Archive for the ‘Shenandoah’ Category

Four Cleaning Tips From an Innkeeper

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Innkeepers work hard at presenting the best and cleanest establishment possible. Recently, Association Director, Amy Hager, got to “play” innkeeper for the day at Waypoint House B&B in Berryville, VA. After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs with ricotta cheese (get the recipe here) Innkeeper Rachel Worsley taught Amy how to flip a room and prepare it for the arriving guests. Here are four tips that you can use when you are cleaning your bedroom or bathroom this spring.

Clean natural pine hardwood floors

Clean natural pine hardwood floors

    1. Sal Suds (a bio-degradable cleaning solution that is created with naturally derived surfactants) is a great “green cleaning solution” that can be used in the bathroom, to mop floors and in the kitchen. It is great on the natural pine hardwood floors at Waypoint House B&B because it doesn’t create a waxy build up like Murphy Wood Cleaner or other wood waxes. The cleaner has no preservatives and no added color.
    2. Rachel kept saying “A dry bathroom is a clean bathroom.” After using the Sal Suds and a hospital disinfectant cleaning solution with a wet cloth, she wipes down all the surfaces with a drying towel to prevent any opportunity for moisture to sit and cause ugly water spots or stains on the clean bathroom (also, mildew would have nowhere to grow.)
    3. Cotton Duvet Covers are great to preserve and protect your down comforter, but can get wrinkly sitting in the closet. Once the cover is on the comforter, pull it tight and lightly spray it with a water bottle to get the wrinkles out. In 5 to 10 minutes the winkles will disappear.

      Before and After

      Before and After

Rachel has a great technique to folding sheets and blankets

Rachel has a great technique to folding sheets and blankets

  1. Rachel has a great technique to folding sheets and blankets to make it easy to make the bed alone. Watch this video of how Rachel does it. Here are the basic steps:
  • Fold the sheet or blanket in half, bottom to top, with the “good” sides facing each other.  Your tag edge, or stitched edges will be the ones you see facing out after this first fold.
  • Fold the sheet or blanket in half again, this time from side to side.  The item is now in quarters.  This is important when you go to make the bed.
  • Keep folding into halves until you get the sheet the size you need to fit in your storage area.
  • To make the bed, unfold the sheet or blanket until it is at its quarter size.  Line it up with the top of the bed and place the folded side on the centerline of the bed.  Flip the cloth out from one side of the bed to the other, then pull the top edge down to the bottom of the bed.

One really unique tool at Waypoint House B&B is an Ironite from the 1940s. Rachel is able to use this machine to iron sheets, table placemats, cloths and more! The automatic ironer owner’s manual states you can “Take a holiday from hand ironing… for the rest of your life!” Rachel claims the Ironite has saved her hours of hand ironing and is easy to use. She demonstrated on a table place mat, but basically you use your knees to manage the controls, keeping your hands free to guide the garment into the wheel and press out all the wrinkles.

1940s Ironite

1940s Ironite

Overall, Rachel at Waypoint House B&B maintains a fresh, clean, modern B&B. Go here to check out the profile and book a room today (PS, The Shore Room with the blue wall is the one Amy stayed in she LOVED it)

New Gypsy Hill Environmentally Friendly B&B Passes Inspection

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

The Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia has inspected and approved the Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill B&B, Staunton, VA, as upholding the standards of the association and meriting membership. Being new to the business, innkeepers John and Janice McMahon appreciate the network of resources that being a BBAV member provides along with the high standards it helps them maintain.

Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill

Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill

“Since we’re new to the business,” Janice says, “it’s comforting just to know we’re on the right track. Over and above the checklist we were given.”

As part of providing the best service for guests, innkeepers of the Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill hope to maintain an environmentally friendly and health-conscious establishment with “breakfast featuring local, sustainably produced ingredients free of additives.” Guests will also enjoy the Thornrose House’s park atmosphere with flowers and trees on the grounds that provide a peaceful place for guests, especially when the plants are in bloom.

Thornrose House breakfast features locally grown produce

Thornrose House breakfast features locally grown produce

Although Jon and Janice aren’t sure where the exact idea for the B&B came from, they knew that they wanted to start a business that would make use of their DIY skills – and they thought opening a B&B would be fun, and a great way to meet people. “I love chatting with guests and becoming part of their lives for a few days, ” says Janice.

The Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill B&B provides a quality guest experience that is both comfortable and enjoyable – “a haven from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

Daughter of the Stars Bed and Breakfast Passes BBAV Inspection

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Daughter of the Stars Bed and Breakfast Passes BBAV Inspection

Daughter of the Stars Bed and Breakfast Passes BBAV Inspection

The newest B&B to pass the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia’s inspection into membership is the Daughter of the Stars B&B in Stanley, Virginia. Patrick Burns the owner, decided to have a BBAV inspection in order to help them connect with BBAV’s experienced knowledge base, and thus provide a better experience for their guests, as well as to set their B&B against an outside standard of inspection that ensures guests of the B&B’s high quality.


Daughter of the Stars began as an endeavor to “to do something interesting, unique, enjoyable and memorable” while “creating a unique, interesting, educational, fun, and successful travel experience” for guests. Indeed, this B&B does all of the above with its specialization in “The lesser known stories of the Shenandoah Valley”, which allows guests to celebrate and explore the history of foods, cultures, and customs native to the valley. Innkeeper, Misty Henderson, will delight guests with her cooking, and hospitality.


Civil War currency

Civil War currency

“In our Authentic Art and Artifacts Gift Shop,” Patrick described, “we have items like real Civil War currency and authentic Native American art and artifacts for sale. This way our guests not only hear the History, but they can touch it and own a piece of it. All of the Native American artifacts are from tribes that are known to have been in the Shenandoah Valley.”


Every guest room contains a private baths with Whirlpool tubs, queen-sized beds, and fireplaces that combine to create a romantic and comfortable atmosphere. Thus, guests looking for a vacation with a significant other or friend, or some alone time, the Daughter of the Stars B&B is perfect for a uniquely cultural and relaxing experience in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

The Old Massanutten Lodge: Then & Now

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Margie and Guy Vlasits

Margie and Guy Vlasits celebrate 10 years at The Old Massanutten Lodge

The Old Massanutten Lodge celebrates ten years as a B&B, and even longer as a place of personal and community strength.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Old Massanutten Lodge B&B, in Keezletown, VA. However, before Margie and Guy Vlasits purchased the property in the early 1990s, the lodge served as a day-resort for visitors and locals from the mid-1920s through the 60s, providing a place of relaxation and entertainment for its guests. Now, almost a century later, the Vlasits have restored the property and successfully provided a similar atmosphere.

“We wanted to give the property back to the community,” says Margie, the property’s primary caretaker. Indeed, the Vlasits successfully opened their doors to guests in 2003 as a place of rejuvenation, nourishment, and celebration for those near and far. Soon after, in 2005, Margie faced another life-changing situation: the onset of cancer. This didn’t keep her from serving the B&Bs many guests.

The Old Massanutten Lodge in Keezletown, VA

The Old Massanutten Lodge in Keezletown, VA

Although she couldn’t advance the business during this time, she maintained it to the best of her ability with the help of others. The business “helped me get through the treatments,” she says. The Vlasits opened the B&B as a place to “renourish guests’ souls,” she continues, and “at the same time it did the same for me.” For eight of the ten years that the B&B has been in service, Margie battled cancer and won. Her own story further enriches that of the property and the community surrounding it.

“We love to host people from all over the world with great cultural and personal diversities,” Margie says. Many guests come from just a couple hours away looking for rest from the daily grind. Others come for adventure and entertainment to an area rich in history, culture, nature, and just plain fun.  Old Massanutten Lodge’s quiet rural location is a pleasant change from the noise and activity of urban areas.

The last weekend in October, the Old Massanutten Lodge celebrates the property’s extensive past in conjunction with its tenth anniversary as a B&B through a story-telling event and concert. The Vlasits plan to invite anyone with a history at the lodge to come and tell his/her story while showcasing local folk artists. All in all, the Old Massanutten Lodge focuses on the past, present, and future as memories in the making. Come make memories at the Old Massanutten Lodge, entwining your history with that of this historic local landmark.

The Red Chair travels to Virginia B&Bs!

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


The Red Chair

The Red Chair

The Red Chair was born at the Woods Hole Inn, where proprietor, Beth Colt, took a snapshot that would change the simple red chair into The Red Chair that now travels the nation. “I took a picture of this red chair perched out on a frozen pond in Woods Hole last winter,” she says. “I posted it on Facebook and my computer lit up with ‘likes.’” Julie Cramer, a California-based photographer, came across the photo and was inspired. Cramer’s own picture of The Red Chair solidified the object as, what Colt describes, “A symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries.”

Now, The Red Chair travels to B&Bs of different regions in the U.S., and B&B owners chronicle the Chair’s travels with pictures that are then posted on the Red Chair’s website. From Sept. 23-Nov. 10, 2013, the Red Chair visits B&Bs in Virginia, 12 of which are  InnVirginia members.

Celeste Borel, Innkeeper of L’Auberge Provencale, White Post, VA, expresses her excitement at being a part of the Chair’s movement. “It makes me think that guests can envision themselves sitting in the chair,” she says, “enjoying the view and appreciating the countryside.” She and Humminbird Innkeepers, Patty and Dan Harrison, welcome anyone to come see the Chair at their establishments, even non-guests.

These Innkeepers, in addition to those of the Arcady Vineyard Inn, Charlottesville, VA, have specific plans for the Chair, including: a wine tour, a carriage ride, a photo-op at the tomb of Robert E. Lee, the overlook on Skyline Drive, and so much more! Samuel and Sharon Elswick, of the Holladay House, say: the “Red Chair will experience everything our guests experience – and take photos of everything just like they do! A comfortable room, at the breakfast table with a locally-sourced meal, sneaking homemade cookies from the cookie jar, and the classic photo every one of our brides and grooms take: on our portico with our historic house in the background and the sign waving in the wind.”

The Red Chair has become an icon of hospitality for B&Bs across the east coast, and will continue to be so for B&Bs it has yet to visit across the nation. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the Red Chair’s journey!

Follow the InnVirginia Facebook page to see the photos of The Red Chair as it travels Virginia.

Family Friendly Vacation in Fairfield

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

As a follow-up to our last blog, we have put together a second week-long getaway option for your upcoming family vacation. This option is in Fairfield, VA, minutes off of Interstate 81, with lodging at Fox Hill B&B and Cottage Suites. Fox Hill’s Cottage Suites are both kid-friendly and pet-friendly. The innkeepers, Mark and Sue Erwin, state, “Kids love our 38 acres, fish ponds and walking trails, and parents love the flexibility of just opening the door and saying ‘run out and enjoy yourselves!’” Nearby activities that the Erwins recommend include Hull’s Drive-In Theater, Natural Bridge, the Monican Indian Village, Cavern Tours, a Wax Museum and Toy Museum, and the Virginia Safari Park. There is definitely no shortage of fun and educational activities in which both children and parents can partake. To contact Fox Hill, call them at 540-377-9922, or email them at

Costs: (two adults, two children) under $1600 for a full week of fun!
Room rate and breakfast at Fox Hill B & B and Cottage Suites: $1053 (also ask about the 5-night special in the Cottages; doesn’t include breakfast but there is a full kitchen in the Cottages.)
Spend a day on the B&B grounds: Free
Geocaching: Free
McCormick Farm: Free
Virginia Horse Center: Free (most events are free; check the website calendar)
Clark’s Ole Time Music Center: Free (call ahead to make sure there will be music and dancing)
Hull’s Drive-In Theatre: $14 – kids are free (Have dinner while at the movie for about $16)
The Albemarle County Jail #5 Museum: $24 (limited tours and dates in Charlottesville)
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: $64 (In Charlottesville)
Natural Bridge: $92
Drive and Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway: Free (pack a lunch and have a picnic. $15)

Places to eat:

Frank’s Pizza Pasta & Subs: $20
Gertie’s Country Store: $20
Wild Wing Café: $25 (Kids eat for $1 on Mondays in Charlottesville.)
Berky’s Restaurant: $30 (Famous Lee-Hi Truck Stop. Watch the truckers come and go and see a huge collection of antique kiddie cars strung from the ceiling.)
Pink Cadillac Diner: $20

Have questions or comments? Feel free to join in the discussion on our Facebook page!


Waypoint House is Feeling All is Right in the World

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Waypoint House B&B in Berryville, VAWaypoint House Bed and Breakfast has earned the honor of joining the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia (BBAV) after only being open less than a year.  Rachael Worsley, Waypoint House Owner and Innkeeper, said.  “As much as guests may rely on national directories when looking for accommodations, I think there is added power and credibility in the regional sites which can provide the traveler with more detailed information on the local area they are visiting.” 

Owning a bed and breakfast was a longtime dream of Worsley, and after 11 years, that dream came true when they purchased The Lost Dog Inn and reopened the property as Waypoint House Bed and Breakfast on June 15th, 2012. Her husband, Jonathan, acts as the groundskeeper. Completing their inn’s family are their two cats, Marlowe and Tahoe. These cats are rarely spotted, though Marlowe is fond of singing at times when he feels all is right in the world. According to the B&B website, this event is a unique occurrence. Because the Worsleys are fans of pets, they welcome their guest’s pets at no additional charge.

“Like all other members of BBAV, an inspection process is completed to ensure the best quality in the member inns and B&B’s and Waypoint has passed with flying colors,” stated BBAV President, Heidi Lanford.

The importance of this process to the innkeepers is expressed by Worsley,I think a BBAV inspection is important because travelers have a lot of options these days and they can turn to multiple sites for reviews and opinions on a property. They want to know that where they are staying will meet their expectations and give them a good experience. Having a standard to meet by being inspected assures guests that that expectation will be met.”

Brierley Hill, Lexington, VA

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

In their newly released article “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013,” Smithsonian Magazine named Lexington, Virginia as number 16 out of the 20 small towns. Lexington is well-known for hosting a variety of attractions—Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute, Boxerwood Gardens, the Virginia Horse Center, and a great deal of Civil War history. All vacations and getaways need lodging, of course, and Lexington boasts of number of fantastic inns, one of which is Brierley Hill.

Brierley Hill recently welcomed two new innkeepers, Dave and Karen Innocent, who took ownership on February 28, 2013. In spite of a snowstorm and power outages, the Innocents welcomed their first guests on March 9, solidifying their adventure as innkeepers.

Dave and Karen have always had a heart for hospitality. Their Pennsylvania home was often the meeting place for their three sons’ friends, family get-togethers, church gatherings, and general socializing. Dave states, “It was not unusual to wake up to see fifteen or so people spread out sleeping in our house. We loved it!”

With Dave’s dissatisfaction with his career in automobile sales and Karen’s heart for hospitality, the Innocents decided to pursue a life of innkeeping. Their middle son’s education at Liberty University first brought them to Lexington. “We drove into Lexington, and I was immediately drawn to the town,” Dave reflects. “It was a warm day, and people were walking around outside. When we returned home, I did a Google search for B&Bs near Lexington, and I saw Brierley Hill listed. I called the realtor, who was surprised that I had seen Brierley online since they had literally just posted the ‘for sale’ ad. I guess you could say it was fate!”

Dave, Karen, and their two dogs—a golden retriever and a Bernese mountain dog—look forward to welcoming future guests and helping them explore the beautiful Lexington area.

By Tara Stoll

“Steele” Away to a B&B

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Steeles Tavern Manor is a “Shenandoah Valley B&B at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” It exudes rural elegance and stands as a proud facade with a corresponding mountainous backdrop. However, had you seen the manor in years gone by, it would have looked quite different from its current appearance.

Activity at the manor commenced in the 1780s, and the manor shifted from housing passers-by to becoming the Virginia Tourist Home to becoming a private home, and finally, to becoming a bed & breakfast currently owned by Ray and Melissa Alexander. Melissa says, “The previous owners closed the Bed and Breakfast in 2005. Therefore it needed some renovations before we opened our doors in July 2012. The floral wallpaper was stripped and fresh warm paint colors were applied. The colors of ecru, soft greens, and soft plums match the wine décor of the Inn. The red wall to wall carpet was removed to unveil the original hard wood floors of the 1916 Virginia Manor House … After weeks of hard work these floors were restored to their original beauty. The multi-layered window treatments were replaced…to brighten the inside and retain the southern style of the house.”

With their renovations, the Alexanders have managed to merge both past and present. While the manor retains the historical elegance of its predecessors, it also boasts the height of modern conveniences.

Ray and Melissa, who began their B&B journey by attending a BBAV Aspiring Innkeepers class as well as the B&B Team’s seminar, have future renovation plans for the inn as well, “focus[ing] on the outside to improve the walking grounds, pond and pool area.” Click here to book your room now and see these renovations in person!

By Tara Stoll

The Shenandoah Scramble 2012

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

It is nearing that time of year when the heat of summer cools, the lush green fades, and a familiar crispness drifts about in the air. Autumn is not too far off, and Virginia will soon see an eruption of fall colors, a sea of red, gold and orange to take the place of summer green. Many choose to venture up into the mountains for hiking during the fall foliage season, and this year, the Shenandoah National Park Trust is offering a new way to explore and observe the changing of the leaves of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

September 22, 2012 will see the First Annual Shenandoah Scramble to welcome the first official day of autumn: “Participants will gather for a light breakfast and then head out to hike with their group and hike leader (each hike can accommodate up to 20 hikers). Our leaders are CPR/First Aid or Wilderness Safety certified. They know and love Shenandoah National Park and will provide a wonderful experience. Participants reconvene for refreshments after their hikes.”

Your hike will include one of six trails, a Shenandoah Scramble t-shirt, a chance to win gear and getaways, and a fundraising pledge to benefit the Shenandoah National Park.

Register here, and don’t forget to book your room at a BBAV inn to relax after a day of the great outdoors.


By Tara Stoll