I recently took my wife here for our 11th wedding anniversary. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot next to the main lodge, I knew I had found something wonderful. The view from The Secret is truly one to behold. The online pictures don't do it justice. Kris & Charlie met us upon our arrival and showed us around the property and made us feel at home. The lodge itself is older but don't let that dissuade you because the property is well taken care of. We stayed in Serenity, which is one of the 4 rooms located inside the lodge itself. The view from the balcony is absolutely breathtaking. My only complaint about the room was the small size of the bathroom but since you shouldn't be planning on spending a lot of time there it's not a deal breaker. Other than that, the room is of good size and has a country feel to it. Being Christmas time, the inside of the lodge is decorated with lots of Christmas decor. Wine, water and coffee are available in the evening time. There is a fire pit outside, also. Breakfast is served at 9am and for our breakfast we were served a breakfast casserole, fruit, grits, orange juice, water & coffee. Before we left the next day Kris and Charlie helped my wife gather some plant clippings to take home with us. All in all we had a great time and we will definitely be going back. The Secret is definitely one worth discovering, and Kris and Charlie are wonderful hosts.
Tony and Eleanor are greats hosts and wonderful people! I highly recommend it if you are wanting a quiet and serene place to stay. The breakfast and service is wonderful! Each room has a theme and the grounds are nice with little walking trails. We enjoyed every minute of it.
Our anniversary stay with the Bunches was unforgettable! Their hospitality was over the top, breakfasts were generous and timed to fit our schedule. Jim is quite a cook. We made new friends and enjoyed the area. Who knew there is an antiquing trail of 7 stores there? We will be going back to address antiques more thoroughly. And we will again be staying at Winston Place. Highly recommended. I can't think of any cons for the trip.
We greatly appreciated the hospitality and warm hearty welcome from Jim and Leslie. Our wedding was to take place at 4 p.m. so we needed a little extra time to dress and the Winston Place was the perfect setting and an hour early arrival was extended to us. The photographer came and took several shots at this beautiful home prior to departure to the chapel. The room was very well appointed. The bed large and comfortable. Wood shudders allowed us a later than usual wake up time as the light from outside was completely blocked. Breakfast was hot and seasoned perfectly with plenty of coffee and endless refill of OJ from our host. We highly recommend a night or two stay at Winston Place with Jim and Leslie.
We had a great one night stay at Winston Place. Jim and Leslie were away, but they left Faye in charge and she was phenomenal! I assume if they hire staff as attentive as she is, then they must be the same way. Upon arrival, she gave us the grand tour, told us some stories about the house, and settled on the morning menu. When she asked my favorite food, I jokingly replied "rice!". It is true, but it was not expected for breakfast. Well....to my surprise she had it ready for me the next morning. The food was great and the bed was really comfortable. I loved that we had access to the porch from our room as well. We enjoyed playing pool downstairs after heading to town for dinner. It is in a peaceful area, but there are train tracks. It did take some getting used to, but the other guest assured me that after the first night, you don't even hear it. I would have to agree as it didn't bother me later in the night. Even so, it's better than staying in some random chain hotel! The service is much better too. Also, it's close to a state park and a national preserve for hiking/swimming as well.
We hosted a reception following the High School Reunion for Valley Head HS. We felt as if we were hosting at our own antebellum mansion. Faye was wonderful, helped with our setup, allowed our guests to tour the house (without interfering with the other guests) and help, mostly did... our clean up. Great experience. We look forward to making it an annual event.
My husband and I recently stayed the weekend here. I had stayed in a Bed and Breakfast before but this was my husbands first time. Needless to say he was amazed and understands now why I like them so much. It was so peaceful there that he did not want to leave. Charles and Kris are great host. They make you feel like family from the moment you arrive. The breakfast's that we were served were out of this world! I ask my husband every week when we are going back. Can't wait for our next visit. Chris and Lynne Taylor
The home is beautiful but unfortunately could use some upkeep and a deep cleaning. When we arrived, the house smelled unpleasant, but it wasn't from age. A Scentsy would really help. It's important to know, also, that a train runs just outside the front yard TWICE during the night. Breakfast is adequate but not very well cooked in the stunningly lovely dining room. There were scrambled eggs, bacon, and an oven baked French toast with juice and coffee served on beautiful dishes. This was my favorite room of the house. The double verandas were amazing to sit out on and several rooms had their own door to the balcony. The house is very interesting to see if you like history as much of it is original, but remember this house is nearly 200 years old. Floors shake, and doors closed downstairs make the beds upstairs tremble. I am glad I went because the house is beautiful and so is the area just a few miles outside Ft. Payne and right below the famous Lookout Mountain, but I would not stay again. The photos make it look better than it is. I have to say the owners are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
Eleanor and Tony have such a beautiful home and they generously welcomed me for a weekend visit. Their gardens and every detail were immaculately done. Tony handled the reservation and all communications quickly and made sure I had just what I wanted. Eleanor even cooked delicious gluten-free food to accommodate my dietary needs. I felt like I was at home with 'mom' - she even left me a yummy apple crumble on the sideboard when i came in late one night. Every bite of breakfast was perfect. Both of them were kind and generous, with delightful humor and graciousness. I look forward to staying at Raven Haven again soon!
Winston Place is a wonderful place to get away for a time to just relax. The house is beautiful and we enjoyed learning about its interesting history. The breakfasts were outstanding. We would love to visit again.
We stayed at Winston Place while visiting the area. It was wonderful location for visiting Ft. Payne, Mentone, DeSoto Falls, and Little River Canyon National Preserve. Jim, Leslie, and Jean made us feel very welcome and special. We have stayed in numerous B&B's and loved this one enough to return if we are ever in NE Alabama again. Our room was large except for a very small bathroom. We loved sitting on the veranda outside of our room. Jim's breakfasts were wonderful with more than you could eat of eggs, French toast, bacon, biscuits, fruit, and that southern tradition of grits. The only negative that we experienced was the passing of several trains during the night on our first night. the second night only one passed by. As I said, we would return if we are ever in the area again.
My husband and I just got back from the Winston Place to celebrate our anniversary, and we couldn't be happier with our decision to stay there. The hospitality and food were wonderful. The breakfast was so filling that we didn't eat anything until dinner that night. The house was beautiful with an abundance of history throughout the entire house. We are already looking at the calendar to see when we can visit again. Mark and Stephanie Bria
We have stayed with Tony and Eleanor for many years and will continue to return "home". Their home/property is very pretty and everything is spotless! The breakfasts rival any top restaurant. They have spoiled us for any other B&B!
We enjoyed our night at the Bed and Breakfast, we got the full history of the house which was enjoyable as well as great recommendations of places to eat and things to do in the area. It was our first stay at a Bed and Breakfast, and we definitely have high standards from now on. We hope to return in the fall when the trees are so colorful! Definitely a neat place to stay!
Tony and Eleanor were the absolute best! We enjoyed getting to know them and especially enjoyed the wonderful home cooked food. After a great dinner in Mentone, we arrived back at Raven Haven to wonderful homemade dessert! The beautiful accommodations were the perfect match for a weekend in the mountains. Getting to know the sweet hosts was the icing on the cake!
We had an amazing weekend. Leslie and Ms. Faye made our stay so enjoyable and the food was fantastic. When we left my wife made the remark that it felt like we were leaving family. We have stayed in many Bed and Breakfast places across the Southeast and Winston Place is by far the best we have ever seen!
You will love the Winston if you are a history buff....then again you will still love it if history is not your thing. Jim Bunch is a wonderful host and a fabulous cook. Best stuffed french toast ever!! His tour of the home along with its history is a must.....I enjoyed casual coffee in the kitchen with Leslie, the other guests, and an endless plate of cookies. If the opportunity arises I will definitely stay again. Debbie F.
My wife and I spent 2.5 days at the Winston Place and boy did we hit the jackpot. The scenery is second to none if you love Northern Alabama as we do. Nestled in a valley Winston Place offers charm, elegance and outstanding hospitality. The owners, Jim and Leslie Bunch, along with their sweet sidekicks, Faye and Earnest Ross bend over backwards to make you feel like you are their family. The evening spent on the spacious front porch make all worthwhile. BTW, Jim makes a mean cup of coffee, not to mention Faye's killer blackberry cobbler. As far points of interest, Valley Head has it all, including it's own history which Leslie will gladly tell you about. All in all, we have some new friends and will be back later this fall when the maples are in full strut. Thanks Jim, Leslie, Faye and Earnest for making my wife's birthday "the best birthday I have ever had." Not much need to add any more.
Oh, wow!!!!! What a joy it was to spend 3 nights at Raven Haven! Tony and Eleanor are so precious and have a real gift for hospitality! Their home and yards are beautiful . We thoroughly enjoyed every minute with them! They're so thoughtful and do so many things to make you feel totally welcome and at home. You'll feel as if you've known them forever and feel like family. The breakfasts are absolutely fantastic! They greet you when you arrive with hugs and homemade snack breads. There's always a delicious dessert waiting for you after you get back from supper. It was so restful to sit or walk around their yards and enjoy all the flowers and butterflies and goldfish pond. We even saw 3 deer! What a wonderful joy it was to be there with them ! We're definitely planning to come back!!!!!