Bed-and-Breakfasts, Boutique Hotels, and Inns

We’ve got a lot of friends figuring out where to stay in Tagaytay for the weekend.  And one of the most common questions we get is “what’s the difference between a hotel and a bed-and-breakfast”.

Photo courtesy of The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay.

Photo courtesy of The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay.

Aside from B&B’s, you also have Boutique Hotels, and Inns.  In many cases, these terms get interchanged, but as it turns out, each of these establishments have key differences that set them apart from regular hotels.

Bed and Breakfasts

Typically, bed and breakfasts are private homes with fewer than 10 bedrooms available for commercial use.

It is said that bed and breakfasts are the local, organic version of the hospitality industry.  While hotels are more corporate entities, B&B’s are smaller, family-run operations, with the owners also staying at (or next to) the establishment.  It’s their house and home; so this means you might expect a more personal, hands-on approach by the owners during your stay.

Photo courtesy of Joaquin's Bed and Breakfast.

Photo courtesy of Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast.

As the name implies, breakfast is typically included with the cost of the stay. The establishment doesn’t necessarily offer other meals (but some B&B’s may do so).

Unlike hotels whose rooms essentially all look the same, B&B’s typically exude more personality and local flavor, and quite possibly, rustic charm. Simply put, B&B’s may be designed as eclectic, as quirky, or as modern as however the owner wants it.

Many of the service you normally pay extra for in a hotel– parking, wifi, snacks, bottled water– are usually already included in the cost of your stay.

Although some bed and breakfast owners hire professional staff, a property which hires professional management is usually no longer considered a bed and breakfast, but enters the category of inn or hotel.

Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels are sometimes also known as “design hotels” or “lifestyle hotels”.  They mainly differentiate themselves from larger or branded hotel brands by providing personalized accommodation, services, and facilities.

Photo courtesy of View Park Hotel.

Photo courtesy of View Park Hotel.

These are usually smaller than mainstream hotels, often ranging from 3 to 50 guest rooms, and are themed in a stylish or aspirational manner. The focus is in being able to deliver a more intimate, more personalized, more comfortable experience.

So pretty much, they’re just like hotels themselves, just with a featured hook, spin, or twist in terms of mood, styling, and/or design.

Unlike bed-and-breakfasts, boutique hotels usually have round-the-clock full-time staff, as well as a professional hotel management team.  Many of these establishments also have on-site dining facilities (such as restaurants and/or coffee shops), or even lounges or bars, which are also open to the public.

Many boutique hotels are owned, operated, and/or managed by a company or corporation (as opposed to B&B’s which are normally mom-and-pop establishments).


Inns are essentially hotels in a rural setting.  They may be run as bed-and-breakfasts, but have a professional team managing the establishment (instead of the actual owners themselves).

Just like bed-and-breakfasts, inns usually play up the local flavor, culture, and history, so you might expect the theme or design to showcase these as well.

Photo courtesy of Lazea Tagaytay Inn.

Photo courtesy of Lazea Tagaytay Inn.

Other Places To Stay

Aside from bed-and-breakfasts, boutique hotels, and inns, there are a few other options for travellers looking for a place to stay in Tagaytay.

Apartment Rentals and Guesthouses

Increasingly gaining more popularity (thanks to mobile apps like Airbnb) are apartment rentals and guesthouses.  These are typically extra rooms or accommodations at a private homeowner’s domicile rented out to travellers and transients.

Apartment rentals and guesthouses are generally larger, allowing for, say, families or bridal parties.  Use of a kitchen is typically also allowed, so you can visit the local markets for fresh produce to cook yourself.

These places may allow you a greater deal of independence in terms of rules and guidelines, but on the other hand, there isn’t much in the way of an in-house staff (for daily housekeeping services, for example).


Dormitory-type lodging are hostels, which allow for a more budget-friendly experience, with more spartan furnishings and accommodations.  You might have several other fellow transients sharing your room, as well as the common areas (such as the kitchen, living area, bath, etc.).

Don’t be quick to count out hostels as many of these may offer private rooms instead.  Nevertheless, the proximity to other fellow travellers presents itself as an opportunity to learn more about the neighborhood, or just to make new friends.


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