Besides the obvious bias of being an innkeeper at the Bayberry Inn Bed and Breakfast in Ashland, Oregon, I actually think Ashland lends itself more to a B&B experience rather than a big hotel. I’ve actually heard many guests say they prefer staying at a B&B in Ashland, although they don’t necessarily stay in a B&B elsewhere. Why is that? I happen to agree with them so let me try to break it down for you.
Ashland is a small town filled with an inordinate amount of really good restaurants and great little mom and pop owned shops, but let’s admit it, what draws over a million people a year here is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. There have 11 plays that show over 9 months starting in February and ending in November. Some shows last the whole season while others play for shorter periods. They play between 3 or 4 Shakespearean productions and the rest are classics, contemporary or new works. What’s interesting is that their classics are often adapted into something quite modern as are their Shakespearean plays. Why does this make staying at a B&B better you might be asking? It’s simple: Knowledge!
When staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Ashland, you tap into an infinite resources. Many of the guests visiting Ashland have been coming here for many years and have a plethora of information when it comes to the theatre. They are super knowledgable about the area as well, having taken that great trip to Crater Lake National Park or the wonderful bike trip across Oregon and they are happy to share it with you if you ask. Ashland attracts a more mature demographic, but usually they are extremely well travelled, very well read, physically fit and healthy. They love to walk which makes staying at the Bayberry Inn perfect, since they can be anywhere downtown within a few short blocks but not be IN DOWNTOWN which can be a bit more bustling. Many take morning walks or runs through Lithia Park while the more serious athletes run up one of the many brutal hills & trails just a couple of blocks up the hill from the Bayberry. So you get to tap into their knowledge over breakfast and be ahead of the game on which trails are best, what is the best deal in town for dinner, which seats to get in what theatre and more.
Sitting around the breakfast table is quite frankly one of the best parts of staying at the Bayberry Inn. Waking up to the smell of our home-blend of freshly brewed coffee is the best alarm clock in the house and you can be sure we NEVER let the coffee sit on the pot and get stale or luke warm! That’s rule #1 as an Innkeeper! Everyone comes down at their leisure, grabs their drink of choice, coffee, juice, tea (we have a huge selection of gourmet teas we import from Two Leaves and a Bud from Colorado. If you’ve ever had their teas, you will never go back to any other brand, and grabs the New York Times or whatever they’re reading and they take a seat in front of the fireplace to relax and enjoy the morning tranquility! Sometimes you get groups who love to chat and are best friends by breakfast. Other times, you see a room full of people who are just enjoying their morning in different little nooks, nestled in with their coffee in some comfy chair. Breakfast is usually when the magic happens. Somehow, some way, people gravitate to the person they’re meant to sit next too and the conversations take off! It’s a wonderful sight. People sharing all about their impressions of the play they saw the night before, what fabulous dinner they had at which restaurant, ask for extra this or that…it’s so much fun to listen too. I am usually bustling away making breakfast while my staff serves juices, but I love to listen to the conversations around the table, when I can. I learn so much about Ashland, about the plays, about which roads to avoid going home because there is a huge tree that fell…
We have a large family style table inside that fits all 12 guests but we also seat people in two different tables outside on our back patio which has gorgeous views of the hills surrounding Ashland. Last season, we also sat people down in the garden for the first time, which was loads of fun. So while you may think you’ll be stuck in between people you don’t know and that gives you the willies a bit, don’t worry, we have plenty of options and are happy to accommodate everyone’s seating preference. You can sit with your lovely wife in the garden and enjoy your second honeymoon by yourself in perfect peace or you can also join the party, it’s really up to you!
So while staying in a big hotel in New York City has lots of perks, in Ashland, you want to stay at a small, cozy B&B. You also get way more for your money! Free parking, free wifi (hate it when hotels charge you or keep changing the password so you have to call downstairs every day for the new password, or the key cards don’t work and you have to hightail it all the way back to the lobby to get a new one, ugh). At the Bayberry Inn B&B, you also get a cull complementary gourmet breakfast. No soggy eggs or dried old sad sausages sitting in a hot plate. Complimentary breakfast is a huge bonus Why? Because inevitably, you have to wait in line, sometimes up to an hour while the day is wasting away and it always costs up to $25 with coffee, juice and tip.
Still need a reason to choose a bed and breakfast over a big hotel? I saved the best for last you know. It’s all about the home-baked cookies every afternoon! Every morning after breakfast, we make a huge batch of home-made cookies or cakes for all our guests. When guests arrive at check in, they are always greeted by a huge stack of freshly baked cookies, teas, coffee and other little treats left out like bowls full of chocolates. If that’s not enough, we always leave two carafe of port and sherry for everyone to enjoy in the evenings and we often host wine tastings on weekends at the Bayberry Inn which is a great thing to do during the late afternoon before dinner. Or our guests often have their own wine and we help them put a cheese board together and they take it out onto the back porch or back garden to enjoy with their friends. It’s like being at home and having all the comforts of being at home, yet there’s always someone there to dote on you and make you cookies and a cheese board!