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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hofsas House HotelHofsas House Hotel

Want to be more festive this holiday season? Then the art of creating holiday gingerbread houses is where it’s at. You know you want an excuse for the sweet smell of crisp gingerbread and vanilla icing dancing from room to room in your home. So sit back and take a stroll down memory lane as you adventure out into a land of colorful gumdrop shingles, candy cane doors, and peppermint windows. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect holiday treat for you and your loved ones? Well, you’re in luck because Carrie Theis, owner and general manager of Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel, CA, is an expert on holiday spirit and designing the perfect gingerbread house!

For five years, Hofsas House Hotel has held their Gingerbread Decorating Charity Event for the Carmel Public Library. All of the donations from the festivities go to the Carmel Library Foundation, which raises funds to provide free library services for the Carmel Public Library. With donations ranging from $5 to $10 and to even $25, they provide hot crisp cider, homemade baked cookies, a gingerbread house making kit with all the fixings, as well as wine and cheese for the adults. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to join them for this year’s Gingerbread Decorating Charity Event which is on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016. Check out some of Carrie’s helpful holiday tips below.

Holiday Tips to A Stress-Free Gingerbread House:

Tip 1: Carrie’s big secret to the perfect gingerbread house is plain and simple: get a gingerbread house kit. Yes, you heard it right. If you really think about it, a holiday event like this isn’t supposed to be about stressing over how your walls are falling or if your roof is burnt. It’s supposed to be stress-free, creative, and of course, lots and lots of fun! Carrie feels the “fun is in the decorating, not the building”, so go to your nearest food store and pick yourself up a gingerbread house kit and let the fun begin.
Tip 2: More sweets are always a great idea during the holiday season, so make sure you have plenty to get those creative juices going. Even though the gingerbread kits come with sweets and goodies, Carrie personally supplies MORE to allow everyone to get as creative as possible. She enjoys using treats like pretzels, shredded coconut, fruit loops, and even Frosted Mini-Wheats. See how festive that roof looks above!
Tip 3: To get creative, you have to feed your mind. Literally feeding your mind and having munchies around is a great idea. It’s always good to encourage everyone, even yourself, with a treat. Any delicacy would do the trick like a homemade cookie, a cup of hot cocoa, or even a mimosa.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

William Henry Miller InnWilliam Henry Miller Inn

After a year of reinvention and hard labor, The William Henry Miller Inn was finally ready for business in 1999. Owner & Innkeeper, Lynnette Scofield, has turned this once privately owned home into a home-away-from-home for her various guests. This month we featured an interview with the innkeeper in our December Guest Newsletter. For those of you wanting more, we’ve included a few more responses from the Q&A session for our blog readers to enjoy.

Q: When you’re not busy hosting guests, what are some of the things you do in your free time?
A: Paying taxes I guess. I have two other properties…a little lake house and a condo where I have never spent a night (but I get to pay taxes on those). Other than that – reading, reading, reading. As silly as it sounds, I love reading menus to inspire our breakfasts. I just finished chairing my second United Way campaign where we raised $2.2 million for our county of 100,000. Have to say that I loved every minute.

Q: If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
A: Kathy Bates. She loves to eat too, and I think we both have the same sense of humor.

Q: What’s the most difficult part of your job?
A: Not having much of a social life. I can’t just drop things and go when a friend calls. The other hard part is things breaking, like hot water heaters and furnaces. AAAAAACCCKKK!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Today’s the day to celebrate one of our all-time favorite breakfast foods – French Toast! And what’s even better? Here are a few tasty tips from our friends at The Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, ME to help take your dish up a notch in decadence. Enjoy….

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Our December Guest Newsletter has hit the airwaves. Just in time for the holidays, this edition features the info on giving the gift of travel; an introduction from our CEO Mary White to two new inns who have re-joined our “family” (Carole’s Bed and Breakfast in San Diego, CA and Scranton Seahorse Inn in Madison, CT); the latest installment of Innkeeper Interviews with the lovely Lynnette Scofield of The William Henry Miller Inn in Ithaca, NY; and a crave-worthy Chocolate Crispy Delights recipe from our friends at 1785 Inn in North Conway, NH, which was recently featured on the popular food site Epicurious.com ─ so yummy!

You will also read about Staying Local and Loyal at York Harbor Inn in York Harbor, ME; What To Do in Winter, Bed and Breakfast Edition; how to Find Your Inner Chef in The Hidden Kitchen at Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, VT; 10 Breathtaking B&B’s for The Big Day; and more. There is plenty here to pique every B&B lover’s interest!

Click here to check out our latest edition.

Click here to subscribe for upcoming issues.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

While many inns across the country have full-service spas onsite, some B&B bathrooms have become spas in their own right- jetted tubs, plush towels, robes, and ultra-luxe privileges like spectacular views. They serve as peaceful places where you don’t have to see others, a proverbial getaway from your getaway. These bathrooms are equipped with some seriously commodious spaces where guests can retreat to, wash away the grit of the day, and ready themselves for a restful slumber. From Massachusetts to Washington, here is our roundup of the most luxurious inn bathrooms.

Click through to see them all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lakehouse Inn & WineryLakehouse Inn & Winery

We could all use a little R&R right about now (post-election stress, anyone?). The holidays will be here sooner than you think…and with that comes the frustration of finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones and spending countless hours cooking, wrapping, and shopping. On Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28th, the Lakehouse Inn & Winery in Geneva, Ohio welcomes guests to relax, recharge and refuel with their two-night Winter Health & Wellness Retreat. It’s the perfect getaway for those looking for an escape from the normal routine and to savor some quality resting time. Enjoy fabulous sunsets over Lake Erie while lounging on the decks and relax by the fireplace in the great room.

The package includes lodging for two nights and all meals are provided, from dinner on Friday through breakfast on Sunday, by the wonderful farm-to-table restaurant on site, Crosswinds Grille. Guests will also take part in two separate yoga classes as well as nutrition and wellness classes. Spa services will also be available at the on-site spa and include everything from massages and facials to hair, nail and body treatments.

Rates start at $859 (plus tax and gratuity) for double occupancy and $549 (plus tax and gratuity) for single occupancy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Today marks an important occasion in our country – Veterans Day. It was created specifically to demonstrate our gratitude and appreciation for all of the dedicated and challenging work our men and women of the military perform all year long. They put their lives on the line to ensure our safety and freedom, and we could not be more grateful for their service. For the BnBFinder team, this subject is one that’s near and dear to our hearts, as well as our industry. There are B&B’s all across the country who support the cause through the B&B’s for Vets program. Many also provide discounts and amenities to military families all year long. BnBFinder has a designated area on our website where you can find information about them – Military Specials (click here for more info) – and we ourselves also give back in other ways as well. It is with heartfelt thanks that we salute everyone in uniform today, and always.

Veteran Garry Black with innkeeper GingerVeteran Garry Black with innkeeper Ginger

Veteran Garry Black was awarded a “Wake Up Someplace Special” gift certificate from BnBFinder, and this year he decided to spend a tranquil overnight at Martha’s Vineyard Bed and Breakfast in South Haven, MI, located in the heart of majestic Michigan wine country. Gary served in the 1st Infantry of the Army during the years of 1971 to 1973. He stated that he had a wonderful stay, and that innkeeper Ginger “made us feel very welcome, a gracious host, and the food was wonderful!”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why visit Santa Fe? Well, for starters, it’s the oldest state capital city in the United States (and the oldest city in New Mexico, too). While it sits 7,000 feet above sea level, it’s also the highest capital city in the country. Bragging rights aside, we must admit that the views alone are enough to send us packing. Once you catch a glimpse of the city’s stunning architecture coupled with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as its backdrop, you’ll soon come to understand why Santa Fe is famous for being such an artistic hub. They pretty much own the arts (don’t even try to deny it) and people travel from all over to marvel the artists. From modern to neo-classical to Native American…you name it, they’ve got it. There’s so much to love about Santa Fe: their colorful cafes, historic museums, folk art markets, premier skiing, hiking, biking, and (without a doubt) some of the best chile and enchiladas you’ll ever have. If you’re interested in exploring a thriving art town, tasting unbeatable Mexican cuisine, and shopping in some of the world’s best farmers markets, this gem in the desert is the place for you.

El Farolito Bed & BreakfastEl Farolito Bed & Breakfast

What to Do

  1. Discover the city’s rich history: Early Native American inhabitants called it “Dancing Ground of The Sun”; while the founding frontiersman at the turn of the 20th century referred to it as “The City Different”. Both nicknames hold true today, and you can see for yourself when visiting the Palace of Governors, the oldest government building in the U.S. Afterwards, treat yourself to Native American handcrafts (sold under the building’s portal) as a souvenir.

  2. Shop til you drop: You’ll find a little bit of everything in Santa Fe. This is the place to buy cowboy boots, turquoise Native American jewelry, Spanish Colonial and indigenous art (or any art, for that matter). Don’t miss out on the Downtown Plaza area where you’ll find wall-to-wall boutiques and shops with everything from knick-knacks to designer clothing.

  3. Explore some of the best neighborhoods: Head on over to the oldest neighborhood in town, Barrio Analco, where you can check out the oldest church in the country. Then, make your way to Canyon Road, home to over 100 art galleries, shops and restaurants.

  4. Tantalize Your Taste Buds with Santa Fe’s Most Beloved Beverage: Margaritas, of course! Trail adventurers have the opportunity to taste 31 different margaritas made famous by the most beloved restaurants and bars in The City Different. ¡Saludǃ

Where to Stay

Inn on the AlamedaInn on the Alameda

Nestled downtown between the historic Plaza and the galleries on Canyon Road, Inn on the Alameda offers guests privacy, comfort and charm in a romantic garden setting tucked behind adobe walls. Located just a short stroll away from world-class museums, fine restaurants, outdoor mercados, shops and historical structures, guests will be able to enjoy all that makes Santa Fe a unique and colorful destination. Amenities include a lavish buffet breakfast served daily, relaxing wine-and-cheese happy hour reception, outdoor hot tub, luxurious bedding and spa robes, fully-equipped exercise room, and a full bar and lounge.

El Farolito Bed & Breakfast is a quintessential Santa Fe lodging compound with a traditional adobe architecture. Guests can delight their senses in one of the eight beautifully appointed rooms and casitas, tucked among gardens and intimate walled-in patios. This charming B&B combines the modern luxuries expected with homey, personal touches that allow guests to feel comfortable and at home. Amenities include fine linens, fireplaces, and even private entrances. After a day of exploring the city, return back and relax with a glass of wine on a private sun-drenched patio, or unwind in front of the glow of a crackling fire.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Aldrich Guest HouseAldrich Guest House

After becoming the sixth owners of Aldrich Guest House, innkeepers Robert and Douglas have made Galena, Illinois their home while creating a “home away from home” for their guests. Last month, we featured the lovely couple for our Innkeeper Interview series in our November Guest Newsletter. And since these guys are so much fun to learn about, we’ve included a few more responses from their Q&A session for our blog readers to enjoy!

Q: Do you have a favorite movie or TV show based on hospitality/travel?

A: Hotel Babylon is wonderful – it does a great job of capturing all of the excitement, craziness, and glamour of travel as well as all of the fun that we have as staff. Coming from years in the ultra-luxury lodging industry in Chicago, this show speaks to us even more as with a larger staff and hundreds or thousands of guests a night, there’s often more opportunity to get up to some pretty ridiculous high jinks!

Q: What is the best compliment you’ve received from a guest?

A: One of the biggest compliments that we can get from a guest is simply their return or sending their friends or family to stay with us! One of the things that we’ve always believed is that being in the service industry is a privilege as our guests have lots of options and they’ve chosen to spend their time with us which is something that can’t be gotten back. In addition to that, we love when our guests tell us that when they come here they feel like they’re right at home and that we feel like family. On two separate occasions, guests have literally cried at breakfast! They said that they felt so well taken care of and pampered which made them feel so special that they couldn’t help but cry!

Q: If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?

A: I’m horrible at this, so Douglas had some flattering insight on this question! He said that Daniel Radcliffe would play me since he’s quick and witty and would be fast on his feet like I am when it comes to taking care of things that guests can sometimes toss at us. He felt like he’d be played by Felix on Orphan Black – not the actor playing Felix, but Felix himself as they share a similar attitude and an appreciation for all things artistic and glamorous.

Stay tuned for many more Innkeeper Interviews to come! Next, we’ll feature Erika, innkeeper of Abbey’s Lantern Inn in Ledyard, CT.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant's Signature Fall SangriaTerrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant’s Signature Fall Sangria

Autumn wouldn’t be the same without apples, right? They’re the signature fruit of the season. They also make for an awesome ingredient in plenty of cocktails and marvelous mixed drinks! Our friends at Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant in Petoskey, MI definitely know all about this firsthand as we can see from their signature sumptuous fall sangria, which guests “absolutely love,” enthuses innkeeper/owner Patty Rasmussen-Rave.

This historic hotel and restaurant is located in the Victorian Association of Bay View. Open to the public daily mid-June through Labor Day and weekends through February, 1911 Restaurant’s outdoor terrace is the ideal spot to indulge in a romantic dinner. When the weather permits, guests can sit back and relax to take in soft breezes off the bay and beautiful views overlooking Bay View’s elegant Victorian homes and grounds. The spacious dining room is air-conditioned and can accommodate 125 people. Happy Hour is 4p.m. to 6p.m. daily. Alcohol purchased here can be enjoyed on the porch, terrace, or lower patio.

Breakfast is provided as part of your stay, and dinner is prepared onsite with high-quality ingredients and delectable regional products.

Fall Sangria
6 apples, chopped
4 pears, chopped
1 750 Ml bottle Pinot Grigio
1 750 ml bottle Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
½ gal. apple cider

Directions: Add all ingredients together and then chill for two hours. Serve with cinnamon stick.

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