Hotels of all shapes, sizes, and price ranges exist all over the world and you can have privacy, room service, an amazing array of amenities, and the convenience of never having to clean the room yourself. Restaurants, shops, tours, transportation are all available right outside the lobby door, so why in the world would you choose to stay in a Bed and Breakfast?
Believe me; you want to stay in a Bed and Breakfast because they can also offer those very same amenities, along with a truly amazing and historical place to stay, not to mention that you will also have a fabulous breakfast included in your rate. I have stayed in Bed and Breakfast locations all over the United States and find that I often enjoy them much more than a conventional hotel stay. Here is an array of vastly different locations I have visited that you might want to add to your travel bucket list if you plan to visit any of these destinations.
The Villa D’Citta in Chicago, Illinois
A lovely, historic Greystone mansion located in the prestigious Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park, which has been remodeled and furnished like an elegant Italian villa, this Bed and Breakfast is truly one of the most luxurious places my husband and I have ever stayed. With a beautiful, outside grotto and large hot tub, they have plenty of room for relaxing and even host cookouts in the summer. The back door leads inside to a nicely furnished and very comfortable lounge area with a fireplace which adjoins the dining area and the huge, state of the art kitchen.
The beautifully decorated living room is furnished with comfortable furniture for guests to gather and get to know one another. The Grand Tuscan Suite, where we stayed, is over 1,000 square feet and offers a flat screen television, fireplace, French doors out to a tiny but perfect terrace, and lovely hardwood floors. In addition, there is a huge bathroom with twin sinks, a marble soaking tub and a full steam shower. There is also another small bedroom with two twin beds which would be perfect for kids or another couple. Of course a full, hot, and delicious breakfast is served every morning and fresh fruit and freshly baked cookies are available every day, but the kitchen is also kept stocked for guests and you are free to help yourself. The fridge is full of cold tea and lemonade, as well as the makings for Paninis, pizzas, and waffles. A Panini maker, pizza oven, and waffle maker are just part of the incredible service here. You are also free to use the kitchen to prepare meals or to store takeout in the fridge. It’s the perfect place to stay when visiting Chicago.
The Inns at El Rancho Merlita, Tucson, Arizona
Have you ever heard for Merle Norman, the cosmetics queen? Did you know she had a winter hideaway in Arizona? She certainly did and that hideaway has turned into an amazing Bed and Breakfast tucked away in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Tucson. Head up the driveway that wends through the desert landscape, through the lovely gates and peace and quiet envelops you. Pretty soon, you find that the history of this gem of a bed and breakfast location is just as fascinating as the peacefulness. In the 1950′s when Tucson was a quiet, small town in the middle of the desert, Merle Norman bought a big tract of land off an old cattle trail.
She then commissioned her brother to design a wonderful 1950′s ranch house that would be low and sprawling so it would stay cool in the desert heat and would have brick walls and a red tile roof, huge picture windows displaying the gorgeous views of both the desert and the mountains that surround Tucson. A long verandah would stretch across the front of the house and overlook a huge lawn and a beautiful swimming pool. He designed it exactly like that and that is just what you see when you pull in through the ornate, iron gates. There are actually two inns on the property; the Ranch House Inn and the Arroyo House Inn.
The Arroyo House Inn is the estate’s original guest house and has four rooms and suites, each with unique decor and luxury accommodations and amenities. All the rooms include luxurious linens, robes & slippers, lovely bath products, wife and direct access to the outside patios. My husband and I stayed in the Ranch House Inn in the Spanish Colonial room and the gorgeous furnishings in this room were obviously influenced by Spain’s colonial influence on Arizona. The huge bathroom and equally huge tub and a large walk-in closet were very nice additions to our room. The back yard of the inn is completely different from the front with its green grass lawn and has been maintained in a natural desert state. The inside of the Ranch House Inn is just as lovely as the rest of the property. It truly seems like a home and you are welcome to relax in the comfortable living room, with its Western theme. There is also a study with more very comfortable furniture and a TV, although there are also TV’s in every bedroom. The breakfast at the Inns at El Rancho Merlita was wonderful – and we also enjoyed the freshly baked cookies in the dining area every afternoon. It’s the perfect place to stay when visiting Tucson.
The Red Coach Inn, Niagara Falls, New York
One of the best things about this charming, historic (they opened for business in 1923!) Bed and Breakfast Inn, aside from the amazing suites, the incredible breakfasts, and the lovely neighborhood, is the fact that it is located just a few feet from the Upper Rapids which lead to Niagara Falls. The Inn was built in the architectural style of the old English Tudor period, was named for General Lafayette’s famous red carriage, and is actually considered a Bed and Breakfast Hotel, which is why they include the wonderful breakfasts.
We enjoyed everything from hot oatmeal to freshly baked waffles each morning ordered off the menu and included in our rate. Our quite fabulous Sheffield Suite was actually located out the front door of the beautifully furnished lobby and down a brick sidewalk in another part of the Inn. An impressive foyer with burgundy carpet was, surprisingly, part of our suite with doors leading to a bedroom and our bathroom which had a fabulous Jacuzzi tub. The bedroom had gorgeous, antique furniture including a comfy king-size bed and a nice desk, a cozy gas fireplace and a little kitchen area with a fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and toaster. You could easily make your own breakfast here but why would you when a full breakfast is included in your rate? There was a telephone with voicemail and free long distance anywhere in the United States, a Bose stereo, a television, free wireless Internet, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer, and Gilchrist and Soames amenities from England. The restaurant is a very nice place to relax and enjoy a meal, with a beautiful natural stone fireplace for winter and a patio for summer. It’s the perfect place to stay when you visit Niagara Falls.
Pelican Cove Inn Bed and Breakfast, Carlsbad, California
Located just two blocks from the beach and three blocks from the lovely downtown area of Carlsbad, this beautiful, large beach house has been converted into a very comfortable Inn with 10 differently configured rooms. All the rooms have a private bath and private entrance, along with a feather bed and fireplace. Our suite was huge with a nice bedroom, sitting area, a big walk-in closet and bathroom. My husband and I were in the Santa Barbara room but each room is equally lovely and decorated beautifully, so any of the rooms would be a great choice. Huge, fluffy, and placed on a bed so high we had to use a stool to get in it, the feather bed was wonderful.
The thoughtful touches, like a full bowl of candy on the mantle in our room made our stay truly special. There is plenty of off the street parking and you are welcome to relax in the charmingly furnished living room. You can have breakfast in the parlor, the sun porch, or on the patio, or they will even make a tray to take to your room. There is plenty to do in nearby Carlsbad from shopping in the many local shops, dining at a variety of restaurants, or even hopping the Coaster train into San Diego, which is close by. It’s the perfect place to stay when you visit Carlsbad.
The Inn at Aberdeen, Valparaiso, Indiana
This beautiful, historic Inn, hidden away in a neighborhood of Valparaiso, is an 1850’s home that was completely remodeled in 1995 into 11 fabulous suites with king or two queen beds, two person Jacuzzis, fireplaces, patios or balconies, large private baths, and free Wi-Fi. They even have a kitchenette suite available for longer stay. Each suite takes on a name from Scottish history. The beautiful entrance foyer is enhanced by the gorgeous staircase spiraling up to the suites from the lobby and to the right of the lobby area is a lovely solarium furnished with comfortable furniture to enjoy the sunshine. The solarium is equipped with a snack area with ice, drinks, snacks, and a refrigerator which is stocked with cheesecake! Guests are encouraged to gather in the solarium for an evening dessert, beverage, and some conversation.
The Bannockburn Suite where my husband and I stayed is a large, luxurious expanse with a fireplace, sitting area, desk, balcony overlooking the property, and a large Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. There is also an 18-hole championship golf course which surrounds the Inn, as well as a salon spa and restaurant in the nearby shopping area which is just a short walk away, and beautiful Indiana Dunes State Park right on Lake Michigan is just a short drive. It’s the perfect play to stay when you visit Valparaiso, Indiana.
Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, Carson, Washington
Only 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington and close to incredible hiking trails, waterfalls, wine tasting, fishing, and whitewater rafting, Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins is truly in an idyllic location. Every single inch of the 3 acre property is beautifully designed and landscaped and each of the cabins is individually and beautifully decorated. Private and perfect for a romantic getaway, the cabins are a really unique approach to a Bed and Breakfast.
My husband and I stayed in the Mt. Adams cabin, which was amazing in every way, complete with a front porch swing to enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains. Our cabin had a huge king size four poster canopy bed made up with astonishingly soft bamboo sheets, a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy spa tub for two, and a cozy fireplace. Soft, warm robes were provided which would seem to be the ultimate in luxury until your hot and fresh breakfast is delivered to your door the next morning in a large basket. Cold juice, a freshly prepared quiche and yogurt and granola provide a great start to your day. The surrounding beauty of the Columbia River Gorge provides plenty of entertainment options including hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. It’s the perfect place to stay when you are in Washington State.
Henderson Park Inn, Destin, Florida
One of the biggest advantages to staying here is the incredible view of the sugar-white sand and Caribbean-like turquoise and azure water, but there are so many other advantages as well. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to stay in the Presidential Suite on our visit and the gorgeous dark wood double doors provide entry to a huge, sun-lit room with gorgeous, comfortable furnishings. A beautifully appointed living room with a big, flat screen TV, an office area with a big desk, a dining table and a fridge filled with complimentary drinks and candy bars make this the perfect place for a getaway. A nice size wooden deck with outdoor furniture provides a view of the expansive beach which includes Henderson Park next door with miles of unspoiled sand and water.
The bedroom adjoining the living room had a huge and lovely king sized bed and beautiful, dark wood furniture with plenty of space to sit and read or enjoy the beach through the second set of French doors which opened onto the long deck, or watch the second TV. A bottle of wine, fresh grapes and some fresh flowers were provided on a bench at the end of the bed, a nice amenity that the Henderson Park Inn provides to all their guests. Everyone also has a nightly turn-down service. The Henderson Park Inn has free bikes to use when you have eaten your fill of the fabulous gourmet breakfasts, the wonderful boxed lunches which are included, the lemonade and cookies in the afternoon and the candy bars which are also available in the community fridge. Complimentary beach towels and beach chairs are a truly nice amenity, along with free Wi-Fi and a complimentary happy hour every evening. There are DVD players in every room and they offer a free library of DVD’s which you can check out. It’s the perfect place to stay when you are in Destin, Florida.
The Reynolds Mansion, Asheville, North Carolina
The incredible, opulent furnishings of this beautiful mansion in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina provide your first clue that this historic location has been around since 1847. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the mansion is considered one of the best and most original interpretations of Colonial Revival architecture in Western North Carolina. The Grand Dining Room is capable of seating up to twenty-six and there is also a beautifully decorated library and parlor which open onto the expansive front porches which provide a fabulous view of the area. Each of the guest rooms is lovelier than the last, all beautifully furnished and comfortable with private bathrooms, flat screen televisions and some even have extras like fireplaces.
My girlfriend and I were in the Claudette room which has a queen bed and an additional single bed. We also had a fireplace which would be great in the winter and this room is directly off the upper porch which features a great view of the surrounding mountains. A little sitting area with a flat screen television made the suite a perfect place to relax. Soft drinks, ice, and wine are available in a little room located right off the dining room. A renovated Carriage House has four large suites and there is also a Cottage overlooking the swimming pool which has two luxury suites with full kitchens. The swimming pool is a surprising extra at a Bed and Breakfast. Breakfast was served in the formal dining room and fresh fruit, a delicious pastry, and a full plate of sausage, eggs, and a breakfast wrap provided a great start to our day. Charming Asheville is a great place to visit if you want to spend time at the Biltmore Estate. It’s the perfect place to stay when you are in Asheville, North Carolina.
Gervasi Vineyard, Canton, Ohio
The Vineyard Villas at this charming winery in Canton, Ohio comprise an upscale boutique Inn which has six Villas each having four individual suites and a cozy, spacious lobby area complete with a small kitchen, comfortable furniture, a fireplace, and doors out onto a furnished patio. Many of the Villas overlook the scenic spring-fed lake where ducks and swans swim. The gorgeous suites each have their own fireplace, stucco walls, heated floors, and rustic wood interiors. The small kitchen in the lobby is furnished with a microwave, ice maker, sink, and refrigerator stocked with complimentary drinks including bottled water, teas, juice, and sodas as well as yogurt. Guest services replenish the drinks daily when they make up the suites.
Each morning, a fresh, hot breakfast is delivered and just open your door to find a large wooden box with a lid and the number of your suite on it left on the kitchen counter. Every day the food is different but my husband and I enjoyed pastries stuffed with meat, cheese, and vegetables, freshly baked chocolate bars, and fruit. Tour the winery and taste the local wines, dine at one of the specialty restaurants, or just stroll around the beautiful property. It’s the perfect place to stay when you are in Canton, Ohio.
Forsyth Park Inn, Savannah, Georgia
Within walking distance of the Savannah River and River Street, the historic and beautiful Forsyth Park Inn is in a great location. A truly gorgeous, sprawling, circa 1893 Queen Anne Victorian mansion which typifies the style with its ornate window and roof pediments and deep verandah, it has an interior that is just as beautiful with spectacular woodwork which includes 14-foot ceilings, 12-foot doors, a magnificent grand staircase, and dark parquetry floors throughout. There is a large front porch overlooking Forsyth Park furnished with comfortable rocking chairs and breakfast is served every morning in the sunny dining room.
The Inn has 10 guest rooms, each unique and individually decorated to complement the style of the mansion. Many have sitting areas, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms. On a recent visit with two girlfriends, we stayed in Room #3 which has two queen beds, a fireplace and sitting area, a whirlpool tub, and an incredible view of the park. There is also a garden cottage in the back overlooking the charming garden courtyard which is pet friendly and has a full, tiny kitchen which would be perfect for a longer visit to the city. All the rooms have televisions, telephones with data ports, Wi-Fi, hair dryers, lightweight spa robes, special soaps, and shampoos. It’s the perfect place to stay when you are in Savannah, Georgia.
So, the next time you plan a vacation and are thinking about which hotel to book, don’t do it. Find a local Bed and Breakfast instead – I guarantee you will love the experience!