Top 10 Garden Inns

Surrounding yourself with the peaceful serenity of nature is a simple yet powerful way to unwind and escape from the demands of everyday life. This month, we’re celebrating ten bed and breakfasts that offer guests the added bonus of stunning and meticulously landscaped gardens that will make you want to spend all your time relaxing outdoors, basking in the beauty of the flowers and the foliage.

BB Villa Ravino

Ischia, Italy

BB Villa Ravino

BB Villa Ravino is nestled in a large botanical garden measuring approximately 5,000 square meters in size and is situated on the southwestern end of the island of Ischia. The island’s volcanic origins and rich soil provide the ideal environment for the garden’s luscious assortment of exotic trees, including palms, pines, lemon, orange, and olive, as well as one of the largest and most varied collections of succulent plants in all of Europe. You’ll also notice grapevines cascading over the garden walls, down the pergolas, and across the stone terraces. With picturesque and panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, this tranquil bed and breakfast provides guests bright and airy one- or two-room apartments that are decorated in the soothing pastel colors traditional to the region. Each apartment can accommodate up to five people and is equipped with a kitchenette and private garden or terrace suitable for intimate al fresco dining. If you’re looking for pampering, then visit the on-site spa designed to provide guests the means for ultimate relaxation. The spa boasts a sun terrace with an outdoor swimming pool, indoor mineral baths with water from the local hot springs, and a whirlpool. Guests wanting to immerse themselves in a little bit of culture can walk to the historic harbor of Forio or arrange day excursions to towns along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, the archaeological sites of Pompeii and Vesuvius, or the island of Capri.

Breeden Inn

Bennettsville, South Carolina

Breeden Inn

The Breeden Inn in Bennettsville is the oldest, largest, and longest-running bed and breakfast in the South Carolina, Pee Dee region. Given its location, the inn is a favorite halfway point for travelers making the drive from New York to Florida. Four beautifully restored 19th-century houses offer 13 guestrooms lavishly decorated with a mix of family heirlooms and antiques dating back to the 1700s. Four of these rooms have whirlpool tubs and all have fully equipped kitchens. The inn is not only listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it was also certified as a backyard Wildlife Habitat in 1997 by the National Wildlife Federation. A master gardener oversees the lush grounds which extend over three acres of land. Take a walk along the winding brick and gravel pathways and admire the wide variety of trees and plantings as you make your way to the shaded picnic area and bubbling fountain at the garden’s center. With 17 birdbaths located throughout the property, gardens designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and a period Koi pond, nature-lovers will undoubtedly enjoy seeing how many different animals they can spy during their stay. The property also provides numerous spots to sit and relax, as each house has inviting Southern wraparound porches outfitted with stately columns, swings, rockers, large bamboo reading chairs, and cooling ceiling fans. For lazy afternoon napping, hammocks are set up by the large in-ground swimming pool and in between the cottages.

Casa & Natura Breviglieri Bed & Breakfast

Verona, Italy

Casa & Natura Breviglieri Bed & Breakfast

Owners Nicola Abati Breviglieri and Luciana Breviglieri fully embrace the concept of “living naturally” at their simple bed and breakfast located along the left bank of the Adige River in the city of Verona. From the certified organic ingredients used in the rich breakfast buffet, served each morning in the winter garden, to the vegetable-based soaps available in all of the bathrooms, “living naturally” means taking the time to respect your body as well as the world around it. Nicola and Luciana envisioned the property as a place to nourish the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit. Each of the guestrooms has an eco-friendly design and is bathed in ample natural light that accentuates the warm hues of honey and ivory used in their décor. The rooms are also equipped with satellite televisions and wireless internet, making the accommodations ideal for tourists and business travelers who need to stay connected with the outside world. However, when you’re ready to unplug from your electronic devices, you can wander through the streets of the city made famous by William Shakespeare, taking time to admire the semi-circular arches of the buildings’ Romanesque architecture. After you’ve finished exploring for the day, return to the bed and breakfast and relax in the miniature botanical garden surrounding the house or in the beautifully landscaped courtyard ornamented with lush greenery and potted plants.

Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast

Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast

Half a mile from The College of William & Mary, just over one mile from Colonial Williamsburg, and only a few miles from the Jamestown Settlement, the Colonial Gardens Bed & Breakfast puts you right in the heart of this historic Virginian city. The property was a private residence until Wilmot and Diane Philips transformed it into a bed and breakfast in 1994. After running the inn for a decade, Wilmot and Diane retired and turned it over to the current proprietors, Ron and Karen Watkins. The amenities in the four guestrooms, named after flowers you’ll find blooming in the gardens, combine comfort and elegance, offering guests full-length robes, private bathrooms with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, and beds made with 500-thread count or higher sheets that have been hand-ironed with a touch of lavender scent to promote relaxation. As an added luxury, all of the rooms located upstairs have fireplaces. In the morning, sip on freshly brewed European coffee and enjoy a gourmet breakfast prepared by Karen and served on fine china with crystal and silver service. Guests are encouraged to sign up for Karen’s interactive cooking classes designed to teach classic techniques, as well as helpful tricks of the culinary trade. When you’re finished exploring everything that the Williamsburg area has to offer, then come back and stroll through the gardens that stretch for over an acre or sit on the old-fashioned porch swing and listen to the birds sing until the sun sets.

The Inn at Irwin Gardens

Columbus, Indiana

The Inn at Irwin Gardens

The Inn at Irwin Gardens was built as a private residence in 1864 by a Columbus banker and businessman by the name of Joseph I. Irwin. Over the years, the home was enlarged and remodeled to accommodate the growing Irwin family, and, in 1910, Massachusetts architect Henry A. Phillips devised the current Edwardian design of the 13,000-square-foot mansion. Today, the bed and breakfast offers five guestrooms, each furnished with the Irwin family’s period antiques and private bathrooms with original fixtures dating back to the early 1900s. When exploring the first floor of the inn, be sure to examine the windows in the library very closely, as each of its seven windows has a small stained-glass design representing the seven days of the week. While the architectural details of the bed and breakfast are impressive, the highlight of the property is, without question, the meticulously landscaped garden engineered to follow an Italian motif. Wander through the maze based on the exhumed remains of the Casa degli Innamorati in ancient Pompeii, admire the statue under the center arch of the garden house modeled after a lakeside structure at the Villa of Hadrian in Tivoli, and trace the curved brick of the garden walls rounded to imitate the 16th-century gardens in Mantua. The only fixtures that do not fit the Italian theme are the English sundial and the Japanese bronze elephant sculpture that is a replica of the one at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair pavilion.

The Jackson House Inn

Woodstock, Vermont

The Jackson House Inn

Located just outside the heart of Woodstock, the Jackson House Inn fits the image of a charming 19th-century New England bed and breakfast in more ways than one. The main house was originally constructed in the Queen Anne style in 1890 as the private residence of local sawmill owner Wales N. Johnson. The property was then purchased by Robert and Christine Jackson in 1940 and converted into a nine-room guesthouse known as The Seven Maples in honor of the seven maple trees lining the front grounds. After changing ownership several times, a 14-month period of upscale renovation, and the addition of a full-service restaurant, the bed and breakfast landed in the hands of current owners Rick and Kathy Terwelp under its current name. Guests can choose to stay in a one-room suite or a more classic room, all with private bathrooms. The suites have updated décor, gas fireplaces, and a comfortable sitting area, while the standard rooms are decorated on themes like Vermont Country and equipped with queen beds. This boutique inn is set on three acres with picturesque views, a freshwater pond, and lushly-landscaped English gardens with a walking maze. Period details include intricate woodwork, stained glass, and beautifully laid floors in cherry, maple, oak, and pine, and the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Whether you’re coming for the peak foliage season or the peak ski season at Killington and Okemo, the Jackson House Inn is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway or a peaceful retreat with friends.

Linwood Historic Home and Gardens B&B

Summerville, South Carolina

Linwood Historic Home and Gardens B&B

Conveniently located 14 miles from the Charleston airport, this historic bed and breakfast is elegant yet comfortable. The converted Victorian mansion was built in 1883 by Julia Drayton Hastie, the heiress to the Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley River, and features heart of pine floors, high ceilings, sparkling chandeliers, and bay and triple-sash windows, many still made of the original glass. Tastefully decorated with antique furniture and oriental rugs, the three in-house suites are equipped with queen beds, private bathrooms stocked with high-end toiletries, and fireplaces. Guests can enjoy a grand continental breakfast served each morning in one of two dining rooms. Afterwards, play golf at one of the many nearby golf courses, go shopping at the outlet mall, tour famous Southern plantations, or take a day trip up to Myrtle Beach or down to Hilton Head Island. When you’ve finished exploring for the day, come back to the bed and breakfast and have a seat on the wide, columned porches. If you’re lucky, then you might find the hammock available for a short little catnap. Before the sun sets for the evening, stroll along the sand paths leading to the award-winning private gardens blooming with azaleas, gardenias, camellias, magnolias, and fragrant lavender.

Sagrada Boutique Hotel

Guanajuato, Mexico

Sagrada Boutique Hotel

Set amid an 18-acre botanical garden in colonial Mexico, this boutique bed and breakfast is located six miles outside of the culturally-rich city of San Miguel de Allende, designated as a UNESCO world heritage city in 2008 and consistently ranked by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the Top 5 Cities of Mexico, Central, and South America. With three luxury villas and two casas constructed of traditional adobe and fully equipped with modern amenities, the hotel can accommodate up to 14 guests at any one time. Both lodging options offer unparalleled views of five different mountain ranges, including the Sierra Madre Occidental to the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental to the east. With the hotel’s motto being “treat yourself with life,” the friendly and knowledgeable hotel staff will go to great lengths to help you realize that motto. The concierge will assist with you everything from making appointments for on-site spa services in the newly-renovated massage room and wood-burning sauna, to arranging yoga and Pilates sessions, to signing you up for local hiking tours, horseback riding excursions, and lessons in Spanish. Spend an afternoon unwinding in La Mesita, Sagrada’s common guest lodge with a diverse library of books, a large flat-screen television, a wide collection of DVDs, and enough board games to provide several hours of entertainment. And once the sun goes down, be sure to take advantage of the area’s low humidity and clear skies to star-gaze late into the evening.

Sea Cliff Gardens Bed & Breakfast

Port Angeles, Washington

Sea Cliff Gardens Bed & Breakfast

This Victorian bed and breakfast is located on a two-acre piece of oceanfront land that sits at the gateway to Olympic National Park in Washington. The spacious guestrooms offer breathtaking views of the property, allowing you to wake up each morning to the sight of the lush English gardens and numerous flower beds strategically planted around the grounds. You will also enjoy the luxurious oversized bathrooms and either a private two-person indoor Jacuzzi or an outdoor hot tub. A full breakfast replete with fresh eggs, savory meats, seasonal fruit, and decadent sweets is served on elegant china in the fine dining room with windows featuring a panoramic view of the property. After your meal, walk out to the bluff standing over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and see if you can spot the coast of Vancouver Island just beyond the sea mist. Fans of the novel series Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and the motion picture series based on the books can make the hour-long drive to Forks, Washington to tour the sleepy town that served as the saga’s setting. If sports are more up your alley, then enthusiasts of the outdoors, especially, will appreciate the bed and breakfast’s close proximity to the Olympic Discovery Trail, a designated non-motorized roadway spanning 120 miles across the north end of the Olympic Peninsula that is ideal for bikers, runners, equestrians, and nature-walkers.

Tiffany Gardens Bed and Breakfast

Londonderry, New Hampshire

Tiffany Gardens Bed and Breakfast

This adults-only bed and breakfast is the ideal spot for a romantic retreat for avid gardeners or lovers of flowers and plants. The one-acre property boasts a fully landscaped garden that includes hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs (each with identification markers), five water features, and charming sculptures and figures amidst the greenery. This makes the garden an excellent spot for bird watching and taking nature photography. The spacious guestrooms all have a queen bed, a sitting area with a desk, a private bathroom, and a balcony overlooking the gardens, so you can enjoy the breathtaking views from up above. In the morning, a full breakfast made from fresh local ingredients is served out on the terrace when weather permits. For guests with special dietary concerns, vegetarian and vegan meals are available upon advanced request. Located 45 minutes outside of Boston and only 12 minutes from the Boston-Manchester Regional Airport, a stay at Tiffany Gardens makes for a perfect weekend getaway, especially considering the bed and breakfast’s close proximity to the cultural offerings at the Tupelo Music Hall and the Verizon Wireless Arena, as well as the tours and wine tastings at Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry and the hot air balloon excursions that launch nearby.