Policies, House Rules & General Etiquette

Our Approach to Offering a Unique Bed & Breakfast Experience

Policies & Etiquette

General Policies, House Rules, & Etiquette


Below are some of our most important policies. (For your convenience and reference, the full policy information is made available to you during the electronic reservation process on our website as well as in your confirmation email.) The Heart of the Village Inn™ may make changes to these terms and policies at any time without notifying its website visitors and guests with current reservations, who are solely responsible for reading the most current version of the Policies and Terms and Conditions.

Before you read the actual policies below, let's talk so you understand our approach. All B&Bs have rules and their specific way of creating guest experience. Not all B&Bs are good at setting expectations and communicating their ground rules ahead of time, and who likes disappointing surprises? We have found that communication is key, that common sense is not common, and that preventing what's preventable goes a long way for everyone involved. We also emphasize the importance of sharing all of this information with your travel companions early in the process for obvious reasons. (If you are a travel agent or a sponsor booking for someone else, it is your responsibility to secure the prospective guests' acceptance of our rules and policies. By making a reservation on someone else's behalf, you acknowledge such acceptance.) Hundreds and hundreds of happy guests have stayed with us and had no problem with our granular level of clarity - just take a look at our TripAdvisor and Google reviews.

Since not everyone has stayed in a B&B before, emphasizing what a Bed & Breakfast is would be a great way to start.

A Bed & Breakfast is a unique accommodation in someone else's home. Warm, personalized experience, lively yet unimposing atmosphere, unique ambiance, delightful breakfast and general courteous friendliness among guests and hosts are part of the appeal of our approach to creating your new favorite B&B experience. As in life, communication and common courtesy are key. A few important things to know about our B&B:

  • Hosts & Guests: Here at the Heart of the Village Inn™, there is no front desk, staff, concierges, porters, servants, bellboys, personal assistants, or customers. We are fun happy no-nonsense adults who treat our guests as adults and equals; we do so with respect, courtesy and levity, and expect the same in return.
  • Location: The Inn is conveniently located in a bustling semi urban area. Road/street noise as well as sounds of normal everyday urban activities and events are to be expected. The Inn was constructed in 1886; while in a sound structural shape, stairs and floors may squeak, plumbing/heating systems will make noise, and you will be aware of others' presence.
  • Planning Your Stay: We put a great deal of effort in creating and maintaining our website and blog, both of which serve as a fantastic resource with a wealth of information about the area attractions, activities, things to do and see - all from a standpoint of a local. Google is also amazing - and free to use. We expect our guests to have done their research and planning prior to their stay with us.

So, without further ado...


Because we are a small inn, cancellations affect us greatly. Once a room is reserved, it is no longer available for booking. A cancellation means a different guest could have stayed with us but, alas, will not be able to. Please only book your stay if your travel plans have been finalized.

  • Reservations can only be made online. Ideally, on our website so you could get the best rates, avoid paying the middleman, and read, understand and accept our rules and policies. Online booking also offers a wonderful ability to do research and finalize your reservation when you are ready. It is not always easy to connect on the phone, things can be misheard/misunderstood, and we are not keen on reciting our website info over the phone. 
  • Full payment is required at the time of making a reservation. A nominal $1.00 temporary hold may be placed on your credit card immediately for card validation purposes. The full amount will be processed within 24 hours. Should a credit card payment be declined, the reservation may be canceled immediately by our reservation system. We will make an earnest effort to contact you to finalize your reservation within a 24 hour window. We no longer accept Bed& gift cards directly - to redeem a card, please book your stay with us on Bed&
  • Reservations made directly with us (this policy applies to reservations made directly on our website are non-refundable. Depending on the travels dates, the timing of a cancellation and at the Innkeepers' discretion, a credit in the amount of up to 90% of the original reservation amount may be issued towards a future stay.  Cancellation notifications must be emailed to so there is an easily locatable record of such request.
  • Early check-outs are treated as cancellations and are non-refundable.
  • Reservations made elsewhere are generally non-refundable and may not be rescheduled under any circumstances. Please refer to your original confirmation email sent to you by the external website or travel agency where your reservation was made for all applicable policies and processes.



  • The Inn reminds our guests to not drink and drive.
  • Guests may store and consume outside alcohol (i.e., beverages purchased elsewhere) in their rooms only.
  • We are licensed to sell wine, beer and hard cider to our guests and currently offers a selection of Vermont-made wines as well as an assortment of beers and ciders. Beverages purchased by guests from the Inn can be consumed in the Inn’s common indoor areas as well as in the Inn's back porch and back yard.
  • We reserve the right to limit or refuse to sell alcohol to guests who may appear intoxicated.
  • We sell alcoholic beverages by the bottle/can during limited hours. We do not issue any refunds for alcohol purchases.


  • Our delicious individually prepared custom-crafted breakfasts are offered between 8:00 am and 9:30 am. Earlier seating may be offered at 7:00 am and 7:30 am with limited menu options.
  • We accept breakfast requests and specific time reservations by 7:00 pm the day before. Seating during each time slot is limited - if you have specific morning plans, please email us ASAP with your time preferences. Reservations and breakfast requests must be made by 7:00 pm of the previous day.
  • If you happen to have certain dietary restrictions, please let us know ahead of time, and we will do our best to accommodate them within reason. Please be advised that we are unable to accommodate unusual diets or severe allergies. We do not offer artificial sweeteners or low/no-fat dairy options.
  • We do not offer breakfast in bed or breakfast to go.


  • Innkeepers are available to greet you and help you settle in between 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm local time. There is a large number of Inn-related projects we need to take care of during the day, including getting rooms ready for our guests. Just like everyone else, we also enjoy our lifestyle and our personal time is our personal time. Hence a very specific check-in timeframe.
  • Should an early check-in option (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm) be needed, you agree to communicate such a need well in advance and pay a non-refundable $100 fee per room at least 24 hours prior to your arrival date. In order to accommodate such a request, we would have to make changes to our daily schedule, hence the fee representing a fraction of the value of our time.
  • For reservations made directly on our website, late self check-in (after 6:00 pm) is available at no charge for direct reservations; 3rd party reservations require a non-refundable $20 fee paid at least 24 hours prior to your arrival date. This option requires additional prior communication between you and Innkeepers in order to take care of self-check-in information and breakfast arrangements.
  • Innkeepers are not available for after-hours check-in. Should you require Innkeepers' assistance during your late arrival between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm, you agree to pay a minimum $100 fee.


  • 11:00 am local time. Without owner's prior approval, late check-out cannot be accommodated.
  • Should a late check-out option (11am-1pm) be available, you agree to pay a $100 fee.
  • Unauthorized late check-outs will incur a full daily rate at a minimum.


  • We are a family-friendly Inn and offer two Family Suites (Harrington & Barstow Suites have a maximum occupancy of 4 guests).
  • Couples traveling with a child (ages 7-12) and not requiring an additional bed (additional beds are only available in our Family Suites) are welcome in any King room, save for the Webb Suite (adults only). There is a $20 additional child guest fee per day for the 3rd person (child) staying in a family-friendly King room.


  • As part of your reservation, you agree to receive our emails and text messages. Reservation confirmation, pre-arrival courtesy reminder, and follow up emails are mandatory. Email newsletters containing information about the area are optional - please unsubscribe should you choose to stop receiving them. 
  • We request that our guests use email and text messaging to courteously communicate any important questions and requests prior to and during their stay. 


  • As a courtesy, we provide limited daily housekeeping (towel replacement and bathroom trash removal only).
  • We only make your bed once - prior to your arrival.
  • We do not provide any type of room service.


  • Upon arrival, please leave your luggage in your vehicle, as our entryway is rather cozy and we may have other guests arriving around the same time.
  • Depending on the location and size of your room, you will be able to determine your luggage situation after checking in. Generally, we recommend only bringing the essentials into your room and leaving large luggage pieces in your vehicle.
  • We do not offer assistance with bringing your luggage into your room, so plan accordingly.


  • Out of respect to other guests and in compliance with the town noise ordinance, we ask that you refrain from late night noise after 10:00 pm.


  • Our King and Queen rooms have a maximum occupancy of 2 guests (1 must be an adult). Our Barstow and Harrington family suites have a maximum occupancy of 4 guests (At least 1 guest must be a 21+ year old adult). Couples traveling with a child (ages 7-12) and not requiring an additional bed are welcome in any King room, save for the Webb Suite (adults only). There is a $20 additional child guest fee per day for the 3rd person (child) staying in a King room.

Outdoor Gear:

  • No outdoor/sports/adventure gear may be stored indoors (common areas, guest rooms, or Inn's private quarters) or attached to the Inn's buildings in any way. The definition of “gear” includes but is not limited to: bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, dirty boots and outerwear. Please keep these items in/on your vehicles.
  • We do not recommend staying with us if you are traveling by bicycle and need secure covered parking. There is no dedicated bike parking/storage on our premises. Bikes may not be secured to the Inn's buildings.


  • We offer one complimentary un-assigned standard car sized parking spot per room as part of all direct reservations (booked on our website). Our parking lot is small, hence the restriction.
  • Reservations made through 3rd parties may be subject to a parking fee - please refer to your 3rd party reservation confirmation email. The same maximum 1  standard car sized spot per room applies.
  • Oversized vehicles and additional vehicles will need to be parked in the Town's safe and secure public parking lot across the street next to the Shelburne Police Station and the Town Offices.


  • Absolutely no pets of any kind or size are allowed on the Inn's grounds and premises.Please do not bring/leave pets in your vehicle parked in our lot.
  • If a guest brings a pet into an Inn room or any other indoor area of the facility, a minimum charge of $500.00 will apply and a guest's reservation will be canceled immediately without a refund.

Property Access:

  • Only registered guests listed on the reservation are allowed on the property grounds and in guestrooms. If you would like to have personal visitors, please discuss your request with the Innkeepers prior to your arrival. Unexpected visitors will be politely but firmly asked to leave.
  • Certain areas of this private home are not accessible to guests. Guests have access to the common indoor/outdoor areas of the property. Guests do not have access to the Inn's kitchen, laundry facilities, basement, storage areas or private quarters. Only the guests staying in the Carriage House may access the Carriage House.
  • Our historic buildings do not have elevators and are not wheel-chair accessible.

Safety & Security:

  • This is a private home and your home away from home for the duration of your stay. Please remember to keep your room and the front door securely locked at all times.
  • You will be provided with your unique access info - do not share it with anyone other than your companion(s) listed on your reservation confirmation.
  • Unless you purchased an early check-in and/or late check-out options, your access will be active starting at 3:00 pm on the day of your arrival through 11:00 am of the day of your departure.

Service Dogs:

  • If you are traveling with a dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for you directly related to your disability, please kindly let us know so during the booking process. Please be advised that emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals do not qualify as service animals. A service dog handler is expected to control the service animal at all times and observe all handler responsibilities.


  • All guestrooms and indoor areas of the property are non-smoking. Smoking outside is permitted; guests are responsible for proper outdoor disposal of used smoking products and accessories. Do NOT bring them into your room or dispose of them in the bathroom trashcan. Hefty cleaning fees apply.


  • For a number of reasons, we are unable to offer property tours. Our website was built to provide a wealth of information about the Inn and each room's description offers a link to its virtual tour.


  • We are a carry-in/carry-out operation. Please don’t bring trash into the Inn or leave excessive trash in the room at check-out (i.e. anything that doesn’t reasonably fit in the bathroom trashcan), as otherwise cleaning fees will apply. There is a shared dumpster / recycling bin behind the Carriage House in the Art Gallery parking lot and extra trash liners in the bathrooms. The Innkeepers reserve the right to determine the final cleaning fee amount.


That's it! We hope that all of this makes sense. Questions? We love clarity of communication and are firm believers that the worst question is the one that's not been asked - email us and we will get back to you.

If you disagree with or do not accept these rules and policies, stay elsewhere. Otherwise, see you soon!

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