Category Archives: Resorts

Holly House of Hamilton A very Fine Bed & Breakfast Inn

P1030603APtravelnews – October 15th-Hamilton, GA. When we pulled in to the Holly House in the small town of Hamilton, GA. (20-miles from Columbus) we entered this truly fine home between two giant  100-year old Holly bushes.  Close by the other side of the front steps stood a huge Magnolia Tree, almost ready to bust out in giant fragrant blooms.  The landscaping helped frame this 6000-square foot,  in the folk Victorian style home, perfectly!   Barb and I entered the front door and were met by Judy Archibald, our incredibly sweet and friendly owner/hostess.  Little did we know the treat that awaited us?  The home was decorated with a wonderful selection of antiques and vintage clocks and church organs, a player piano that Judy; quite professionally and beautifully sang to the tune of that 1910 song; “Let Me Call You Sweet Heart”; that to a person with a nostalgic bent, would bring tears to the eyes (it did mine, remembering all my departed loved ones) of anyone who remembered the sweet pastel views of their past happiness during their formative years with their families and friends, mostly now departed. The themed rooms all lent an air of relaxation and simple, quiet contemplation of the real meaning of life and all that it truly encompasses.

A bit like a fairytale, the Holly House B&B was so nostalgic!
A bit like a fairy tale, the Holly House B&B was so nostalgic!

We’ve visited dozens of B & B’ over the past 20-years, both privately and professionally as B&B reviewers and travel editorialists. Only a few of these are remembered with fondness.  The Holly House, with everything it engendered, by far has been the best overall experience of any of the past visits we’ve made all over the south and northern parts of the USA. Just meeting and hearing Judy sing would be enough for a visit!

P1030614In 1992 the ceilings were lowered and the home made a perfect, now two-story, 6 suite room B & B with a music parlor, the Salute to Liberty Room, the all important gorgeous dining room, two kitchens and is located near Callaway Gardens, and behind a very historic courthouse.

In 2011 Don & Judy Archibald from Manhattan Beach, CA. bought the 1880, totally remodeled in 1992, Holly House and love all that it means to them, their children ( their children and grown and do not live at the Holly House) and their guests. Each guest room is uniquely named and furnished such as the “Victorian Countryside room”, the “Holly’s Haven”, the “Inspired by nature” where we slept for a night, the “Walton Romance Room”, the “Journey Suite” and the “Holly Room. “There is a billiard room, a library and just behind the property a nature walking path meanders through the wood and glade. The location is 20-miles North of Columbus, and 85-miles South of Atlanta. Our breakfast, one of the very best ever, featured a giant peach cobbler made with peaches stuffed into Croissants. Eggs and pork chops, great coffee and  of the garden Rosemary, roasted potatoes-WOW!

The billiard room was the Military remembrance room too!
The billiard room was the Military remembrance room too!
And eggs too! Stuffed Croissants with delicious peaches, incredible pork chops, taters with out of the garden Rosemary.
And eggs too! Stuffed Croissants with delicious peaches, incredible pork chops, taters with out of the garden Rosemary.
No I'm not making it up. Judy had a voice like an angel!
No I’m not making it up. Judy had a voice like an angel!

The B & B address is 127 Barnes Mill Rd. Hamilton, GA.  And phone is 706-628-5634 See their website: hollyhouseofHamilton.com

Clark range Hunting Lodge Has Personality!

 

AmericanPressTravelNews-Sept. 19th, “Bob and Barb On The Road Again”–What would make a modern family leave California, and pioneer backwards towards the east coast of the U.S.?   When the Echternacht family; Jim and Sandy and their son Ian headed to Tennessee, from their home in Santa Barbara, CA. in a circuitous adventure, they had made the decision to purchase Ken Moody’s hunting lodge, and the many hundreds of acres it afforded for client-hunters since the 1950’s.The family wanted to change their life’s paradigm. No more super highways to sit in traffic, no more anti-hunting,  and negative target shooting people to have to deal with, no more incredibly high prices for everything to continue dragging them down.

Son, Ian loves the shooting sports life, handling the dogs, putting hunters on to a wild boar, or the various other game animals on their hunting lodge properties.  I had a chance to shoot with Ian at their range, try out some fine weaponry, and master-blast a few sporting weapons-it was great fun and in an environment where booms and rifle cracks were perfectly acceptable.

The family are happy campers since purchasing the lodge in September, 2016.  “We knew we wanted to leave CA. so we made an RV out of a 1986 shuttle bus. The bus had a fine diesel engine, and no fancy electronics. We traveled all over looking for a place to land outside of CA. We wanted a rural, quiet place to spend our lives that had water, trees and hunting opportunities. So we coined the term: “Go east young man.”  We finally found it here in Clark range.  Just down the road from great service,  and shopping in Crossville, great neighbors, plenty of room, and very happy hunters are our lot now”, said mom Sandy.

When they got into to TN. they stayed at Fall Creek Falls State Park. “We loved the park, the people and the feeling of being in a state that was more laid back than any other we visited, and upon our return to CA. we looked on a land and business sale site, found this lodge here in Clark Range, and studied the idea of buying and settling in the woods and waters of TN. We took quite awhile to decide, and after selling our home in Santa Barbara, and a few trips to, and from Clark Range, here we are”, said Dad, Jim.

Hunters can stay and hunt at the lodge for boar, Fallow Deer, Black Buck and anything non-indigenous to TN.   Whitetail deer, black bear, and other specially licensed animals require a state license. People who wish to have a mount, and the meat hunt here. Several of the long term clients have stated that actually hunting is secondary to being in the wild with family and friends just to hang together-being happy to just be together with those they enjoy  in a relaxed, non-working environment in nature.

The property has diverse terrain with waterfalls cliffs and caves for the adventurer, as well as accessible locations with blinds for the more laid back hunter. First hunts for youngsters with their parents are welcomed. A few groups have come year after year for decades.

There is no plan for clear-cutting; just cleanup as the previous owner wasn’t around for controlling usage of his lands perimeters. Today, Ian is on it all! A great sportsman in his own right, he appreciates, and has the drive to renovate and upgrade the lodge to its original condition, yet upgrade in the style and manner of what a true hunting lodge really feels and looks like. Mom, Sandy, treated us to a great chicken dinner, and we slowly began to lose the trappings and feelings of the life in hustle-mode. Yes, while visiting, we relaxed and understood why folks from all over would come and de-stress at the Clark Range Hunting Lodge. A guide with 16-years experience takes you & your party on guided dog hunts. There are tree stands, and ground blinds also available for hunters of any age, and physical condition is what you’re in for. Parties of 10 or more have exclusive use of the Lodge and Preserve, and smaller parties too are always welcome! We’re going back for some more of that “personality.”

Located at 1640 Campground Road, Clarkrange, TN.  www.clarkrangehuntinglodge.com

 Phone- 931-863-3203

Note* There are several hunting  and sporting lodges in Tennessee, and we plan on visiting a few of these that are in, or are close to Crossville for Fall features.

 

Whitestone Inn, an Inn One Step Above

Giants swim just off the docks at Watts Bar Lake’s Whitestone Inn.

American Press Travel News–July 2018, When Paul and Jean Cowell founded the Whitestone Inn in Paint Rock, TN, as a Bed and Breakfast in 1997, they introduced a delightful and desirous destination place to the rural natural area, not far from Kingston, Knoxville and more than 1000-restaurants and other services. (Just watched Lee and Denise Boggs on Knoxville, TV. They really explained just what their great plans are)

Over the past 10-years, Barb and I visited the Inn and always came away wishing we could stay longer than our reservations called for. This true refresher of the soul, offered us, and their discerning visitors, a peace rarely found at any other accommodation we’ve experienced in our many visits to other resorts and B&B’s across the USA. 

We’ve found that unlike any other resort, and large quality accommodation destination vacation spot, the B & B is a true reflection of the owners- a more intimate, personal experience made excellent, or just so-so, based on the personalities and attitudes of the owners, and their staff as well. 

Put your pin on your TN. map at Kingston for the Whitestone Inn.

Recently Lee & Denise Boggs of Living Waters Ministry in Hiddenite, NC, along with Dean & Debbie Winegardner of Knoxville, have purchased Whitestone Inn and property. The Boggs are operating the Inn and plan to carry on the legacy established by the Cowells. We really enjoyed the laid-back, yet very professional new manager/owner Lee Boggs. He was extremely motivated to make every guest feel right at home at the Whitestone. The new owner’s goals are for Whitestone to continue being a “sanctuary for the soul”— a safe haven where folks can come for a time of rest and refreshment-a “recreation” that puts the real meaning in recreating oneself. They certainly are continuing to provide a great B&B (and much more) experience based on our several visits over the years.

Located on the Watts Bar Lake, surrounded by a protected bird and wildlife sanctuary, Whitestone provides breathtaking views and sunrises and an abundance of wildlife. Deer are seen regularly, as well as wild turkey, and they have a large blueberry patch that guests can pick from to their heart’s content.

With well trained, friendly, motivated staff and 23 beautifully decorated, comfortable suites, great food prepared with love by their professional chefs, comfort is assured. 

There are a multitude of recreational opportunities: hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, frisbee golf, shuffle board, horseshoes, tennis courts, pool, ping pong and a fitness room are always available. Even spa services are offered by a licensed, experienced massage therapist. Romantic carriage rides are a favorite with the guests (we loved it). 

This is a great place for individuals, couples, families, church groups, or corporate retreats, meetings, and events. They can accommodate events of up to 200 people in the spacious and elegant Lion & Lamb Banquet Hall. This place in time and space is a Premier Wedding Venue; Whitestone offers a variety of wedding options and packages ranging from large weddings to even elopements for two. Whitestone also has a variety of venues – the beautiful wedding chapel, a choice of two gazebos, lakeside, by the barn, in the field on a hilltop overlooking a pristine pond, or even in the woods. 

While Whitestone desires to provide a premier getaway B&B, there is a far greater purpose for which Whitestone exists. Since its inception, Whitestone has provided a getaway for missionaries and their families who were on furlough from their assignments abroad. Through the generous donations of Whitestone supporters, they have been able to do this at a greatly reduced price or for no charge at all if necessary.  As they move forward, Lee & Denise plan to continue the missionary care as well as increase the care for Pastors and their families.

Lucious Omelets made right in front of you!
Crab cakes for dinner, fish such as Cod, salmon! We had terrific dinners here!

Get in touch for an very unique experience in Eastern Tennessee: call 865-376-0113 or Google Whitestone Inn, Kingston, TN.

Whitestone Country Inn “A Sanctuary for More Than Your The Soul”

Bob & Barb Epstein “On The Road Again” and Stopping to Smell The Roses”

American Press travel News–5/19/18-“On the Road Again”—We travel far and wide to experience and bring you to places that are just off the beaten path and this week we have a special treat that’s just down the road from the Glade.

The Whitestone Inn  (just down I-40 towards Knoxville) sits on some 360 acres of prime country land in Tennessee on the shores of Watts Bar Lake (stripers-big guys and dolls, walleye, bass, huge cat’s and a dozen other fighters). Surrounded by a wildlife and waterfowl refuge, the Inn is close to all East Tennessee activities and attractions such as DollyWood , the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg to mention a few. Yet this Inn is still far enough away for you to find sanctuary and relaxation in the tranquility of God’s creation-nature in all her abundance. This Inn has been voted one of the “Ten Most Romantic Inns in America” by America’s Historic Inns Group. More than a few weddings have been held here at their chapel and gazebo overlook. Huge Belgian horses offer up wagon and hay rides and just looking over the paddocks and landscape can be a major breath of fresh air and excitement for every member of the family.

The Innkeepers are the Chambers family; all 8 of them, and they offer what has become to be known as the “Brigadoon Experience” where one guest (Bobby Scobey) says it all “Whitestone is the only place I’ve ever been homesick for other than home and Barbara and I after spending just one night, reluctantly left after a breakfast we’ll never forget with that same feeling. To say that the Inn has comfortable rooms and terrific décor would be an understatement. We slept in one of their rooms with a view that wouldn’t quit, eagles flying by our windows as we relaxed in our bathroom Jaccuzi bath, giant king size poster bed-we just didn’t want to leave!

Watt’s Bar Lake is a fisherman’s paradise, striped bass are a big draw here and just about every freshwater warm water fish can be taken in these prolific waters. The walking trails through and around the Whitestone property are absolutely terrific. The views just go on and on and on-a landscape of special treasures all around you.

The food at the Inn is also quite excellent. So wonderful that guests kept requesting the recipes so the owners published a book titled “Favorite Recipes of Whitestone Inn.”

We loved the poached eggs on potato cakes and blueberry stuffed French toast. We are now spoiled so we can’t even think of just a bagel and cheese anymore-just kidding!

The hardcover recipe book full of their charming Tennessee recipes and pictures of the Inn, with dinner meals and breakfast meals is available by contacting the Inn at www.whitestoneinn.com or calling 1-888-247-2464. You can of course make reservations to stay or just visit for dinner by contacting these numbers and e-mail address.

An interesting note for you RV’r’s wanting to drive into the Inn you cannot. The entrance is through an authentic barn-right through the middle of it. So you would have to park your unit at another drive area entrance and walk over. Naturally you can drive your tow car through the barn and that’s how we visited.

Get in touch and make a visit to the Whitestone Inn, you cannot be disappointed!