Beat the winter doldrums: pamper yourself at a local B&B
Written by Kristin Cox
We all suffer from a shade of the winter
blues now and then. Maybe a little treat
for your chilled soul is all you need to
bounce back! From antique decadence to
the crisp lines of modern comfort, you can
find the perfect bed & breakfast in Happy
Valley that will bring some color back into
your winter. Try one of these local gems to
help you relax and renew:
The Chatelaine Bed & Breakfast
in Pine Grove Mills features a “layered
generational” design—it was originally
built in 1841 and has been added onto
throughout the years. The delicate
landscaping and surrounding farm fields
gently invoke a sense of simpler times.
Inside, you’ll be greeted by the one of the
two ladies of the house, Mae or Amanda
McQuade, a mother-daughter team who
will see to your needs while respecting
Mae has furnished the Chatelaine (French for “mistress of a large chateau”) with an eclectic mix of antiques and treasured collectibles from her travels, like a marble bust from a French junk pile and various sets of china from overseas. Murals and hand-made dolls designed by Mae’s daughters enliven the halls and stairwells. There are four guest rooms, each with a king-sized bed. The premier Swan Room, on the second floor, boasts an attached bathroom, plenty of natural light and a mammoth four-poster brass bed from a Texas bordello. Another guest room on the second floor has its private bath in the hall while the two third-floor rooms share a bath between them. A full breakfast is served each morning in the formal dining room and there is a common sitting room where you can enjoy the company of other guests if it suits you.
A carriage house in the back has been refinished recently to host parties for up to 45 people. The main area is lined with French doors and decorated in shabby chic: white walls, ceiling, wicker furniture, and chandeliers. A catering preparation area in the back, enough fine china to serve all 45 guests, and modern restrooms finish out the rest of the space.
So, if you desire to unwind in an antique-filled château in
the countryside, the Chatelaine is for you. But if you are looking
for something a little more modern, there’s Our Fair Lady in
Bellefonte. This Italianate Second Empire home was built in 1883
by lumber baron John Ardell, Jr., and still displays the original
stained glass front entryway, rich woodwork, pocket doors, and
fireplace. Extravagant renovations have been made during the last
five years, but they were all thoughtfully influenced by the home’s
The proprietors, Bob and Tami Schuster, pride themselves on offering a pampered experience—a place where you can kick back and relax. Each room features luxurious bedding atop a queen-sized bed, soothing colors, and simple, classic furniture. There are four guest rooms, two of which have private full baths.
The bathrooms have been completely modernized and are
stunningly beautiful with marble floors, detailed tile-work, and
shining fixtures. The third-floor bath features a curved walk-in
shower and a glass cabinet door that allows you to see the original
stairs into the cupola.
Even more decadent is the extended-stay suite featuring a separate bedroom, its own entry, a back porch
complete with wicker furniture, and a modern
kitchen and bath. Guests can enjoy breakfast
in the formal dining room and games or a good
book in one of the two front parlors.
Surrounded by ornate Victorian-era homes
known as “painted ladies,” Our Fair Lady is
within walking distance of local restaurants,
shops, and the Centre County Library and
Historical Museum. This B & B is perfect for
those who like to be in the middle of things,
surrounded by fine appointments, and treated
like a favored family member.
Between the bases of Mount Nittany and
Tussey Mountain lies the bed and breakfast at
the Rock Garden in Oak Hall. You’ll travel
a short ways down a back road to find this new
farm-house style B & B, built in 2005. It is ideal
for those who want to escape from the world for
The views from each guest room window are
spectacular! And, if you sit for a moment on the
wrap-around front porch, all you see for miles
are treetops, staggered valleys, ridge peaks,
and vast blankets of sky. The quiet of this landscape can be quite
Each of the five guest rooms feature simple, serene decor
and attached full baths. One room is on the main floor and is fully
handicap-accessible with two twin beds (all other rooms have
queen-sized beds). Natural wood, light walls, and many windows
help give an airy feel to the home.
There are three common rooms available for your use: a great room
with a fireplace, a garden room, and a large dining area, where you
will be served a full breakfast in the morning. In addition, there
are 17 acres of woods and countryside to explore. Just off the
road, you also will find a retail greenhouse, where you can buy rock
garden plants at 10% off retail price.
This wind-swept homestead is just right for those who want
to disappear off the map and surround
themselves with utter peace and quiet.
There are many more bed and
breakfasts around Centre County, all
of which are waiting to warm up your