The Rooms: A historic home (George Washington slept here in 1789) was recently refurbished into the Merchant, an inn that takes a cheeky approach to the New England Americana theme. Original woodwork and neoclassical furnishings are clad in bright modern colors and juxtaposed with the occasional Lucite barstool. Inside the 11 rooms: eye-popping patterns on the walls, upholstery, and even the ceilings, and such conveniences as gas fireplaces and Apple TV.
The Menu: No vats of watery eggs here. Items on the inn’s signature small-plate buffet include portobello mushrooms filled with Quahog clam cakes and chorizo, and apple cobbler oatmeal. From $159.
The Rooms: Each of the 14 rooms at Eben House, an 18th-century sea captain’s residence, combines creature comforts (custom pillow-top mattresses, rain showers) with colonial history (claw-foot bathtubs, wingback chairs). On the walls, playful oil paintings depict an imagined life of the sea captain and his family.
The Menu: Sit in the conservatory for freshly baked pastries and yogurt parfaits, along with rustic main dishes—a strata of wild mushrooms with white cheddar and herbs or chorizo breakfast burritos with black beans and cojita cheese. Even better, stay in your pajamas. Breakfast in bed is served at no extra charge. From $195.
The Rooms: This newly built, traditionally designed B&B pays homage to Kentucky country living and the state’s famous brown liquor. Floor-to-ceiling headboards in the four rooms are fashioned out of bourbon barrel staves, and rain cans double as showerheads. The hotel’s private bourbon tastings and education sessions, led by industry experts, are the ideal way to prep for a day trip along the Kentucky Bourbon trail, just 20 minutes away.
The Menu: The innkeeper serves a three-course breakfast of granola and jams infused with bourbon (for flavor, not buzz), along with Southern classics such as cast-iron skillet egg scrambles, country ham on buttermilk biscuits, and bourbon bread pudding. From $249.
The Rooms: A young Canadian couple spent two years renovating this four-suite colonial mansion, which opened in spring 2014. The owners designed the wrought-iron four-poster beds and chandeliers and selected colonial-style furnishings from local antique shops. An honesty bar stocked with craft beers, Mexican wine, and coconut water, along with a selection of tequilas and mezcals, allows guests to feel right at home.
The Menu: The daily changing vegetarian menu might include huevos rancheros with house-made chipotle tomatillo salsa, or French toast infused with cinnamon, rum, and Mexican vanilla and topped with tropical fruits and cajeta (the Mexican dulce de leche). From $159.
Victoria, British Columbia
The Rooms: The six high-ceilinged rooms of the 1885 Fairholme Manor are fresh off a renovation that restored original details such as carved rosettes in the dining room, updated bathrooms with pedestal sinks and glass shower doors, and added original paintings by B.C. artists Inge Ranzinger and Jill Louise Campbell to the walls. Take a morning stroll through the gardens of Governor’s House, the Queen’s residence in British Columbia, located next door.
The Menu: Owner-chef Sylvia Main, who authored two best-selling cookbooks on breakfast, greets guests each morning with her maple cranberry granola, scones, and jams, and then prepares such hearty specialties as eggs Neptune with hollandaise sauce and fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes. Most of the ingredients come from Main’s onsite organic garden and nearby farms. From $105.
Ten Inverness WayPhoto courtesy of the Merchant.
The Rooms: Ten Inverness Way maintains a relaxed, residential vibe with overstuffed couches in a communal sitting area and a book-filled study. Opened last year in a century-old craftsman house near Point Reyes National Seashore, its five rooms, named after local hiking trails, have a clean white-on-white palette and plenty of light.
The Menu: Leave it to Marin County to go as locavore as possible. All the ingredients you’ll eat here are sourced in Northern California. The inn makes its own soft cheeses and smokes and cures its bacon, sausage, and ham. From $160.
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