The New Canterbury Room and bathroom are finished and looking beautiful. Even though I’m starting my third season as the Innkeeper at the Bayberry Inn, I’m still learning so much. The best part of being an Innkeeper in Ashland is by far the wonderful guests that come through our little big town. They are so educated and worldly and for the first time in my life, I’m not having to travel to meet wonderful fascinating people because they’re coming to me, bringing all their wonderful stories about their lives and travels; it feels like I’m traveling, but don’t have to pack and unpack and wrestle the crowds at airports anymore.
The Bayberry Inn is located just a few short blocks to all the restaurants, shops, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in downtown Ashland and is one of the oldest running B&B’s. It has been a Bed & Breakfast since the 80’s and I’m the fourth Innkeeper. A large number of my guests have been coming for more than 10 years, some even 20, which gives me the perfect opportunity to learn from them. One of the hardest parts of taking over a running B&B has been learning the nuances of an old 1926 building. I’m finally feeling like I know the building well, which is a relief. So now that I know where everything is, the water pipes, the pumps, how to turn the commercial gas range on without losing my eyebrows and a large part of my hair, I have been listening to my guest. There is no one more qualified to tell you what is in need of updating than a guest who has been staying in the same room for 15 years!
Making mental notes of all the little things that would improve my guests stay mixed with great words of wisdom by my loving mentor who said, “If something bugs you about the Inn, then change it,” I spent the last two years renovating and updating. I was fortunate to have my partner Mike move up from Portland to help me over the past five months with all the renovations. My favorite update was connecting the Canterbury bathroom to the room through the closet & attic, creating a large walk-in closet & a beautiful new Deluxe King Room. It’s gorgeous and all the hard work paid off. The room has a large California King Size Bed and a Twin Bed that can sleep up to three people comfortably as it’s a rather large room. It is on the front of the house so I had Sonja, my seamstress, create some super heavy noise reduction & black-out curtains that spread across the large window that spans across an entire wall. She worked hard to help me get the curtains just right and knowing I was under a time constraint, even hand delivered them. She’s a life saver. There is a long seat across the wall where Sonja created a stunning & plush cushion making it the perfect place to lay and read a book.
The Canterbury room also has a new bathroom. The black and white tiles are in line with the age of the house as restoring the Inn without losing the original feel of the period of the house was important. The Bayberry Inn is a 1926 Craftsman Style home and I didn’t want it to loose it’s old world charm although it needed modern updates. The new vanity is quite modern but fit in well with the age of the home and the valance above the large window which Mike created is stunning yet subtle.
The overall reaction to the changes in the Canterbury room and bathroom have been overwhelmingly wonderful. My guests have loved the updates and everyone who has slept in the room say they sleep extremely well in the oversized California King Size Bed. It so nice to know that in only two years I was able to update this room as it is one of the most beautiful rooms in the house. It felt great to listen to my guests recommendations and I must say that my mentor was right, changing what doesn’t feel right has been wonderful and I’m so proud of the updates at the Bayberry Inn.