Last week, as you may recall, I took a quick two-night trip down to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I met up with my dear friend Ellen and we stayed at City House Bed and Breakfast, centrally located downtown and facing the Susquehanna River.
Our stay could not have been more perfect. It was adventure enough just hopping on a train in NYC and writing the whole way down to Pennsylvania. Then, I got to spend two nights with Ellen…but to stay at the most charming, cozy spot in all of Harrisburg as well? Blessed, I tell you!
City House gave me a good impression right away when Eva, the innkeeper, thoughtfully emailed me a few days before my trip and asked if I had any allergies or dislikes when it came to food. I loved the attention to detail.
The hospitality was some of the best I’ve ever experienced. We arrived around 3:45, and I’d told Eva to expect us around 4. As we walked down the path above, we wondered whether the entrance at the front of the building, and were pleasantly surprised when the side doors opened and Eva greeted me with “Hello! Are you Christy?” I was so tickled!
City House never failed to impress or delight. Here are some things that stood out for me:
The quaint architecture, wrought iron detail, and location right on the Susequehanna River. Somehow, I pictured a smaller, more narrow city building, squished up against other city buildings. But as you can see, City House is a stand-alone structure with more charm than I could have imagined.
The 24-hour beverage and snack station upstairs.
At the top of the staircase was this little kitchenette, complete with microwave, sink, coffee maker, tea, refrigerator, and snacks (!): granola bars and some particularly chewy and perfectly sweet coconut butterscotch cookies. This was beyond perfect, since I always arrive wherever I’m traveling to hungry and ready to eat everything in sight. I asked Eva where the cookies were from, assuming they were from a local bakery, and she’d made them herself!
The dual-head shower. Who needs a bath tub when you can shower in a waterfall? Not me. My shower on Friday morning was glorious.
The softest pillowcase and sheets I’ve ever slept on. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that pillowcase from the minute I felt it. It was deliciously soft. And oh! A king-sized bed! I never even knew that Ellen was on the other side of the bed!
I know it’s no masterpiece, but I had to capture that soft tufted headboard. I fell in love! Right now our headboard at home is the cushion from an old papasan chair, so I suppose you’d call that the poor man’s version of this beautiful headboard at City House 🙂
The breakfast, of course! Ellen and I entered the dining room on Friday morning and excitedly took in the spread before us: coffee, tea, and water station, fresh fruit, scones (made by Eva!), hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and a selection of three cereals. The innkeeper, Eva, immediately greeted us and brought out our hot dish: the best baked oatmeal I’ve ever had, served in individual ramekins.
Thoughtfulness and Kindness. City House had several umbrellas hanging by the door for guests to use- and we gladly took advantage of that to face Harrisburg’s gray and rainy weather. Eva eagerly told us of some of her favorite highlights of the city, such as the state capitol and Midtown Scholar bookstore (more to come on those great spots!).
Check-out time was 11 a.m., but the B&B allows guests to leave their cars in the gated parking lot until 3 p.m., when new guests start to arrive. This was so helpful! We explored the city on foot and didn’t have to worry about finding parking spots or wondering if the car was all right. When you’re in a new city, it makes the experience that much more enjoyable to have such a big issue like your car and parking taken care of.
Not one, but three sitting rooms: the sun room, TV room, and parlor. The leather chairs in the TV room are soft and cushy and the perfect spot to unwind after roaming city streets all day. In addition to a flat-screen TV and DVD player, guests can choose from a variety of books to peruse. The parlor has a working fireplace, large windows, and lots of seating options (it reminded me of the parlor at the Haraseeket Inn in size and layout). And the sun room, pictured below, looks out onto North Front St and the river. It’s a great spot to go over the day’s travel plans or sit and enjoy coffee in the morning.
When I planned my stay at City House, I looked forward to a cozy night’s sleep close to everything Harrisburg has to offer. What I didn’t expect was a lovely hostess and fantastic cook and baker. I didn’t expect an inn that features art from local artists on its walls and boasts spaces to relax both inside and out.
I could never claim to be an expert on bed and breakfast or hotels, but I know what a soothing, restorative environment feels like. I know that feeling of delight and rejuvenation that settles in after discovering a home away from home. City House Bed & Breakfast has all that and more.
H is for Harrisburg! This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for April. The challenge is so much fun so far! Later today I’m featuring an independent bookstore in Harrisburg, so stay tuned!
My stay was courtesy of City House Bed & Breakfast, but all opinions are my own.