February 2008 Issue
Romantic Retreats - Granville Inn
Choose your escape, from a relaxing, historic inn to a big-city B&B surrounded by arts and culture.
Even the most enthusiastic warm-weather reveler has to appreciate February. When else but during this month does the calendar encourage us to while away the day keeping warm with the ones we love?
Thankfully, Ohio boasts plenty of places where travelers can escape both winterâ€™s chill and lifeâ€™s stresses on Valentineâ€™s Day, if not longer â€“â€“ from cozy spots with rich histories in Mason and Grand Rapids, to attractive retreats with intriguing surroundings in Cleveland and Granville.
Pampering, entertainment and alone time are a given at the four B&Bs and inns we spotlight here. The newfound affection youâ€™ll develop for our stateâ€™s getaways is simply a bonus thatâ€™s perfect for the season.
Typically, the goal of a quick weekend getaway is to simply provide a change of scenery. But a number of Ohioans who hop in the car for Valentineâ€™s Day expect much more from their lodgings â€“â€“ everything from pampering spa treatments to delicious gourmet meals.
And the shorter the distance from their guestrooms, the better.
Fortunately, the Granville Inn, 30 miles east of Columbus, more than meets the challenge. In addition to its 27 handsome rooms and three suites, the stunning 1924 English manor â€“â€“ listed on the National Register of Historic Places â€“â€“ features both a spa that specializes in therapeutic treatments and a full-service restaurant and pub thatâ€™s become well-known among food lovers in central Ohio.
The sprawling manor invites couples to individualize their stays, beginning with selecting one of the uniquely decorated rooms. Each may have its own distinctive furnishings, wall treatments, carpeting and architectural elements, but all share an English-countryside theme that lends a dose of romance, as well as posh feather beds and fine linens.
Couples are lured out of those comfortable spaces by the Granville Innâ€™s opulent attractions. The Newkirk Spa, conveniently located next door, offers couples ways to beautify and breathe easy â€” from facials, manicures and pedicures to the 90-minute Fusion Stone Massage, which blends warm basalt stones with the benefits of a Swedish massage. The spa even offers make-up applications and a hair salon for guests who want a new look before lunch.
Visitors can choose from three main dining areas at the inn: the restaurant, a formal dining room where the most popular seats are near the oversized fireplace; the pub, featuring an atmosphere thatâ€™s both casual and upscale with stone walls and round, copper tables; and a screened-in patio. Whether you choose the popular New Zealand king salmon, coq au vin, or gnocchi francaise, make sure to complement the meal with one of the more than 120 selections from the Granville Innâ€™s wine list.
Those in the mood to stray from the inn soon discover a town with irresistible appeal. Granville maintains a commitment to keeping itself historic yet fresh, and offers a variety of welcoming retail shops along Main Street. Couples eager to revel in a romantic mood can traverse Granville in vintage style. The Granville Carriage Company offers the old-fashioned experience of viewing the vintage town from the seat of a fairy-tale carriage. â€“â€“ Miriam Carey
Noteworthy Stops Nearby â€¦
Sledding at Infirmary Mound, St. Rte. 37, three miles south of Granville, 740/587-2535. www.lickingparkdistrict.com. The Licking County Park District property â€“â€“ named for the prehistoric Infirmary Mound that resides there â€“â€“ features 326 picturesque acres, ripe for winter recreation.Â
Readerâ€™s Garden, 143 E. Broadway, Granville, 740/587-7744. This quaint bookstore completes the charming, small-town setting, letting visitors lose themselves amid a diverse selection for a relaxing afternoon.
Denison Museum, Broadway and Cherry streets, Granville, 740/587-5713. www.denison.edu/campuslife/museum. Located in Denison Universityâ€™s Burke Hall, the museumâ€™s collection consists of nearly 8,000 objects, including textiles, rubbings and ceramics from Asia, as well as Spanish holdings that include prints from Salvador Dali and Joan Miro.