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Bed & Breakfast news for Innkeepers and B&B travelers
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Inn at Weathersfield, exteriorInn at Weathersfield, exterior

The Okemo Valley of Vermont is cooking up something deliciously extravagant this December, and if you’re a fan of indulging in both the sweet and savory, you won’t want to miss what participating inns in the region are serving foodie travelers. On December 3rd and 4th, those looking to sample culinary delights can taste their way through the region while participating in the inaugural “Inndulgence Food Tour”, a self-guided excursion for inn lovers (and those who are curious) to sample dishes from 10 different bed and breakfasts in the area.

From savory samples such as Braised Pork Butt over Polenta or mini Beef Wellingtons, to rich and decadent treats such as chocolate cake, baked brie with homemade chutney, or warm cookies fresh out of the oven, there’s something that everyone is sure to love. Participants of the tour will be able to step inside several different inns, fully decorated for the holiday season, while enjoying a tasty bite. Some participating properties will be coupling their food selections with raffles and/or demonstrations. You can even watch as innkeepers at The Golden State Inn simmer their own beeswax as they make molded candles. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better…guests who visit at least six of the inns during the tour will be entered into a raffle for a free one-night stay at the B&B of their choice. Plus, those who post a “selfie” while participating in the tour and share it to the “Inndulgence Tour” Facebook page will be entered into a raffle for a gift basket each time they post.

Golden Stage Inn's signature Saturday Night Chocolate CakeGolden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast’s signature Saturday Night Chocolate Cake

*The tour is scheduled for December 3 and 4, 12-5pm each day. Tour “passports” may be purchased ($10 per person) from any participating inn or the regional Chamber of Commerce, and many inns will be offering packaged specials for the event.

BnBFinder Inns participating in the tour include:

Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast in Proctorsville, VT

The Inn at Weston in Weston, VT

The Andrie Rose Inn in Ludlow, VT

Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, VT

Inn Victoria in Chester, VT

For more information on the “Inndulgence Tour”, click here, or visit the event Facebook page.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aldrich Guest HouseAldrich Guest House

Our November Guest Newsletter has hit the airwaves. This edition features information on holiday gifts; an introduction from our CEO Mary White to two new inns who have joined our “family” (A Breath of Heaven B&B in Traverse City, MI and The Karass Inn in Chester, VT); the Innkeeper Interview (new section!) with Robert and Douglas Mahan of Aldrich Guest House in Galena, IL; and a sumptuous recipe of Apple Sausage Puff Pancake from our friends at Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins in Cascade, CO, which was recently featured on the popular food site Think Tasty. You will also read about the Cameo Heights Mansion: Where Guests Go to Wine, Dine and Spa in Washington Wine Country; 8 B&B’s Offering Awesome Outdoor Adventures; what’s on your Autumn Culinary Bucket List (hint: it’s Black Sheep Inn & Spa, according to Honest Cooking); Ghost Stories from Our Favorite Bed and Breakfast Inns, among others. There’s 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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Innkeeper Kathleen PanekInnkeeper Kathleen Panek

Welcome to a new series on our blog all about our innkeepers. First up  we’ll earn some fun facts about Kathleen Panek of Gillum House Bed & Breakfast in Shinnston, WV.

1. Do you have a favorite TV show?
The only TV I watch is Mysteries on PBS a couple of evenings because there are no commercials. I would rather read a mystery. It may sound like “fluff” reading, but the research required about location, customs, religions, etc. in these books has helped me learn quite a bit over the years – sometimes about how hotels or resorts operate and even recipes.

2. What has been your strangest guest request?
It was many years ago. We called him Mr. Romance. He must have called me 15-20 times between making the reservation and arrival. He asked if we had a CD player for soft music in the room. (I got lucky and found a clock radio/alarm clock/CD player on sale for $10 – and am still using them – one in each room). He wanted a different romantic surprise each day in the room when he and his wife returned from being out. One night a dish of strawberries and champagne (brand specific), one night candles (they were in glass containers), one night 4 dozen red carnations because that was her favorite flower, and the last night a candlelight dinner. The last night of his stay, he came down and asked if they could come down to dinner in the robes that were in the room. I replied, “You are the only ones here, I don’t care if you come down starkers (naked).” He went upstairs and told his wife they had to come down for dinner starkers – she said, “I don’t think so.” When I gave him the bill for everything, he did not blink an eye as he said, “It was worth every penny.”

Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, exteriorGillum House Bed & Breakfast, exterior

3. If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
Except for the fact that she died long ago – Marjorie Main. She was not glamorous. For those who have no idea who she was, she was Ma in the Ma & Pa Kettle movies of yesteryear. She was loud, down-to-earth, take charge, and got things done without going crazy.

4. When you are not busy hosting guests, what are some of the things you like to do in your free time?
I read, and I play baritone saxophone in the Shinnston Community Band.

5. What is the best compliment you have received from a guest?
A gentleman told me that they had stayed in B&Bs all over the world, and we were in the top 5%. (I teared up.)

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.

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