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Thursday, October 20, 2016

The city of St. Louis may be nestled deep in the Midwest, 300 miles from its more popular cousin, Chicago, but it’s certainly not just a “fly-over” state. There’s a case to be made for the hidden gem that is “St. Louie,” a vibrant city bustling with a wide array of fine dining, shopping, music venues, and so much more. Whether you want to experience awe-inspiring city views atop one of the world’s most famous monuments, shop till you drop, or seek out the greener sides of the city, St. Louis has something for everyone. We’ve listed the top things to do in the Gateway City, featuring the hot spots you just can’t miss along with the best places to stay for an adventure-filled weekend.

What to Do:

  1. The Gateway Arch: Visitors can take a 630-foot ride to the top of this world-famous monument, which offers the finest views in the city.
  2. Spend the day in one of the largest urban parks in the U.S.: Forest Park, once home to the 1904 World’s Fair, attracts around 12 million visitors a year with its scenic walking and biking trails. Make sure to check out the Jewel Box while you’re there (a stunning greenhouse filled with floral displays), along with the World’s Fair Pavilion (the perfect spot for a picnic).
  3. Taste tradition at a St. Louis brewery: From touring the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery and getting up close and personal with the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, to experiencing local flavor at Schlafly Bottleworks for a free tour where you can try up to 50 different styles of beer, brew enthusiasts have plenty of enticing options to choose from.

B&B NameThe Cheshire

Where to Stay
The Cheshire, located smack-dab in the middle of all that St. Louis has to offer, delivers an Old World feel and quirky charm that guests are sure to love. Dating back to the 1920s, this inn embodies the city’s traditional roots and authenticity of a traditional British B&B with all of the modern conveniences that today’s traveler demands. The past is effortlessly blended with the future, from the hand-carved mantle in the living room to the stained-glass windows found throughout. Eighteenth-century antiques and historical fixtures live alongside flat-screen TVs and granite bathrooms in each elegantly themed suite. Guests can take advantage of the sleek wellness center featuring state-of-the-art equipment, enjoy handcrafted complimentary chocolates from St. Louis’ very own Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier while relaxing in the courtyard, and even stop in for coffee before exploring the city at the inn’s onsite Starbucks.

Seven Gables InnSeven Gables Inn

Welcoming and whimsical, Seven Gables Inn boutique hotel provides comfortable and convenient accommodations while serving up some serious luxury. Just a short 15 minutes from Lambert Airport and 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Seven Gables is amid specialty shops, art galleries, and fine eateries for guests to explore. Listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, the inn’s steep roofs, massive chimney, narrow windows and decorative half-timbering give the allure of Tudor influence. And when it comes to amenities, guests will be hard-pressed to find a single missing detail. Enjoy Acca Kappa bath products, complimentary Fiji water, an in-room coffee maker with Wolfgang Puck coffee, as well as complimentary breakfast each morning. From valet parking to nightly decadent chocolates, every element of the inn has been considered in order to ensure a fun, relaxing stay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

With only 67 days until Christmas, we think the time is right to start feeling merry and bright. That’s why every few weeks we’re going to reveal some amazing opportunities for fabulous holiday fun taking place at inns all across North America. First up is our friends at Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island, GA, who offer plenty of options for celebrating the season with their coastal-themed Christmas featuring warm, white sand.

“All of the holiday fun kicks off early on November 26, 2016 with the Annual Jekyll Island Christmas Tree Lighting Festival,” reveals Amy Wisenbaker, Social Media and Web Communications Manager. “Guests can bring a lawn chair or blanket and grab a spot on our Sans Souci lawn to watch as the magical lights begin to shine on our southern red fern, combined with endless amounts of delicious treats, holiday activities for the whole family, jingle bell tours and even a visit from Santa!”

The hotel’s holiday event calendar typically begins with an annual favorite, Holiday High Tea, which is hosted in the Grand Dining Room and features a delicious variety of teas, warm scones, tea sandwiches and all of your favorite Christmas carols performed by the Club pianist. Then, guests indulge in a special holiday-themed lunch at the hotel’s Chef Demonstration from 12-2pm, which typically takes place during the second week in December. “Included in the event is a three-course meal with a complimentary glass of wine, along with easy-to-follow recipes that you can take home and add to your collection,” explains Amy. “The merriment continues when guests join us for magical day at Crane Cottage as Santa Claus spends the afternoon with all of his favorite little boys and girls as a thank you for always believing in him. The event will be free admission, but a photographer will be on site to capture precious moments (optional) for a fee.”

A walk through the historic district to view all of the twinkling holiday lights never disappoints, and during the week before Christmas, the walk will become extra special as the Christmas Bagpiper joins in the fun. Dressed in full Scottish regalia, Tim Atkins makes his way through the district as he plays the songs of the season. The festive holiday event calendar comes to a close with the deliciously sweet Christmas Cookie Workshop, where attendees can head to the hotel for an afternoon filled with candies, sprinkles, icing and much more.

“The Jekyll Island Club Hotel offers holiday packages throughout December for those guests dreaming of experiencing all of the holiday hustle and bustle and Christmas finery at the hotel,” adds Amy. “Our Nights Before Christmas Special includes the breakfast buffet and passes for two at the brand new Jekyll Island Skating Village, and our Christmas Package includes our breakfast buffet, a stocking filled with goodies and a commemorative Christmas ornament.”

For more details on Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s holiday packages, click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Chimes Bed and BreakfastChimes Bed and Breakfast

In New Orleans, you’ll find that music is at the heart of everyday life. This bustling city is known as being the birthplace of jazz, making it reign supreme when it comes to being a top destination for music lovers. Creole and zydeco beats, jazz and brass bands bellow out of some of the city’s most famous dive bars, clubs, and music venues (Tiptina’s, Spotted Cat, and the Preservation Hall in the French Quarter just to name a few). And while the city has expanded its musical tastes in recent years, jazz still remains king, a genre so intrinsically tied to the culture of NOLA that its residents even have “jazz funerals”, a longtime tradition in which live music is played through the procession. Those looking to travel to The Big Easy for a getaway have plenty of B&Bs that offer the same jazzy aesthetic that sets New Orleans apart from every other major musical destination.

Where to Stay

Chimes Bed and Breakfast: Both welcoming and private, the Chimes Bed and Breakfast makes a perfectly peaceful retreat after a day out exploring the colorful Crescent City. Nestled in the heart of New Orleans, this B&B is located near many of the city’s best attractions, restaurants and shops. Each of the inn’s five guest rooms features its own private entrance that opens up to an outdoor sanctuary with plenty of seating for guests to kick back and relax.

Grand Victorian Bed & BreakfastGrand Victorian Bed & Breakfast

Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast: Nestled under the shady oaks of majestic St. Charles Avenue at the edge of the Garden District, this renovated historic mansion allows guests to experience a rich past within the comfort and convenience of a modern day bed and breakfast. Each of the inn’s spacious rooms features 12-14 foot ceilings, private baths and free Wi-Fi access. Guests that stay in either the Greenwood or Nottoway suites have access to their own private balconies, Jacuzzi tubs and generous seating areas too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Goodstone’s Ginger Bourbon PressGoodstone’s Ginger Bourbon Press

Fall is a fabulous time to enjoy the outdoors, as well as delicious drinks, and Virginia is one of the most beautiful destinations to take it all in. Nestled in the heart of state’s wine and hunt country, travelers will find Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. This Middleburg-based, historic country inn is situated on 265 acres of farmland and rolling hills and features top-quality lodging and plenty of amazing amenities, including The Spa, Wine Cellar Dining Room, an exquisite outdoor pool, all-season Jacuzzi, and more.

The award-winning Restaurant at Goodstone offers food lovers an exceptional farm-to-table dining experience showcasing seasonally-inspired cuisine (made from vegetables, herbs, micro greens, eggs and lamb from the Farm at Goodstone and other local farms) in The Carriage House, the main building of the inn’s six unique dwellings. It comes complete with the full-service Bar where guests enjoy specialty drinks, fine wines, martinis, beer on tap, and wine cocktails, all in the backdrop of the elegant hunt-country decor.

Goodstone’s Ginger Bourbon Press
2 oz. Makers Mark Bourbon
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Maple Syrup Splash
Ginger Beer
Lime Wedge

Directions: Shake Makers Mark Bourbon, Lime Juice and Maple Syrup Splash with ice. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Add a splash of Ginger Beer. Garnish with Lime Wedge.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Autumn is awesome isn’t it? Even though the temperatures drop, it’s still warm enough to enjoy a lot of fun activities outdoors. Leaf peepers and photogs love this time of year best because it’s the ideal opportunity to capture a cornucopia of landscape colors. From Arkansas to Colorado, and Massachusetts to Maine, inns offer plenty of unforgettable fall foliage getaways.

There are also numerous festivals to look forward to, including the Mushroom Fall Festival Mendocino, CA, which you can enjoy from the “home base” of Headlands Inn Bed & Breakfast, and the Finger Lakes Beer Festival, which you can toast to at Black Sheep Inn & Spa in Hammondsport, NY. And lest we forget…it’s also the season of spooky fun! Haunted B&B’s have always been a popular pick for travelers, and several properties offer specter-related specials, like the Sleep with a Ghost on the Coast Halloween Package from our friends at Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, ME.

To find out which package you prefer, click here now.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bacon, Sweet Potato and Cheddar Soup from West Mountain InnBacon, Sweet Potato and Cheddar Soup from West Mountain Inn

Our October Guest Newsletter has hit the airwaves. This edition features a recipe apropos for autumn – Bacon, Sweet Potato and Cheddar Soup – from our friends at West Mountain Inn in Arlington, VT, which was recently featured on the popular food site Think Tasty. It’s the ideal dish for when we are catering to the cooler weather. There is also info on the latest inn-ovations at some of our B&B’s across the country, including eco-friendly inns who have added Tesla charging stations: Maple Hill Farm B&B Inn & Conference Center in Hallowell, ME and Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, MT (the latter of which was just accepted into Select Registry).

You’ll also hear about great Holiday Specials for the season, find insights from our CEO Mary White, and the latest media stories our inns are featured in, including “Surf’s Up on Luxury! Amazing B&B’s Located by the Beach,” “West Coast Fall Foliage BnB Memory Making Escapes,” “Marketing Pairings: Your Brand & the Right Event,” among others. There’s plenty to pique every B&B lover’s interest!

Click here to check out our latest edition.

Click here to subscribe for upcoming issues.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The demand for ethnic cuisine is exploding in the U.S. Between now and 2017 sales of ethnic foods in grocery stores will grow more than 20 percent, according to market research firm The Mintel Group. For travelers looking to globalize their palates, bed and breakfasts here in the States are offering culinary classes that allow foodies to leave their passports at home. No matter where your taste buds want to travel, these inns will transport them half way across the world without ever having to leave the country.

As a certified culinary professional with a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on food and culture, Chef Monika of Chestnut Street Inn always intends on offering guests a hands-on culinary education with her popular cooking classes. Students get to select from a preparation menu featuring French, Moroccan, Italian, Greek, and Hungarian cuisines. Offered Sunday through Thursday, classes can accommodate up to six people and includes instruction on basic skills as well as a discussion about spices, pantry, technique and more as applicable.

The Brandywine Cooking School at Hamanasset Bed & Breakfast offers themed classes that include everything from romantic dining, French Country cooking, Dining on the Orient Express, and Ole Espana featuring Spanish and tapas cuisine. Their most requested class, “Last Dinner on the Titanic,” allows students to return to the Edwardian Era through the creation and consumption of the Escoffier-inspired, multi-course dinner served in the first-class salon on the fateful maiden voyage of RMS Titanic.

The Cucina Culinary Classes held at The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard give students a global taste with their lessons featuring Asian (Chinese and Japanese), Italian (Sicily, Naples, Tuscany) and Mexican cuisine. All classes are hands-on and feature classically trained, world-class instructors from all over the world. Learn the art of artisanal bread making with Chef Kathy Lehr, an educator mentored by Julia Child’s bread consultant, or learn how to make the most authentic Mexican recipes while guided by Chef Carla Snyder, celebrated food writer/blogger and co-author of five cookbooks.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Maine is celebrated for its coastal beauty, and of course, outstanding seafood cuisine. While many travelers to the state choose a number of ways to experience the landscape, at Blue Harbor House Inn in Camden, the innkeepers offer their guests something truly innovative!

With A Real Maine Underwater Adventure, visitors to this charming antique inn – ideally situated just a few blocks from scenic Camden Harbor – can discover scuba diving with a “PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Try Dive” beginner lesson. This 2-hour plus experience begins with a short pool session, then heads off to either Beauchamp Point or Megunticook Lake where divers will breathe underwater, experience weightlessness, and enjoy the serenity of an underwater environment. There they can view lobsters in their natural habitat or spy Toby the trout patrolling the lake. Judging by the feedback thus far, these journeys have produced plenty of joy.

“Guest reaction has been really enthusiastic. Most people are surprised that there is diving in Maine, but for the adventurous, a try dive in Maine is a unique and very cool experience,” reveals innkeeper Annette Hazzard. “My husband Terry is our resident dive instructor, and he thought it would be fun to offer a dive experience in a location not normally associated with scuba diving. ”

All equipment is provided, along with instruction, and the special is available from June through October. Price is just $130.00, in addition to accommodation charge. There are 11 well-appointed guestrooms and suites onsite, which include private en-suite bath. Some rooms feature a private entrance, gas fireplace, and whirlpool tub. A complimentary two-course gourmet breakfast starts each day of the guests’ stay, while a traditional English tea with cakes is served in the afternoon. Evening appetizers and cocktails can also be indulged in, upon request.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Big Island offers limitless excitement for adventure seekers. From ocean to rainforest, volcano to desert, lush green valleys to vast black sand beaches, there is no better place than Hawaii if you’re looking for the ultimate (and thrilling) local experience.

The Holualoa Inn has teamed up with three of Hawaii Island’s leading outdoor activity specialists to create an adventure package perfect for guests seeking an adrenaline rush while offering experienced guides to some of the most beautiful and historic locations. As the owner, Cassandra Hazen has worked for years helping guests create custom itineraries while offering her very own Hawaii “insider” tips. Today, the inn is a one-stop-shop for adventure and excitement, and the Big Island Adventure Package does not disappoint.

“The focus of the inn has always been about service, and our exciting, new Big Island Adventure Package fulfills a convenience need of the busy traveler,” said Hazen in an official statement. “We’ve done our homework and structured the itineraries so that guests can enjoy adventure treks to Big Island locales and still have time to make it back to the inn for a relaxing soak in the hot tub or an evening cocktail.”

Witness the wonders of Hawaii by air, land and sea. From swimming with manta rays and exploring volcanoes by air and land, to zip lining through the forest and taking a dip under cascading waterfalls and stargazing atop a 14,000 summit, the Big Island Adventure Package is perfect for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in Big Island life.

Before guests begin their day of adventure treks, a farm-fresh breakfast is served in the inn’s dining room, where awe-inspiring views of the Kona coastline can be seen through the panoramic picture windows. After a short drive, you’ll be ready to get a glimpse of Hawaii from above as a helicopter pilot takes you over five separate volcanoes, lush waterfalls cascading down 2,000-foot valley walls, and even 11 different climate zones. Once on the ground, explore the park’s craters, steam vents and trails before heading to Punalu’u Beach for a relaxing, remote swim, and picnic lunch on the black sand.

Guests are taken from sea level to the 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Kea for a sunset and stargazing adventure. Witness the majesty of the Hawaiian night sky while enjoying a picnic dinner as an expert guide shares stories of Hawaiian celestial navigation before you search for planets and stars through a telescope.

Dance with the gentle giants of the sea and share the crystal waters of Keauhou Bay with manta rays during an award-winning evening snorkeling adventure. Looking for more adventure on land? Zip and dip while enjoying a full aerial canopy tour on Kohala Zipline, then explore the private nature reserve and swim under a waterfall.

*Standard room package pricing starts at $3,975. Upgrade to a Suite or the Darrell Hill Cottage starting at $4,300.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Image courtesy of Eden Vale InnImage courtesy of Eden Vale Inn

Known as the Golden State, California is rich in photo opportunities. From breathtaking beaches and exhilarating desert landscapes to unforgettable forest trees and majestic mountains, enticing images abound in this desirable West Coast destination. Amateurs and professionals alike find inspiration within the vast expanse of 900 miles that stretches from the Mexican border to Oregon and features some of the most famous landmarks in the U.S., including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Hollywood, the Mojave Desert, the Redwood National and State Parks, and much more.

Nestled in the breathtaking Sierra Foothills, the elegant Eden Vale Inn in Placerville is located in the heart of California Gold Country. The inn provides guests with a choice of 7 exclusive rooms that are uniquely decorated, offer plenty of privacy, and are custom-built to current luxury standard. The property features extensive grounds complete with gorgeous gardens and a pond, both great spots for reading, relaxation, and reflection. Area attractions range from fine dining, shopping, and wine tasting at over 100 wineries within an hour’s drive of the inn, to white water rafting on the American River, the California Gold Discovery Site, ballooning, hiking, biking, skiing and more.

Image courtesy of Turtle Rocks Oceanfront InnImage courtesy of Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn

Located in Trinidad on California’s North Coast, Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn resides on three acres and offers guests spectacular views of the water, the offshore Turtle Rocks and sea lion colony. The spacious accommodations feature king-size beds; private glass-paneled decks overlooking the Pacific; private baths with oversize tubs/showers; cable stereo TV with remote; phone with private line and number; an eclectic blend of contemporary furniture and antiques; and high-speed  Wi-Fi. A hearty full breakfast buffet is served each morning at 9AM, while fresh organic French roast coffee and coffee cake are available for early risers starting at 7AM. The inn is 15 minutes south of Redwood National Park and a 25-minute drive north to Eureka.

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