Archive for February, 2012

A Cure for Downton Abbey Withdrawal

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

A Cure for Downton Abbey Withdrawal

If you’re among the growing legion of fans of the PBS series “Downton Abbey” then, like us, you’re already in withdrawal knowing Season 3 won’t premiere until 2013.  Until then, may we kindly suggest you plan to holiday at one of these Wisconsin B&Bs known for their opulence and luxury as a way to ease your pain and channel the Crawleys.  We believe the Dowager Countess of Grantham herself would approve.  In alphabetical order by city, we unveil our most Downton Abbey-esque B&Bs: Rittenhouse Inn – BayfieldWashington House – Cedarburg,  Joannes B&B – DePereAngel Inn – Green LakeWestphal Mansion Inn – HartfordMcCormick House – HaywardPhipps Inn – HudsonLivingston Inn – MadisonLauerman House Inn / M&M Victorian – MarinetteLudlow Mansion – MonroeInn at Pine Terrace – Oconomowoc The Roth House – Soldiers GroveStrawberry Lace Inn – SpartaDreams of Yesteryear – Stevens PointScofield House – Sturgeon Bay, Apple Tree Lane B&B – WaupacaIsadora’s B&B – West Bend.

Victorian, Downton Abbey, antiques, today's comforts, Stevens Point

Originally separated by pocket doors, the Ladies' Parlor and the Men's Parlor now permit co-ed relaxing...scandalous in Victorian times! Dreams of Yesteryear - Stevens Point welcomes you to yesteryear with today's comforts.

 

Door County, Sturgeon Bay, dining, Victorian

Pass through the portieres and step back in time at the "high Victorian" Scofield House in Sturgeon Bay of Door County. Hint: you'll find TV's hidden in the armoires, plus other comforts of today.

Birds are Awfully Chirpy for February

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Did we really see some trees budding?  We know we’re not imagining the birds chirping like crazy.  February in Wisconsin is not what it used to be!  Perhaps it’s not too early to start thinking about a Wisconsin B&B getaway that includes a little bird-watching.  We catalogued 300 – yes, 300! birding areas around the state, cross-referencing nearby B&Bs.  So get ready for some hiking, as it may come sooner than you think.

Cardinal, Speckled Hen Inn, Madison

No matter the season, spotting a Cardinal is always a delight. Thanks to the Speckled Hen Inn, Madison, for the photo.

When is Breakfast in Bed a Guilt-Free Pleasure?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Admit it, breakfast in bed is a guilty pleasure, what with dining in your pj’s, lingering over the Sunday New York Times, indulging in a sweet treat you might otherwise avoid because it’s not part of your diet plan and all.  To enjoy the experience fully, however, we think you need to rid your mind of guilt, and these Wisconsin B&Bs are here to help you with that.  Phipps Inn in Hudson always provides the option of breakfast in bed and about two-thirds of guests take them up on the offer.  At the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B in Cambridge, not only can you request breakfast in bed, you can request breakfast on the porch or the patio if you prefer.  Guests staying in the suites at Eagle Harbor Inn in Door County will hear a light knock on their door at 8 a.m. to signal their homemade breakfast basket has arrived, with Door County Cherry granola and Door County cherry cider among the goodies.  At the Black Walnut Guest House in Sturgeon Bay, the innkeepers there exclusively serve breakfast to the room every morning rather than providing a dining room option, noting that “everyone loves this feature!”  The Brayton B&B in Oshkosh and the Franklin Victorian B&B in Sparta are also on the breakfast in bed bandwagon. So enjoy this simple gesture of hospitality knowing it’s delivered with good wishes for a guilt-free getaway.

Door County, breakfast in bed, in-room breakfast, Black Walnut Guest House, Sturgeon Bay

Your breakfast-in-bed at the Black Walnut Guest House in Sturgeon Bay (Door County) begins with fruit and freshly baked muffins. You'll add to your breakfast tray with selections from the menu.

Heart Healthy Activities at Wisconsin B&Bs

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Getting away for a few nights to a Wisconsin B&B often mean relaxing and de-stressing, what with sleeping in late and those delicious homemade breakfasts.  For February, let’s make it about being active too.  After all, February is American Heart Month.  With a focus on outdoor pursuits, we turn to two styles of skiing – downhill and cross country.

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism lists 32 ski hills in the state .  Cross reference by city to find the nearest B&B.  By the way, the largest ski hill in Wisconsin is at Granite Peak at Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau; stay at the upscale Stewart Inn, just five miles away.  For cross country skiers, Wausau’s Nine-Mile Forest features 30k of classic/skate trails – and 6k of light trails.  Check out X-C trail conditions at www.skinnyski.com.

You can literally ski out the front door at Justin Trails, Sparta, where the innkeepers groom 10 miles of trail for both classic/skate X-C skiing, with ski rentals on site.  Hayward’s Forest Moon B&B is 1 mile from “double O” where the American Birkebeiner Race crosses; their waxing table makes ski-prep convenient.  Just 10 minutes from Madison, Cameo Rose in Belleville has 120 acres with private trails for X-C or snowshoeing.

Have your (coffee) cake and eat it guilt-free when you schedule a little cardio during your getaway.

Forest Moon B&&B,Hayward, American Birkebeiner, X-C ski, cross-country ski

Hayward's Forest Moon B&B, a sturdy northwoods log-lodge warms guests with a crackling fire in the stone hearth, and of course fuels X-C skiers with a hearty breakfast.

Funny Videos on Why B&Bs Are a Better Way to Stay – Part 2

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

These two videos from the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, our trade organization, should strike a chord with all you die-hard Wisconsin B&Bers who relish a friendly face, search out quiet surroundings, and have no desire to stay in someone’s spare bedroom dubiously billed as a B&B experience.  Our innkeepers are grateful for their loyal guests and, who knows, maybe these videos will deliver a few more to their doorsteps! Friendly Welcome   Not a Scary Spare Bedroom

To design your preferred B&B stay, try My Stay My Way.

Joannes B&B, Green Bay, Fox River Trail, luxury B&B

Joannes B&B in DePere, minutes from Green Bay Wisconsin, has the Fox River Trail for biking, walking, through their back yard ... if you can bear to leave your luxurious guest room.

 

Funny Videos on Why B&Bs Are a Better Way to Stay – Part 1

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

If you’re a loyal Wisconsin B&B traveler, you already have your reasons for choosing inns over hotels.  Like quiet ambience, free wi-fi, gourmet breakfast, luxury linens, big screen TVs, connection to local history and culture, and friendly innkeepers.  But for the rest of the traveling public who’ve not yet crossed a B&B threshold, it may simply be a case of the unknown or that a B&B just never entered their consideration set. Well, our trade organization, the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, put out a series of videos on YouTube that we think are a hoot showing why a B&B is a better way to stay.  Here are links to our favorites regarding the food experience.  Enjoy and feel free to forward to that friend of yours whom you’ve been trying to convince to give B&Bs a try.  Real Breakfast   Real Food  Great Coffee

By the way, fourteenWisconsin B&B inns actually have full restaurants on site.

full breakfast, fresh fruit, local foods, farmer's market, natural foods, Travel Green Certified, Westby House Inn, restaurant

And this is just the first course of the breakfast you'll enjoy at the Westby House Inn, in Westby WI. The inn's menu, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, changes to insure the freshest locally sourced foods.

 

White Gull Inn, Door County, fish boil, full restaurant, gourmet restaurant, Good Morning America

The White Gull Inn hosts a regular Fish Boil - no trip to Door County is complete without this tradition! And, the White Gull Inn's breakfast of Door County Cherry French Toast was named the "Best Breakfast in America" by Good Morning America.

Newly Built B&Bs Do Exist in Wisconsin

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

There’s a long-standing myth the B&B industry can’t seem to shake and it’s that all inns are Victorian with antiques and doilies everywhere.  It’s just not so.  Styles of architecture among B&Bs in Wisconsin run from historic mansions to lakeside cabins to ultra-contemporary new builds.  Let’s focus on that last category for a moment. There are B&B owners who have created their inns literally from the ground up, favoring a modern style.  Great examples of that include the Artesian House B&B built on a 25-acre wooded plot in Bayfield.  The guest rooms feature a creative mix of contemporary and eclectic. The Inn at Wawanissee Point in Baraboo is a luxurious villa-style B&B with incredible views to the Lake Wisconsin valley. Moondance B&B in Fond du Lac is furnished in a decidedly artistic style with a master suite that also includes a large fully-equipped kitchen, dining room and living room.  

Then there are inns whose historic exterior belies their modern interiors.  Examples include Lauerman House Inn – Marinette, Tritsch House – Alma, and Wilson Schoolhouse Inn – LaCrosse. 

If you like modern, don’t rule out a B&B.

 

contemporary B&B decor, historic bed and breakfast, modern, gourmet dining

The Lauerman House in Marinette is a circa 1910 Colonial Revival mansion. The 7 spacious rooms are unabashedly contemporary - and the dining is gourmet.

 

pool table, B&B pool table, contemporary B&B amenities

Try your hand at a game of pool on the 8-foot Olhaussen pool table at the Tritsch HouseB&B in Alma. You'll find a nice mix of period rooms with beautiful woodwork paired with modern amenities.

 

contemporary B&B in historic school, Scandinavian-modern comfort, Wilson Schoolhouse Inn, LaCrosse

Go back to school ... and this time, relax in Scandinavian-modern furnishings in an historic schoolhouse that welcomes small groups. The Wilson Schoolhouse Inn, LaCrosse, pairs contemporary comforts - even a full kitchen - with the historic schoolhouse architecture.

 

 

Wisconsin B&Bs for Business Travelers

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

A Wisconsin B&B may not be the first type of lodging that comes to mind when planning a business trip, but give it a try.  Lots of inns offer corporate rates and even have meeting rooms right on premise.  Other reasons to stay at a B&B for business?  It’s quiet, for starters.  When you’re on the road, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount, and having throngs of people running up and down hallways is just not going to cut it for business travelers.  Not having to pay extra for breakfast is always a check in the plus column, but when that breakfast is homemade, hot from the oven and served to you on nice china, well, you’ll feel like you’ve just won employee of the month.  We also hear from women executives traveling alone that they feel a real sense of security staying at a B&B.

A quick scan of inns in some of the larger cities in the state turned up a nice list that fits the business bill.  Here’s a sampling: In Whitewater, try the Hamilton House B&B, with luxury linens and stocked refreshment center.  In Appleton, the Franklin Street Inn is in a historic neighborhood and, while it’s Queen Anne in style, the amenities are 21st century.  Also in Appleton, The Roost B&B.  In Steven Point, Dreams of Yesteryear is on the National Historic Register and conveniently located in the historic downtown business district, along with A Victorian Swan on Water.  There’s the Astor House B&B in Green Bay, the Livingston Inn in Madison, the Otter Creek Inn in Eau Claire, and the Stewart Inn in Wausau.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll win the next big client for your company simply by staying at a B&B, we can make sure you’re in your best form for the big presentation.  One other note: If you’re looking for extended stay options, just ask the innkeeper about rates when you call, because there are plenty of inns that offer that too.

B&B TV Room, Corporate Meeting Room, Business Meeting at B&B

The executive conference room at the Stewart Inn - Wausau, comfortably hosts business meetings and supports your computer presentation. After hours? Picture yourself cheering on your favorite teams!