Friday, October 7, 2011

Solon Langworthy House (review)

The Solon Langworthy House sits atop the bluffs in Dubuque in a historical neighborhood perfect for a casual stroll.  The bulk of the house was built in 1848 but the bed-and-breakfast wing is from 1870.

The first thing that impressed us about the B&B was the absolute sense of privacy.  You have your own entrance into the house, a keypad for coming in afterhours, and no check-in.  We never met our hosts - their only evidence was the fresh breakfast items set out in the morning.

The entryway is painted a warm orange and you immediately notice the stellar wood floors.  On the right - a case of DVDs and popcorn is available.

We booked the Deluxe Suite, which included a bedroom and very large bath.  Here Mike points out the bed in case you missed it.

The bed, with an iron frame I'd like to steal, is lush with a down comforter and cozy sheets.  At left, the cabinet has a TV/DVD, which is playing classical music upon your arrival to greet you.  Mike gives a thumbs up to the french doors with privacy curtains.

My favorite part was the bathroom!  This is an outstanding combination of vintage and modern - right up our alley. 

The main draw of the room?  This soaking tub with jets.  I need one of these stat - so jealous!

The whole suite is tricked out with very thoughtful decoration - someone on staff has a good eye for design.  This basin sink is exquisite.

I don't know whether this light is period authentic or a replica, but it's a fun detail without being kitschy.

Whenever we travel, we check out B&Bs online but we're always turned away by the hideous designs.  Because most are in historic homes, they go with an "interpretation" of that era, which usually ends up being an abundance of doll house colors and lace.  So not romantic.

Maybe that works for older generations, but we late 20-somethings want a more modern ambiance.  Solon Langworthy delivers this to a T.

The kitchen (again private) is a cute nook across from the room.  Breakfast is self-serve, with fruit, yogurt, toast, coffee/tea options, muffins, and a waffle machine.

Again - love the aesthetic - so inviting.

I imagine that some people may find self-serve breakfast offputting - something about wanting service.  Personally, I liked it.  I didn't have to bother anyone or worry about bumming around in my sweats.

Everything about our visit was peaceful.  The house has a calm energy that's infectious.  I could easily imagine myself curling up with tea and reading for hours in any number of corners in the house.

The price for the suite on the weekend is $145 a night, but it drops down to $99 during the week.

One thing to keep in mind about B&Bs is that they are typically more expensive than a chain hotel.  But think about what your fees are paying for:
  • Added sense of privacy
  • Personalize attention
  • Quality breakfast
  • Historic lodging
  • Supporting small business
The price does make this a special treat, but that's only appropriate for what you are getting.  I can't imagine trying to turn a profit in a place like this, particuraly in an older residence that requires specialized upkeep.

We would definitely come back here for another rest.  The Solon Langworthy House sets the bar pretty high for any other B&B we go to! 

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