News from Islamorada
AMERICAN PRESS TRAVEL NEWS Charlotte, N.C.-Barb and I always like to experience the fine mom and pop B&B’s, resorts and middle of the road hotels and motels across America. However, sometimes we enjoy visiting the finest upscale, restored hundred year old homes and older. The architecture and landscaping of a different time, and mind-set, be they diminutive, or sprawling (The Duke Mansion is 32,000 Square feet, nearly a full acre of home) of the highly successful business magnates (now gone to bed in history) of the ilk of Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Loews, to name a few, that were able to afford the utmost in real estate and grandiose homes, now turned into guest accommodations. The Duke Mansion is such a place in time and space. With 14- original acres back in 1915 and today, gardens of roses and flora mirroring the past gardens, rooms with soaring ceilings, and huge windows with brass hardware of delightful industrial Revolution, art era design, juxtaposed near today’s comfortable beds and modern bath facilities-and at a price per day and evening, reasonable enough for any special occasion and exclusive visit.
We pulled into the curved driveway with easy parking, stopped for a picture of Mr. Duke’s original shooting fountain (Duke of Duke Power fame, said his Rolls Royce, Daughter Doris and his fountain was what he was most proud of) and were ensconced, thanks to the delightful concierge into a charming room with chocolates on the bed and homemade cookies and beverages just outside our door. After relaxing and looking over the grounds (So much history, so little time!) We headed for a highly recommended restaurant; Five Church for dinner! What a delightful meal awaited us after the Valet did the parking: Maine Lobster for Barbara, Scallops, and their 60-second New York Strip for us too (we share everything, and compare notes and tastes). Great service by Brian, our wait guy! We tried shrimp flat bread for appetizer and wonderful tomato bisque! Everything was “multi belle.” www.5church.com Entrance at 5th Street and Church St. 704-919-1322.
Duke Mansion is located at 400 Hermitage Road Charlotte, NC 28207 www.dukemansion.com 888-202-1009