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Hotels can be beautiful. If you like the turnkey experience of simply checking in with one of many agents, getting a small key card, and making your way to a room that is likely to be the same as hundreds of others, hotels are great. You can be reliable because you know the chains you like and you can book many of them anywhere in the world. Some of them feel so massive with multiple restaurants, pools, and shops that it feels like you’re in an amusement park. But not every traveler feels that way. Some guests like the feeling that they are staying elsewhere than anywhere else. And some travelers like to feel that special, personal touch that you just can’t get with a large hotel.
Bed and breakfasts are perfect for travelers who want personal attention from the staff and want to stay in a place full of personality. Bed and Breakfast owners take great pride in their home and you can feel their love in every room. Since these accommodations are usually smaller than hotels, you can often get to know the other guests. When winter is in our laps, it is the time when you simply long for a cozy stay while traveling. So if you’re on the road or in the air, check out these charming Black-owned bed and breakfasts across the country.
Six acres of bed and breakfast
The Six Acres Bed & Breakfast is nestled in the woods of the LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center and is surrounded by lush greenery. The property is rich in significant history and serves as a living reminder of the underground. The original structure was built by an abolitionist in the mid-19th century and served as a safe haven for those on the Underground Railroad escaping to Ohio State near Kentucky. It is now owned by Kristen Kitchen, who works hard to empower the local black community, keep neighbors busy, and keep the place’s important stories alive. The inn has five rooms, each uniquely decorated to maintain the historical integrity of the original home. There are options with single or double beds, as well as a suite with two bedrooms, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen.
Brooklyn, New York
Those who want to enjoy the Big Apple but lay their heads away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan at night can stay at the Akwaaba Mansion. It was first built in the 1860s and has since been restored with nice upgrades, but it retains the building’s original style and charm. It belongs to married couple Monique Greenwood and Glenn Progue, but Greenwood acts as the CEO of the estate (which is actually part of a small group of hotel properties that she owns). The mansion has only four rooms, all of which are decorated to the smallest detail. Staying here feels like being in a luxury villa and there is no such thing as a small or casual room. You will feel pampered. In addition to in-room spa services, the property also offers a package of champagne, flowers, and rose pedals for USD 75. Groups can also book the entire property for private events.
The mansion on Noble Lane
Mansion at Noble Lane is part of the Akwaaba family of inns owned by Monique Greenwood. Very different from the Brooklyn property, this inn, which was once a private estate, has 14 rooms in total and is set on 22 acres for guests to wander around and enjoy. The Mansion offers a free breakfast as well as afternoon refreshments, which can include fresh fruit, cheese, and other goodies. There are three room categories: Classic for those who value it, Luxury for those who want something bigger, and Premium, which are spacious and have either a private balcony or a prime view. The hotel’s Youtopia Spa offers massages, manicures / pedicures, and facials. Afternoon tea and tours of the property are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is also an on-site bar and the property offers picnic lunches for those who wish to venture out. Champagne and s’mores are available on Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m.
The inn in Folkston
If you’re looking for something quaint and intimate, The Inn at Folkston has it – both for the property itself and the city it’s in. Folkston has a population of just under 3,000, and to give you an idea of how wonderfully quiet it is, one of the “things to do” here is to watch freight trains go through town. The Inn at Folkston is owned by Ted and Alease Kelly. Owning an inn was the couple’s lifelong dream, and that dream came true when they opened their B&B in 2013. The first bed and breakfast in town, this inn is housed in a nearly 100 year old building. There are only four rooms, each with its own theme. The daily breakfast is included in the price and consists of fresh, local eggs, fresh fruit and sausage. Head to Okefenokee Swamp, just 10 miles away, for wildlife viewing and enjoyment, or stroll downtown for a bite to eat.
The Oak Bluffs Inn
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Owned by Rhonda and Erik Albert, this late 19th century Victorian-era building was once a private residence and is now a 10-room B&B. The Oak Bluffs is a world famous destination and has hosted the likes of Spike Lee, Woody Harrelson and the Obama family. It is within walking distance to nearby restaurants, golf courses, and beaches. Guests often visit the iconic nearby 300-plus gothic gingerbread cottages that the Vineyard is known for. The guest house’s rooms vary in size and style and there is something for everyone. There are smaller rooms, a penthouse suite and even rooms with a private entrance. Each room offers incredible views of the garden or the surrounding neighborhood. The daily breakfast includes fresh eggs, tea, coffee, baked goods, fruit and yogurt. Note that the inn closes on January 1st and reopens in April, so you will want to book your winter vacation soon.
This Victorian era inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The owners, Lankford and Joyce Blair, are ordained ministers and have married dozens of couples in the inn’s pretty chapel. The Magnolia House only has three rooms, so it’s very intimate. The Ellington Suite with its whirlpool bath is perfect for couples. The Writer’s Retreat is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet. And the Haven is spacious and comfortable for a couple too. Each room has luxurious upholstery that is reminiscent of the house’s construction time. Breakfast is included and the owners take care of your dietary restrictions, but guests can expect goodies like freshly made turkey sausage and baked goods. There is no shortage of activities in the area with the Virginia Air & Space Science Center, several beaches and a nature reserve nearby, plus beautiful golf courses, breweries, and wine tastings.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The stunning Hubbard Mansion is owned by Don and the late Rose Hubbard, who bought and renovated the mansion a little over 15 years ago. It has five rooms including suites and two apartments for long-term stays. The property is modeled after a mansion in the Old Spanish Promenade Grounds overlooking the Mississippi. Each room has antique furniture and antiques such as claw foot vintage tubs and mahogany cabinets. The B&B has been described as “Buckingham Palace with a Creole twist”. It is on historic St. Charles Avenue, near the French District. The daily breakfast includes pastries, southern coffee and fresh fruit served on fine china. To give an impression of a regal atmosphere, the rooms have names such as Henry II and Queen Dell.
This charming inn is owned by befriended duo Sharon Owens and Genora Boykins, who used to work for the same company and shared the dream of a simpler life in retirement. They bought the land in 1999 when there was a shortage of hotels in downtown Houston. The inn has only seven rooms that have a modern European flair. It’s within walking distance of dining and entertainment options, and is certainly suitable for business travelers thanks to free Wi-Fi, USB ports in rooms, and spacious desks. La Maison offers special packages for romantic getaways and anniversaries as well as company retreats.