A guest house (also guesthouse) is a kind of lodging. In some parts of the world a guest house is similar to a hostel, bed and breakfast, or inn whereas in other parts of the world (such as for example the Caribbean), guest houses are a type of inexpensive hotel-like lodging. In still others, it is a private home which has been converted for the exclusive use of guestaccommodation. The owner usually lives in an entirely separate area within the property and the guest house may serve as a form of lodging business.
In some areas of the world, guest houses are the only kind of accommodation available for visitors who have no local relatives to stay with. Among the features which distinguish a guest house from a hotel, or inn is the lack of a full-time staff.
Bed and breakfasts and guest houses in England are family owned and live on the premises though family members are not normally available during the evening. However most family members work a 10 to 12 hour day from 6am as they may employ part time service staff. Hotels maintain a staff presence 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, whereas a guest house has a more limited staff presence. Because of limited staff presence, check in at a guest house is often by appointment. An inn also usually has a restaurant attached.
In Japan, tenants in a guest house have to pay a substantial damage deposit, and have to pay a cleaning fee when they leave.