Archive for August, 2010

Member Newsletter: Gracehill Bed and Breakfast

August 31st, 2010 by Mariah

Autumn Splendor East TN Style

Skip the cellophane, we are celebrating this September/October with the bottomless cookie jar. Home baked family recipes, everything from gingersnaps to white chocolate/peppermint topped sugar cookies!

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year. Don’t get me wrong. There are few experiences as nice as open windows on the first day of spring, smelling the new earth and watching spots of color burst forth weekly. But with fall, it’s like Someone took a paint brush and with broad strokes covered the whole canvas as far as the eye can see with brilliant crimsons, oranges, yellows and golds. Too bad winter follows. I suppose winter just makes fall a little sad and spring that much nicer.

I recently read an article about the free perks of staying at most bed and breakfasts as opposed to a big city hotel. At Gracehill you aren’t paying for parking and you don’t need a valet, you’re 50′ from the front door. Breakfast is not only provided, it is not a round piece of hard tack with a hole in the middle. Wi-Fi is not only free, there is a complimentary computer for guest use. Snacks are 10′ out your bedroom door not 10 flights down in the gift shop open from 8AM to 8PM. Free long distance phone service, okay not France, but surely you have friends in the United States… You won’t have to wait in line for the treadmill, my 82 year old mother will happily jump off. We’re not located in a questionable area of town unless you don’t like bears. Don’t like the pillow? Ask for a harder or squishier one. Spend the whole weekend walking around in our robes and set the trend. Need the room de-feathered or distilled water for your CPAP machine? There is no charge for the mini bar which is really a maxi bar. Need a special diet? Let us know ahead of time. Buy a steak and grill it here. Free satellite, videos and equipment. Need a concierge 24 hours a day? We can tell you where to go, how to get there, how long it will take AND the change in elevation during the trip. Enough! You get the picture. Wherever you end up this fall, make it a bed and breakfast. Blessings from mizkathleen@

Gracehill in Gatlinburg, TN

Kathleen A. Janke

Rates: $250-$325 USDRooms: 4

Phone: 865.448.3070
Toll Free: 866.448.3070
Fax: 865.448.3070

B&B on the Sea

August 30th, 2010 by Mariah

US Coast Guard Tower To Be Bed And Breakfast By 2012…..Though he has not set foot on it yet, a Mint Hill man on Wednesday took ownership of an abandoned light tower 25 miles off the southeastern N.C. coast. He paid $85,000 for it. He intends to turn the tower into a high-seas bed-and-breakfast and corporate retreat starting next summer.


Software sales engineer Richard Neal picked up the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower at a federal government auction in May with the only sealed bid. He then put down 20 percent.


Neal, 50, said his first task as owner is, within a week or so, to send skilled volunteers to inspect the 44-year-old, rusting tower, its electrical system and living quarters. The group will also post “Keep Off/Private Property” signs.


Neal won’t be among the group of electricians at electricianperth, mechanics and architects because he’s scheduled to be in Europe on a sales trip during that period. He says he hopes to get aboard the structure with seven bedrooms, a kitchen, recreation room and helicopter landing platform by mid-September.


“I am feeling thrilled, exuberant, of having something that will impact so many people positively,” he said Wednesday.


The General Services Administration, which auctioned off the tower, is sending Neal a bill of sale, according to Lou Mancuso, GSA official who handled the auction. The deal was finalized Wednesday. “He’s in possession,” Mancuso said from Atlanta.


The tower went up in 1966 at a cost of $2 million. The U.S. Coast Guard automated it in 1979, eliminating the need for the four-man crew, and deactivated it in 2003. Neal owns the tower but not the seabed beneath. Asked if he got a key, as one would get on closing for a house, Neal replied no. “My understanding is, it’s unlocked.”


Neal and Mancuso said the bill of sale provides that Neal can use the tower for anything he wants so long as he complies with federal rules and regulations and any applicable state laws. Neal has said he does not intend to open an offshore casino. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Wilmington would issue permits for restoration and modifications.


He’s arranged for liability insurance, which would cover anyone injured on the tower, at an annual premium that he pegged as midway between $30,000 and $85,000.


An engineering study arranged last winter by the Coast Guard noted corrosion but concludes the tower overall is in “satisfactory condition.” The study estimated repairs at $1.37 million. But Neal said he’s been told by a local contractor who’s worked on the tower that restoration could be done at half that cost. He has no estimate yet on improvements.


Neal has been taking reservations for stays at the tower on his web site,, to gauge the market. But he said he’s taken no deposits. So far, he said, he’s gotten interest from 13 families and businesses for extended stays.


He aims to open the tower for multi-night rentals with meals for anglers on sport fishing boats beginning next summer. From Southport or Wilmington, sport fishing boats can reach the tower in about an hour and a half.


By the summer of 2012, Neal plans upgrades that will allow longer-stay vacations and corporate retreats 60 feet above the waves of the Atlantic.

Read more:

Labor Day Travel Expected To Increase

August 27th, 2010 by Mariah

NBC — In the air and on the highways, more Americans are expected to head out for holiday travel over Labor Day weekend with increases in all modes of transportation.

Projections are that 35 million travelers will take a trip at least 50 miles from home.

It’s about four million more travelers than last Labor Day.

Despite mixed economic news, the U.S. travel industry began to gain strength the end of last year and the momentum has continued.

AAA says more than 90% will travel in cars.

Only five percent will travel by plane, but it’s still an increase over last year despite fare increases.

“While there are higher airfares this summer and as we go into Labor Day weekend, travelers are able to offset those higher airfare costs with the tremendous savings they are going to find on hotels,” said Jeannene Tornatore, Orbitz senior editor.

Some of the best deals are in big cities and top destination sites.

Orbitz says its most popular destination for Labor Day this year is Las Vegas, followed by New York, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle.

It’s a chance for one last blast of summer, before the new season.

The Labor Day holiday travel period begins Thursday, September 2nd to Monday September 6th.

Back To School

August 23rd, 2010 by Mariah

Back to school season is upon us, and many parents claim it is there favorite time of the year. But what about the kids? They may have a somewhat different attitude for the start of a new school year. Below is a great article from written for the Back-to-schooler’s, but contains great information for parents and grandparents also.

It’s school time again! You’re probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad that summer is over. Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school. Luckily, these “new” worries only stick around for a little while. Let’s find out more about going back to school.

The First Day

Most teachers kick off the school year by introducing themselves and talking about all the stuff you’ll be doing that year. Some teachers give students a chance to tell something about themselves to the rest of the class.

When teachers do the talking on the first day, they often go over classroom rules so you’ll know what’s allowed and what’s not. Pay close attention so you’ll know if you need to raise your hand to ask a question and what the rules are about visiting the restroom.

You might already know a lot of people in your classes on the first day. But it’s a great day to make a new friend, so try to say hello to kids you know and new ones that you don’t. Make the first move and you’ll be glad you did and so will your new friend!

Moving to Middle School?

Sixth grade often signals a move to middle school or junior high, where you’ll find lockers and maybe a homeroom. This is just what it sounds like – a classroom you’ll go to each morning, kind of like your home in the school. In middle school, you might move from classroom to classroom for each subject. Your teachers know that this is a big change from elementary school and will help you adjust.

Most teachers let you pick your own seat on the first day, but by the second or third morning, they’ll have mapped out a seating plan. It’s a good idea to write down where your seat is in your notebook so you don’t forget.

Feeling Good on Day One

Seeing friends you haven’t seen in a while can make the first day a good one. You also can make the day feel special by wearing an outfit you like. Maybe you got a great T-shirt on vacation, or your new sneakers put a spring in your step. If you wear a uniform, you might wear a favorite watch or piece of jewelry to show your personal style.

It can make you feel good to be prepared and have all the supplies you need. Some schools distribute supply lists before the year begins, so you can come stocked up on pencils, folders, and whatever else you’ll be needing. Once you’ve covered the basics, you might tuck an extra dollar or two in your backpack for an emergency (like forgetting your lunch money). Or maybe you’d like to bring along a book or magazine to read while you’re on the bus.

Whatever you put in your backpack, make sure you pack it the night before. This prevents the morning panic when you can’t find your homework or lunch box. Speaking of lunch, that’s something else that can help you feel good at school – whether it’s the first day or the 100th day. Pack it the night before if you don’t like what’s on the menu at the cafeteria. Try to include a variety of foods in your packed lunch, especially fruits and vegetables.

Get Oriented

The first day of school is your first chance to find your way around a new school, or learn the pathways to new classes in your old school. It’s a lot to learn in one day, so don’t be surprised if you need a reminder or two.

It might help to write a few notes to yourself, so you’ll remember the important stuff, like your locker combination and that lunch starts at 11:43, not 12:10. Before you know it, your fingers will fly as you open your locker and you won’t have to check your notes to know what time lunch starts!

A Bad Start?

What if you hate school by the end of day one? Teachers recommend giving things some time to sort themselves out – once you know your way around the building and get adjusted to the new routine, you’ll probably feel better. If those feelings don’t fade, talk to your mom, dad, teacher, or school counselor.

Here are a few final tips for a fantastic first day:

Get enough sleep.

Eat a healthy breakfast.

Try your best.

Develop good work habits, like writing down your assignments and turning in your homework on time.

Take your time with school work. If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher.

Keep a sense of humor. One teacher we know shows his new students a picture of himself graduating high school – a grinning ape in a red graduation cap and gown. This usually makes the kids laugh, and it’s a good way to remind them that school is fun!

Recent Reviews

August 23rd, 2010 by Mariah

Here are three properties that have had reviews posted over the last 24 hours. Keep up the great work!

The following review was added for Inn #11908:

Inn: Copperstone

InnInnkeeper(s): Saundra Spanton

Inn Email:

E-mail: Anonymous

Date of Stay: August, 2010

Overall Rating: 5

Comments: We had a wonderful stay at Copperstone Inn! Everything about it was perfect. It truly is one of Illinois best kept secrets! Thank you Saundra, Chrissie & Rich.

The following review was added for Inn #8996:

Inn: The Waterlot Restaurant & Inn

Innkeeper(s): Gord & Leslie Elkeer

Inn Email:

E-mail: Mel

Date of Stay: August 6 – 9th

Overall Rating: 5

Comments: My boyfriend, myself and a girl friend stayed at the Waterlot and loved it!! I was beautiful, quiet, and accommodating. We arrived at 2am and were greated warmly and talked with the owner on the deck for an hour. The rooms were small but cozy. The continental breakfast of fruits, cheese and pastries was delicious. We loved staying at the Watelot and reccomend it to anyone who want rustic yet modern place to stay.

The following review was added for Inn #10599:

Inn: Kingsley House Bed and Breakfast

InnInnkeeper(s): David Drees

Inn Email:

Date of Stay: 08-16-2010

Overall Rating: 5

Comments: Great place to stay and great hosts!

Jumpstart Your Fall Decorating!

August 19th, 2010 by Mariah

To keep with the Fall spirit that will quickly be upon us, below is a fabulous article from that will help get you inspired for Fall decorating no matter where your Inn is located!

Fall: my favorite season! Admittedly, autumn here in Florida lacks the spectacular foliage and delightfully chilly air enjoyed by those in northern states. This makes me rely all the more on décor to evoke that Fall atmosphere in September. Okay, so Fall does not officially arrive until September 22, but I’m so ready now!

Now, don’t spend big bucks decorating for fall. It’s really not necessary, and I also think it goes against the spirit of the season a little bit. Isn’t autumn a time for celebrating the simple abundance of nature, above all else? With that in mind, let’s take a look at budget-friendly ways to gussy up your house and yard for Fall.

First up: do buy at least one largish pumpkin. For a $10 or $15 investment you’ll get weeks of big-time Fall attitude for your front porch.

Second, if you can spare a few more bucks, buy a bunch of Indian corn. You can hang it indoors or out and, unlike pumpkins, Indian corn lasts for year after year. Just be sure to store it in a zip-lock bag the rest of the year to keep the bugs away.

Third, if you have any cash leftover, do buy a handful of tiny mini pumpkins or gourds. They look so delightful clustered together for a dining table or coffee table centerpiece. Potted mums are nice, too, and only cost a few dollars each.

Okay, but that’s it! The rest of my suggestions are free or require just a dollar or two down.

Nature’s Leftovers. When you’re walking in the woods or your yard over the next few weeks, bring a tote bag. Use it collect leaves, pine cones, acorns, seed pods and anything else that catches your eye.

Use these items to decorate your home. They look great piled in bowls or large canning jars, or scattered on bookshelves. Really special large leaves pop even more if you rub them with moisturizer ’till they shine. You can also experiment with spray painting leaves or other objects with silver or gold paint.

Wrap large leaves around a jar, empty can or vase, and tie with raffia. Use the container as a pen or kitchen utensil holder for the season.

Dried grains and fruits look beautiful, too. For example, fill a glass jar with wheat or cracked corn and nestle a candle inside. Or pour cranberries inside an old wineglass and add a red votive candle.

Autumn Leaf Candle. Take a large pillar candle and blow dry it with a hair dryer until the wax is softened. Next, gently press some autumn leave into the sides. Instant autumnal flair!

Fall Terra Cotta Pots. Bring some terra cotta pots indoors and trim off the faded foliage of summer annuals. Spread moss on the surface of the soil and top with tiny pumpkins, gourds or apples. For extra fun, hollow out these objects and place votive candles inside.

Pumpkin vase. Carefully hollow out a pumpkin and use it as a flower vase. Yes, it is waterproof so you can add water, or just use it to hold a bunch of dried flowers.

Budget-friendly Wreaths. Buy a cheap straw wreath at a craft store and embellish it with pine cones, leaves and other found objects. Use twist ties or a glue gun to attach these odds and ends.

Picture Frame Wreath. For zero dollars down, use an old picture frame, sans glass and backing board, for your wreath. Oval, rectangle or square: it doesn’t matter which. Just decorate it with ribbon, leaves and whatever else catches your eye.

Now for the front yard! Ask for free or cheap corn stalks at your local farmers market or roadside stalls. Corn stalks look very pretty tied in bunches on a front porch.

Old-timey Scarecrow. When did scarecrows go from being made from scratch to being “Made in China”? Reclaim an old family tradition and create a homemade scarecrow this year. Use old clothes stuffed with newspaper and an old pillowcase for the face. Finish it off by tucking raffia or straw around the cuffs and pockets.

More Uses for Leaves. Instead of bagging and trashing your yard’s autumnal leaf deposit, add them to your compost or leaf mulch pile. Leftovers can be used in an easy display for your front yard. Just arrange baskets or a wheelbarrow full of leaves in your front yard near the street.

Shop for bargains. Sometimes the décor you really want must be purchased. Maybe you don’t have the time or inclination to make everything yourself. I understand! So, you must learn to bargain shop. Right after Halloween and again after Thanksgiving, go shopping for Fall items on clearance. Stash your finds for next year. Come next September, you’ll be so glad you did!

Email Us With Your Fall Specials and Events!

August 19th, 2010 by Mariah

Wednesday, September 22 marks the first day of fall. Now is the time to start making potential guests aware of any specials or events you will be running, such as annual fall festivals. Many travelers are just now starting to look at their fall travel options, and may be influenced to visit your area if the price is right.

Email Denee at with your Fall Spotlight Events and Specials, and we will post them in our “Fall into Autumn” Blog, that will be featured in the month of September. Spotlight: The Willows Inn

August 17th, 2010 by Mariah

The Willows Inn.

Located near Bellingham, WA, nestled in the northwest corner of Whatcom County, sits Lummi Island, home of The Willows Inn, an historic Bed and Breakfast retreat. Its organic, authentic farm-to-table fine dining is consistent with Slow Food, making The Willows Inn one of the most sought after B&Bs and agritourism destinations in the San Juan islands. Imagine a European auberge planted amid the stunning marine views of the San Juan Islands, and you begin to experience the peace, tranquility and sustainability the Willows Inn offers. Here is the affordable San Juan Islands experience.

The most northeastern island in the famous San Juan Island chain, Lummi is easily reached by a 6-minute ferry ride. The journey is beautiful with silhouettes of Lummi’s sister isles jutting from the sea. Once at the Willows you will find yourself in a unique hide-away, rich with natural beauty, local charm and an individual flavor all its own. Spend your get-way time relaxing instead of traveling… a 6 minute ferry ride will deliver you to a totally different world… an authentic Island experience without the long ferry lines and high cost of other San Juan islands.

In fair weather , enjoy spending time on the deck, and around our Nettles Farm and gardens. Nettles Farm features a program for Agritourism each year, with workshops for poultry and salmon processing. Stay in one of our two suites at the farm, for a true agritourism experience. In winter, enjoy the winter storms from the safety of the Great Room and its roaring wood fire.



The Willows Inn“A Bed & Breakfast”2579 West Shore DrLummi Island, WA. 98262USA

Rates: $165-$350 USDRooms: 8

Phone: 360-758-2620Toll Free: 888-294-2620Fax: 360-758-7399

PBS chooses Bellingham to show sustainable economy

August 17th, 2010 by Mariah

PBS chooses Bellingham to show sustainable economy


BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham will be one of many cities nationwide featured in a PBS “Now” special called “Fixing the Future.”

TV crews were in the city Aug. 8-11, filming at sustainable businesses for the one-hour special scheduled to air Nov. 18.

David Brancaccio, host of “Now,” said the special’s focus will be on finding new ways to think about and structure the economy after the financial meltdown and recession.

“We’re asking the question: Is there a way to make an economy serve more people?” Brancaccio said. “Because the old economy wasn’t good enough.”

Brancaccio said Bellingham was an ideal city to film because of the number of local and sustainable businesses working together to support a healthy economy that keeps money and jobs within the community.

Other cities to be filmed to be in the special include Austin, Texas; Portland, Maine; St. Paul, Minn.; and Berkeley, Calif.

“Bellingham is kind of the gold standard for sustainable, local businesses. It seems like people here get what it’s about,” Brancaccio said. “And it’s not just price, it’s something else. (In Bellingham) you know where your food is coming from, rather than it being a mystery. (Food) doesn’t come from across the world, emitting carbon (in travel).”

The crew filmed in a variety of locations: Lummi Island Wild, which practices sustainable reefnet fishing; the Willows Inn, a bed and breakfast that serves local fish and produce; a treetop office with a green roof that hangs over Chuckanut Bay; the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University; Whatcom Educational Credit Union, which has built three LEED-certified buildings; Wood Stone Corp., which manufactures ovens; Mallard Ice Cream, which uses local ingredients; and the Community Food Co-op.

“There are so many good stories in Bellingham and Whatcom County about local businesses reducing their environmental footprint and … supporting one another,” said Derek Long, executive director of the nonprofit business group Sustainable Connections. “(Bellingham) is faring better in this slow economy than other communities are, and I think all our investments over the years in supporting each other and local businesses is why.”

One of the TV special’s goals was to find a manufacturer that doesn’t outsource – Wood Stone fit the bill.

The oven manufacturer provided 45 new jobs in Bellingham when it upgraded its factory near Bellingham International Airport with a robotics system in December 2008. Wood Stone does 95 percent of the manufacturing in the Bellingham factory, leaving only 5 percent of its parts coming from other countries.

Keith Carpenter, one of the founders and presidents, said sustainability is a large part of the Wood Stone culture, even though it can be a challenge in a tough economy.

“Sustainability isn’t something you do, it’s something you live,” Carpenter said. “Our employees learn to be a participant in sustainability.”

Brancaccio said it would be up for the TV audience to decide whether structural change and sustainable businesses are the solution to fixing our economy.

“We’re hoping that if we say ‘fixing the future’ and we talk about ways to ensure our economic survival, I think everyone will be interested in that,” Brancaccio said.

Fake B&B Gets Over 600 TripAdvisor Reviews

August 12th, 2010 by Mariah

One recent TripAdvisor review of the agrotourism destination Schrute Farms awarded four stars, lavishly praising the food, while another yielded just one star, casting aspersions on the owners’ sanity. This wild disparity is especially odd because Schrute Farms doesn’t even exist.


The farm “belongs” to Dwight Schrute of the NBC series “The Office” (and his eccentric cousin Mose). In September 2007, the show asked to use TripAdvisor, a travel Web site, in an episode in which Dwight turns his beet farm into a bed and breakfast. Christine Petersen, the chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, was thrilled. “We don’t have a big marketing budget and don’t do TV ads,” she said. “This was the big time.”




TripAdvisor set up a review page, thinking it would be good for a quick laugh or two. Paul Lieberstein, who wrote the episode, called “Money,” never even went back to the site afterward. “We thought it would be fun, but then we didn’t think about it anymore,” he said in an interview. But Schrute Farms is still doing big business — for TripAdvisor. Reruns and DVDs keep inspiring new visits to the site and there are now over 600 reviews (more than for many major Manhattan hotels, Ms. Petersen said).


Many reviewers add their own funny flourishes, enhancing the show’s mythology: Mandy Pyszka from Milwaukee, who stumbled upon the TripAdvisor site while searching Googlefor Dwight Schrute quotes, raved about the beet pudding.



Carla Harrington of Fredricksburg, Va., was surprised to find 82 percent of reviews recommended Schrute Farms. “I thought about what it would feel like not to know them as TV characters but to really go to this B & B,” she said in an interview. Her one-star slam called Dwight “an overbearing survivalist who appears to have escaped from the local mental asylum.” Mr. Lieberstein, who also plays Toby Flenderson, a human resources staff member, on the show, said that “The Office” might someday revisit the farm. TripAdvisor executives said they would love that. “We’ve started many a meeting with Dwight’s quote that TripAdvisor is ‘the lifeblood of agrotourism,’ ” Ms. Petersen said. She has contemplated adding the Bates Motel and “The Shining’s” Overlook Hotel.



But not everyone gets the joke. Recently, TripAdvisor added a caveat explaining that Schrute Farms was fictional, Ms. Petersen said. “We had a complaint from someone who had wanted to go there.”





Article Taken From:

New York Times

March 28, 2010

Tips for B&B Travel with Kids

August 12th, 2010 by Mariah

Tips for B&B Travel with Kids

Bed and Breakfast travel with children can be tricky, as vacationing at an Inn can be a very different kind of family experience. But have no fear! With a little planning ahead, you can have an enjoyable family getaway at a B&B with kids in tow. Here are a few tips from to help you prepare for your B&B getaway:

Some bed and breakfasts prohibit children under a certain age, so always ask about an inn’s policy before making reservations.

Ask the innkeepers what on-site activities, if any, they have which would be appropriate and entertaining for children the age of yours. But always be sure to bring along plenty of your own games and activities.

Make a list of two or three B&Bs that seem like good candidates and let your children help make the final selection. They’ll look forward to arriving at the inn that much more.

Let your children help pack their suitcases, again giving them a sense of being involved in trip planning.

If you’re driving a long distance, be sure to plan short pit stops on the way.

When you get to the bed and breakfast, let the children see their room first. They’ll feel special and can start exploring while you get things organized in your room.

Be sure your children get a tour of the bed and breakfast and surrounding property, either from you or the innkeeper. They should know right from the start what they can and can’t do.

Work with the innkeeper regarding breakfast, especially if your children are picky eaters. Many inns aren’t equipped for same-morning menu changes, so plan at least a day ahead.


Encourage your children to rate the bed and breakfast at the end of the trip. Ask what they liked and didn’t like — and why. This will help you plan the next trip.

If you have a child who really likes to camp out, ask the innkeepers if you can bring a small pup tent for the yard. Some innkeepers might even consider reducing your rate, since that child won’t be sleeping in a room.

What You Need: A child-friendly trip agenda, Games, Books, Toys, and a plan for other activities to keep your child occupied if he or she gets bored.

Music and Food New Orleans Style

August 9th, 2010 by Mariah

Music and Food!

You know how much we love our food and our music here in NOLA – we’ll August has an array of festivals dedicated to one or the other!

The Mamou Cajun Music Festival takes place August 13 – 14, 2010. This weekend includes traditional Cajun music, sack race, guinea chase, egg-throwing and arm-wrestling contests, greased-pole climbing, boudin-eating.

Le Cajun Music Awards Show and Festival takes place on August 20-21, 2010, at the Cade Community Center in Cade, La. The Cajun French Music Association presents Cajun music, dancing, crafts, food and CFMA Music Awards.

The Delcambre Shrimp Festival will be on August 18 – 22, 2010. Enjoy rides, food, bands, shrimp cook-off, water fights, dancing, blessing of the fleet.

The Gueydan Duck Festival will be Aug 26 – 29, 2010. This event includes rides, crafts, parades, skeet shoots, dog trials, duck-calling contest, Cajun food and music.

If none of this hits you just right – there are many, many more festivals to consider. Check out this great list. Spotlight: Napa Valley

August 3rd, 2010 by Mariah

Napa Valley is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. Breathtaking views abound at every turn – mustard in the late winter, picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards year-round and wineries of every stature dot the landscape. Whether you are wine tasting, dining at renowned restaurants like the French Laundry, pampering yourself with a mud bath in Calistoga, or just enjoying your stay at quaint bed & breakfasts, hotels or resorts … Napa Valley is your spot of heaven on earth. Here are a few of our favorite places to stay while in Wine Country!

Milliken Creek Inn
“A Bed & Breakfast”
1815 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA. 94558


Situated at the foot of the world-famous, winery-lined silverado trail, along the banks of the Napa River, this luxury inn and spa-retreat is just minutes from the Robert Mondavi sponsored Copia, The American Center for Wine, Food, and The Arts, renowned restaurants, shopping, cycling, ballooning and places of historc interest. The 3-acre property is laced with gardens, oaks, and redwoods. Care has been taken to develop restful spots for outdoor reflection and enjoyment with benches, outdoor seating, decks, yoga gazebo, pool, fountains and other water features nestled amongst live oaks. Milliken Creek…A Stylish new Face in the Napa Valley.





Bel Abri
“A Bed & Breakfast”
837 California Blvd.
Napa, CA. 94559


Bel Abri is a French Country Inn style bed and breakfast located just off I-29 and First St. in Napa. Our old world charm and ambiance featuring luxurious French tapestries and hand crafted furniture makes you feel as if you were whisked off to a French Chateau. Awake in the morning to a country style breakfast served in your room. After a busy day join us for a complimentary tasting of local wine and cheese.






Inn On Randolph
“A Bed & Breakfast”
411 Randolph Street
Napa, CA. 94559



Inn on Randolph uniquely blends classic bed and breakfast hospitality with a choice of distinctive accommodations. For the more traditional inn experience, choose a “Four Seasons” room in the restored 1860 Gothic Revival Victorian. If you prefer the intimacy of a private cottage, stylishly furnished and brimming with luxuries such as fireplaces, whirlpools and private entrances, there are three bungalows dating to the l930’s. Situated on a generous half-acre, the inn is surrounded by lawn, gardens, meandering stone pathways, and is only a short stroll or trolley ride from Napa’s rejuvenated downtown district. While at the inn, guests are treated to personalized service that is boundless, yet discreet. And when you’re ready to venture out,we’ll happily share the insider knowledge and special offerings cultivated with 10 years of hospitality experience in the Napa Valley.










Oakville Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
“A Bed & Breakfast”
7960 Money Road
Oakville, CA. 94562


Oakville Vineyard Bed & Breakfast is located in Oakville in the heart of the Napa Valley. The Bed & Breakfast sits next to the Napa River amid trees and gardens in a beautiful compound with a 100 year old barn and vineyard views.

After a wonderful night’s sleep in one of our tastefully appointed rooms with private baths, enjoy a generous Continental breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, and homemade scones or frittata. Feel stress “melt away,” in the words of many guests, while you enjoy sitting by the pool or walking, jogging or biking through adjacent vineyards and along the Napa River.

Oakville Vineyard Bed & Breakfast is located within two miles of Silver Oak winery for tastings and special events and Robert Mondavi for tastings and summer concerts. Other wineries within a two to four mile radius include Beaulieu Vineyards, Cakebread, Caymus Cellars, Far Niente, Groth, Mumm, the Napa Wine Co., Miner Family, Nickle & Nickle, Opus I, PlumpJack, Round Pond, Rubicon, Rudd and Saddleback.

Fewer Lodging Options in New York City

August 2nd, 2010 by Mariah

Fewer Lodging Options in New York City
Wednesday July 28, 2010

A new state law means there will be fewer lodging options for travelers in New York City. Effective May 1, 2011, it will be illegal to rent an apartment in the city for any period under 30 days, according to an article in The Guardian. Gov. David Paterson said in a statement that the law “fixes problems caused by illegal hotels and improves quality of life in traditional residential apartment buildings.”

The Professional Association of Innkeepers International is among the organizations which called on Gov. Paterson to veto the legislation. In a letter to the governor, PAII said “the consequences of this bill will dramatically hurt tourism for the short and long term.”

Click here to read PAII’s letter to Gov. Paterson.