hotels.com now features 1,000 bed and breakfast properties in its extensive portfolio of lodging accommodations.

The company has increased its bed and breakfast selection in recent years and plans to continue adding properties based on growing demand from travelers seeking out the unique and distinct experiences offered by this type of specialty lodging.

"Whether planning a romantic trip to the heart of the city or a quiet country escape, bed and breakfasts provide a unique experience and are continuing to rise in popularity," said Steve Dumaine, director of business development for hotels.com. "In fact, our analysis of industry data suggests that Americans make more than five million trips to bed and breakfasts each year."

Dumaine added that bed and breakfasts are ideal for couples as well as small groups of friends or family members traveling together. Travelers often select these properties instead of a more traditional hotel for the following reasons:

- Intimate atmosphere -- By hosting a small number of guests, bed and breakfasts offer a more peaceful retreat and personal interaction with innkeepers.

- Special features -- The properties often provide much more than just a freshly prepared breakfast. Some may feature afternoon gatherings with complimentary refreshments, landscaped garden areas, reading rooms and more.

- Unique locations -- Many bed and breakfasts are located in historic buildings and feature original artwork, antique collections, fireplaces and luxury furnishings.