Recently I made the mistake of upgrading guests who had booked one of our Standard rooms to a room which I consider a Superior room. The Standard room of their choice faces west and currently looks down onto a hub of activity  because of the renovation to our Annex ( which is thankfully on schedule and should be finished in less than 2 weeks.) So I thought I was doing them a favour by giving them a free upgrade to our Room 1 which faces towards the garden. Apparently the guest walked into the room and exclaimed in disbelief that surely this could not be considered a luxury room.

Which has me confused. The guest who stayed in Room 1 the night before them wrote in our guest book: “thank you for a wonderful stay – incredible attention to detail” . The last TripAdvisor review was from a guest who stayed in Room 1 and reads: “My husband and I stayed at Philda and Desmond Benkenstein’s wonderful B&B for three nights. What a find! Breakfasts were outstanding, room more than comfortable and the hosting fantastic! There was an equal measure of privacy and excellent company which made us feel very much at home. Desmond’s garden has been lovingly cared for and attracts a variety of bird-life. The attention to detail in the house is meticulous: I loved the silver coffee pots, decorative antique books and modern bathroom; my husband enjoyed attention from Juno the dog. We can’t recommend this establishment enough … and look forward to another visit in the not-too-distant future!”

So is it a luxury room or not?

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Luxury is relative I suppose. Desmond and I have stayed in some pretty luxurious hotel rooms – but then not at B&B rates. We have also stayed at B&B’s where we have experienced luxuries far greater than those offered by most 5 star hotels.

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If we let the guest stay in the Standard room that they paid for they would not have been tempted to pass criticism – or would they have complained that our Standard rooms could not possibly be Standard: mohair throws, top quality bedding and mattress, flat screen Samsung television, DVD player, coffee/tea making facility, microwave,safe, heaters, ceiling fan, ironing board and iron, heated towel rail,original art, Oriental carpets… The question remains – does all of that plus a fireplace entitle the guest house owner to call it a “Luxury” room?