“Fantastic Experience”

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I had a fantastic experience! From the assistance in getting there (I was lost…) to the warm welcome and fantastic breakfast(!), it was a great experience. The Innkeepers were welcoming and helpful, the inn beautiful and the atmosphere relaxing after a long work week. Thank you Lori and Paul for the hospitality, it is appreciate and has been shared with friends and family…

Posted on Google Reviews by Scott Signorini on March 8, 2016

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“Loved Staying at Stonehurst Place”

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I absolutely loved staying at Stonehurst Place! I was looking for reasonably priced accommodations close to major thoroughfares, restaurants, and shopping, while my mom and I looked for my bridal gown. Stonehurst met and exceeded all my expectations. It is beautifully appointed with a fantastic mix of historic charm and modern upgrades. Everyone, including the other guests, were so pleasant and sociable that my mom and I found ourselves comfortable just lounging around rather than leaving to explore the city during rush hour. Wifi and parking are all included in the cost of stay, not to mention an out of this world breakfast. I literally have never had such an amazing peach cobbler, and for a person such as myself that has a major sweet tooth, that in and of itself is enough to bring me back to Stonehurst. I can’t wait to come back with my future husband!

Posted on Google Reviews by Tiffany P. on March 1, 2016

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“Most Memorable Stay”

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I can’t say enough good things about this place. They went the extra mile to make our stay the most memorable ever. They assisted with planning and preparation to make our Valentines Day weekend extra special. . The rooms were beautiful and the food very tasty. We don’t live far away, actually walking distance yet we felt like we had totally escaped from the daily life in Atlanta. Location of Stonehurst is ideal for lots of activities in Midtown Atlanta. Great restaurants, Piedmont Park, and nightlife all within walking distance. But once you go inside you might not want to leave. We definitely will be back again.

Posted on Google Reviews by Mike McCrary on March 1, 2016

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“There is no better B&B around”

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It is hard to put into words what a fantastic B&B Stonehurst is. The home is magnificent. Upon arriving you will notice the beautiful grounds as well as the spacious front porch with comfy seating available. Lori and Paul are so kind and outgoing, they make you feel right at home. Talk about being spoiled, there are always treats in the dining room, two separate cabinets filled with snacks and cold or hot drinks. I can’t even describe how delicious the breakfast was. Lori is truly talented. I fear Stonehurst has ruined us as no B&B has come close to being as inviting and enjoyable. We cannot wait to return.

Posted on TripAdvisor by Alcedines, Portland, Oregon on March 1, 2016

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“We definitely will be back again. Great Escape!!”

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I can’t say enough good things about this place. They went the extra mile to make our stay the most memorable ever. They assisted with planning and preparation to make our Valentines Day weekend extra special. . The rooms were beautiful and the food very tasty. We don’t live far away, actually walking distance yet we felt like we had totally escaped from the daily life in Atlanta. Location of Stonehurst is ideal for lots of activities in Midtown Atlanta. Great restaurants, Piedmont Park, and nightlife all within walking distance. But once you go inside you might not want to leave. We definitely will be back again.

Posted on TripAdvisor by mccrary4040, Atlanta, Georgia on March 1, 2016

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travel ideas – Schloss Bensberg

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Germany’s Schloss Bensberg – an indulgent weekend 

This month’s travel recommendation is located in Germany, where I live part of the year.  My partner’s traditional birthday present to me is usually a trip to somewhere beautiful, inspiring or exotic. This year, we went to Schloss Bensberg for some much needed relaxation.  Schloss is the German word for palace, and Bensberg is a small town just outside of Cologne. The palace, a former hunting lodge for the Count Palatine of the Rhine, was converted into a 5 star luxury hotel in the 1990s. The palace is a stunning relic of royal Europe; it was commissioned in the 1700s by Johann Wilhelm, then current Count Palatine, for his wife Anna Maria. Due to his wife’s taste for grandeur, Johann Wilhelm used Versailles and Winchester Castle as architectural models for the schloss. He used the site’s elevated scenery and views onto the Rhine Valley and river to entice his wife. The hotel is situated such that it allows for a breathtaking view of the cathedral city of Cologne without being in the city proper.

Schloss Bensberg

Romantic gardens at Schloss Bensberg

The Decline

Johann Wilhelm died before the Schloss was completed, however; instead of finishing the project herself, Anna Maria left Germany, grief stricken, and returned to Italy, her land of origin. When she left, she took the numerous artists, plasterers and painters who were originally commissioned to work on Schloss Bensberg with her. As a result the building remained unfinished. Over the centuries, the building was used as a military hospital, cadet school, boarding school and refugee centre.

The Transformation

In the 1990s, however, the building was purchased and renovated at a cost of 75 million euros and nearly a decade of work, transforming it into a luxury hotel. My partner chose this hotel for me because, like Stonehurst, it combines my love of old buildings which have been repurposed and made new.

The Schloss has a 10,000 sq ft beauty and spa centre, which I can say was total pamperology. A claim to fame of the hotel is the Michelin-star cuisine of Joachim Wissler in their Restaurant Vendôme, the tenth best restaurant in the world.  After a few dinners there, I can understand why!

Sublime. Indulgent. Just like Stonehurst Place (ok, a little bigger) 🙂

Shadomy, Stonehurst Place

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“Wonderful B&B in Midtown”

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Great B&B with lots of character. Friendly and welcoming staff. Great breakfast.

Posted on Hotels.com by Andrew, US on February 24, 2016

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The Rockettes: Fall in Step

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Fall In Step

Inspired by The Rockettes? That’s me!  Most of my efforts so far on our Carriage House extension of Stonehurst Place have been labour-intensive design work.  As lead designer,  I work with the principal architect as well as our innkeepers (thankfully Paul is a talented architect as well as incredible innkeeper!) to create what will be an inspiring and breathtaking use of space.  We want these new suites to fall in step with the design aesthetic of Stonehurst Place, where our guests are truly comfortable in our elegant-but-not-fussy mansion house.  Almost every day, I pour over the architectural plans that litter my desk, wearing reading glasses and still using a magnifying glass because the print on the drawings is font size 2.  Although it’s a labour of love, that love can sometimes be left behind while I measure out minute distances, calculating the exact size of a toilet or plotting comfortable walking widths and paths through the suites.  One thing that always lifts my spirits, though, is crawling through hundreds and hundreds (thousands?) of listings on the internet to find perfect pieces of art to compliment the new décor.

The Rockettes

Vintage photograph of The Rockettes

The Rockettes Perfectly Fall In Step

The other day, I found a terrific piece to use in one of the new suites. This slightly tattered but still amazing picture is an original 1937 newspaper photo, labeled “Radio City Music Hall Leggy Pin-Up Rockettes.”  The piece is a large format, silver gelatin photograph that highlights the precision and glamour of the dancing troupe as they line the stage and brandish their show-stopping legs and precise uniformity.  Dramatic, enchanting, and absolutely glamorous, this Radio City Music Hall artifact is truly exquisite, and just the kind of piece I love sharing with Stonehurst Place guests.  We already have a collection of vintage photographs, most of which are in our “Hollywood Glamour” Piedmont and Farnsworth rooms.  Those vintage photographs feature classic Hollywood designers and stars, notably Edith Head, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, and Joan Crawford.

The Rockettes are a source of fascination for me. This group of women, trained to control their bodies so well that they are in perfect unison, are an awesome sight. Of course, the rounds and rounds of auditions to become a Rockette are incredibly difficult to make it through, but the end goal is worth it.  They seem like a community of women perfectly attuned to each other’s body movements.  Although their schedules are incredibly harsh, especially during the Christmas Season when The Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week, I see it as a true team sport.  Their best known routine is an “eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line,” which they are preparing to do in this image … which is why I had to purchase it. It shows these women about to deliver their daily dose of perfection, just as we strive to do daily at Stonehurst Place.  They are hovering on the brink, about to complete their performance. Their genuine smiles brighten up the image. They are ready to show off their skills.

I am in awe of their excitement.

Shadomy, Stonehurst Place

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