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Dueling B&Bs

November 29, 1998

Regarding Pat Hardy's letter (Nov. 8, "B&B Values"): The writer claims that $180-a-night B&B rates in the U.S. are justified because of local property values and the "little things" the American public demands such as washcloths, etc.

My wife and I have just returned from a two-month driving tour of Britain and Ireland in which we stayed at 37 B&Bs. All but two of them were equal to or better than any we have stayed at in this country. The average cost was $32 per person per night, and that included all the "little things."

The big difference between there and here was that most of the British B&B operators looked at their businesses as extra income and not a get-rich proposition. The number of B&Bs available creates competition and keeps the prices low.

PAUL SCHOFIELD, Long Beach

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Hardy comments that amenities--like washcloths and snack service--expected by the American public are absent in English B&Bs. What, in my estimation, far and away makes up for any such lack is the unique warmth and friendliness of the owners. You are treated like one of the family from your arrival. I could care less for frills or washcloths when I have just met another set of friends.

ALAN R. FITZSIMONS, Laguna Beach

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