5 on August 17, 2014
I am to Jacksonville on business and wanted a place close to the city. This was perfect and the hosts were gracious and accommodating to my schedule. I'll be staying again next time I'm in town.
3.4 on July 20, 2014
My wife and I spent our anniversary weekend at this historic house in Jacksonville and were very pleased with our experience. The house is charming and the hosts were gracious and personable. It was walking or biking distance to all of the places we wished to visit and just a short drive to the beautiful state parks in that area. We would stay there again with no hesitation.
5 on July 17, 2014
very comfortable, near to many good restaurants. the best part is the owners are really nice and very accommodating. we would definitely return.
4.8 on May 14, 2014
Gracious, informed hosts, in an interesting residential neighborhood close to good restaurants.
5 on April 21, 2014
If you want a comfortable and clean B&B with so very friendly and accommodating innkeepers who can cook with a flare -this is the place for you. The neighborhood is perfect for walkers, close to restaurants and the St Johns River if you like to walk. The Jenk House's very Florida and true-to-form prairie design make for a relaxing sojourn.
5 on March 21, 2014
Please come and visit us if you get out this way thanks again Al and Candis .
5 on March 10, 2014
The Jenks house was lovely. Full of architectual charms and warmth. The bed was comfortable, The innkeepers were very knowledgable and extremely friendly. Breakfast was plentiful and unique. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and will most likely stay there again as we have family very close by.
5 on March 06, 2014
Wonderful place, the owners were great.
5 on February 19, 2014
We were greeted kindly by the proprietors whose passion for their beautifully restored historic home was only topped by the fresh and healthy breakfast we were served. From the front porch swing, to the immaculate (ironed) white sheets, to the fresh squeezed orange juice from the tree in the back yard we loved every moment. The Riverside neighborhood is amazing with lots to do within walking distance and the price... very reasonable.
5 on January 12, 2014
I was able to book the Jenks House via phone just days before our scheduled trip to Jax. From that first call, Tom and Ila Rae were extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating. I loved being able to stay at their historic home with tall ceilings, big windows, original built-ins and breezy rooms. The Jenks House is a beauty and to me (from Boston) delightfully Southern. The breakfast (we got to decide what time!) consisted of a souffléd-omelette, baked pears, and homemade breads to die for. Our bedroom and private bath were both generous in size and with plenty of surfaces to set our belongings and baggage down, and hang our clothes. It felt a bit like going back in time and I only wish we'd had more than the one evening to appreciate the house- especially the Florida room. Next time!
4.8 on January 07, 2014
If you like the charm of the past, you will love staying at this meticulously renovated 1920's Prairie School style house. Vintage furniture, old books and no TV in the room made our stay very pleasant. Ila and Tom serve an outstanding breakfast featuring fresh squeezed orange juice and warm papaya harvested from their garden fruit trees. We enjoyed the conversation with our hosts who shared with our their favorite, off the bitten path, palaces to visit in North Florida. We recommend this beautiful place.
5 on November 05, 2013
Owners are personable and we had a great breakfast with them. The food and their company added to an enjoyable meal. Plus, their home is a great building to admire.
5 on October 21, 2013
Ila Rae and Tom make all of their guests feel very welcome in their beautiful home. The breakfasts are fantastic and unique. Can't wait to return!
4.6 on September 04, 2013
Very accommodating hosts. Tom brought a television set into our room so my husband could watch football at night and served him coffee on the porch in the morning before I came down for breakfast. Ila Rae clipped flowers from her garden for the table. We were very comfortable. The historic home is beautifully preserved.
5 on August 20, 2013
We had a nice one night stand and enjoyed talking with Tom and having breakfast with him and Ila Rae in the morning.
4.4 on August 16, 2013
Breakfast was fantastic, Hosts very friendly!
4.8 on July 18, 2013
Tom roasts coffee beans to suit your desires. Ila Rae creates wonderful breakfasts. The Jenks House is in a great part of Jacksonville, Riverside at Five Points, convenient to food and anyplace in the downtown area.
5 on July 01, 2013
Great location, terrific house, perfect owners. Enough Said. A must stay.
5 on June 30, 2013
We will be back!
5 on June 28, 2013
The Jenks House is a beautiful historic home in the Frank Lloyd Wright tradition; the woodwork in this home is breathtaking. The Merten's were superb hosts, really making me feel at home and sharing the history of their beautiful property. This place is a real gem!
5 on June 22, 2013
We had a wonderful stay! We loved the B&B and all of the owners' advice about what else to see while we were in Jacksonville. It was perfect!
4.8 on June 19, 2013
My husband and I enjoyed our stay at the Jenks House. The proprietors, Tom & Ila Rae are warm and welcoming. The house has been restored to a beautiful state, being for the most part all original and very clean! We can't say enough about the fantastic breakfasts. Ila Rae is a wonderful cook and each morning during our stay she impressed us with her cooking skills. Everything was prepared perfectly.
4.4 on June 12, 2013
We had a lovely weekend staying at the Jenks House. We stayed in the mission room which was comfortable and clean. The house is in a great neighborhood and is close to restaurants and shops. Our host couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. We certainly would recommend staying here.
4.4 on June 05, 2013
Highly recommended. Room was comfortable and clean, location is great, food is fantastic, and Tom and Ila Rae are outstanding hosts. Like staying with friends!
5 on May 27, 2013
I had a brief but thoroughly enjoyable stay at The Jenks House. Ila Rae and Tom were so welcoming and happy to chat and show me around their garden. The best food I ate during my US trip! Would definitely recommend.
5 on May 23, 2013
My wife and I stayed in this beautiful little B&B. When we arrived you could not tell that it was a business of any sort. It looked just like one of the normal homes. When we pulled up the gravel drive way and walked up to the porch we were greeted by Tom who was one of the friendliest characters I have ever met. He showed us around the home, showing us all the history and being so excited about everything. He showed us all the rooms and then to our room. The next day we were greated with a wonderful breakfast (the take special request) fresh orange juice, ham, fresh fruit and potatoes. The next day was french toast and panackes. When we were getting ready to leave my wife asked Tom about his garden and he showed us around showing us everything that was organic and showing us his rain collection system. He is truly fascinating and loves what he does. My wife and I will stay here again soon.
5 on May 05, 2013
We enjoyed our 3 nights so much. Tom & Ila make you feel comfortable and welcome. We needed information about the local area and they very helpful, We will always remember our stay as one of the best decisions ever..
5 on April 24, 2013
Beautiful house, incredibly welcoming hosts, great breakfast!!
3.8 on April 11, 2013
It was a nice, quiet night for my husband and I. No TV but had wireless internet so we could watch what we wanted on our iPad. Authentic decor. Wonderful breakfast and conversation with the owners.
4.6 on March 30, 2013
Food was excellent. Beautiful house and very nice hosts. Beautiful neighborhood.
4.8 on March 24, 2013
We have stayed here before so when we knew we needed to be near the airport we talked our friends into staying here also. They were not disappointed and we all talked with the owners till after 11pm and found we had a lot in common. Do not stay here if you just want to hole up in the room.
5 on March 24, 2013
We enjoyed our stay immensely, owners were delightful and gave us a sense of history and culture of the region. Beautiful house, great time.
3.8 on March 23, 2013
The Jenks house is a very nice, simple, quiet, comfortable place to stay Besides one's own room, there are a couple other nice places to hang out in the house. The owners Illa Rae and Tom could not be nicer and the breakfast they gave me was wonderful. They were friendly and patient with answering questions I had about North Florida, a place I'd never been to before. The house is immaculate and the rooms are nice. The bed was comfortable. The house has some nice antiques and a number of quirky vintage items scattered about that are fun to look at. For instance there was an old view master in my room,, and I enjoyed looking at old pictures of Florida on it. There is nothing special about the neighborhood, just an older neighborhood with ordinary family homes. But it's not far to drive to Jacksonville attractions. I had a little trouble finding it because I arrived in the evening. The front porch was mostly dark,and the house number was not lit. Like another reviewer said, the Jenks house is not a luxury type B & B, but I don't need luxury and it suited me just fine. -Christine Laing, Washington State
5 on March 21, 2013
my wife set this stay up & it was very nice. tom & ila ray are very friendly people, supper clean room, & a very nice breakfast with conversation! would recommend! check out the local pubs within walking distance, we visited "the garage" one evening & had a good time.
5 on March 16, 2013
Tom and Ila Rae literally welcome you into their home. I love when I randomly find a B & B where you feel as though you are staying in a place where you are meant to be. I was the only guest and shared a delicious and beautifully presented breakfast with Tom and Ila Rae. Great conversation...the kind where you relax and it flows with interesting and heartfelt energy. They love to garden and grow food. I hope to return again!
4.6 on March 06, 2013
The Jenks House is a great bargain. The house is beautiful, and the common spaces are comfortable and cozy. What really astounded me though was the breakfast. I follow a special diet and have had so many experiences of terrible, bland food, but Ila Rae's 3-course breakfast was nothing short of phenomenal! The juices were fresh squeezed from oranges and grapefruits grown on the property, the muffins were fresh baked, and the baked pear with hazelnuts and the oatmeal cakes with apple syrup were delicious. The bedding was incredible, the room comfy. All around a wonderful stay, and I will be back when visiting Jacksonville again.
4.8 on February 28, 2013
Spent 2 nights at the Jenks House. Tom and Ila Rae are very interesting and friendly hosts. They are also great cooks and serve a tasty breakfast set at a beautiful decorated table. We have already recommended it to friends and would go back whenever we are in the area again. We ejoyed the Riverwalk and had meals at 3 great restaurtants, Brick, Orsay, and the European Street Cafe. All great!!!.... and each very different. Hope you visit and enjoy.
5 on February 19, 2013
We had a wonderful time the 2 nights that we stayed. Staying with Tom and Ila was almost like visiting old friends or relatives. We felt at home and spent several hours just finding out about the rich history of the Jenks House and personal conversations about family. We enjoyed seeing Tom's orange trees and papaya plants. We will definately stay again.
5 on February 12, 2013
I came to visit family with my girlfriend and was gifted a night at the Jenks House. What a fantastic experience. Tom was very friendly, knowledgeable, and knew a great deal about the history of Jacksonville and the neighborhood I grew up in. He is an avid gardener and had a great organic garden behind the bed and breakfast with orange trees and papayas! We had a delicious breakfast with fresh roasted organic coffee, fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice from the neighborhood and fresh papaya from his back yard. The room was nice with a big comfy bed and a clawfoot bathtub! This is a beautiful gem and I will be back for another visit.
4.6 on February 12, 2013
Very comfortable room and home. Good book selection. Enjoyed the sun room in the back for relaxing with my book or iPad (nice fast wifi connection). Breakfast includes freshly squeezed orange juice from trees on the property and freshly roasted coffee. Also from the property trees, we were treated to fresh papaya, so good! Host Tom was very congenial and helpful. Also provided nice background material regarding history of Jacksonville. We hope to return here again..
5 on February 11, 2013
This beautiful home is located close to the airport located close to major freeways. The Mertens have created a well-kept home using the old and adding a little new for comfort. The Jenks house appeals to the aesthics with spacious rooms, beautiful shiney woodwork, high airy ceilings, collectable furniture, and beautful touches such as quilts, collectible items and charming needlework items. My room had a comfortable bed with ironed prinstine sheets. The attached bath was perfectly clean and convenient. The Mertens are a wonderful hostess and host serving fresh squeesed orange juice (at the time I stayed, it was from their own oranges), delicious breakfasts made with fresh ingredients and homemade care. Of the thirteen B&Bs I've visited, this rates among the best.
4.4 on January 24, 2013
First trip to JAX and the local knowledge of Tom and Ila Rae was very helpful. Would stay again!
5 on January 06, 2013
The Jenks House is a charming home with lovely woodwork throughout. We found this historic home warm and inviting, especially dressed up for the holiday. We loved the added touch in our room of the history of the house that was put together by their daughter. The best thing about the Jenks House, however, is its owners Tom and Illa Rae Merten. You could not ask for more friendly hosts. Tom grinds and brews your coffee fresh each morning and squeezes fresh orange juice from oranges that grow in the backyard. Illa Rae makes the most fluffy eggs and omelets you can imagine. Her home baked bread is wonderful. A person who loves breakfast, I was delighted. The Mertens go out of their way to make you comfortable. They accommodated our dietary choices and breakfast times. They allowed us to invite our daughter for breakfast one morning. Tom and Illa Rae are both interested in their guests and interesting. We spent much time after breakfast chatting with them. Tom is very proud of his green lodging designation, and the solar hot water heater, which he should be. A long time environmentalist, I was happy to get to know these wonderful people who tread lightly on the earth by growing some of their own food and saving energy. The quaint Riverside area where it is located has many restaurants, coffee shops, a movie theatre, and a museum. We loved our gourmet dinner at the Black Sheep. In short, the Jenks House was the perfect “home base” to branch out from on our visit. We look forward to staying there again and catching up with our new friends Tom and Illa Rae. Stuart, Florida
5 on November 14, 2012
Great, relaxing overnight in a place with character. As a business traveler I appreciate a place that isn't a cookie-cutter sleepover. Hope to see you again, Ila Rae and Tom.
5 on November 13, 2012
Hosts Tom and Ila Rae were wonderful, kind, and gracious. My room was quaint and comfortable, and quiet. The breakfast was delicious and filling. I can't imagine staying at an impersonal hotel chain over a wonderful personal experience such as this. One of the best! -Megan
5 on November 07, 2012
My husband and I stayed at The Jenks House while we were in town for job interviews. The rooms were comfortable and spotlessly clean, breakfast was delicious, and Tom and Ila Rae were amazing hosts. They made us feel welcome immediately, and obviously love having guests in their home. We were even treated to a special tour of the garden. We will absolutely stay with them the next time we're in town...we feel like we have two new friends in Jacksonville now. :)
4.4 on October 28, 2012
We stayed in late February having just flown in that night from the UK. Hosts were more than helpful, even gave us a lift to a local resteraunt ! Breakfast was really good and hosts were very friendly , chatty and would recommend to others (just have done). Would certainly stay again. Steve and Jan Jones , Aberdaron Wales.
4.8 on October 27, 2012
It is clear that the Mertens treat their home and their 'work' as B&B hosts with a great deal of passion. Their lovely home is a perfect example of the Prairie School style and they have not only lovingly restored the house to it's original decor but they've carefully filled it with period furniture and other touches of the period. It's a joy just to relax on the upstairs 'porch' and spend the afternoon reading. Tom and Ila Rae are keen historians and have wonderful stories of their home's history as well as that of Jacksonville. They're great on local restaurant ideas as well as shopping and nice walks along the river. Their garden produces lots of things that appear at breakfast, even out of season. And their commitment to doing things in a 'green' way is obvious and admirable. Breakfasts are gourmet (but don't eat ALL the fresh blueberry pancakes or poor Tom goes without afterwards!) Ila Rae is a wonderful cook and her creations are both delicious and beautifully presented. We had a terrific stay with the Mertens. It was our first introduction to Jacksonville made all the more special by their interest in us and in their city. A great place to stay with fascinating hosts. Sandy and Marilyn
4.6 on October 19, 2012
I've stayed at the Jenks House a couple of times now. Always nice and comfortable. The hosts are great, food is lovely, and everything is very clean. I don't like most B&Bs, but this one is tastefully decorated in real vintage fixtures, and the hosts are actually pleasant to be around.
3.2 on October 17, 2012
Comfortable, peaceful, thoughtfully equipped and environmentally sensitive accommodations in a lovely home conveniently situated in wonderful, walkable Riverside. Gracious hosts, delicious breakfast. Jenks House offers an exceptional west-of-the-river location that is close (but not too close!) to I-10 and I-95 and smack in the middle of the Riverside-Avondale area's great collection of local shops, restaurants, coffee houses, brew pubs and cultural/scenic offerings. A decent-or-better overall value for a pleasant overnight experience in an attractive, historic, progressive neighborhood that is definitely unique and way-above-average for Jacksonville.
4.8 on September 30, 2012
We spent a weekend at Jenks House, driving over from Tallahasse, so the wife could visit the Quiltfest and the husband have some quiet time to catch up on his writing. We were made so comfortable and at home by Tom and Ila Rae who are the most enthusiastic and friendly B&B hosts I have ever met! The room was immaculate and decorated with antiques but had free flat surfaces for our things, ample outlets for chargers, and all the amenities exactly as listed! Their restaurant suggestions were very helpful, we would not have found Cosy Tea for that delicious lunch otherwise. We loved the garden and the fruit trees and the breezy front porch with ample seating. I have planted some papaya seeds Tom , we'll see how it goes! Am already planning our return for next year. Sue and Tim, Tallahassee FL
4.8 on August 29, 2012
Historic home, beautifully maintained in a quiet residential neighborhood. Not luxurious, but very clean, comfortable and hospitable. Will stay there again.
4.4 on July 26, 2012
Ila Rae's breakfasts were above wonderful: full of fresh local produce. Tom's fresh squeezed orange juice was the perfect way to start a day. Ila Rae and Tom were excellent hosts, full of information regaarding the area,available for dining suggestions, always interested in your comfort. A true asset to the B&B commuunity.
5 on July 19, 2012
Tom and Ila Rae were so warm and welcoming, and by the end of our stay, we felt like they were old friends. Their home is a beautifully restored historic gem in the Prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright. They have kept true to the style in their choice of furnishings, fixtures, and beautiful photos and works of art. Their accommodation of our dietary preferences didn't hamper in the least Ila Rae's culinary talent, and everything was artfully presented. They had thought of everything we might need in our lovely room and private bath. They were so helpful in guiding us in our first exploration of the Jacksonville area. We will certainly look forward to another visit.
5 on July 09, 2012
I was unable to stay at the Jenks House but I did go by and check it out for future accomodations. The house is very cozy and decorated for the period. Tom is such a fantastic guy and is willing to help you any way he can. We probably spend an hour just chatting. I highly recommend this B&B for your stay in Jacksonville and I will be telling all of my friends that it is a great place to stay.
4.4 on May 31, 2012
Wonderful hosts and excellent food! We were there celebrating an anniversary and to see the U.S. vs. Scotland soccer match. Tropical storm Beryl made for an interesting end to our weekend stay. Ila Rae and Tom are wonderful people and great hosts.
4.6 on May 27, 2012
The Jenks House is gorgeous........the pictures do not do it justice. Ila Rae and Tom are gracious hosts and we greatly enjoyed our weekend! We will definitely return!
4.6 on May 24, 2012
The title is an apt description of Ila Rae and Tom, the kind of people you stay at a B&B to meet. They were very forthcoming about themselves and interested in us. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with them, as well as our visit to their backyard garden. Breakfasts were delicious, especially the fruit cup and fresh squeezed orange juice. The house was well kept, and our room was spacious. We wouldn't have minded a softer bed, but we slept okay. We stayed here to attend my nephew's graduation from high school. We'll plan on coming back when my other nephew graduates in a couple of years.
5 on May 15, 2012
I really enjoyed my time here. The rooms were awesome, clean and fresh. Everything was organized and nice. Ila and Tom are wonderful wonderful people and I really enjoyed the conversations. I do ask a lot of questions and they patiently responded every single time :) Thank you for that. I highly recommend this place to everyone that wants to experience the real Florida. I've never been to Florida before but his was awesome. I will come back again. I certainly enjoyed it.
3.8 on May 11, 2012
This was a quick stay during a business trip. For several years I had stayed at another local B&B and they had closed, so I decided to try Jenks. The hosts were FANTASTIC; some of the warmest people I have met during years of travel. The breakfast was fantastic and the rooms basic but comfortable. I would definitely recommend Jenks House to others.
4.2 on May 07, 2012
Although we spent just one short night in Jacksonville, this was one of the best and most beautiful rooms of our entire USA-Trip. Very friendly (and patient!) Inkeepres that waited for our arrival until late at night and served the best american breakfast ever - thanks a lot !
4.4 on February 08, 2012
Thank you so much for a lovely weekend as we enjoyed spending time and getting to know you both. We were so pleased when you joined us for an incredible breakfast. The food was exquisite and the conversation even better. You have a lovely beautifully restored B&B. It is refreshing and apparent that you are quite passionate about creating a relaxing and pleasant experience for your guests.
5 on January 18, 2012
Fresh squeezed orange juice, delicious vegetarian breakfast, warm and welcoming hosts - we didn't just have a nice B&B stay, we made new friends. Ila Rae and Tom couldn't have been more our type of people; we liked them so much, we lingered over breakfast for hours chatting and getting to know one another. Not only are they wonderful human beings, but they have restored a gorgeous home in the historic district. The beds are more than comfortable, the shower had plenty of water pressure, the whole place was spic and span, the termperature was ideal, and the home was done in an authentic and period restoration right down to the vintage of the linens and the dishes. What clinched it for us to book was the fact that Tom and Ila Rae are committed to being a Green Lodging, which means they recycle most everything, they use rainwater that they collect and filter a zillion times for purity, they serve many foods they grow in their garden, and they have lined the driveway with soft pine which is not only lovely but makes for a quiet entrance at night. If we lived closer, we'd hang out with them and hope to have a closer connection. There is not reason to stay any where else in this area.
5 on January 17, 2012
I had planned a special weekend getaway to celebrate my mom's birthday on New Year's Eve. Tom was beyond helpful in pointing me in the right direction for navigating the fireworks, the symphony, dinner, etc. He was so prompt with communication. The house was exquisite! We enjoyed the quaintness of it, the proximity to downtown and the river, easy access to the freeway. Breakfast was wonderful! Fresh squeezed orange juice, wonderful blueberry pancakes. Would definitely recommend!!
4.0 on January 09, 2012
It was only a stop along the way, but it turned out to be a surprisingly refreshing pause! Our hosts were warm and welcoming, the house full of history and the breakfast hearty, healthy and delicious. The Jenks House is a little jewel in the historic Riverside neighborhood, close to downtown and easy to reach from the expressways. It will be our destination the next time we are in Jacksonville.
4.8 on December 18, 2011
Beautiful home on a corner lot in an historic district. Loved the garden out back; drank fresh squeezed OJ from their own trees every morning. Enjoyed the "Florida" room upstairs- -great reading spot. Innkeepers welcomed us warmly and made us feel right at home. We'll look here first for next year's JaxFL visit.
5 on November 22, 2011
Beautiful home, gourmet food, & lovely hosts! We are from Chicago and were in Jacksonville for a wedding. We did a little research and discovered this gem! The photos are great, but they still really can't do it justice. It was such a treat to stay in such a well-kept elegant old home!
5 on November 11, 2011
We spent a week-end at The Jenks House with family and were allowed to host a baby showerfor family and friends. It was a wonderful setting and everyone had a great time. Ila Rae and Tom were gracious hosts, very accommodating to us and then stepped back and gave us there home to celebrate with our party. Then they prepared for us a wonderful breakfast each morning.
4.8 on November 05, 2011
We recently stayed at the Jenks house for our 3 year anniversary. We were in town for a concert. We had an amazing weekend, we love the Jenks House. The hosts were wonderful!! Very warm and friendly, informative and just a treat to be around. The house is gorgeous, with beautiful woodwork. We sat each day for at least an hour on the front porch swing. We enjoyed delicious healthy breakfasts each morning and they have a wonderful organic garden outside which is an inpiration. If you are wanting to stay at a B&B in Jacksonville, this is your place. You will not regret it!!
5 on September 27, 2011
The people are wonderful, friendly and have great stories to share. The food is great and the rooms were more comfortable and charming than we could have hoped for. We also got some great local recommendations from Tom.
4.4 on July 24, 2011
I have stayed with the Mertens on several occasions and find their B&B consistently delightful. I stay with them when visiting my family in the area. Having grown up in the Riverside/Avondale historical area, I value their accentuation of the history of their home and neighborhood. The accommodations are very comfortable and lovely. Ila Rae makes a spectacular breakfast and Tom brews a mean cup of coffee. They make me feel right at home whenever I am there. There are many interesting sights and points of interest nearby so I highly recommend it for sightseeing as well as just kicking back.
4.6 on June 30, 2011
Very pleasant stay. I felt like I was visiting my relatives. Whole place was natural, it was a real home with very kind and interesting people rather than commercial B&B. Very tasty breakfast and great orange juice. I would definitely stay again.
3.8 on June 26, 2011
We had a great stay and Ila and Tom have great personalities. The food was great and the orange juice and coffee outstanding. Wish I had coffee before breakfast, perhaps available in the dining area early.
4.6 on June 20, 2011
Very informal and doily free - - I love that part. Tom is going to be your ultimate host. ( Be sure to compliment him on his tropical shirts! He's addicted and has a great collection ! ) Ask for a tour of the garden - and the elaborate water collection system. Ila Rae, Tom's beautiful wife, is quite the pro in the kitchen, and the breakfasts will not disappoint !
5 on June 12, 2011
I spent a very relaxing weekend visiting family in the Riverside area. Tom and Ila Rae made this possible with lovely accommodations from which to venture out and enjoy the neighborhood. They more than adequately accommodated my needs with a comfortable home that they shared with me during my visit. I would strongly recommend this quaint home to anyone visiting the area.
4.0 on June 06, 2011
I stayed at The Jenks House while attending a family funeral and reconnecting with long lost relatives. Ila Rae and Tom were very welcoming and I felt like I was at home immediately. My room was very comfortable and the vintage mission furnishings and details plus the Prairie-style architecture were remarkable. They grow their own veggies, which appear in the healthy organic breakfasts - freshly-squeezed juice from oranges (did I get it right,Tom?) puffy cheese omlette with kale. Ila Rae even made me a "to go" breakfast with banana bread and apple muffins with strawberries. Don't miss the chocolate-zucchini muffins! Do enjoy the Jenks House and Ila Rae and Tom's southern hospitality.
5 on June 01, 2011
Ila Rae and Tom's home is much more than just a B&B. Their home is just that...a home...which just happens to be a B&B. This was my first stay at the Jenks House and I'm certain it won't be my last. Arriving at their home just as a much-needed rain storm arrived made for an interesting arrival. But, once Ila Rae greeted me on their porch, and showed me inside their comfortable and warm (I don't mean temp.), home and showed me my very large room, I know that this was going to be most pleasant experience in Jacksonville. Did I mention that annual jazz festival? Ila Rae and Tom's home is a short drive to downtown and an even shorter drive to the river and the Saturday arts market. Staying with Ila Rae and Tom was a most pleasant and interesting experience made even more interesting and pleasant by the delicious breakfast items starting my day and the conversations we had over breakfast and at night when I returned from three days of music. Ila Mae and Tom's home is unique among B&Bs for lots of reasons which make their home a most desirable place to stay while visiting Jacksonville. Much thanks to Ila Rae and Tom for deciding to open their house up to those of us fortunate to stay there. And, thanks for their dedication to and involvement in their community and their love for the environment and their efforts to preserve so much for us in the future. Ken
4.2 on May 31, 2011
The Jenks House is great and Tom and Ila Rae are excellent proprietors! This 1920s home is in excellent condition and the Mertens have installed a solar hot water heater and have an organic garden in the backyard. We were just passing through Jacksonville, but wish we had stayed longer. We walked to an excellent restaurant nearby for dinner and had a delicious breakfast with fresh roasted coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast at the house. Tom and Ila Rae were great company and we highly recommend the Jenks House!
4.4 on April 17, 2011
Ila Rae and Tom were excellent hosts and we shared a nice, long visit after a delicious breakfast. They made our stay with them memorable and learned a lot about the house and the surrounding Jacksonville area. If we return to this area, we would definetly stay with Ila Mae and Tom again..
4.6 on April 08, 2011
This B&B is a 1925 house lovingly redone by the owners who have lived there for 30 years. Everything was lovely and Ila Rae and Tom are very friendly, but the bed was too hard for us. They said this happens about once a year, FYI.
4.6 on March 25, 2011
My wife and I spent New Year's Eve at Jenks House, and couldn't have had a lovelier time. The house itself appears to be beautifully restored; the woodwork in particular is wonderfully cared for. We stayed in the Live Oak Room, which was spacious and well-furnished. Everything in the room (and the adjoining bathroom) appeared period-appropriate yet also like new. Breakfast was excellent, featuring fair trade coffee roasted and ground to order, as well as fresh-squeezed orange juice from the trees in the back garden. The neighborhood itself was quiet, yet close enough to downtown that it is not inconvenient. I would not hesitate to stay again, nor to recommend it to others. It really is a lovely place.
5 on March 21, 2011
My husband & I are frequent B&B travelers and love the variety. This is the first time we have stayed in a home that practices green & sustainable living within an historic home. We loved it! The walkability of the neighborhood, large historic district and balanced mix of restaurants, shops, homes and the large St. Johns river added to the ambiance. The lack of a TV forced us to read and play a game after coming in for the night but that made it more home like. The breakfast was wonderful and healthy and we really enjoyed learning more about their "green" living which we hope to achieve ourselves.
5 on March 21, 2011
We so thoroughly enjoyed our stay that I took their keys home with me (sorry about that-they're in the mail now). In addition to excellent ratings on all five categories, we want to thank Ila Rae and Tom for sharing stories and information about Jacksonville. As my kids would say, "you guys rock!"
4.0 on February 25, 2011
Very comfortable and accommodating. Slept like a baby. Thanks Ila Rae and Tom.
5 on February 21, 2011
If you have ever lived in North Florida, you know that it has a special feel, a simplicity, a friendly, relaxed sort of sun and shade feeling without the bright glare of other parts of the state. Tom and Ila Rae Merten have captured that spirit of place with perfection. My friends and I stayed there for a 1/2 marathon walk last weekend. It was a great choice!
5 on January 16, 2011
When traveling, I often opt to stay at a Bed and Breakfast or small inn because they provide an opportunity to meet engaging and knowledgeable people along with staying in unique rooms and dining on carefully executed meals. The Jenks House certainly fulfilled all expectations. First, the home was beautiful and welcoming. Hardwood floors gleamed and luxurious linens covered the comfortable bed. I found interesting photos, painting and tapestries that added to the overall interest and warmth. The sunroom on the second story overlooked orange trees laden with ripe fruit - which in turn showed up on the breakfast table as fresh squeezed juice along with the freshly roasted and brewed coffee! Our hosts, Ila Rae and Tom Merten proudly point out that they are a certified “Green Lodging” in FL. Clearly the motto evident in the home (even though it isn’t written and posted) is that they treat each resource with respect – reuse and recycle. Our printed receipt is a half sheet of paper with interesting information on the reverse side. Tom revealed a past renter who wanted to recycle rather then add to the landfill gave him the paper that he uses. The hot water used in the home comes from their 30-year-old solar powered water heater. How was it you wonder? The hot shower was better than I’ve used in many hotels. And, as important to me as the residence, the Tom and Ila Rae’s hospitality at the Jenks House only added to our experience. When I asked if my daughter, a medical resident at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville could join us one morning for breakfast, Tom did not hesitate when he responded “yes”. With Tom and Ila Rae at the breakfast table, we learned more about Jacksonville’s history, shared stories of where we’ve been on life’s journey, and even looked at old menus from Jacksonville’s Jenks Restaurant. If you are traveling through Jacksonville and need a place to stay for a night, a week or longer, I recommend the Jenks’ House – you won’t be disappointed.
4.8 on January 06, 2011
Breakfast was delicious. The fresh squeezed oranges were a taste sensation.
4.2 on January 02, 2011
The Jenks House was the perfect place for a little get away. It just happened to be within walking distance of European Street - the location of our first date! Ila Rae and Tom added personalized touches that made our stay memorable. We would definitely recommend this B&B to our friends and hope to make a return stay this year.
4.6 on December 19, 2010
We stayed 2 nights in December and it was quite cold, but Ila Rae and Tom kept us nice and cozy with their wood stove in the parlor and their wonderful breakfasts! We enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice from their own trees and my husband enjoyed the freshly roasted coffee every morning. Such a beautifully restored house and a wonderful, interesting couple who run it! We would highly recommend it.
5 on December 18, 2010
We had a wonderful welcome and were shown into an immaculate room kept in the old style of the period. The food was delicious, organic and beautifully presented. Tom and Ila Rae are the most accommodating innkeepers and we would reccommend them to all our family and friends.
4.4 on December 16, 2010
Perfect place for visiting hospitals or anything in downtown Jax. or Riverside/Avondale. Tom and IlaRae are outstanding people, offering aunique place to stay. Breakfast is very special.
5 on December 09, 2010
A truly appealing home away from home. The Jenks House itself is very spacious and charming. The owners hosted us with real warmth and gave us the run of the place. Ila Rae and Tom are super -- they even put on a citrus tasting of multiple types of freshly-squeezed local fruit for us! Really great experience.
3.2 on December 02, 2010
I applaud the owners of the Jenks house for their efforts at promoting a green B&B experience, but one of the reasons we patronize B&Bs is for the ambience and the opportunity to be pampered. Some of ambience is lost with the flourescent lighting, and the small vegetarian breakfast did not carry us far into the next day. Minor complaints aside, the Mertens were very gracious hosts and we enjoyed sharing family stories with them over breakfast. Tom is an avid gardener and quite ingenious with his methods of storing rainwater and growing vegetables and is more than happy to share his experiences.
5 on November 17, 2010
This house is immaculate. The hosts are friendly but not nosy. The food was fresh, healthy and well prepared. The atmosphere was friendly and inviting. The neighborhood is historic and walker friendly. I only wish I could have spent more time here. My circumstances kept me too busy during the day. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom convenient. Thanks for opening your home to the rest of us. Joan from Iowa.
4.2 on October 29, 2010
Ila Ray and Tom were outstanding and personable hosts. The breakfast was really a brunch!
4.8 on September 17, 2010
The house is lovely and Tom and Ila Rae are delightful. Ila Rae is a fabulous cook, her breakfast's were terrific and she went out of her way to make them vegan for us. I loved our stay.
4.4 on August 31, 2010
I brought my spouse to this bed and breakfast as a part of a birthday beer getaway. There is a great gastropub a block from this B&B, so I thought this the best place to stay. The married couple who run this two bedroom B&B are so kind and so hospitable, they made the accommodations a major part of the celebration. They just gave us a key and said "be back whenever." There is a mini fridge under the stairs that they let us use to put a nice bottle of craft brew in. I spoke with the husband on the phone before we arrived about my spouse's interest in craft brew, so for our arrival there was a newspaper article from the previous day sitting nicely on our bed. They also let us schedule our own breakfast time, and they ended up sitting and chatting with us the entire time without hurrying us out the door one bit. Highly recommended!
3.6 on August 26, 2010
Very accommodating hosts - breakfast very nice and simple (as requested). Outstanding home-roasted fair-trade coffee.
5 on August 20, 2010
Southern Hospitality is alive and well in Jacksonville! Ila Rae and Tom are wonderful hosts and we had tons of things to talk about. The breakfasts were fantastic and picture perfect. They made breakfast early so I could get to 8:00 classes. Ila Rae recommended a great restaurant for dinner and it was so good I went back the next night. Room was bright and cheery, plenty of light for reading in bed or big comfy chair, loved the period accessories and fixtures. Would definitely stay at Jenks House again!
5 on July 13, 2010
A stay at the Jenks House feels like visiting good friends! Ila Rae and Tom are wonderful hosts who put you at ease with very comfortable accommodations, delicious breakfasts, and enjoyable conversation. Tom roasts the (fair trade, shade grown!) coffee himself and Ila Rae creates perfect omelets and blueberry pancakes. The rooms are spacious with comfortable beds and bookcases filled with reading material, and there is ample common space in the beautifully restored house in which to read and relax. As a plus, the B&B is eco-friendly, which I appreciated so much. Our two days at the Jenks House was somewhat hectic, but Tom and Ila Rae made it relaxing as well!
5 on June 30, 2010
I travel a lot and I've stayed in many hotels and bed and breakfasts over the years and I have to say my stay with Tom and Ila Rae at the Jenks House is on the top of my "best places to stay" list. Tom actually roasted the coffee beans for my breakfast and Ila Rae made delicious yet healthy meals. Having fresh-squeezed OJ each morning was such a treat!
5 on June 24, 2010
This place is lovely. The host and hostess are helpful and freindly beyond the call of duty. The room was clean and spaciose with plenty of personal touches. The B&B was cheaper and more characterful than some kind of chain hotel. The breakfast cooked fresh each morning with orange juice freshly squeezed while you wait. I would recommend it most highly. Matt
5 on June 17, 2010
I don't know where to begin, all aspects were great during our week stay on Post Street. Tom and Illa Rae were the perfect host, very accommodating to some unusual circumstances that were presented to them to make our stay so wonderful. The breakfasts and the coffee were superb!! If I ever make it to Jax again I will definitely stay at the Jenks Home. May 29 thru June 6, 2010
4.0 on June 08, 2010
My wife and I spent 4 very pleasant nights at the Jenks house. There is much attention to detail here. We slept on very soft sheets in a very comfortable bed and woke to a delicious breakfast every morning, cooked by Ida Rae, served by Tom who also roasts and brews fresh coffee every day. Our hosts were charming and the house is interesting and comfortable. The solar heated hot water was plentiful.
4.8 on May 16, 2010
Enjoyed conversing with the owners. They are very interesting people.
4.6 on May 10, 2010
My wife and I stayed for 3 nights while visiting family. Tom and Ila Rae are truly gracious hosts. They are not just inn keepers but become your friends. The meals were outstanding, and the accommodations were very nice and comfortable.
5 on April 25, 2010
Historic Prairie Style home with comfy environment, rich woodwork meticulously restored, combined with tasty fresh food and friendly hosts for socializing. Don't forget to ask about the View Master and historic Florida scenes from yesteryear...you might just see your grandparents! Don't miss this B&B! Johnny and Elaine
5 on April 20, 2010
Ila Rae and Tom were great, friendly, prepared for a gluten free guest and generous. Their fresh sqeezed ambersweet orange juice was the naturally sweetest, best-tasting orange juice I have ever tasted! The accomodations were clean, green and water-conscious without being stingy. I would stay here again.
5 on January 04, 2010
From the moment we walked through the door, Tom and Ila Rae made us feel like one of the family. The ratings speak for itself, but I assure you that the next time I am in Jacksonville, I will be staying at the Jenks House, if available.
5 on January 04, 2010
This was an exceptional experience that far exceeded my expectations. Tom and Ila are wonderful hosts, attentive to every need. Plenty of privacy, lovely old rooms, delicious healthy breakfasts, and an incredible value. Our party was very happy with the experience. In the evening, less than two blocks away was a bar with over 411 varieties of beer. Overall, the stay at Jenks House was a memorable, outstanding experience - a very special way to ring out the old year and ring in the new.
4.6 on December 28, 2009
We stayed here for one night over Christmas Break and were quite pleased with everything. The room was lovely, as was the rest of the house. Tom and Ila Rae were excellent hosts, and we enjoyed talking with them, as well as with their daughter, Erin, who was visiting for the week. In fact, we sat down to breakfast at 8:30 the next morning and ended up sitting at the table and talking with them until 11:30, sipping fresh-squeezed orange juice the whole time. Tom said the ambersweet oranges on his tree were a few weeks off-peak, so he juiced some others of a different variety that he had bought--but then he juiced his own as well, just so we could taste the difference. (I guess we don't know much about orange juice, because we thought they were both delicious.) Ila Rae's breakfast was wonderful as well (she said she tries to gauge what you'll want for breakfast based on where you chose to eat dinner), and before we left, Tom showed us the rain water catchment sy stem he'd built for watering the garden (where they grow several of the foods they serve, including, soon, lots and lots of papayas) and picked a few oranges we could take with us. Our Florida road trip was completely improvised as we went along, and as such, Tom and Ila Rae were valuable resources for suggesting places to go and things to try.
4.2 on December 20, 2009
The Jenks House offers a charming stay in authentic Florida setting of the Twenties: real wood, no rattan and bright flower prints. The hosts are always availabel to help...with any desired information or water for the car's windshield wipers. The breakfast and home roasted coffee are delicious.
5 on November 20, 2009
Rooms were comfortable and spacious. Lots of common areas to relax. Walking distance to several activities. The Mertens fixed a wonderful breakfast an hour and a half earlier than usual so we could get to our meeting on time. Appreciate their extra effort to be a green lodging. Will be back and already have recommended to others.
4.0 on October 18, 2009
Our hosts, Ila Rae and Tom Merton, were very personable and the breakfast excellent.
4.6 on October 18, 2009
Love home. Breakfast was excellent. Light an delicious. The Orange juice is the best I have ever drank! Ila Rey and Tim were just wonderful hosts. 10 minutes and we were downtown. Only thing was that there was no A/C in the main house. Rooms were A/C'd via window A/C. Not a huge problem though. Delightful.
5 on October 16, 2009
Have stayed with Ila Rae and Tom twice and both times were very pleasant!! The stay was a great deal considering a wonderful breakfast is included with freshly ground organic coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice!! Plus their green efforts in the use of solar panels, rain collection for irrigation and organic gardening get a huge thumbs up!!! A stay here will surely not disappoint. Naysha & Josue
5 on August 21, 2009
With a wonderful breakfast and even better conversation, the Jenks House is the best eco-FRIENDLY place to stay!
4.4 on August 17, 2009
It would be good if there was a list of local restaurants and local attractions in the binder that was on our bed in our room. We were lucky that Tom was available to give us recommendations in person. We especially like the environmentally-friendly approach to innkeeping. My wife says that the garden area was a little unkempt, but I found that to be attractive because it showed that the garden was alive and functioning -- take this as you will. Thanks for a great stay!
5 on August 12, 2009
The house and rooms are beautiful. The owners are friendly, professional, and helpful. They provide the best breakfast in Jacksonville and it is all organic.
5 on July 06, 2009
My husband and I recently stayed two nights for a three day weekend at this wonderful B&B. You will instantly feel relaxed and enamored with this lovingly restored home! The owners Tom and Ila Rae have spent 30+ years bringing the life of the heart pine wood back to its warm glow, collecting furnishings both original and contemporary to this unique home, as well as utilizing green practices throughout the home (e.g. fresh home garden items in the menu, rain water reclamation...). We enjoyed the Riverside / Avondale area and thank the Mertens for helping us plan our mini-trips to the Cummer Museum & Gardens, the Riverside Arts Market, and dinner at Avondale. We espcially enjoyed our time with Tom and Ila Rae at morning breakfast! Crepes with fresh fruit, whole wheat blueberry pancakes, fantastic fresh roasted coffee beans in-house! It was no surprise to learn Ila Rae was a personal chef at one time! Delicious food, along with great conversation! This couple has much love and pride for the area they raised their family in, and share so many interesting stories and collectible items from by-gone eras... intriguing newspaper clippings, pictures, postcards which all tell the story of earlier days in beautiful Jacksonville! All-in-all, a perfect home away from home!
5 on June 25, 2009
Wonderful hosts, great food in a beautiful home. We loved the atmosphere and really enjoyed the other guests.
4.8 on June 25, 2009
Ila Rae and Tom are the most interesting innkeepers we have met! the food was to die for and the history they shared with us was amazing. The attention to small details is a rare find in these times.
5 on June 22, 2009
I stayed in the "Live Oak Room" at the Jenks House recently. This was a great alternative to the typical hotel...convenient, easy going, Green, and grandly nostalgic. The Mertens are hosts with a generous spirit. I didn't see a TV for the weekend and never missed it.
4.4 on June 08, 2009
Tom and Ila Rae were some of the most gracious hosts and people I've ever met. It was hard to leave such a wonderful B&B ~ delicious fresh squeezed OJ and hand roasted coffee were part of the amazing homemade breakfasts, a gorgeous home and rooms they lovingly renovated and restored over the years, their organic garden with fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers were part of the treat of staying there. They had the best restaurant recommendations and generously shared their museum membership. What a great trip - thank you!
4.2 on June 06, 2009
We stayed at The Jenks House overnight on our tour South. It was a highlight of our trip as we enjoyed the house which is delightful, an excellent home-cooked breakfast and particularly the company of our hosts, Tom and Ila Rae, so much. House is in a quiet residential district with easy access nearby to good food and the riverfront. We would certainly have no hesitation in highly recommending.
5 on May 13, 2009
Warm and friendly hosts. Excellent breakfast and freshly roasted coffee. Very informative about the surrounding area. Lively and engaging discussions. Lovely home with a comfortable bed.
5 on April 28, 2009
We were delighted with our stay at the Jenks House. Tom and Ila Rae not only shared information about their house and Jacksonville but provided a dining recommendation that was superb. Our room was lovely (with wonderful ironed sheets), the breakfast treats started the day on a positive note. We would definitely visit again.
4.0 on April 20, 2009
We had a wonderful time staying at the Jenks House....Tom and Ila Rae are fantastic hosts and we had several great conversations with them during our stay...the house is warm and inviting and the room was very clean and quiet....we recommend to anyone staying in the Jacksonville area to try their house out..you wont be disappointed
5 on April 14, 2009
We sat at the beautifully presented breakfast (different menu every day) and talked about politics, life, religion, container gardening, real estate, kids, and, once I got Ila Rae alone, we talked about how soft the sheets are and how does she keep them that way! It was a wonderful week (five nights) and we not only rested well, but also made two new friends. We were so pleased with our choice made from the yellow pages. Sally Collier Bob Caiola Slanesville, WV 25444
4.8 on April 08, 2009
We immediately felt welcome in the Merten home and we're invited to make ourselves at home. Our first visit to Jacksonville was a wonderful experience due to the accommodations and conversation with the Mertens. We felt more like a part of the family than a guest at a B&B. Thanks for making us feel at home!
5 on April 06, 2009
My wife, son and I spent a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend in Jacksonville and the highlight (other than visiting our family, of course!) was staying at the Jenks House. A beautifully restored family home in a quiet neighborhood with wonderful hosts, that made us feel like we visiting old friends. The food was a great balance of comfort, inventiveness, and deliciousness--arriving fresh from their organic gardens. We can't wait to visit Jacksonville again, if only to stay with Tom and Illa Rae at the Jenks House again!
4.6 on March 31, 2009
I stayed at Jenk's B&B the night before my interview. I had a comfortable night sleep and a wonderful breakfast with best tasting Sri Lanka tea. I was refreshed and ready for my big day. The owners take pride in their little gem of a house.
4.6 on March 27, 2009
Very nice place to stay if you have business on the East side of Jacksonville. Everything was clean and quiet throughout the night.
5 on March 12, 2009
I had a wonderful experience at the Jenks House. The owners were wonderfully hospitable and the breakfast was outstanding. Their fresh squeezed orange juice comes right from the back yard. The house was very clean and accommodations far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend this bed and breakfast. The owners are committed to providing you the best accommodations and service imaginable. Thanks!
4.6 on March 09, 2009
When one places a reservation at a bed and breakfast, it is easy to assume lodging will be comfortable and the meal filling, not to mention the attention to detail one receives when compared to a hotel-little did we know just how memorable our stay would be. The room was splendid-bedecked with family heirlooms and unique touches. We were especially found of the antique (but fully functioning!) tube radio in our room. Our breakfast was like no other; homemade sticky buns, freshly squeezed orange juice (from the backyard, no less), newly roasted and ground fair trade coffee, and scrumptious buckwheat blueberry pancakes with heart healthy potatoes...what more can be said? The innkeepers were truly a delight and were very knowledgeable about the community and sights and scenes. Further, their eco-friendly lifestyle is something we should all model. I would strongly recommend this inn to anyone who longs for something more from their typical lodging...even for a professional b & b'er.
5 on March 09, 2009
Excellent place. Beautiful house, great folks and good food.
5 on February 12, 2009
We met friends for a weekend of socializing- good food, fun, bridge, outdoor activities, etc. Tom and Ila Rae were fantastic hosts, providing excellent service and suggestions!
5 on February 10, 2009
When I arrived at the Jenks House on a rainy evening, Tom was waiting for me in the driveway with an umbrella and that was just the beginning of his and Ila Rae’s thoughtfulness. The house was very welcoming at night, but the next morning the beautiful woodwork was absolutely glowing in the sunlight. I enjoyed looking at the memorabilia they’ve collected about the Jenks Restaurant which was run by the home’s original owners. As someone who strives to live a “green” life, I really appreciated the Mertens' commitment to the same thing. They suggested a nature preserve for me to visit and supplied detailed directions. Jenks House is a refreshing change from the sometimes too-cute Victorian B&B’s. My comfortable room/bed, a wonderful healthy breakfast and interesting conversation made my stay unforgettable.
5 on January 20, 2009
My wife and I spent three nights at the Jenks House and we had the best stay. The breakfast blew away any expectations we had. The room was great and the little history book they had put together for each room brought us up to speed with a little history of the house and Jacksonville and was very enjoyable to read at night. Our hats are off to the best B&B we have ever stayed at. Thank You guys for the great experience.
4.6 on January 08, 2009
This is a beautiful house and the accomodations are very comfortable and the hospitality excellent! We especially enjoyed the sunporch for reading and chatting. The location is excellent, quiet and close to shopping and dining. We look forward to returning!
4.2 on January 07, 2009
Great location- we could walk to the game. Tom and Ila Rae were exceptional hosts and the coffee and fruit was to die for, Breakfast each morning was wonderful and they were great to just sit and talk- very gracious and helpful. We loved our stay-would definitely be a repeat B&B for us Your Clemson buddies- Go TIGERS
5 on October 26, 2008
Tom & Ila Rae are very nice people to stay with, they were very attentive to our dietary needs. The breakfast they served was fabulous and so was the conversation. My husband was a bit unsure of the whole bed & breakfast idea but, when we checked out, he said he would definately do that again! The house is beautiful, the rooms are VERY clean and in walking distance to resturants and shops. Thank you, Tom & Ila Rae for a great time! We will be back to see you again soon!
5 on October 06, 2008
B&B at it's best; friendly, helpful, comfortable. Outstanding.
5 on September 28, 2008
As a frequent traveler, I've rested my head in many places, but I rate the Jenks House among the best. Lovingly and impeccably restored by its innkeepers in the "arts and crafts" style, the house combines modern conveniences (wi-fi), historic fixtures, and "green" consciousness. Tom and Ila Rae are wonderful hosts and great conversationalists. They even suggested a route for my morning run. Their breakfast was to die for. Five stars!
4.6 on September 19, 2008
We live seventy five miles from Jacksonville and found this to be the perfect weekend gettaway. We had visited the "Five Points" neighborhood before and enjoyed its history and charm. The Mertens are gracious hosts and the house is attractive and comfortable. My favorite time was spent reading in the second story common room as the sun was setting. And the value added lillies are taking root in out front garden. If you like bed and breakfasts like I do, you won't want to miss this one.
5 on September 13, 2008
Jenks House had everything we want in a B&B--a convenient location, it is spotless, the bed is great with heavenly pressed sheets; after the first course I would have rated the breakfast excellent...and then the main course arrived! Excellent materials in the room for reading, all in a quiet & lovely setting. We wanted to stay much longer. The hosts are interesting and so pleasant; this is an extraordinary place, & we highly recommend it. Truly the best B & B we have stayed in anywhere. We will return! Kitty & Dave
5 on July 31, 2008
I lived in Jacksonville in the 70's and have tried ever since to explain what I loved and still miss about North Fla. The Merten's B&B catches the essence of the beauty, peach, simplicity, and friendship of the Fla. that I remember.
5 on July 28, 2008
A beautiful, skillfully restored old Florida house filled with light, peace, and beauty. Not cluttered with cute stuff like so many B and B's, but with artfully selected Floridiana (NOT Mickey!), comfortable period furniture, and the best range of books I've ever seen in a B and B. The Mertens are warm, intelligent, interested hosts, and the breakfast with plenty of fresh-squeezed oj was delicious. A great walking neighborhood - I believe this is a historic district- though shabby in some areas. Go down by the magnificent river - and if reading and walking aren't enough for you, the Mertens will tell you everything you can explore in and around Jacksonville.
5 on July 27, 2008
My ratings speak for themselves, however they cannot convey my personal feelings for the place and the people. Tom and Ila Rae took care of me, not just my needs, for an entire week. I would not have made it that long away from home had it not been for their kindness, warmth and hospitality. I am returning next week because I miss them already. Dawn Quarles Pensacola, Florida
5 on July 25, 2008
My wife and I spent a lovely time here. Tom and Ila Rae were great hosts and a joy to talk with. The orange grove is a real treat and the breakfast is the best we have ever had at a B&B. We plan to stay here the next time we get a chance to go to Jacksonville.
5 on July 07, 2008
My husband and I recently enjoyed a stay at the Jenks House during a visit to attend our goddaughter's high school graduation. Tom and Ila Rae were wonderful hosts and even insisted on serving us breakfast extra early on a day we had to depart for the graduation ceremonies. The fresh-squeezed OJ was great! We were very comfortable at this beautiful B&B and would highly recommend to anyone wanting to experience "Old Florida" at its best.
5 on June 08, 2008
Ila Rae and Tom went out of their way to make our stay with them one of our best B&B experiences. We hope to return soon.
5 on June 02, 2008
This was a charming bed and breakfast beautifully maintained by the innkeepers and very convenient to all the spots in Jacksonville by public transportation. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the Mertens, and the food was absolutely fabulous. I would return here and will definitely recommend it to my friends.
5 on April 29, 2008
Having stayed at 100's of B&B's this haven is my most favorite! With only two rooms it is small enough to allow for making new friends with ease and being treated like special family by the innkeepers. The property is beautiful and our room exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort, style, and cleaniness.My food allergy needs were fully supported with a breakfast that set the stage for an extraordinary day, which included fresh squeezed organic oranges from the backyard and a cup of coffee so good it should make Starbucks want to cry! The innkeepers made us feel like family by readily sharing stories and points of interest including their green thumbs.
5 on April 28, 2008
I was in Jacksonville for a work conference. Staying at the Jenks house with Ila Rae and Tom Merten was exactly what I needed every evening after long days of meetings and training. The beds were comfortable, the house was spotless, the bathroom was well appointed and clean. The food was simply amazing, really tasty, healthy, fresh squeezed orange juice, crepes, fruit, other delicious things I didn't even know the name of. Some of which came straight from their own garden outside the kitchen. Tom, Ila Rae, and the other guests were respectful of my space, yet we had engaging and fun conversation over breakfast. I was really impressed with the time and effort that Tom and Ila Rae have spent restoring their beautiful 1920's era house. They have paid attention to historical detail while incorporating up to date energy and water efficient systems. All in all, Tom and Ila Rae have set a high standard that I hope other B&B's can follow.
4.8 on April 26, 2008
While recently in the US we stayed an The Jenks House in Jacksonville. The house was beautiful and our hosts couldn't have been more helpful. Ila Rae and Tom were great with dining recommendations, directions and general information about Jacksonville.
5 on March 26, 2008
We had a wonderful stay at the Jenks House, which has been lovingly restored by innkeepers Tom and Ila Rae. The breakfasts were fresh and delicious with many ingredients coming directly from their organic garden. The highlight of this experience is the warm, lively conversation and caring that Ila Rae and Tom share with their guests. When my mom fractured her ankle while in Jacksonville, breakfast was brought upstairs to the sunroom along with frequent visits from Tom and Ila Rae throughout the day. They treated us like family and made us feel right at home.
5 on January 25, 2008
I was able to book a last minute reservation at the Jenks House and am now so glad that I stumbled upon this gem of a B&B! The innkeepers are wonderfully friendly and accommodating people, not to mention excellent cooks and conversationalists! What's more, their commitment to providing a true experience is clear, from the home-roasted free-trade coffee, organic garden, and impeccably restored home. I have only had the pleasure to stay at the Jenks House once, but am sure to recommend it to anyone I know going to Jacksonville, FL. I wish there could be a Jenks House in any city to which I might one day travel!
5 on December 03, 2007
A wonderful home with charming and attentive host. They were most helpful with info on where to eat. They also provided a wonderful breakfast each morning.
5 on November 20, 2007
Knowledgable and friendly innkeepers take wonderful care of this beautiful home and their guests. The food was incredible, fresh, and varied.
5 on November 13, 2007
A different breakfast each day for our four-day holiday. Friendly host & hostess.
4.8 on November 01, 2007
They provided the ideal B&B environment – Peace & quiet, excellent food & comfortable spaces. They have stayed true to architecture of the home, making it a destination itself!
4.8 on October 29, 2007
We had a great time staying with Ila Rae and Tom, they are great host. We loved the stories and conversations. The smell of the hot cinnamon rolls really get you down to breakfast. You will enjoy the fresh papaya and other fruits grow right on the property. The only thing that would have made our stay better would have been if the Gators could have won. We can't wait till next year.
4.8 on September 19, 2007
The Jenks House is wonderfully cozy and the innkeepers are exceptionally hospitable. What wonderful breakfasts - fresh squeezed OJ and home roasted coffee! Doesn't get any better. We loved the "green lodging" experience.
4.8 on September 18, 2007
Tom and Ila Rae are justifiably proud of their recent designation as a “Green Lodging.” In actual fact their normal lifestyle for the past 30 years made the award an obvious choice. Gracious hosts and wonderful décor made this a wonderful stay. We’ll be back!
5 on July 24, 2007
Once owned by local restaurateurs, the Jenks house is in every way a “little taste” of the history of Jacksonville. Every furnishing in the house has a story to it, which the proprietors, long time residents of this historic district, love to share. The hospitable owners are a wealth of knowledge about the area (everything from hidden sea food joints for locals attend to local shopping and art opportunities). The food is excellent: OJ -fresh within seconds, organic fair-trade coffee roasted on sight, and scrumptious breakfast foods.
5 on July 10, 2007
I recently visited Jacksonville and stayed at the Jenks House. It was the perfect choice for lodging. Tom and Ila were gracious, friendly and attentive to all of my needs. They served a splendid breakfast while accommodating my vegan diet. The house is in a refurbished historical neighborhood and is spacious, quiet and handsomely furnished. There are several spots to “get away”: a wide and airy front porch, a large upstairs sitting room lined with windows and books, a lovely organic garden on the side of the house with vegetables, orange and papaya trees, and Ila’s flowers. Both gave excellent directions around town and made recommendations for sightseeing. I had enjoyable and interesting conversations with them and they made me feel very welcome. I look forward to staying there again.
5 on May 25, 2007
I visit Jacksonville frequently and the Jenks House is my home away from home. Ila Rae and Tom Merten provide a beautiful and comfortable place to stay, incredibly delicious breakfasts, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly roasted coffee, and kind and bright conversation. I'm always happy to go back.
5 on May 17, 2007
The Jenks house is an excellent choice for many reasons - the flexibility and friendliness of the owners, the beauty of the home, various choices of lounging areas for guests, the house-related antiques, porch swing, the pillow assortment, fresh orange juice and garden produce, and the location. Architecture buffs will enjoy the neighborhood and that the eclectic art deco street of non-chain cafes and the beautiful Cummer museum are within walking distance.
5 on May 16, 2007
We came to Jacksonville for the first time for the Jazz Festival. The Jenks House neighborhood is definitely not upscale, but is a great location, not far from downtown events and with onsite parking. We have rarely encountered such gracious, yet casual, hospitality. Tom and Ila Rae radiate their joy in their home and its history. It is beautifully furnished with many personal and historical items and is immaculate. Sleep on 500 count pima cotton sheets, lovingly ironed by Ila Rae. Enjoy wonderful period furniture and decor. Peace rules. We did not have a TV in our room and did not want one. Everything else listed on this site is there. At $100/night what a value. Most delightful were Tom and Ila Rae-such interesting and intelligent people with a commitment to the earth. Ila Rae served delicious creative breakfasts with many organics from her extensive garden. Tom roasted, ground and brewed our coffee just minutes before we drank it. They catered to our dietary and scheduling requests. Although it was clear they would have left us to ourselves if we wished, we enjoyed really interesting conversations together. They really enjoy having you visit.