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Beat the winter doldrums: pamper yourself at a local B&B

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 your privacy.

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 architectural details.

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 a moment.

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 soothing.

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 winter weekends.