By Debra Gibson from February 2013 Issue
Bed and breakfasts to celebrate Valentine's Day or anytime
Luxurious fantasies. Historic charm. Modern luxury. Rustic renewal. Cozy comfort. Whatever you and your special someone are looking for on Valentine's Day, you can find it at a Kentucky bed and breakfast, commonly called a B&B.
Kentucky is blessed with an abundance of B&Bs across the state, each offering something just a little different than the others. The key is to find the one that is just right for you. Here are five examples to get you started. To locate other B&Bs in Kentucky, go online to www.bedandbreakfast.com/kentucky.html.
Luxurious Fantasies: A Storybook Inn, Versailles
Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve are featured in a scene from the classic movie Somewhere in Time on a massive oil painting done by renowned artist Stephen Sawyer. It is one of 30 original oil paintings throughout the B&B. The leather-covered desk in the 19-1/2-foot sitting room and the handmade rug from Hong Kong add to the elegance. In the main room of the suite, custom puddled drapes and a custom duvet further add to the opulence, as does the high-poster bed. The huge bathroom—once three rooms—contains a large two-person whirlpool and walk-in ceramic shower.
"I have stayed all over the world, but this is just over the top," said one of the top chefs of Australia after staying in the suite. "The finest suite anywhere in the world," concluded an Australian doctor and his wife who have traveled extensively.
Each guest room at A Storybook Inn is designed after the classic movie it is named for, including rooms called Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and My Fair Lady. There is also a new Huntsman Chase Guest House, with three bedrooms plus a dormered room with twin bed, and 3.5 baths, full kitchen, laundry, three whirlpools, a stone fireplace with gas logs, and deck with gas grill.
A Storybook Inn was named as the Top Ten Best Overall B&B by BedandBreakfast.com twice (the only B&B in Kentucky to have that distinction), as the "place to stay on the Bourbon Trail" by San Francisco magazine, and as the "destination of choice for the Kentucky Derby" by Knoxville Magazine.
Elegance and luxury come in myriad forms at the inn—breakfast using fresh, local ingredients, premium fresh-ground organic coffee, quality antiques, luxurious hand-pressed bed linens, free movies, filtered water, whirlpools, towel warmers, professional massage by appointment, natural toiletries, and acres of landscaped grounds.
For Valentine's Day the inn offers a Romance Package with flowers, champagne, wine or sparkling cider, and hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries or bourbon balls.
Historic Charm: Main Street Bed & Breakfast, Glasgow
Abraham Lincoln's law partner was the first owner of what is now the Main Street Bed & Breakfast in Glasgow. Stephen Logan and his wife, America Bush, lived there. Then the Dickinson family owned the neoclassical Georgian home until just nine years ago. Now beautifully restored, the historic home is the second B&B in Glasgow owned and run by Karin and Gary Carroll. They also own the 1852 Hall Place B&B.
"We saw an ad on the Internet for the property six and a half years ago," Karin recalls. "Two months later we were introducing ourselves in town. I found out that my cousin actually built the house in 1810." The historical
connections go on and on, as Karin enjoys explaining: the improbability of a California couple being so interconnected in Kentucky is not lost on her.
The couple also bring another unusual twist to the B&B business. They both earned bachelor degrees in hotel and restaurant management and master's degrees in leadership, classes that Karin says have really helped them thrive in the business.
On Valentine's Day, they are offering a package dinner and room for $115. Enjoy dinner for two, then sleep where history has been made for generations.
Modern Luxury: Southern Grace, Brandenburg
If you expect all B&Bs to be older restored homes, that is the first surprise at Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast in Brandenburg, served by Meade County RECC. This modern 15-acre resort-like B&B has 23-foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers, goose-down featherbeds, 600 thread count linens, and all the modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, free Netflix movies, a pool, and pool house.
"In our first two years in business," says co-owner Theresa Padgett, "we earned more five-star reviews on TripAdvisor.com from our guests than any hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast in Kentucky during the same period." Part of that is the attention to detail, which includes a gluten-free menu if desired, "the best bacon in the world," and gourmet food served when you want it rather than at a set time.
During February, the Padgetts celebrate Valentine's Day with complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries and complimentary flowers in each room. There is always a masseuse available if you need an appointment.
The B&B is also a farm-stay (which means it offers accommodations on a working farm) with excellent fishing, and the B&B hosts approximately eight weddings a month. "People fly in here from all over the world," says Padgett.
Rustic Renewal: Raven's Nest, Monticello
Nestled in the beauty of the woods surrounding Lake Cumberland, Raven's Nest Bed & Breakfast and Antique Shop is a log cabin, served by South Kentucky RECC, and the "perfect place to enjoy the natural wonder of God's creation," according to Ranny Grady, co-owner with his wife, Denise.
A minister and author, Ranny says the couple see their B&B as much as a ministry as a business.
"It is so quiet and peaceful here," he says. "Couples can come and play, relax, and refresh themselves spiritually." The B&B is just five minutes from Conley Bottom Marina at Lake Cumberland.
If so desired, the Gradys will also lead guests on a biblically based study about communication between couples as well as the natural difference in men and women. Guests can also discover Ranny's numerous books, including his latest children's story, Grandpa's Magic Carpet and the Lost Treasure.
On Valentine's Day, couples can expect a delicious culinary surprise baked by Denise.
Cozy Comfort: Scott Station Inn, Wilmore
"We want Scott Station to be a place where it feels like coming home," says Nancy Greenfield, co-owner of the bed and breakfast with her husband, Joe.
When the Greenfields bought the B&B two years ago, they made major renovations to make it a comfortable home away from home. These included all new Champion windows, new insulation, a new roof, deck, siding, and landscaping. Collectively, these improvements have done their job of making the B&B a cozy place to stay. A fireplace in the sitting room adds to that ambience.
On Valentine's Day, guests will find something special in their rooms, according to Nancy, regardless of which of the six bedrooms they choose. Guests can rent a room or the entire house if they want to host a family fathering, reunion, or retreat. All rooms include a full country breakfast with freshly ground organic coffee, Joe's specialty.
A Storybook Inn
Owner C. Elise Buckley
277 Rose Hill Avenue
Versailles, KY 40383
Rates: $259-$515, including a gourmet breakfast, afternoon snacks, movie library
Main Street Bed & Breakfast
Owners Karin and Gary Carroll
208 East Main Street
Glasgow, KY 42141
www.bedandbreakfast.com (type Glasgow, KY in search bar, scroll to Main Street Bed and Breakfast)
Rates: $85, including a gourmet, organic breakfast
Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast
Owners David and Theresa Padgett
325 Kirchdorfer Road
Brandenburg, KY 40108
Rates: $99-$199 weekdays, $109-$239 on weekends, including breakfast
Raven's Nest Bed & Breakfast and Antique Shop
Owners Ranny & Denise Grady
364 Eagle Creek Dr.
Monticello, KY 42633
Rates: $100 a night + tax, including a hearty breakfast