THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE GETTING AWAY FOR A WEEKEND at an inn or bed-and-breakfast to enjoy the charming, tranquil ambiance. Pennsylvania is home to myriad inns and B&Bs, but these escapes offer more than just a room and a view; many of the most popular spots also offer great meeting space and provide the perfect venue for hosting an event.
Located less than 3 miles from Hershey, The Inn at Westwynd Farm in Hummelstown offers a large meeting room, several common areas and a private cottage with a living room for retreats and off-site corporate meetings. It can also host small events for up to 25 people.
Carolyn Troxell, co-owner of the inn, says the private country setting fosters relaxation and good communication.
“The inn offers several spaces for group meetings and general discussions, as well as ample space for breakout groups,” she says. “Our setting is on a beautiful horse farm, which offers privacy and quiet not found at larger venues. The grounds at our Hershey retreat provide lovely opportunities for long walks and reflection.”
For those interested in getting a taste of some history, the Federal Pointe Inn is situated inside an old schoolhouse and features a meeting space that was once a classroom.
“It has a lot of character and still has features of the school inside, such as an old chalkboard and old school pictures,” says Sandra Scott, guest service director for the Gettysburg inn. “It’s not your cookie-cutter meeting space and is a wonderful place to take advantage of the historic aspect.”
The room seats 30 and is often used for corporate retreats and gatherings. On-site catering is also available.
At the The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm in Holicong, event guests will pass through the large, white estate gates and enter along a scenic tree-lined driveway before being greeted by a bronze fountain with cherubs spraying water from their flutes.
“It’s unique and the property is beautiful with great gardens, and it’s definitely not your institutional-type meeting space,” says Mona Crisp-Gallo, front desk manager at the inn. “We have a lot of history here. It was once owned by playwright George S. Kauffman and dates back to 1740.”
A state-of-the-art conference center is offered in its stone bank barn, with 10 breakout rooms available for daily conferences for up to 145 guests, classroom-style. “Large windows offer natural light and look out over horse pastures, meadows and forest,” Crisp-Gallo says. “Our chef prepares gourmet meals in his open kitchen and attendees have access to all executive spa services in a setting conducive to greater creativity and productivity.”
Exceptional surroundings and impeccable service are the keys to the highly successful meetings and events that take place at Buhl Mansion.
“This 1890s mansion offers unparalleled service and complete privacy with its Castle for a Day package,” says Laura Ackley, general manager. “It’s perfect for executive retreats.”
The mansion has a plethora of venues, including a carriage house, garden and a parlour. Maximum capacity is 120.
Its sister property, Tara - A Country Inn in Clark, is also available for meetings and events. “Themed on Gone With the Wind, this 1854 mansion offers 27 luxurious guest rooms, gourmet or casual dining and corporate events up to 150,” says Ackley. “Both properties offer elegant, award-winning inns with historical architecture, acres of beautiful gardens, fairytale backdrops and exceptional service.”
For dining options, Tara has on-site restaurants, while Buhl Mansion hosts a number of preferred off-site caterers.
Sayre Mansion may be located in a bustling area, but the Bethlehem’s urban haven has a personalized, quaint feel about it.
“It has a great atmosphere and we try to make everyone feel special and personalize their service,” says Carrie Ohlandt, owner. “Despite the fact it’s located in an urban area, offering great access to all activities that Bethlehem has to offer, when you are inside the inn, it’s very restful and relaxing and you can get away from everything.”
Events take place in the Asa Packer Room, which can accommodate 35 people in a boardroom setting. Meeting room and equipment rental fees are waived with the rental of all 22 guest rooms.
The Pocono Mountains have long been known for having great outdoor recreation and that’s one of the reasons why the Ledges Hotel, located in the lake region of the Poconos, is perfect for holding a meeting.
“It’s a great place for hosting an executive meeting or team-bonding event because we have access to hiking, biking, skiing and water sports and it’s just a great area for outdoor fun when the meeting ends,” says Terri Marcellus, front desk manager. “Our setting is very peaceful, serene, relaxing, eco-friendly and we have a seasonal waterfall at the back of the property to add to the beauty.”
The meeting space consists of an executive two-story suite that includes a conference table for 10, A/V equipment (upon request) and a kitchenette and wet bar.
“It’s not a huge space, but we have some flexibility and it’s really great for small groups,” Marcellus says. “It’s great for a meeting because it’s a combination of a fabulous setting, a fabulous team, great service and a wonderful experience.” Additionally, the inn’s Glasswine. bar.kitchen can be utilized for larger events and meetings when it is closed for business, and catering options are available from its sister property, the Settler’s Inn.
Meeting options at The Inn at Leola Village are aplenty with seven private meeting rooms, multiple breakout rooms and more than 7,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
“Our conference center, which includes banquet halls and reception sites, is an ideal venue for government seminars, training programs and association meetings, and can accommodate 300-plus,” says Owner Randy Howat. “We can accommodate educational sessions for 200, banquet parties for 265 and we also offer an outdoor garden that fits 180.”
The inn is located on the former site of an Amish tobacco farm and guests can stroll the sprawling grounds, as well as visit the organic herb and vegetable gardens. Two dining options are also situated on the property, including a five-star Forbes rated restaurant (one of only 37 in the United States) that can be made available for meetings and events.
“Being independently owned, we offer a lot of charm and authenticity, which you don’t get with a Hilton or DoubleTree,” Howat says. “The attention we give our guests makes it an ideal spot for a meeting.”