Staying in a bike hotel, or bike-friendly hotel, can make a big difference to your holiday.

A great bike hotel will understand that as a cyclist guest, you’ll probably have slightly different needs for your stay than a “normal” guest. A hotel that really wants cyclists to stay will be keen to do whatever it can to anticipate what you need and ensure you have a great stay.

For the cyclist guest, this attitude can often make the difference between a great cycling holiday and a merely mediocre one.

In this article we share our tips for the things you should look for if you want a really cyclist-friendly experience. In case any cycling hotels read this article, we’ve also shared practical things you can consider to make themselves more appealing to cyclists.

Any queries, do get in touch!

1. Bike hotel or bike-friendly hotel?

Before we get onto the ten things to check, let’s just get the question of bike hotel v bike-friendly hotel out of the way.

For us a bike-friendly hotel is a less “all singing all dancing” version of a focused, specialised bike hotel.

A bike-friendly hotel likes having cyclists to stay and welcomes them with basics like a good breakfast and somewhere safe and secure to store their bike (ideally in the room). However, it’s not specifically targeting cyclists as its main client base, so you might not find some of the “bells and whistles” in place (the kinds of things we’ll discuss below).

As you’d imagine, you don’t find full-on bike hotels in that many parts of the world. So for most places you’ll go, be happy with a bike-friendly hotel that ticks as many of the list below as possible.

In this article we refer to bike hotels and bike-friendly hotels interchangeably.

It’s also worth noting that while this article talks about hotels, the same points are true if you’re considering bike-friendly bed and breakfasts or other holiday accommodation.


2. Eleven things to check before booking a bike hotel

2.1 Will there be a warm welcome?

Will you feel actively welcomed by the hotel?

Will you feel at ease, despite being dressed in lycra and having an expensive bicycle by your side?

As a lycra-clad road cyclist wheeling a bike into a hotel lobby, being welcomed with a smile and a “how was your ride?” means a lot. If the receptionist then asks whether you’d like to keep your bike in your room or in the secure bike storage, you’ll know you’ll be recommending this place to your cyclist friends.

Cyclists: check before you book

Are cyclists mentioned on the hotel’s website or social media?

Hotels: our tips

Train your staff to understand what cyclists want.

Even if you don’t have much in the way of cycling-specific facilities, make it clear on your website that cyclists are welcome. If you do have facilities, talk about them (though we appreciate some hotels are cautious about displaying too much information about their bike room, due to the fact they think this could encourage thefts).

In a bike-friendly hotel two people are watching a bicycle show on tv
Several bikes have a large storage room in the cycling hotel

2.2 Where is the hotel located?

It’s really important that the hotel you book is close to great riding.

However, what “great riding” looks like will depend on what kind of a cyclist you are. For example, a leisure cyclist might be keen on traffic-free cycling trails, mountain bikers will be looking for off-road singletrack and road cyclists will probably want quiet lanes and varied terrain.

Viewpoints, great scenery and the odd cycling friendly coffee shop and pub are always an important consideration too.

Cyclists: check before you book

Is the hotel in a great location for the riding you want to do? What routes can you ride from the hotel? Does the terrain fit your requirements?

Hotels: our tips

Not every hotel can be in a cycling hotspot, but even if your location isn’t obviously cycling orientated, why not find out what the cycling is like around you and look into whether there are cyclists it would appeal to.

Consider creating some circular cycling routes from your door that different kinds of cyclists could use when staying with you.

Can you make physical maps, route profiles and/or GPX routes available?

This map of cycling-friendy cafes might be useful…


2.3 Can you keep your bike in your room? What bike storage facilities are available?

An entry level road bike costs upwards of £500. An expensive one can be closer to £10,000. That is why we cyclists get a bit nervous when asked to leave our pride and joy in a communal bike store. Especially, if the bike store is in fact an unsecured lobby behind the front desk or an unlocked shed in the garden.

Given the chance, we cyclists often prefer to keep our bike in our bedroom. It feels far safer than leaving it in a bike storage room. Travel insurance policies usually also have something to say on the matter…

If the hotel’s bike storage room has CCTV, a convincing looking lock on the entrance door and you can lock your bike to something secure inside the room, we will be happier. But our guess is that even with all this, often we cyclists prefer to keep our bikes in our room.

Cyclists: check before you book

If your bike is insured, what does the policy say about leaving it in a hotel or bike store? Make sure you’ll be able to comply with their requirements at the place you’re staying – or be prepared to run the risk if the worst happens.

Hotels: our tips

Decide what your policy is on guests keeping their bikes in their rooms. If you allow it, shout about it on your website; it will be popular with cyclists looking to book.

Consider investing in a secure bike storage room, especially if you don’t want cyclists to keep their bikes in their room. Take into account the insurance requirements on individual bike insurance policies when fitting out the room.

Two bikes hang on the garage wall in the bike hotel
A cup of espresso coffee in cycling hotels

2.4 Is there a knowledgeable cyclist on hand?

The best cycling hotels we’ve stayed at have always been run by, or employed, members of staff with a passion for cycling. The advantages are clear: passion for cycling is embedded in the ethos of the hotel and there’s someone on hand to advise and help with queries guests might have.

From queries on the nearest bike shops and help with urgent repairs to intel on the best bike rides and coffee shops, local knowledge can be invaluable. If the staff member is also available to provided guided riding, so much the better!

Cyclists: check before you book

What information about cycling routes or resources are mentioned on the hotel’s website. Are any guided rides or cycling packages offered?

Hotels: our tips

Find out if any of your members of staff like cycling – and then tap into their knowledge!

They will be able to give you a good sense of what offerings will be popular with cycling guests, whether what you’re doing currently is problematic for cyclists and and whether a new policy is cycling-friendly or not.

Even if you don’t employ anyone that’s a cyclist, is there someone you could have at the end of a phone to offer an advisory service to guests?

From the guest’s perspective, it’s usually quite easy for cyclists to tell whether the person they’re talking to “gets cycling” (even if they may not be a cyclist themselves). If they do, this is bound to put them at their ease. If the cyclist staff member can be visible and available at certain times of day, so cyclists can pick his/her brains on routes, that would be great.


2.5 What bike maintenance facilities are there?

When checking a hotel’s bike facilities, most guests will focus on things like swimming pools and saunas. Us cyclists will care about those of course, but equally as important is whether there are some bike maintenance facilities.

The dream bike hotel would have an onsite mechanic that can sort out any mechanical issues your bike might have picked up and hand you back a gleaming like-new bike the next morning.

That said, back in the real world, bike maintenance facilities don’t have to be fancy. The following facilities will make a big difference to your stay:

  • Area guests can wash their bikes, with hose and basic cleaning materials.
  • Area guests can inflate the tyres on their bikes, with floor track pump.
  • Workshop area with basic tools to allow guests to carry out simple bike repairs/maintenance.

Cyclists: check before you book

Are any bike servicing facilities mentioned on the hotel’s website? Where is the nearest bike shop in case of a mechanical problem?

Hotels: our tips

Consider whether you can make room for these kinds of facilities. Bear in mind they don’t have to be overly smart or extensive for cyclists to be happy (though if they are, so much the better!).

A cycling t-shirt and cap store in cycling hotels
Cycle repair tools storeroom in a cycling-friendly hotel

2.6 Is there a drying room? Are there appropriate laundry services?

Drying rooms and bike kit washing services are extremely helpful.

If you’ve been riding in the rain, you want to be able to dry everything out. In particular, you might bring spare cycling clothes with you, but you’re highly unlikely to bring spare shoes and helmet! Having somewhere to dry your things that’s not your bedroom will make your trip a lot more enjoyable.

Some cycling hotels offer self-service washing machines or overnight laundry services. If someone else is washing your kit rather than you, make sure they do it in accordance with the care labels… (More tips on that here.)

Cyclists: check before you book

Think about the practicalities of washing your kit before you arrive, especially if you’re going somewhere that it’s likely to rain…

Hotels: our tips

If you want to attract point to point cyclists or cyclists to stay for more than one night, having somewhere they can wash and dry kit is a major plus. Offering this will also save you finding smelly sports kit drying in the cupboard or on balconies.

If you offer a laundry service, make sure your providers understand the requirements of technical clothing (it must be washed on a cool cycle and air dried).

If you offer these kinds of services, why not create a cyclist-friendly package which includes a certain number of items of clothing each day.


2.7 Do they offer healthy, flexible food?

For us cyclists, excellent hotel facilities include access to healthy, nutritious food at flexible times of the day.

For example, it’s really useful if you can get breakfast early (certainly from 7am, ideally before). In summer, that’s because you’ll probably want to get out and back the heat of the day. Or you might have a long day ahead of you in the saddle and so need an early start.

If you’re going to be burning up lots of calories on the bike, a good breakfast is a must. This includes a wide variety of fresh, unprocessed food and great coffee.

It’s also a big plus for a cyclist if there’s food available in the mid-afternoon. Many cycling hotels will offer a “cyclist’s tea” at around 3-4pm, for when you get in after a good ride. You’ll be hungry, dinner is a long way off and if you’re staying somewhere rural, there may not be much option for picking up a snack elsewhere.

Hotels that offer cyclists a packed lunch also get big thumbs up, especially amongst more serious cyclists. If you’re off for a long ride it can be nice to know you don’t have to worry about stopping for lunch.

And finally, if you’re a cyclist with an eye on the weighing scales, it’s worth considering how healthy the food will be. Having vegetarian or vegan options available may also be relevant.

Cyclists: check before you book

When is food served? Does this fit in with when you went to head off riding? What do the real guest reviews say about the food? What will you do post-ride if the hotel doesn’t serve food?

Hotels: our tips

Consider whether you can flex your food offering in this way.

If you can’t go the whole way, could you try offering flexible, pared back meals/snacks on request? Could you offer cycling-specific months or even weekends where these services are available?

Also consider the bar opening times – groups of cyclists tend to love a post-ride beer!


2.8 Is bike rental available?

Full-on bike hotels may have their own fleet of bikes for guest use or rent – but this is likely to be beyond most hotels. If you aren’t bringing your own bike and want to head out for a day or so’s riding, it’s worth checking whether there is any bike rental available in the area. Do they deliver?

Cyclists: check before you book

If you’re not bringing your own bike, how will you get a bike to ride?! Does the hotel have some (and do you need to reserve)? Are they the right kind of bike? Or can you hire one locally? Will you go and collect or can they deliver to the hotel?

Hotels: our tips

Even if you don’t have your own rental bikes, visitors will really appreciate it if your staff know about off-site bike rental options in the area (both for adults and kids).

Can you find out about local rental options and perhaps collaborate with a preferred provider to make it easy for guests to hire bikes while staying with you?

It’s also a great idea for staff to know about local bike shops in the area, in case one of your guests has a mechanical problem they can’t fix themselves.


2.9 What bike-friendly services are there?

There are a myriad of services that really good bike hotels offer that may well enhance your stay. Examples include:

  • Support car (with mechanic?!) to carry your gear and spares during your ride
  • Assistance and recovery service if you have a mechanical problem with your bike or an accident
  • Dedicated guide service – from one ride to multi day bike tours
  • Gym with bike specific trainers and stretching mats
  • Sports massage therapist
  • Sauna, jacuzzi and/or swimming pool for post-ride relaxation
  • Showers available on the day of departure (so cyclists can check out and then go for a ride but have a shower before getting on the plane/car journey home)
  • Multilingual member of staff to welcome cyclists from different parts of the world

Cyclists: check before you book

Does the hotel offer any additional services to cyclists? Are these important to you (and if they are but they aren’t available at the place you’re looking at, perhaps you need to look for somewhere else to stay)?

Hotels: our tips

These kinds of services definitely fall into the “nice to have” category. However, they’re also real talking points if you can offer any of these!

Even if you can’t offer them via in-house members of staff, could you link up with local providers so that you could market these as being available on request?

A pink color cycle hangs on outside in bike hotels
Two bikes hang on the garage wall in the cycling hotel

2.10 Is there anything for non-cyclists to do?

Bear in mind that cyclists may well visit your hotel with their other half/family. Having non-cycling experiences and things that they can do while the cyclist is out cycling will go down very well all around.

This can include usual things, like a pool and excellent knowledge of local amenities. Those travelling with children will also hugely appreciate a kids club, so they aren’t left “holding the baby” while their other half is out on the bike!

Cyclists: check before you book

If you’ve got non-cyclists in your group, what will they do while you’re riding?

Hotels: our tips

Don’t forget to mention what there is for the non-cyclists to do too! Recognising the plight of the so-called “cycling widow” and creating a special offer for them, could be appealing.

2.11 How eco-friendly are they?

These days, climate change should be at the top of everyone’s thoughts. Making sure the place you stay takes their obligations to the environment seriously is important; if guests don’t ask, hotels are much less likely to provide…

Cyclists: check before you book

What are the hotels eco credentials? For more details, read our article on eco-friendly cycling holidays, here.

Hotels: our tips

Cyclists tend to be people that like nature. Update your website to show guests what you do to protect the environment.

3. Examples of leading bike hotels

In many countries of the world, hotels have tapped into the needs of cyclists and provided services that embrace their needs.

Italy is well-known for having some great bike hotels. Road cycling in Italy is a big part of the culture, so it’s no surprise their hotels have really embraced cycling too.

Other European cycling hotspots, like Mallorca, also have some outstanding bike-friendly hotels.

We’ve created a number of articles that share our favourite cycling-friendly hotels. The starting point is our pick of the best cycling hotels in Europe.

We also have articles on cycling hotels in

What’s your favourite bike hotel?

Is there a bike hotel you particularly love staying at and think we should know about? Please tell us all about it in the comments below!

Are you a bike hotel?

We’d love to know about you. Get in touch to tell us more about what you offer and find out how we can help promote you.

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

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