If anyone understands how to set the stage for a couple’s romantic interlude – and let’s face it, we can all use a break from reality and a chance to reconnect with our partner in beautiful, pampering surroundings – it is Tyler Horton and Todd Allen, innkeepers and owners of Historic 1851 Maple Hill Manor.
Located off a country road and set amidst sweeping fields pasturing a herd of gentle alpacas, this antebellum-style home is Kentucky’s most award-winning inn. More important to couples seeking respite, Tyler and Todd have created an elegant ambience with romantic guestrooms – some with a fireplace and/or a Jacuzzi for Two – lights with dimmers, signature seven-layer “blissful bedding,” plush Turkish towels, exclusive spa toiletries and soft embroidered robes.
For creating that perfect romantic moment, the innkeepers have culled a menu of thoughtful enhancements so guests can custom-design their getaway: couples massage, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries or bourbon chocolates, two dozen roses – even a game called “An Enchanted Evening.” Greeting couples in each of the inn’s seven luxe rooms is a softer-than-cashmere Teddy bear, a cuddly souvenir made from alpaca fiber and available for purchase.
Rise and shine
The inn serves a china and crystal country gourmet breakfast in the formal dining room (and at your desired seating time) either at the main table or a more private side table. You choose. You can request in-room breakfast dining with advance notice and also let the innkeeper know about any special diet requirements, food allergies or aversions.
On the menu? Light-as-air lemon soufflé pancakes, fruit waffles or buttermilk biscuits; Maple Hill Manor’s signature egg dish or omelets and bacon, ham or sausage; cheesy hash brown casserole or gourmet breakfast potatoes; fresh fruit and homemade muffins; assorted Maple Hill Manor jams, jellies, sauces and syrups (also available for purchase from the inn’s Farm Store); and coffee, teas, hot cocoa, sodas and juice.
Some of the goodies on your plate come from the inn’s fruit orchard, raspberry patch and herb garden. The innkeepers also like to showcase locally grown and Kentucky Proud ingredients wherever they can.
With its quiet country setting, Maple Hill Manor is made for arm-in-arm strolls along the walking paths of the inn’s wooded nature reserve or to the pasture where the alpacas roam. The inn raises rare and exotic Suri alpacas, which represent only two percent of the overall alpaca population in the world. Its fleece is considered to be one of the finest fibers in the world. One of the first farms in Kentucky to raise alpacas, Maple Hill Manor now has the largest Suri breeding program in the state. You’ll also spot llamas, a Kentucky mountain horse named Pretty Penny, two golden retrievers – official greeters Sophie and Sammy – and several barn cats.
Maple Hill Manor is a Greek Revival Plantation-style home that was built by Thomas Irvine McElroy in 1851 as a wedding gift for his young bride, Sarah Jane Maxwell. Originally sitting on a 949-acre swatch of Kentucky countryside, the home was lavished with arresting architectural features and accented with Italianate detailing.
The home’s colorful past includes use as a Civil War Confederate Encampment and a Union Field Hospital after the Battle of Perryville – the largest Civil War battle fought in Kentucky and one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; the birthplace and childhood home of Phil Simms, former NY Giants Quarterback and Super Bowl XXI’s MVP; a popular dinner hall; and a foster children’s home to more than 300 children.
The 7,000-plus square foot home has 14-foot ceilings, 12-foot doorways and 9-foot windows and no less than 13 original rooms. The architectural focal point of this Grande Dame is an exquisite cherry floating spiral staircase. Today, seven of these rooms are antique-laden guestrooms, each named for historic figures who had a great impact on Kentucky, including the Abraham Lincoln Library, Stephen Collins Foster Room and John James Audubon Room.
For more information about Historic 1851 Maple Hill Manor, its romance packages and add-on services, visit www.MapleHillManor.com.