With today’s modern-day accommodations, bed-and-breakfasts are increasingly becoming the ideal home-away-from-home. Besides complimentary breakfasts, cocktails, all-day tea, and wi-fi, they provide morning and night turn down service.
“Guests get to know their hosts, who are local experts as well as meet and mingle with other visitors, especially during breakfast. B&Bs are often unique, historic, properties with lots of flair [instead of] a cookie-cutter hotel guest room or Ikea-like furnishings evident at [other individually owned properties],” Monique Greenwood, owner of Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast Inns, told NewsOne. “At a B&B, guests receive the same kind of services [they would receive] at a hotel including concierge assistance. B&Bs don’t nickel and dime their guests; [many offer] bottled water, wifi, snacks and free parking.”
If you want massages, breakfast in bed, want to propose or do a whole lot of nothing, we make it happen, said Greenwood, who owns for locations in Brooklyn, New York; Cape May, New Jersey; Bethany, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C.
While numbers for Black Bed & breakfast owners remain low, here are six options to jumpstart your trip-planning:
1.Akwaaba at Buttonwood Manor in Cape May is available as a whole-house vacation rental with five bedrooms, plus five and half bathrooms, so everyone is almost guaranteed no-wait time for showers. There is also a bi-level carriage house for smaller needs. Both houses have patios perfect for group gatherings. The property sits five blocks from the beach, so autumn morning strolls or watching the evening sunset can be a breeze. Be sure to bring a blanket and pack a picnic basket to make it an evening of cocktails and conversations.
2.Akwaaba Mansion is landmark in the historic neighborhood of Stuyvesant Heights in Brooklyn and features four suites appropriately named Jumping the Broom to Regal Retreat. It includes special touches like complimentary breakfasts; afternoon tea and refreshments. It also features a two-person jetted tub, plus separate glass shower or a vintage claw-foot tub, a secluded garden and concierge services are available. A bevy of restaurants, shops, a park and library are within walking distance.
3.Akwaaba D.C. offers eight suites, some of which honor Black literary greats such as Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. With a fireplace in the parlor and a library, it’s no surprise book readings and signings are frequent here, but don’t worry; guests still have quiet evenings in this multi-level townhouse.
4.The Mansion at Noble Lane is the largest of the Akwaaba quad with 14 guest rooms plus resort-style amenities like spa treatment rooms, fitness facilities, an Olympic-sized heated swimming pool; tennis, volleyball and basketball courts; and communal space for up to 400 guests. There’s also champagne and s’mores at the fire pit in the evening. Guests can opt for special packages ranging from an all-inclusive (accommodations and meals) to a health and wellness week (customized meals, personal training and culinary classes) to the “My Daughter, My Friend” package which provides a spa credit for weekend stays.
5.Welcome Inn Manor, Chicago, Illinois
This Queen Anne style home-turn-six-room bed and breakfast is decorated with a bevy of African and African-American motifs; complimentary hot breakfast is offered to all guests everyday of their stay. Owners and operators Mell and Angela Monroe are available to help guests plan an eventful itinerary chockfull with restaurant recommendations, museums and special exhibits; places to listen to jazz, blues or rock music; and top spots to visit at the famed Magnificent Mile, a shopping corridor filled with dining, spas and bus tours located less than 15 minutes away from Welcome Inn Manor. Each room has special features. For instance, King Cole’s Quarters has two fireplaces, a Jacuzzi and meditation area; the University Family Quarters is perfect for work and play since it is furnished with a computer workstation and an air hockey table. Parking is free at Welcome Manor, and for guests interested in seeing more of Chicago, an all-day transportation service is offered for $12 – $15. The latter is like having a personal chauffeur in the Windy City.
6.Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast, Durham, North Carolina
This 8,000 square-foot Colonial Revival Style bed and breakfast offers four guest rooms with private bathrooms plus garden views. Located near downtown Durham, guests can walk to boutiques, dining, sports and entertainment. While downtown, indulge in a hearty lunch or dinner at Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, a Black-owned restaurant, but save room for dessert at Morehead Manor; homemade desserts and beverages are complimentary. A variety of specials include a girlfriends getaway package, romance package and 20-percent discount for active military, police, fire and EMS workers. Since the weather is often over 70-degrees through October, the garden is still a good option for weddings, receptions and other special occasions.
Carolyn Desalu is an essayist and travel and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Ebony, Essence, Catapult and The Globe and Mail. Aside from writing a book of essays, she enjoys finding the best doughnut shops in every city she visits. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @bycarolyndee