Where to stay in India: 3 reasons why BnB is a better option than a hotel

We all love traveling and exploring new places, interacting with new people and gathering new experiences. While some people don’t care about the mode of travel to a destination, others don’t care much about the places to see when they plan. Still others don’t mind lazing in their place of accommodation, much to the angst of their partners! Bed and Breakfast (BnB) may be an answer to your dilemmas!

What do you look for before planning your trip?

I am sure accommodation is the one thing that comes to your mind! Whether you are traveling alone or with your family, you would want to know where you would spend your night. Some questions that would come to your mind are:

  • What is the price of the room per night?
  • How safe is the place?
  • Whom can I call if there’s something wrong with the place?
  • How well-connected is the place to major transit points and shopping malls?
  • What are the facilities, especially the toilets?
  • And most importantly, how is the behavior of the persons who shall serve you?

Barring 4-star and 5-star hotel categories in India, can you be sure that a 3-star hotel or lower category hotels would have it all sorted for you? I doubt!

Instead, what if I tell you that there are economical rooms with good facilities situated in a residential area with the property owner residing on the premises ready to solve your issues with a smile? Well, there are hundreds of Bed and Breakfast rooms in Delhi alone, almost 10,000 in India. The Government of India registers these rooms with a few guidelines that they need to follow. The following Ministry of Tourism document shall make it clearer to you.

How did Government incentivize Homeowners to convert their homes into BnB?

The government of India gave the homeowners a few incentives to convert their homes into BnB by lowering their capital and maintenance charges. Government has exempted these BnB from paying the luxury tax or service tax (up to a certain limit) which the hotel owners must pay. Apart from that, water and electricity rates are at residential rates for the BnB owners while the Hotel owners must pay electricity and water charges at commercial rates.

Thus, since the amount of investment is less while they need to maintain similar standards of professionalism so, the BnB are found to be 25%-30% cheaper than a hotel with equivalent facilities.

These are the tangible benefits of BnB over hotels. Now, let us move over to the intangible benefits of BnB over hotels. Have you ever seen a hotel manager or staff coming along with you to help you do souvenir shopping for your loved ones’ back home. A hotel staff/manager would at most suggest you the marketplaces or if generous, would arrange you a pre-booked cab to the place you wish to visit.

However, if you stay in a BnBNation’s cherry-picked BnB, there is a very high possibility that the host would reside on the premises as only some BnB have been let out to professional hospitality agencies. If it is your lucky day and if the BnB owner is free, he/she might as well as accompany you to the nearest marketplace and negotiate the prices of the stuff that you buy!

Who owns these BnBs?

With the aim to put India on the global tourism map and to improve India’s image as a safe, warm and hospitable tourist destination, the intellectual elite of the society came forward to convert their homes into BnBs! Thus, it is quite usual to find that a BnB owner is a retired IPS or a retired Indian Army Major and such stature!

Feeling Intimidated? Well, the miscreants are even more intimidated by people of such stature, and integrity! The homeowners’ profile keeps the miscreants at bay and renders their homes safe for tourists whether domestic or foreign. Additionally,  you would not find anyone enters their homes without a visiting card or a proper reason.

In an earlier post, we had highlighted the safety features of a BnB and why they are so safe for women travelers: http://wp.me/p7iRDY-2

Women love Bed and Breakfast rooms!
Women love Bed and Breakfast rooms!

As a tourist, waking up in a retired Indian Army officers’ house would be amazing. Isn’t it? Share a breakfast with him while listening to his tales of bravery and heroism?

Now, with such a high level of personalized services at economical rates, where would you prefer to stay? In a BnBNation certified BnB or a hotel?

*- With inputs from Anshul Saxena and Dr. GG Saxena)

Sources of Inspiration:

“Role of Bed and Breakfast scheme of Delhi in Development of Tourism in Delhi”, Ph.D Thesis by Dr. G G Saxena.

65 thoughts on “Where to stay in India: 3 reasons why BnB is a better option than a hotel”

  1. I am a homey person. That’s why I prefer cozy BnB over hotels. Thanks to friendly BnB’s owners the visitors get familiar easier with the culture of country. These are the reasons why my vote goes to BnB, and not to hotels.

    1. Hi Milijana,

      It’s wonderful to hear from you that you prefer BnB over hotels! We couldn’t agree with you more on the point that visitors get familiar with the culture of the country when they stay in a BnB. We have written blogs on how foreign travelers have enjoyed staying in a BnB while celebrating a festival in India!
      Would love to get your views on those blog posts too!

      BnBNation Team

    1. Hi Marina,

      The concept of BnB is big in Europe and is fast picking up in India too! These verified homestays are well maintained and warmly hosted by Indian families. You’d be delighted to interact with the families! We recommend you try them on your next trip to India.

      BnBNation Team

    1. Hi Reshma,

      BnB’s are picking up big time in India. Govt is keen on making more BnB’s. Indians are brilliant at hospitality so this concept of staying with Indian families is bound to pick up big time, do you agree?

      BnBNation Team

  2. Honestly, I didn’t know the difference between hotels and bed & breakfast before because I was thinking, you can also get breakfast on hotels anyway. It is only through this post that I have been enlightened a bit.

    1. Hi Wandering JM,

      There is only constant in life and that is change! Maybe, this time in India you can try a BnB verified by us and it might change your perception about BnB’s forever!

      BnBNation Team

    1. Hi Chiara,

      It’s great to hear from you! You sound a bit apprehensive about using BnB? Rest assured, the one’s that we at BnBNation have verified shall give you no reason to complain!

      BnBNation Team

    1. Hi

      Love to hear from you! We have found that BnBs are the best way to stay if one wishes to experience the local customs and culture in the most beautiful manner!

      BnBNation Team

  3. BnB’s are quite cozy and more personal. I love supporting BnB owners whenever I get a chance and if I ever go to India I will be sure to search for some to stay in. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Riely,

      Nice to hear from you! We are sure you’d love staying and interacting with an Indian family in one of our cherry-picked Bed and Breakfast unit during your next trip to India!

      BnBNation Team

  4. Thank you for this interesting post. I didn’t realize BnB is so big in India. We normally try to support the local people of a place when we travel and what better way to connect than to stay with them. My husband loves adventure, travelling and people. He can spend hours listening to the stories and loves to try something own to the place, it is very interesting.

    1. Hi Rolene,

      You like supporting local people on your trips? That’s great to hear! I guess you are a responsible and sustainable traveler! I can assure you that if you come to India and stay with one of our BnB families, you’ll have a great experience! India is so diverse that you’ll be amazed by the amount of knowledge you’d gain about India!


  5. Great to know that BnBs are registered w/ the govt. I’m not sure if we have the same setup here in the Philippines. If not, this is an idea our country should adopt to keep the locals and foreign tourists from thinking if the BnBs they’ve booked are legit. Nice read!

    1. Hi Danica,

      The BnB’s registered here are legitimate have been verified by police and municipal authorities! The guests who stay in the Indian homes go back as friends not as guests, such is the hospitality of the host and the level of reciprocation of the guest.
      I am sure that if you plan a stay in an Indian bed and breakfast, you’ll go back to Phillippines with a highly positive opinion about India.


  6. Personally I prefer BnB’s since they’re way cheaper than hotels. Plus, it’s a great way of meeting the locals because of their staff. Although of course, with BnB’s don’t expect too much since you get what you are paying for. Still, I’ll choose BnB’s over hotels anytime. 🙂

  7. Thank you posting this informative post on the BnB scenario in India. Staying in BnB’s is a whole new different experience. Staying in hotels can be lonely sometimes. But in BnB there is a good chance that you will find a friendly host who will tell you about the various hotspots of the city. I’m glad to see that more and more people are coming forward and converting their homes to BnB.

  8. We’ve been thinking about visiting India next year, thanks for the idea of a BnB, not thought of that before.

  9. I often like to stay in BnBs when I travel so its interesting to learn about the setup there in India. Definitely an option worth considering, thanks for sharing!

  10. I love staying at BnBs and think it would be the coolest to experience someone’s home in India. Maybe I’m bias because I love Indian cuisine? Awesome post 🙂 #feetdotravel

  11. We love staying in BnBs and try to book them for accommodations as often as possible. The personal interaction makes all the difference!

  12. BnBs are always more cozy than most hotels. The only reason we sometimes get wary is that if the owner is a bit rude or uncooperative. But most people are lovely and provide an insight into their daily lives and culture.

  13. I love AirBnB. I am pleasantly surprised about India as I generally stay in hotels this side of the world and use AirBnB in Europe. I may have to start using airBnB more often now 🙂

    1. Hi Samantha
      We are sure Airbnb is providing a good service in many parts of the world. However we at BnBNation aim to provide cherry picked bed and breakfast rooms in India for a smooth and comfortable stay of foreign travelers.

  14. Oh so basically India has its own version of AirBnB? Honestly I’m very fond of hotels because they’re a luxury that we don’t always get, but I’d love to see bed and breakfasts with unique features or in interesting locations… Can’t say no to welcoming hosts as well. 🙂

  15. I love BnB for the local experience opportunity it offers. Would prefer it any day to a hotel if it is run professionally !

  16. I’ve never known of such rules in BnB industries. Thanks for sharing. And yes, comfort and good facilities that are pf the right price are top priorities when choosing an accommodation.

  17. Nice! So there is actual government incentive to do that! Never knew that. I think they are doing good for everyone.

    1. Yup Government provides incentives to set up BnB in India. In fact, such registered ones are safe and homeowners are accountable to the Government. As BnBNation, we aggregate only government-licensed BnBs after checking their hygiene and amenities by visiting them personally. 🙂

  18. I’ve never been to India, but when I do, I know where I’d like to stay. It’s good the government there supports the BNB; it must help the people there a lot!

  19. Bnbs are usually better than hotels in my opinion for several reasons – of course cost is one but also the opportunity to interact with the local culture. The only reason why I would think twice to do something like that in India is, of course, the safety aspect. If that’s taken care of, then nothing like it. Having said that, the safety aspect is a concern anywhere in the world, not just in India! I do tend to have faith in the integrity of retired Army officers, maybe cause my dad is one too (Air Force but same thing)!

  20. This was really interesting. We mostly stay with family when we travel to India. We did have a phenomenal experience at resorts in Kerala, but I can see the value of BnBs especially for a longer trip.

  21. I am kind of shy, so a BnB with closer contact and communication may not be the most comfortable option for me. This is interesting though, I had no idea that there were so many BnB options available in India, I think it is a great option when trying to budget a trip.

  22. Very interesting post and very well documented. I usually opt for BnBs while I travel personally, but I stay in hotels for work. So, it’s a good combination, I guess… mind you, I would like to wake up in the house of an Indian Army Major… oh… those stories 😍

  23. india or otherwise i just love staying in bnbs mainly teh homely touch it gives and also it becomes much more affordable…i will share ur article with my friends who still prefer hotels 🙂

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