Hotels can be nice. If you like the turnkey experience of just checking in with one of many agents, getting a little key card and being on your merry way to one room that is likely identical to hundreds of others, hotels are great. They can be reliable, since you know the chains you like and can book many of them wherever you are in the world. Some of them feel so massive, with several restaurants, pools and shops that it feels like staying at an amusement park. But that feeling isn’t for every traveler. Some sojourners like to feel that they are staying somewhere unlike anywhere else. And some travelers like to feel that special, personal touch that you just can’t get with a big hotel.
Bed and Breakfasts are perfect for the traveler who wants that personal attention from staff and to stay in a place that’s rich with personality. Bed and Breakfast owners take a tremendous amount of pride in their establishment, and you can feel their love in every room. Because these accommodations usually are smaller than hotels, you can often get to know the other guests, too. With winter in our laps, it’s that time when you just crave a cozy stay for your travels. So if you are hitting the road or the skies, check out these charming Black-owned Bed and Breakfasts around the country.
Six Acres Bed & Breakfast
Situated within the LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center’s forests, Six Acres Bed & Breakfast is surrounded by lush greenery. Rich with important history, the property serves as a living reminder of the Underground Railroad. The original structure was built by an abolitionist in the mid-1800s and served as a safe haven for those traveling the Underground Railroad, escaping nearby Kentucky for the free state of Ohio. It is now owned by Kristen Kitchen, who strives to uplift the local Black community, providing employment to neighbors and keeping the important stories of the place alive. The inn has five rooms, each uniquely decorated in a way meant to maintain the historical integrity of the original home. There are options with single or double beds, as well as a suite with two bedrooms, a living room and a full kitchen.
Brooklyn, New York
Those looking to enjoy The Big Apple but lay their heads down at night somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan can stay at Akwaaba Mansion. It was first built in the 1860s and has since been restored, featuring beautiful upgrades, but it maintains the structure’s original style and charm. It is owned by couple Monique Greenwood and Glenn Progue, but Greenwood serves as the CEO of the property (which is actually part of a small group of hotel properties she owns). The mansion has just four rooms, each decorated to the nines. Staying here feels like staying in a luxury mansion and there is no such thing as a small or casual room. You will feel spoiled. In addition to in-room spa services, the property also offers a champagne, flowers and rose pedals package for $75. Groups can book the entire property for private events as well.
The Mansion at Noble Lane
The Mansion at Noble Lane is a part of the Akwaaba family of inns owned by Monique Greenwood. Quite different from the Brooklyn property, this inn, which was once a private estate, has a total of 14 rooms and sits on 22 lush acres of property for guests to roam and enjoy. The Mansion offers a complementary breakfast as well as afternoon refreshments that can include fresh fruit, cheese and other treats. There are three styles of room: the Classic for those looking for value, the Luxury for those wanting something bigger and the Premium, which are spacious and come with either a private balcony or a premier view. The on-site spa Youtopia offers massages, mani/pedis and facials. High tea and tours of the property are available Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. There is also an on-site bar, and the property offers to pack picnic lunches for those who want to venture out. Champagne and s’mores are offered on Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm.
The Inn at Folkston
If you are looking for something quaint an intimate, The Inn at Folkston offers it – both because of the property itself and the town it sits in. Folkston has a population just shy of 3,000 and to give you some idea of how wonderfully quiet it is, one of the “things to do” here is watch freight trains pass through town. The Inn at Folkston is owned by Ted and Alease Kelly. It was the couple’s lifelong dream to own an inn and that dream came to fruition when they opened their B&B in 2013. The very first Bed and Breakfast to open in the town, this inn is in a building that is approaching 100 years old. There are just four rooms, each with their own theme. The daily breakfast is included and consists of local farm fresh eggs, fresh fruit and sausage. Guests can visit the Okefenokee Swamp just 10 miles away to see wildlife and enjoy nature or walk to downtown to grab a bite to eat.
The Oak Bluffs Inn
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Owned by Rhonda and Erik Albert, this Victorian-era structure built in the late 1800s was once a private home and is now a 10-room B&B. A world-renowned destination, The Oak Bluffs has hosted the likes of Spike Lee, Woody Harrelson and the Obama family. It is walkable to nearby restaurants, golf courses and beaches. Guests often like to visit the iconic nearby 300-plus gothic gingerbread style cottages that the vineyard is known for. The inn’s rooms vary in size and style and there’s something for everyone. There are smaller rooms, a penthouse suite and even rooms with their own entrances. Every room offers incredible views of the garden or surrounding neighborhood. Daily breakfast includes fresh eggs, tea, coffee, baked goods, fruit and yogurt. Do note that the inn closes January 1 and reopens in April so you’ll want to book your winter getaway soon.
This Victorian-era inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its owners Lankford and Joyce Blair are ordained ministers and have married dozens of couples at the inn’s lovely on-site chapel. The Magnolia House has just three rooms, so it’s very intimate. The Ellington Suite, with its Jacuzzi tub, is perfect for couples. The Writer’s Retreat is great for an individual seeking tranquility. And the Haven is spacious and comfortable for a couple as well. Each room features luxurious upholstery, reminiscent of the era when the home was built. Breakfast is included and the owners cater to your dietary restrictions, but guests can expect treats like freshly made turkey sausage and baked goods. There is no shortage of things to do in the area, with the Virginia Air & Space Science Center, several beaches and a nature preserve nearby, as well as beautiful golf courses, breweries and wine tasting sites.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The stunning Hubbard Mansion is owned by Don and the late Rose Hubbard who purchased and renovated the mansion a little over 15 years ago. It has five rooms including suites and two apartments for long-term stays. The property is modeled after a mansion in the Old Spanish Promenade Grounds overlooking the Mississippi River. Each rooms features period piece furniture and antiques like clawfoot vintage tubs and mahogany armoires. The B&B has been described as “Buckingham Palace with a Creole Twist.” It is located on the historic St. Charles Avenue, near the French District. Daily breakfast includes baked goods, southern coffee and fresh fruit served on fine china. To give some idea of royal feel here, the rooms have names such as Henry II and Queen Dell.
This charming inn is owned by friend duo Sharon Owens and Genora Boykins, who used to work at the same company and shared a dream of leading a simpler life in their retirement. They bought the land in 1999 when there was a lack of hotels in the downtown Houston area. The inn has just seven rooms that have a contemporary European feel. It is walking distance to restaurants and entertainment and is certainly accommodating for business travelers, thanks to complimentary Wi-Fi, USB plugs in the rooms and spacious desks. La Maison offers special packages for romantic getaways and anniversaries, as well as corporate retreats.