Have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast inn? Back during our fake yuppie days in Atlanta, Toney and I liked to do stuff like that. Oh, we were nothing if not sophisticated… There was one in particular, in Asheville, NC, which we visited multiple times. It was “our place,” and we promised to stay there at least one night per year, no matter where we might end up. Ha!
Here is the website, and it’s a really great place, if you’re into such things. I’m not sure I’d have the right temperament for it nowadays, though. Twenty-some years have passed, and I’ve somehow turned into Red from That 70s Show. There’s a lot of hobnobbing at B&Bs, with the other guests and the owners. And you’re almost required to hang around the fireplace in the evenings, sipping wine and nodding knowingly with your legs crossed in an aristocratic manner.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy those days. I did. But I’m different now, and would have a hard time stomaching all the… phoniness. There’s a lot of play-acting at bed and breakfasts, I believe, and I don’t have the patience for it at this point. I’d be constantly thinking, “Oh, knock off the William F. Buckley routine, asshole. You work at Red Robin.”
I wouldn’t mind returning, to see how it goes. And maybe we will someday? I wouldn’t be totally opposed to such an experiment, but won’t be going to any great lengths to make it happen, either.
We also stayed at an expensive B&B in Charleston, SC, once. It cost a ridiculous pile of money, but it was a freaking mansion from the 1800s, and quite an experience. The staff wasn’t quite as friendly as the one in Asheville, but the house was much, much bigger, and felt like it might be haunted. I remember they had genuine Tiffany glasswork throughout the place, and it was all so insane. I think I was pulling down $24,000 per year at the time.
And we made multiple visits to the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, on Jekyll Island, GA. It’s an amazing place, and we always went with other couples and drank to massive excess. It was a complete blast. One time there was an amputee convention at the hotel, and we ended up drinking at the pub, deep into the night, with a roomful of people who were missing limbs. Before the alcohol started to take hold, I felt almost guilty for having two arms and two legs, like I was showboating. Heh.
The last time I stayed at unusual accommodations was a few weeks before Warner Bros. shit me out like this morning’s breakfast burrito. They summoned me to Burbank for a few days, where I sat through several meetings, and attended some training sessions. Then… two or three weeks later I (along with 300 of my closest friends) was cut-loose. What the hell, man?? What was the trip west all about? It still makes no sense to me.
Anyway, they put me up in a “boutique hotel,” which was exceedingly fancy. It was a great place, with a slight 1940s feel to it. Very elegant. I had adult beverages in the bar downstairs every night, with co-workers, and it was a fun trip. I just wonder how many of them “knew?” Weird shit, man.
And now I’m going to turn it over to you guys… In the comments section, please tell us about the unusual hotels or inns you’ve visited. Most of my experiences have been positive, but please feel free to pass along your horror stories, as well.
I’ll be back on Monday, with a new update and an email to Surf Report VIPs. Have a great weekend!
I’ll see ya soon.
Now playing in the bunker
Do your holiday shopping at Amazon!
I’ve stayed in small inns in Germany (and in my younger days), but I cannot imagine going to a B&B at this point in my life—I have trouble spending too long at relative’s houses.
Tipsey McChugney says
I’ve stayed in a number of B&Bs and hostels that are in old houses, but now feel more comfortable and anonymous in a regular inn, motel, or hotel. The implied expectation to mingle with other guests and/or owners of these places sometimes feels a bit forced.
When the in-laws come to town, we always spend a night in Hippietown, AZ. MY wife and mother-in-law stay at one of the many bed and breakfastes. My father-in-law and I stay in a hotel over a local micro-brewery. It works out well.
I’ve been “Red” from That 70’s show since I was 15.
I stayed in some great old hotels and hostels in Europe. There were a couple in Castles in Ireland and Spain that were amazing
Hilton at the airport in Copenhagen had the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The TV is on a swivel and it detects where the remote signal is coming from and it turns to face you. I thought I was losing my mind for a bit.
The Hilton in Petaling Jaya [PJ to those of you in the know] changes the carpet in the elevators everyday. They have the days of the week printed on them. Looking down and seeing “FRIDAY” has saved me from missing flights more than once.
I met the Prince of Brunei at the Shang Ri La in Makati once. How cool is that?
All three of those statements are very cool.
I like to stay at a Ritz Carlton whenever I can use my employer’s Amex points, but I usually stay at much more humbler places if I’m paying for it myself.
I went to D.C. with my daughter, and we were wondering where to park, so I pulled up in front of the Ritz, and 4 employees swooped down on us, took all our stuff out of the car and started wheeling it in. We were so unprepared for that! My daughter didn’t even have her shoes on, and we were snacking on a bag of pretzels at the time. It felt like a carjacking.
I always wonder if all the other guests are staying there for free, because nobody looks like they could afford to waste that kind of money on a hotel.
I been thrown out of some of the best places you can imagine.
I stayed at a B&B for a night in north western BC. We had breakfast with 3 other couples, one of which was sporting an accent that sounded very much like German to my untrained ear. I innocently asked them if they were German and felt the mood darken as the words left my mouth.
I think they were polish or something, or from one of the countries that got invaded by Germany during the WWs, so that association didn’t go well with them.
My wife studies in conflict studies (lucky me) and couldn’t believe that I asked that question. How was I supposed to know? Anyhow, tip to others out there; be careful when asking that question.
If you meet a person with an Irish accent, ask if he or she is English. They love that.
Same thing goes for a Scot.
Especially for a Scot, I would think. Just being mainstream and brief above, but there was some bad shit that went down in 1745.
from now on, I just ask: so where are you from? much safer.
but still, I wonder how many generations it takes to get over things like that.
When I lived in Singapore, we spent many a night in the pubs with the 20-something backpacking crowd. Germans, Italians, Japanese, Australians and whoever. There was never mention or inference of WWII related hostility even though our fathers [OK, my father. Their grandfathers] and uncles were shooting at each other at one time.
It was a little freaky though when one Japanese girl said she was from Hiroshima. In my head, there was an “Oops. Sorry about that”
Did she have 3 tits?
Ask the American Indian.
I once had to go to a conference for work in Savannah. All of my coworkers booked rooms at the Hyatt Regency, but I forgot about reserving a room until the day before. By that point, the Hyatt was all booked up, so I got a room next door at this cool boutique hotel called The Bohemian.
I finished off every night by getting drunk at the hotel’s rooftop bar, and I started off every morning with eggs benedict in their restaurant on River St. Fun trip.
We were in Savannah for a day when we went to Hilton Head for vacation. I want to go back for a long weekend and stay at one of those places. The most haunted city in America!
hot fuzz says
I just love the name SaVANah… you can’t help but say it with a drawl…
My late husband and I went to St. Augustine, FL for our honeymoon. We stayed in a B&B. The room was small but luxurious. The bed took up almost half the room. We pretty much had full run of the house. The breakfast’s were delicious but it felt kind of weird being “served” like that. I liked it more than my husband did.
I would love to stay at the Stanley Hotel for one night…Stephen King’s inspiration for “The Shining”. That place looks cool as hell.
Oh yeah! I just looked it up online a few days ago during the Stephen King discussion here. Kinda pricey, but lokks like a great place to stay. I hear they put a butcher knife in the bathroom along with all the other ammenities (just kidding!).
Sheridan Inn in chicago. About 2 blocks from Wrigley and all the bedbugs you could ask for
I wonder if the B&B swinger place is still open in Wheeling.
Turtles in Ascots. Excellent and timely as it reminded me of he latest Red Meat:
I’m a TOTAL hotel snob, but have never stayed at a B&B. The Royal York in Toronto is awesome, but I think the Drake in Chicago is my favorite. The Mark Hopkins in SF is good, as is the Stanford Court right next door.
The Drake was my fave, as well as my daughters because they had couches to sit on inside the elevators. These days it takes a lot to impress my oldest, but when a 16 year old gets into an elevator and says, “Wow!” you know it’s out of the ordinary.
@Jeff…when you were at the Jekyll, I trust you were drinking beer with lots of “hops.” Baaaaad joke!
Mr. Moo and I stay at B&Bs whenever we can. There are a couple of very nice places in the Atlanta area. I have never felt like I was obligated to socialize with anyone. We just smile and nod and hole up in our (hopefully awesome) room. My favorite hotel is the Georgian Terrace in Atlanta. It has a great restaurant, amazing prices for little suites with kitchens, a pool on the roof and it is right at the corner of Peachtree and Ponce de Leon across from the Fox. I’ve stayed at fancier but none were more fun.
Phantom Railfan says
When I was a kid, our family stayed in an old tourist-court type housekeeping cabin for a couple days in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The place was tidy but decrepit: All old furniture, exposed plumbing, linoleum flooring, and ancient kitchen appliances. There was no tv, which seemed amazing to me, although there was a 50s-era radio provided. It felt like a real time warp. But the coolest thing to my 8 year-old self was the fact that many previous travelers from years past had written their names along with the dates of their visit on the inside of one of the closets–the oldest one I could find was a couple named Fred and Doris who had stayed there in July 1928! For some reason, my mom wouldn’t let us write our names. Never understood why…
All seriousness aside…no B&Bs. Banff Springs Hotel in Banff Alberta, Canada…a week nights free (playing there) and amazing. Old, old furnishings in my room. Breakfast on the mezz with these huge windows set in castle stone looking out to the Canadain Rockies…and I’m like 26. Stanley (aka Grey Dog) was with me then. Of all the cool places I’ve been and stayed, Harrah’s Tahoe, Calgary Four Seasons, Peachtree Plaza or the Edmonton Plaza, Adams Mark in St.Louis and even some dives I’ve have stayed in have a place with me. But this… priceless.
Banff Springs Hotel is an awesome place. I will be in Banff for a week in March but not staying there. I mean seriously, that would sap my alcohol budget for the ski trip.
Mmmm, spring skiing.
My parents went from Toronto to Vancouver on VIA Rail several years ago. The train was running late, so they took everyone off at Banff, took them to the hotel for lunch then bussed them to Vancouver. When they got to Vancouver, VIA refunded their entire first class ticket, PLUS gave them each a $400 credit on their next trip. Amazing stuff!
It will still be winter up there
hot fuzz says
We had an inch of snow this morning about an hour north of Toronto.
Officially 10 inches on the ground here in Nome, Alaska this morning (although my wife would call it 3 inches, lol!) 13F above zero right now, though we have got down below zero a couple times this month. 10:30 AM and the sun hasn’t risen yet, though the Alpenglow (the gray-pink hue on the horizon) is magnificent! Fairly good Aurora show last night, but we are so far Nort that we miss out on the Leonids meteor shower ever year. Great day to be alive and living in Alaska!
Not Opera says
Almost had a flight cancelled due to a snowstorm Thursday where I am now in N.E. BC. Luckily made it out, spent a day in Vancouver and am now in Vegas with siblings and parents celebrating their 50th(purple heart) anniversay. Not overly warm here but beats 2 feet of snow! Helicopter ride of the canyon this a.m. life is good – for now…….
Joe T. says
Never stayed at a B & B, (do you have to share bathrooms?) but we’ve stayed at the same “boutique” hotel 3 times in NYC. The Washington Square Hotel is in a great area and is reasonable by NYC standards.
The Qweezy Mark says
Do they have Hobbits?
Most modern B&B’s don’t require the sharing of bathrooms, most of what people think about them has changed since the 1980’s. They are more like really nice boutique hotels now, although yes generally there is more socializing between guests which my wife and I both enjoy meeting new people so we enjoy that part of it.
Not Opera says
Stayed at a B&B once and won’t do it again. This one did have a shared bathroom. Didn’t enjoy coming in late in the night and having to worry about not waking up everyone else. Hangover the next day did not enjoy sharing a bathroom either.
My closest to a B&B was in New Zealand on my way to the South Pole. Shared bathroom with about 30 other people.
Best part was the couple who owned the place. Totally “Royal Family” type guy and his wife, plus their litle beagle.
Bluuer blood you could not imagine!
So, last night there, my two friends needed the company of a woman, They were almost virgins, and asked me to get them “dates.” I called a takeout hooker place, we pooled our money, and an hour later these two hookers pulled into this staid hotel in a Vauxhall with out at muffler at 3 AM. The blonde was missing a front tooth, but I guess it’s par for the course for a delivery hooker for $75 NZ in 1991.
I was sharing a room with one of the guys, so I went out for a couple hours and slept on a soccer field.
Oh, we had to pool all our per diem cash (yeah, I kicked in for them) and afterward realized we didn’t have enough money for cab fare out to the airport the next day. We had 5 bucks Kiwi left, so I went out, got my per diem from the Anarctic Center, paid the actually honest cabbie to go back and pick up my friends. Gotta say, life has become more sedate since my wife has tamed me…but without her it would have ended years ago!
We stayed at the Rhinebeck Inn several years ago. Prices are near the bottom end of the Two Meeting Street range – expensive but far from the priciest. It was actually pleasant.
My time warp experience was at a Holiday Inn (!) somewhere in downtown Atlanta in the late 1980s. It was old, with a sort of “Key Largo” feel. Plus ashtrays in the elevators.
Heh…Parkersburg Community College in the 1980’s…ashtrays mounted on the walls. I remember visiting a girlfriend in the hospital in P’burg and being able to smoke inside her room,
Not to hijack the thread here, but do any other people arounf Wheeling remember a restauant called the Holiday Inn? No relation yo the hotel chain, but was there a few times in the 80s.
Berkeley Springs, WV has some excellent B&Bs.
Stayed at 2 there, couldn’t be beat.
Tipsey McChugney says
One of the best meals that I have ever eaten was at Lot 12 there in Berkeley Springs. Chef Damien Heath knows food.
Phil Jett says
I had to stay at a B&B in St. Marys PA. for a week many moons ago. The place in Groundhog’s Day reminds me of it. It was a nice place and the food was great and was run/owned by two older ladies that were really sweet.
Other than meals I didn’t associate with the other people who stayed there. That just isn’t my style.
Stayed at a B&B in Evanston Wyoming back in 2002 during the SLC Olympics. While it was an hour’s drive to the Olympic venues in Park City it was also wayyyyyy cheaper. When we checked in we wondered why there was a HUGE pile of blankets on the bed, but it became obvious that night when we realized the room only had a small electric heater.
Also the bathtub was in the middle of the bathroom floor, which looked cool but made me really nervous about slipping and falling, since I’d end up not just down in the tub, but literally all the way out of the tub onto the floor. Fortunately we made it through without incident.
We spent our honeymoon at The Dillard Housen in Dillard, GA and have been back a couple of times. It’s been in the same family for a couple hundred years, has cabins, regular rooms, and chalets, and the restaurant is absolutely unbelievable. I want to go back.
hot fuzz says
I learned the hard way that small or family run hotels and not the round the clock operations I’m used to with the chains.
I was in England and noticed a problem with the bill that was slipped under my door when I got to the room at 3 in the morning… I figured I’d just go down to the front desk and fix it up when I checked out 90 minutes later (yeah yeah up late + early morning is not a good plan).
The front door was locked so I rang the bell figuring it was just night sop. Instead I heard a woman’s voice call out hello. A window on the second floor above the front door had opened and a busty women in a very flimsy nightie right out of Benny Hill was leaning out of the window (way too far for my comfort).
She sent down her husband to help me out – dude was wearing a night shirt (wtf) and a night cap (WTF)… I felt like I was being helped by Ebaneezer Scrooge.
It was definately far more interesting than the service I would have received at a Ramada.
The nicest “vintage” hotel I stayed in Boston. It had a great foyer or great hall with a restaurant in the back. It wasn’t intentional but each room door reminded me of a coffin lid stood on end with a raised part sticking in to the hall way.
Would that be the Tremont House? Regular rooms are half the size of anything I’ve ever seen, but the rooms on the top floor are gi-normous.
hot fuzz says
I believe the one in Boston was the Park Plaza.. I remember I was snowed in and the airport closed so I grabbed the phone and punched in the number for the first hotel name I recognized – I wasn’t paying so I thought why not.
The one in England may have been the Lion Inn – I’m trying to remember back to 1987 so I’m probably wrong. The beds were the smallest I’ve ever had in a hotel – about half the width of a single bed. I do remember staying 1 night in a single room at the Post House outside of Heathrow and the rate converted to $175. A ploughman’s lunch was about $35. Just a little pricy.
A “Bed and Breakfast” discussion? From the man who asks for clean sheets at hotels when he checks in due to fear of sleeping in someone’s “semen and ass gravy”? (See Myrtle Beach trip stories)
I don’t go to these places because of the same fears. Seems like a more probable place of that to happen, rather than Motel 6.
I’m surprised this ‘discussion’ wasn’t about yurts we’ve been to. Who’da thought Jeff would ever check in to a B&B. Glad he shins up the chrome now and then though.
Crap….shines….maybe this year we get an edit button Jeffa Claus
We’ve been talking about a B&B ‘tour’ for a while and might start with one just 65 miles from here. It’s thirteen miles off the highway down a dirt road headed back to a river. It’s in a small canyon and fairly “rustic” from what they say. (I think rustic means crude and shitty in this case). It’s run by a monastery. The monks make their own wine and beer there. And it’s shitty. I have also heard the monks are very creepy and smelly and rehab rejects…but monks none the less. Sounds like a good place to kick off our tour.
Sounds like a good introduction to a Rob Zombie movie!
“Gastropubs” seem to be popping up everywhere in the UK at the moment. My wife and I stayed in a 16th century coach house recently with it’s own micro brewery attached.
First class dinner, a bucket load of real ales and a 4 poster bed. What’s not to love?
-- Steve says
I still have things that bug the crap out of me – is there a WVSR Crap-o-Mat or something?
My biggest regret is not experiencing the Catskills at their peak. Kutscher’s, Grossingers, and the Concord. My friend and his wife from WV used to vacation there when he came down from the job in Alaska. I guess it was inevitable, but really sad to see some great historical places decline.
Stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Co. for those of you like Stanley Kubrick and Steven King!! The basis of the Shining where Jack Nicholson asked Loyd for the hair of the dog that bit me!! Saw the show before I stayed there! My girlfriend and I said to each other WTF did we do this for?? See twins in the halls and shit our pants? It was beautiful though once the sun came up and we hadn’t been hacked to death. Great accomodations and town
Tipsey McChugney says
I can still remember traveling through northwestern Alabama about 20 years before the interstate was built and passing through a town called Guin; and then a few miles down the road passing through a town called Gu-Win.
Also, the free coffee at Motel 6 is not very good.
Tipsey McChugney says
I think I might have accidentally taken my medicine twice today
Gu-Win is actually between the towns of Guin and Winfield, hence the Gu-Win. Very original, don’t you think. Someone was definitely lacking in imagination the day they had the naming of the town. There’s another town close by there called Yampertown.
The first bed and breakfast I stayed in was in Provincetown, Mass with my wife just after we’d gotten engaged.
For those of you who are not familiar with “P-Town” it’s the New England version of Key West. I was not aware of this when we made the reservation.
The place was fine and I’d stay there again, but what I really learned is that almost nothing Bob Guccione or Larry Flint taught me about lesbians is true.
Chuck in Belpre says
That last sentence was very, very funny and very, very true.
hot fuzz says
Ha – we had a lesbian couple for neighbours a while back… butch lesbians,.. not lipstick lesbians…
I think I know what you mean…
It’s like a topless beach. Sounds like a great idea except you don’t get to pick who are the ones who will be topless and who are the ones who shall not be…
Foolish guys! I also learned about women’s prison when my ex-wife had to spend the weekend for a DUI. It’s not like the movies!!!! They wear bright orange coveralls, and not the officially issued Frederick’s of Hollywood prison uniforms you see in all the women’s prison movies. Wotta ripoff!
Bev made the bed and I had two Coors for breakfast today. We were alone with no cheery assholes saying good morning.
WB in OH says
GOOOOOOD MORNING DAVID!!!! 🙂
“Go fuck yourself”, he quietly replied..
WB in OH says
“Sorry, couldn’t resist” he said while staring at the ground…
“It’s ok. Have a seat”, he said while arrangeing his cheese Danish. “Once your balls drop you’ll lose an octave”.
Lucky you with the Coors! I have to wait two more hours for the liquor store to open. And even then, I gotta be careful because it is right across from my wife’s church and the sermons often go way long!
You should pad your order from now on with some cheap wine and if they say anything tell ’em its for the Lutherans a couple blocks over.
Hey, I knew there was a reason I like you dto! 😉
Have stayed at a number of B&Bs…But. The Lizzie Borden House. In Fall River, MA. ‘Nuf said.
@Jeff…thanks for the Monday secret update. Glad to know everything is okay. I have a daughter who has to do the open heart surgery thing every few years, and it is agonizing. She’s a tough little punk, and I know I’ll be getting a call from the High School Principle in the next couple years telling me that she was caught behind the gym smoking cigarettes. She may have a heart condition, but she lives out every minute to its fullest. Again, glad to hear Toney is okay!
The Presidents’ Quarters Inn is a historic Savannah bed and breakfast located in the heart of downtown. It has period furnishings and was recently renovated to offer more modern luxuries and aesthetics. The rooms have fireplaces and private balconies you can wander out on to enjoy a beautiful view of a lush garden below. Definitely one of the most romantic places I’ve been!