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Guest houses aren't just small-scale hotels. They're so much more than that. Often run by locals and nestled in historic buildings, they can be a real travel experience on their own. With just a fraction of the rooms of large resorts, they regularly mean you get a far more personalised introduction to a destination, not to mention a stay that's quiet and peaceful and away from the hustle and bustle of it all. That adds up to create a style of accommodation that's perfect for the traveller who's in search of something calm, nuanced and different – pads that really channel the ebookers mantra that no 2 trips are ever the same.

More guests might mean more amenities, but fewer guests means a more personalised service. That's really where holiday guest houses stand out from the crowd. A morning welcome from a small front-of-house team is often backed up by heart-warming flourishes in the suites – think vases laden with scented flowers here, pretty landscape art there. Some guest houses also offer breakfast buffets included in the room rate. That's a chance to add in even more individual touches, with spreads of regional foods, or something healthy to start the day.

Location wise, you're likely to find guest houses hidden in more off-the-beaten-track corners of a destination. Happy to leave the big-name districts to the big-name hotels, these charming little establishments prefer to nestle in suburban spots or out-of-town areas. The upshot is that you should feel less like a fly-in photo-taker and more like a bona fide explorer, seeking out parts of that city or town, county or countryside that few other people have been to.

A stay in a guest house can also mean a stay in luxury. That buzzword boutique comes to mind, as places with quirky touches and individually designed suites abound. There are all sorts on ebookers, whether it's an uber-stylish gastro-inn with hearty country doubles or a romantic seaside spot where the rooms are laden with bespoke toiletries and the windows open onto sweeping views of sandy beaches. Other options crank up the class with on-site bars and restaurants, touting chef-led kitchens with menus of regional favourites. It's this sophisticated side of the category that makes guest houses such a hit with the honeymooners and couples.

The unique character and charm of guest house stays aside, there's another bonus that should appeal to loads of travellers – budget. Converts to this sort of stay will tell you that all that personalised service and unique decor doesn't have to come at a premium. In fact, many guest houses will have rates that make traditional hotels seem positively expensive. Others will have comparable rates but offer an edge of boutique style that makes it easy to see what you're paying extra for.

There are countless holiday guest houses on offer on ebookers today. Make use of our detailed neighbourhood map tool to zoom in and out and discover all the top stays of this sort. That way, you can home in on the ones that really suit your style of travel, no matter if you're looking for a romantic break out in the countryside or a base for that sightseeing extravaganza in the heart of the big city.