An abbreviated guide to bed-and-breakfasts.
By Kelly Skinner
As the last cool breezes of spring subside for the slow heat of summer, it’s time to take a much-needed respite from your practice and get out of town. Every year, there’s a new desire to see something different or to veer off the beaten path. After all, anyone can go to Yellowstone or Las Vegas, but you yearn for the lesser known sides of the big cities and the hidden gems of tucked away towns. When dog-earing your stack of Rick Steve’s and National Geographic‘s guides for clues, take a varying track from years past and head to the promised land of bed-and-breakfasts. Whether you’re looking for a rustic site in the mountains or an Elvis-inspired room in the city, TCL has your next great adventure covered. And since breakfast is the most important part of the day—why not base your trip around it?
Step onto the premises of this breathtaking estate and you’ll immediately feel your worries evaporate. Located 1,400 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Hualalai in Holualoa, Hawaii, your view from the top includes jaw-dropping sights of the ocean and 30 acres of fruit and flower gardens. Kick back amidst total luxury in one of six rooms. Each guest room offers sitting areas, a private bath, original art and afternoon refreshments in addition to island-style cotton robes, garden and ocean views, and restored original eucalyptus floors. At breakfast, take advantage of the 4,300 Kona coffee trees on site and drink a piping cup of local brew. When you aren’t busy scheduling horseback riding, surf lessons or helicopter rides on the island, relax in the rooftop pool and embrace the Aloha spirit.
The allure: tropical Island, eco-friendly, coffee plantation … Hawaii.
Suitable for: fans of islands, eco-resorts and “LOST.”
Rates start at: $260/night
- holualoainn.com; 800.392.1812
Enjoy the splendid backdrop of mountains and lakes with a cozy stay in this picturesque New England inn. Just a short walk to the quaint town of Ashland, N.H. (chockablock with galleries and shops), the inn provides easy access to boating, fishing, golf, hiking, museums, skiing and wildlife opportunities. At breakfast, enjoy delectable dishes like quiche, coffee and fresh fruit, followed by afternoon refreshments (like fresh-baked cookies) and an early evening social hour of wine and hors d’oeuvres. Amenities include laundry services, access to the inn’s DVD collection, concierge services, Turkish bathrobes, Egyptian sheets, fireplaces in the rooms and options for in-room massages.
The allure: mountains and lakes; eco-friendly; dogs permitted.
Suitable for: outdoorsmen,
animal-lovers and adventurers.
Rates start at: $149/night
- glynnhouse.com; 866.686.4362
Step into a distant land of long ago with luxury sweets mimicking such backdrops as the Serengeti, Camelot, a Mayan rainforest, a pirate’s cove, Venice, a Tahitian treehouse, Monte Cristo, Tuscany or the Renaissance, among 14 others. Located in Kansas City, Kan., the hotel puts you close to multiple shopping, dining, sports and entertainment attractions. Rooms include two-person jacuzzi tubs, 300-thread-count Egyptian linens and complimentary bedside breakfasts.
The allure: themed rooms, romantic amenities, proximity to Kansas Speedway and The Legends Shopping Center.
Suitable for: romantics, wedding parties, playful couples.
Rates start at: Contact Chateau Avalon.
- chateauavalonhotel.com; 877.522.8256
Old-time romance meets modern amenities in this downtown Savannah, Ga., mansion. Built in 1855, the inn boasts a range of indulgences from a courtyard garden and bedtime sweets to evening cordials, large Southern breakfasts and plush bathrobes for lounging in your expansive suite. Offering a selection of 16 different rooms, especially noteworthy are the two VIP Balcony Suites, each featuring a private balcony and private entrance from “high stoop” level.
The allure: historic downtown Savannah; luxury accommodations.
Suitable for: the Southern belle and dignified gentleman.
Rates start at: $189/night
- presidentsquarters.com; 800.233.1600
Just four blocks from the renowned Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., this spectacular property was built in 1892 and recently renovated in 1997. Antique furniture from French and Belgian chateaus accentuates the deluxe parlor and suites as do Victorian decor and posh accoutrements. Enjoy gourmet dining with a Southern flair and meditate on the pristine wrap-around porch out front. There are seven guest rooms in all, each with a private bath, and five of which have fireplaces (three have fireplaces both in the bathroom and the bedroom). Five rooms are in the main house, while the other two are in the adjacent cottage. The Penthouse, located on the third floor of the mansion, even has its own Tower Room for reading. Several all-inclusive special occasion packages are available throughout the year, bundling Biltmore tickets with accommodations—and then some.
The allure: Biltmore Estate, Blue Ridge Parkway.
Suitable for: history buffs, lovers of old homes.
Rates start at: $139/night
- biltmorevillageinn.com; 866.274.8779
Go ahead. Live your own version of “Sideways” and indulge in the pleasures of the palate. Nestled within the heart of Napa Valley, Calif., this two-home bed-and-breakfast offers a world-class wining and dining experience. Each of the 14 rooms and suites are individually decorated and include both a private bathroom and fireplace. The Victorian-style homes lie within walking distance of Napa, and the helpful concierge staff will be more than happy to get the right passes, maps and reservations prepared for you. Perfect for couples, weddings or for families, the inn even allows pets in some of its rooms. On top of that, the inn offers nightly brandy and cheese samplings, piping hot breakfasts and full-fledged pampering (spa services are available for your room). Life doesn’t get much better than this.
The allure: wine country, eco-friendly.
Suitable for: wine lovers and foodies.
Rates start at: $169/night
- napainn.com; 800.435.1144
Get an intimate, front-seat view of the seashore with Minnesota’s oldest operating lighthouse, the Two Harbors Light Station. With four rooms to choose from in the keeper’s quarters, you have access to vast water-sport activities on site along with hiking, golfing, museum-hopping and dining options in the nearby area. All rooms have a view of Lake Superior and access to parlors and dining rooms. There’s one common bathroom for shared use among three of the rooms and a private bath and whirlpool tub in the Skiff’s Quarters suite. Aside from the thrill of staying in a one-of-a-kind environment, you’re privy to a candle-lit Scandinavian breakfast each morning.
The allure: Minnesota’s oldest lighthouse, Lake Superior.
Suitable for: lake-lovers, lighthouse enthusiasts.
Rates start at: $109/night
n lighthousebb.org; 888.832.5606
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Gibson Inn transports guests into days long past. Built in 1909, in Florida “Cracker” architectural style, the building is characterized by large wrap-around porches, a widow’s walk, raised floors and high ceilings; all of which lend to the unique antiquity felt about the grounds. Located in historic Appalachicola, the area is known for its laid-back beauty and serene waterfront. Watch shrimp boats from the comfort of the porch or sip wine as you enjoy the secluded ambience of your stay in rooms befitting 19th-century aristocrats. Or take your trip on a “deadlier” track with one of the bed-and-breakfast’s acclaimed Murder Mystery weekends. This year’s offerings are Aug. 5-7; Sept. 16-18; Oct. 28-30 and Dec. 9-11.
The allure: wrap-around porch, 19th century Florida, detective work .
Suitable for: ghost hunters; history hounds .
Rates start at: $115/night
- gibsoninn.com; 850.653.2191
Get your hiking fix with a jaunt in the Green Mountains, then hunker down in this blessedly cozy Killington, Vt., inn. Perfect both for the exhausted and the world-weary, take off your boots here and feel at home. Shared living room spaces and a den lend to the community aspect of the abode, as does the hearty atmosphere at the tasty McGrath’s Irish Pub. At day’s end, sip on a Long Trail ale, the inn’s namesake, as you make new friends and plan out the next day’s adventure. After slumbering in your rustic room, wake to the best pancakes of your life in the cheerfully sunny dining room, then hit the trails (just a few feet from the front door).
The allure: mountains so close you can touch ‘em; premium brew.
Suitable for: hikers, mountain skiers, pub crawlers.
Rates start at: $79/night; look for special ski packages throughout the year
- innatlongtrail.com; 800.325.2540.
Make your home on the range by settling into the rustic ambience of Bentwood Inn. Set in the sweeping landscape of Jackson Hole, Wyo., every view is postcard-worthy. Rooming options include the Cabin Room, the Cowboy Room, the Bunkhouse Room, the Indian Paintbrush Room and the Wildflower room, all of which fully realize the romantic notions of the Wild West. Foodies will delight in the scrumptious dining selections. Aside from multi-course breakfasts, guests also get to nibble on fruit, cheese and wine in the early evening, and if they’re lucky, they’ll get to feast on a dinner at the Bentwood Bistro ($45-50 per person). Open just two days a week, the multi-course dining experience is season-specific and is accompanied by wine.
The allure: Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Suitable for: cowboys, daydreamers
Rates start at: $245/night, two night min.
- bentwoodinn.com; 307.739.1411