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Perhaps you're hoping for a hearty bed & breakfast in Rome, where plates of Italian pastries scent the air in the morning and views of the great Colosseum erupt outside your window? Maybe you're more in the mood for a bed & breakfast in York, where half-timbered walls, real ales and crackling fireplaces are the order of the evening and homecooked English fry ups are there to greet you after the alarm clock buzzes? Or is it a bed and breakfast in London that's caught your eye, a place to offer something of a more local welcome to the big city and its bucket list sights?

Wherever you've booked that B&B stay, you can rest assured that you're in for a personalised, tailored travel experience that large-scale hotels can only dream of delivering. With just a handful of rooms, these sorts of stays make it easy to feel pampered and looked after. You'll get service that's truly individual and thoughtful, going from made-to-order morning meals right down to little flurries of local character in the room design. Talking of design, bed & breakfast pads often infuse their suites with regional styles – look forward to chic modernism in metropolises, Olde World looks in the countryside, a touch of Roman art here, of Victorian elegance there. And then there's the added bonus of the in-the-know owners, who are usually more than happy to share their local secrets with guests – the best bars, the top eateries, the finest spas, the most beautiful hiking paths, you name it.

For breaks in big capital cities, the hearty, cosy character of B&Bs can really help you get a taste of the vernacular side of things. Visitors heading to sprawling London, for example, can ditch the 500-room hotels in favour of somewhere like the Harrison. Its on-site alehouse and range of gastropub food promises something enticingly authentic, all close to the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross. Alternatively, there's the 3-star Melbourne House, nestled between the regal streets of Pimlico, with its Georgian frontispiece and traditional suites. And there are countless examples of the same thoughtful and enchanting bed & breakfast stays all over the city, elsewhere across the UK, Europe and beyond, all offering rooms that are steeped in charm and character, coming local tips, filling morning meals and a vibe that leaves you feeling truly welcomed.