.

Hotel and Fire Regulations

It should also go without saying that the fire regulations and other statutory notices required by current hotel and bed and breakfast regulations should be clearly displayed, usually by the door off each room and in corridors too. Routes to fire escapes should be clearly shown in fluorescent signs although the fire regulations do not actually stipulate this for the smallest bed and breakfasts. Better safe than sorry though.

A system of hard-wired (i.e. not battery-operated) smoke detectors will probably need to be installed as a minimum. Check the latest regulations out through your local authority to make sure your bed and breakfast guest rooms comply.

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[Add a Comment]
Em - Your Question:
Hello, I am converting two of my rooms into BNB rooms. They are on the top floor of the house and are in slopped ceilings, one already has a en suit the other I need to add this, my question is does the en suit and room have to be a particular size?

Our Response:
We don't know of any particular requirements, you should speak to your local building control officer.
StartABedAndBreakfast - 5-Feb-18 @ 10:48 AM
Hello, I am converting two of my rooms into BNB rooms. They are on the top floor of the house and are in slopped ceilings, one already has a en suit the other I need to add this, my question is does the en suit and room have to be a particular size?
Em - 2-Feb-18 @ 12:27 PM
Millie- Your Question:
How many coat hangers should be provided in a B&B room ?

Our Response:
In a wardrobe, it's courteous to provide enough hangers for several items of clothing plus a coat. There are no specific standards relating to this.
StartABedAndBreakfast - 26-Oct-15 @ 2:46 PM
How many coat hangers should be provided in a B&B room ?
Millie - 22-Oct-15 @ 5:40 PM
Is it permissiable to have hotel bedrooms without any windows?
keith - 23-May-15 @ 10:31 PM
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