• Intimate Inns and B&Bs Bring a Powerful Punch to Small Meetings and Events

     
    FROM THE Spring 2014 ISSUE
     
  • Intimate Inns and B&Bs Bring a Powerful Punch to Small Meetings and Events

     
    FROM THE Spring 2014 ISSUE
     

                

Set on 300 acres of preserved farmland high above the Delaware River, Woolverton Inn practically defines the word "hideaway." It may just have a lock on peace, quiet and rustic refinement, and when you book an event or meeting at this charming 1792 stone manor and country estate, it is entirely yours. The 13 accommodations are plush (think featherbeds, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs), yet all bear an inimitable country charm. Start the day with a farm-fresh, multicourse breakfast and then retire to the living room to discuss business. Of course, the gorgeous grounds (complete with grazing sheep!) are ideal for alfresco get-togethers.

As innkeeper Ros Bruno puts it, "we are 45 minutes from the George Washington Bridge, but a world apart." Indeed, The Whistling Swan Inn feels like a well-kept secret in the little country town of Stanhope, yet it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from north Jersey’s many corporations and small companies. Set right in the heart of town, this Victorian inn is the perfect place for those who need to get away from it all to focus and brainstorm. Indoors, meetings for up to 35 can be arranged in the downstairs living room and parlor, while outdoors, the wraparound veranda handles up to 60. Upstairs, the historic inn has nine guest rooms, all individually decorated with a classic Victorian vibe, yet outfitted with modern conveniences (complimentary Wi-Fi) and comforts (deep-soaking bathtubs). The mood may be relaxing and quiet, Bruno says, but fans shout about their experience here; it was just named to BedandBreakfast.com’s 2013 Top 10 U.S. B&Bs.

Classic and traditional with an ultra-luxurious look and feel is what The Bernards Inn has been doling out for more than a century. This historic inn occupies a prime location right in the heart of Bernardsville on its quaint main street (and directly across from a NJ Transit train stop). Step off the street into a supremely elegant lobby complete with an oversized fireplace and bountiful fresh floral display. From there, it’s upstairs to the 20 elegantly decorated guest rooms and suites. These sophisticated retreats are designed with an English country décor and are outfitted with state-of-the-art amenities. It may be small, but The Bernards Inn sports varied event spaces, including a ballroom. The dining room is an area favorite for its award-winning gourmet American cuisine and can be closed for private events, but the jewel in the crown is most certainly the stunning Silver Vault and Wine Pantry space downstairs. Gorgeous wood-planked floors, beamed ceilings and distressed brick-it’s shabby chic meets country cool wrapped up in one stunning space. "With our unique spaces, exquisite food and fine accommodations, we have a great recipe at The Bernards Inn," says Bonnie Schleimer, director of catering. "We are completely dedicated to exceptional food and superior service." Indeed, it is a AAA Four-Diamond property and recently won New Jersey’s Gold Plate Award.

The word destination can easily be thrown around when describing places, but it might be difficult to find a place that fits that description better than Lambertville Station. After all, the restaurant, which sits slightly up the hill from the riverfront inn, was a former railroad station. Instead of a pass-through on the way to other places, this restored 19th century rail station now invites diners to enjoy its gleaming interiors and its lovely views alongside a classic American menu. The Victorian Lounge is perfect for intimate group dinners and small banquets, and located just a few steps away is the Inn at Lambertville Station, where 45 plush guest rooms await. The inn boasts a tucked-away ambiance, yet it really delivers when it comes to events. This spring marks the grand opening of the newly renovated 200-seat riverside ballroom, which features a riverside outdoor cocktail space, an eight-seat executive boardroom and a hospitality suite. And it doesn’t hurt to have all these features in one of America’s Prettiest Towns, according to Forbes.

Promising “a modern stay in Amish country,” the Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center has completed the final phase of a $30-million multi-year makeover of the entire property, including its 317 guest rooms, event space, common areas and grounds.

 

After being shuttered for two years, while it underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation, The Langham, Boston, has reopened its doors, restored and reimagined. “Guests of The Langham will surely notice the extraordinary transformation that came with the great deal of time and care, tying it seamlessly back to its Boston banking heritage but with a fresh, luxurious touch,” says Michele Grosso, managing director of the iconic downtown Boston property, which has 312 guestrooms, over 13,000 square feet of function space and two dining venues.

 

Despite an overall crushing year for the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania, some seeds of hope have been planted and are finally sprouting in the form of new hotel openings. These new properties on the horizon have ample meeting and event space up for grabs, all within close proximity of each other. As capacities allowances increase, check out the new real estate for meetings and events at the following hotels.