Get Away Close By

Get Away Close By

by Mary Beth Schwartz

Here in the United States, they first catered to weary Colonial settlers. In England, Ireland and Scotland they have been popular for years. Today, they still offer the historical ambiance, complete with antiques, but also modern amenities such as spa services and Wi-Fi. And for those who want to relax with a spot of tea, a hearty breakfast, and take in the atmosphere without traveling far, there are several bed and breakfasts and historic inns located right here in the Lehigh Valley.

If you are staying at a bed and breakfast or historic inn for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. Many first time guests have a list of questions. You may feel like you are intruding in someone’s home. Or you may feel uncomfortable interacting with other guests. But choosing a bed and breakfast or historic inn can be easy if you do your research.

Visit the location’s website or Facebook page. You also can call and speak with the innkeeper about your concerns. They will make every effort to make your stay the best possible. With most, you can come and go as you please. Find out what style breakfast is served – family style, continental, buffet, made to order, or breakfast in bed. Some offer special events, such as high tea, wine tastings, even murder mystery parties.

The Harry Packer Mansion

The Harry Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe offers murder mystery weekends, First Friday wine tastings, and self-guided tours. This mansion overlooks the village of Jim Thorpe and was the inspiration for Disney’s Haunted Mansion. It was built in 1874 for Harry Packer, founder of Lehigh University and The Lehigh Valley Railroad.

Its interior includes 15-foot ceilings, fireplaces constructed of marble, chandeliers, hand-carved wooden accents, and gilded mirrors. The 12 guest rooms in the mansion and adjoining Carriage House feature fine fabrics, period antiques, and artwork. All guests enjoy private baths, queen size beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning. The B&B also features is own bar, Libation Lounge, which offers a selection of wine, beer, and spirits.

The Filbert Bed & Breakfast

The Filbert Bed & Breakfast in Danielsville was built in the early 1800s at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. This Victorian farmhouse and general store was restored in 2002. Filbert’s common areas include a sitting room for games and films, a parlor for reading, a butler kitchen complete with baked goods and light refreshments, and several dining areas for general use. A full country breakfast is served.

A 60-foot Victorian porch is perfect for taking in the seasons and the spectacular architecture. Guests can be pampered with such spa services as a Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, exfoliating facial, manicure, pedicure, or aromatherapy. The B&B offers such rooms as a family suite (Grammy Ruth’s Suite), a deluxe floral room (Rose Suite), a deluxe Victorian gold room (Abigail Suite), a deluxe ivory and gold room (Lee Herman Suite), and a deluxe sage and floral suite (Charlotte Suite).

The Lafayette Inn

The Lafayette Inn is situated in the College Hill Historic District of Easton. The 1895 Georgian mansion offers 18 guest rooms complete with private baths and antique furnishings. Innkeepers offer the quaint qualities of a bed and breakfast and the services of a fine hotel. Guests enjoy a phenomenal full American breakfast featuring house-made specialties, and on Friday and Saturday a wine and cheese reception.

The Sayre Mansion

The Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem, circa 1858, is known for its luxurious accommodations, historic charm, and refined services. Situated in the heart of Bethlehem, this historic inn offers 19 classic mansion guest rooms and three Carriage House suites. All guests at the Gothic Revival mansion enjoy a full hearty breakfast served in the elegant dining room. Over 100 years ago, this mansion was home to Robert Heysham Sayre, chief engineer of The Lehigh Valley Railroad.

RUSTIC DREAMS

Bed & Breakfast

For those searching for a rustic bed and breakfast, there is Rustic Dreams Bed & Breakfast, located along the Lehigh River corridor in Bethlehem. This unique B&B offers two rooms in a Montana lodge atmosphere. The Cheyenne Suite has all of the modern conveniences with a rustic style. The Sioux Suite, found in the main section of the house, is a quiet retreat with a romantic theme. Guests can enjoy a furnished wraparound porch, full homemade breakfast, common area fireplace, private baths, ceiling fans, and air conditioning. A stay can be upgraded with therapeutic services, floral arrangements, wine tour, custom chocolates and tea time.

Morningstar Inn

Also in Bethlehem is Morningstar Inn. This bed and breakfast’s rates include freshly baked cookies, a full breakfast served in the dining room, as well as complimentary wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres served daily in the butler’s pantry from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This urban inn features perennial gardens, a back patio, an herb garden, and a heated outdoor swimming pool on its grounds.

Inside, the original architecture has been lovingly maintained. There is a formal parlor, all-season sunroom, and a billiard room, each complete with a fireplace. Guests can select from a choice of rooms. The Sleigh Room has a sleigh bed and muted Christmas accents. Casablanca has a British West Indies feel. There also is the G.Q. room, Victoria room, and Parapet, which is set apart from the other rooms and is very private.

Stone House Inn & Spa

In downtown Macungie you will find the Stone House Inn & Spa. This bed and breakfast is situated in an early 1800s restored stone farmhouse. Four guest rooms – The Gent’s Room, The Primitives Room, The Stone House Suite, and The Kitten Room – have such perks as private baths, air conditioning, freshly ironed linens, plush robes, fresh flowers, and local chocolates. The common area features a beautiful fireplace. A big breakfast is offered, and guests can choose their menu. There is an onsite salon and spa with packages that include such options as aromatherapy, wraps, manicures, pedicures, facials, hair treatments and massage.

Dockside Bed & Breakfast

New Tripoli’s Dockside Bed & Breakfast was designed to be the innkeepers’ residence, as well as a unique B&B that features four theme rooms. Each room has a private bath and outside keyed entrance. The rural setting includes a private three-acre lake, and six acres of lovely property. Guests can take a paddleboat cruise, have a picnic lunch, barbecue by the fire, fish, or walk nature trails. A full breakfast is offered every morning through a
local restaurant.

Glasbern Inn

Fogelsville’s Glasbern Inn is a 19th-century farm. This romantic luxury bed and breakfast is a member of Historic Hotels of America. Guests can select from rooms and suites that are designed for comfort, warmth and rejuvenation. With every night’s stay, guests can partake in a full country breakfast, which is served in the Great Room. Glasbern Inn’s restaurant and pub offers fresh farm-to-table cuisine. A list of amenities also includes a spa, fitness center, farm, walking trails, a library, and a seasonal heated outdoor swimming pool. Rooms include iPod docks, WiFi, HBO, Keurig coffee makers complete with organic coffee, and Sleep Number beds.

So whether you want to stay at a luxurious Victorian mansion, an intimate Montana style lodge, or a countryside B&B, the Lehigh Valley has several options to choose from. And if you can’t make up your mind, make a wish list and stay at them all.

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