It seems an obvious choice. But my answer is not. It came to me while cycling today. (There is a lot of time for thinking while cycling all day long.) Given the choice between a cushy B&B or a simple resort, which would I prefer? On a cycling tour, I'd take the resort.
Being pampered at a B&B is certainly appealing. The attractive surroundings, comfy beds with luxury sheets and the sumptuous breakfast are hard to beat. It feels quite incongruous, though, dragging in my grubby panniers, peeling off sweaty cycling gear, and appearing in my single well-worn non-cycling outfit. And it's hard to adopt the leisurely attitude that makes the whole experience worthwhile. Instead of relishing the rich, unhurried breakfast, I am itching to get on the road before the whole morning is gone. It just doesn't suit the rhythm of our cycling trips.
Resorts, on the other hand, have become our splurge. And often they really aren't any more expensive than a motel. We've discovered than many small resorts have motel units in addition to their cabins. In that case, we get the view, the ambiance and amenities of the resort for the cost of a room which is very reasonable.
Traveling off-season definitely has its advantages. In September and now October, accomodations have been easily available, and resorts are willing to rent for a single night. At times, when the in-town motels are full, by looking outside of town we are able to find room in a resort. Just by thinking a little out of the box. In addition, we are now getting some off-season rates. Tonight we have a three bedroom cabin on a small lake for little more than we have paid for some motels.
If all else fails, we can justify the extra cost by cooking our own dinner. It can be a challenge finding ingredients that work with what facilities we have (the motel units are particularly tricky, without kitchens). In addition the local food shops may not carry a big selection. But that's half the fun.
Breakfast, too, adds to the savings equation. The ingredients are easy. A box of cereal and a jug of milk. No dishes? No problem. We carry sporks, and every room comes equipped with a small coffee pot. Voila, a pot of cereal!
But apart from the economics, I simply enjoy the resort atmosphere. There is no substitute for sitting by a lake. There's space to wander around and opportunities for more outdoor activities. We've gone out in a rowboat, and gathered around a bonfire. Even in poor weather, it's soothing to be near the water. It's far more satisfying than sitting in a tiny motel room with no view.
We finished cycling early this afternoon due to the dreary, wet weather. I'm so glad we have space to spread out, ducks to watch on the lake and very peaceful surroundings. Soon we will start a roaring fire in the fireplace. Wine is chilling in the fridge, and we have an “interesting” dinner planned. No, this is definitely not the last resort for us. In fact, tomorrow night we've already booked a room in a fishing lodge. It was an easy choice.