Each lodging represented on this website has its own unique character as do the hosts. Although it’s hard to make generalizations, the following can be used as a loose guide for deciding which type of lodging experience might best suit your desires and expectations.
Amish Bed & Breakfast or Guesthouse
You will be staying in a guesthouse or in the home of an Old Order Amish family. At our Amish guesthouses you will have the entire lodging to yourselves. The Amish are known for using horse & buggy for transportation, being off the public (electrical) power grid, they have no TV, computers, Wifi, and the phone is usually outside in a “shanty” or barn. These lodgings tend to be more “authentic”, but they are quite simple and without many frills. They do have refrigerators, lamps (battery operated) and some have solar or generator powered electrical outlets. A couple of the guesthouses do not have electrical outlets for you to plug anything into. One of the Amish guesthouses is quite modern and even has air conditioning. Most of the other guesthouses have fans. There is heat in the Amish homes but it may not be as warm as you’re used to. There are lamps but in some guesthouses the lighting is limited. Be prepared not to be pampered as you might be in a non-Amish bed & breakfast. Be prepared for farm living and farm smells – as on any farm, it may not be as sterile an environment as most urbanites are used to.
In the Amish lodgings the breakfast varies from place to place. There are a couple where no breakfast is served but you may be able to get fresh eggs on the property and you have your own kitchen. There are a couple where food for a continental breakfast is provided in the guesthouse. There’s one lodging where you may eat breakfast with the hosts in their kitchen.
There are a number of Amish families in Lancaster County who offer the possibility of having dinner with them in their homes. This is done on a free-will donation basis. The food is mainly homemade traditional “Pennsylvania Dutch” cuisine and there’s plenty for all. They might have anywhere from 5 – 20 guests at a meal from various lodgings in the area. If you’re interested in the Amish, it’s a rare opportunity to spend time with an Amish family in their home. You can ask about this when making your reservation and we’ll see if it can be arranged.
Most of the farms offer a tour of the property along with an explanation of their farming techniques. The opportunities for conversation with your Amish hosts also varies from one place to another depending on which guesthouse you stay in and how long your visit is. Some of the Amish hosts are more talkative than others. If you’re staying for only one night you shouldn’t expect too much interaction. The Amish tend to be private and very busy people so you won’t necessarily have loads of time to “hang out” with your Amish hosts. It’s also very important that you respect their privacy (for example, do not enter their home unless invited and never point a camera at them).
Staying in an Amish guesthouse or B&B is ideal for those who are interested in observing the Amish way of life “up close and personal”, and who are willing to forego some of the creature comforts, conveniences & connection to technological gadgets that we are used to. For most, it is a very enlightening and memorable experience, but it’s not for everyone. See more Amish lodging options on our Amish Farm Stay website.
Mennonite & Other Farm Bed & Breakfast or Guesthouse
The hosts of these lodgings are definitely more integrated into modern society than the Old Order Amish. The hosts at our Mennonite farms tend to dress plainly but they use automobiles, some have TVs, use computers and there may be Wifi. Although they are not as separated from modern society as the Old Order Amish, most guests still get the feeling of taking a step back from the hurried pace of normal life and feel they have experienced something unique on these farms. The level of creature comforts is generally higher at these lodgings than at the Amish guesthouses.
At the Farms with Guesthouses (Valley Brook Farm, Stoltzfus Farm & Meadow View K Farm), you get the whole guesthouse to yourselves. No breakfast is served but you have the use of a full kitchen. You may be able to get eggs from the farm. At the Bed & Breakfasts (Iron Stone Acres, Olde Stone Guesthouse & Oberholtzer Farm) you are served a delicious full breakfast each morning during which you may have opportunities to chat with your hosts.