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Bed & Breakfasts: Alternative Accommodations in Utah

View from Desert Hills B&B

This post was co-written by Inspectors 15 and 33.

As AAA inspectors, we inspect, evaluate and rate restaurants, attractions, hotels, motels, country inns, cabins, condominiums, casinos, cottages, dude/dudette ranches and “the bed and breakfast.” We have inspected a lot of bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) throughout Utah and have truly grown to appreciate what they have to offer and embrace their individuality. We hope you will too.

B&Bs can be in a city, in a residential neighborhood, set back a few miles from town or in a rural area. Following is some information we hope you find helpful in making your decision to stay at a B&B.

It is “standard” practice to make advance reservations and to check in later in the afternoon. Managers are known as innkeepers, not general managers. Sometimes they live on site in an attached private area or in a separate home or cottage.

The innkeepers’ reception and the check-in process tend to be more personal than checking into a motel, hotel or condominium. Some innkeepers welcome you with open arms and attend to your every need while others may let you know where everything is, make sure you are set and then let you be.

“Typically” there are four to eight rooms. The common areas typically consist of a living room and dining room. Some B&Bs will have additional sitting nooks stocked with books, puzzles, board games and cards.

There is often a late afternoon/early evening social time with soft drinks, beer, wine and light snacks. You can mingle with other guests or not. Breakfast is typically a social event at a set time, geared toward interaction with the other guests and the innkeepers. Many B&Bs take great pride in their food offerings, and a gourmet experience is typical.

Whether you are traveling solo or with a group, we encourage you to try a B&B. If one is not your cup of tea, try others and make it an adventure. You may find you adapt better than expected and will want to try others. You could even get hooked.

Similar to a hotel, bar or restaurant, you may not like one for some reason but may favor another. We have been inspecting the following B&Bs in Utah for several years. The following are some of our favorites with a brief reason why they “stand out from the crowd.”

Inspector 15 here. These are my picks:

Eden, The Snowberry Inn (Three Diamonds) — Each room is named after a mountain peak. The basement recreation room has a pool table, dartboard and piano. The outdoor hot tub is popular year-round. The front porch is the perfect spot to relax, snack, gaze at the sky and mountains and daydream.

Cali Cochitta, Moab, UtahMoab, Cali Cochitta (Three Diamonds) — It’s hard to believe this gem is so close to the heart of downtown. The grounds of this cozy Victorian home are meticulously manicured and offer seating nooks throughout the garden. Breakfast is a highlight and is served outside, weather permitting.

Moab, Desert Hills (Three Diamonds) — The enthusiastic innkeepers are passionate about sharing their knowledge of this area. They are always willing to arrange trips such as river-rafting, biking and hiking. Every time I go back to inspect this property, they have come up with a great idea to accommodate their guests. For example, since they are a few miles south of downtown, they added a beautiful oven just for families that want to cook instead of dine out. You really are made to feel like you are at home at their home.

Desert Hills Bed and Breakfast, Moab, UtahGreetings from Inspector 33. I share Utah inspection duties with Inspector 15 and handle the beautiful Southern Utah areas. The AAA-Approved B&Bs in my area all have their unique charm and can strike anyone’s fancy.  Some of my favorites include:

Cedar City, The Big Yellow Inn (Three Diamonds) — A block from Southern Utah University, this large yellow Georgian Revival home cannot be missed. I love pulling up and seeing the students walking to and from school, and some even greet the innkeeper in passing.

Antiques decorate the large, extraordinary rooms, and although the rooms are amazing, my favorite part of the property is the dark wood library, which is stocked with books and videos for guests to enjoy. This is a great place to stay while visiting a loved one at Southern Utah University, during the annual Shakespeare Festival or for a ski trip at Brian Head Ski Resort.

Glendale, Historic Smith Hotel Bed & Breakfast (Two Diamonds) — If you are looking for a more rustic experience, this is the place for you. Originally built as a boarding house in 1927, this B&B sits alone on a lonely stretch of US 89 and houses guests visiting Zion and Bryce national parks.

The B&B is decorated with period antiques and has an intimate feel. One of the inn’s best features is the bright and plush professional landscaping in the front. My favorite spot is the newly constructed decking in the backyard, where several great areas are perfect for relaxing in rocking chairs and unwinding from the day. 

Torrey, Torrey Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast (Three Diamond) — Built from 1914 to 1916, this three-story red sandstone brick building still stands strong in a neighborhood right off the center of town. The breathtaking grand ballroom features antique white and baby blue couches, a piano and period lighting hanging from high ceilings. Guest rooms are named after school subjects, including Music, Arithmetic, Reading and Writing.

If you're planning to make Utah a future travel destination location, check out AAA.com's Utah Travel Guide.