Stonehurst Place is an elegant and modern five-room bed and breakfast located in Atlanta's Midtown area, which is home to the city's theater, museum and arts district. This eco-friendly BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection property is a short walk to shops and fine restaurants and is within four blocks of public trains. While built in 1896, it has been fully renovated and is incredibly chic. The inn houses many original works of art, including a Warhol piece. Innkeeper Barb Shadomy took some time to answer questions for us about what makes her B&B so unique. Please read on for our interview with her.
1. What do you enjoy most about being an innkeeper?
I am always thrilled with the opportunity to meet our guests, and even make some friends--people from around the world and from different walks of life. One of my favorite things to do is sit down to breakfast with guests and hear their stories, find out what brought them to Atlanta and to Stonehurst Place, and make a real connection with them. It's so enriching!
2. How long have you been an innkeeper?
Believe it or not, Stonehurst Place is my first inn so I have been at this just three and a half years, but that includes a year and a half of renovation! Before that, I worked as a consultant and traveled the U.S. about three to four days a week for a few years, and also had the great fortune and privilege to travel to some of the most exclusive properties around the world, so I concentrated my design of Stonehurst Place on what would meet the needs of travelers of all types based on my personal experiences. I hope I anticipated everything--so far, so good!
3. What was your inspiration for your creating your inn? Did you have a certain vision for it?
I didn't even have experience staying at B&Bs before we bought Stonehurst! I was studying interior and garden design in London when in a design studio I came across the for-sale website of Stonehurst when researching granite for a project. Then, about a month later I was researching a William Morris wallpaper and again the same for-sale website popped up! Atlanta is my home, and we were in London just a few years, so I had a feeling someone out there was trying to tell me something. A month later, I flew home from London to Atlanta and toured Stonehurst for the first time. That was when my vision started to take shape--it was very pink and floral, a true old fashioned B&B, but I saw something elegant with contemporary furnishings in restored rooms, with green and eco-friendly enhancements added.
4. What sets your B&B apart from others?
Our green energy systems, coupled with our true eco-friendly innkeeping commitment, really differentiate us from most all other B&Bs. The Stonehurst Place renovation won the 2009 Southface and EarthCraft Home Renovation Project of the Year for turning this 1896 home into a highly energy efficient one. We created a whole house icynene envelope to provide incredible insulation, added ten solar collectors to heat all the hot water used by the inn, and installed a greywater system to collect water from showers and tubs, sanitize it, and send it to the toilets for flushing so that we don't use drinking water for that purpose (Atlanta is a city with constant drought issues). Each day excess greywater is sent to the gardens for subterranean irrigation. We installed an extensive rainwater collection system--two tanks the size of SUVs hold 3,500 gallons of rainwater, and a six-step water purification array similar to those used in hospitals, to purify this rainwater to make it potable and suitable for drinking and bathing. The city of Atlanta is way behind progressive cities on legislation to allow this, so for now we use the system to purify the city water we take into the house, and we are working with the city as they create model legislation to address this important need. At Stonehurst Place we exclusively use eco-friendly and low-scent cleaning products and detergents, and our guest amenities are all eco-friendly. It's important to us, and we are proud of our efforts and tongue-in-cheek adherence to my motto "No plastic bottles here!"
5. Why do you think travelers should choose B&Bs over hotels?
When I was a frequent business traveler, I never even thought to stay in a B&B, and sure wish I had! Our repeat business travelers tell us what they love most about staying at Stonehurst Place is 'coming home,' usually to their own room, to faces they know and warm hugs, and to a place where they have more than just their room and a smoky bar to spend time in. Guests love to bring their laptops, Blackberries, iPhones, and iPads onto one of our two outdoor porches and sit down with some homemade goodies to wrap up the day in a relaxing environment. They love to catch our innkeeper playing some tunes on the baby grand in the music room, where they can help themselves to refreshments and listen, or even play themselves. They love to wander the house and take in our collection of art, with original Warhol, Chihuly, Christo, Wegman, and other interesting artists and pieces. They love to take one of our many books on art, architecture and design up to the old sleeping porch, make themselves a cup of fresh coffee, tea or cocoa, and stretch out on the sofa or in a comfy leather chair and relax and read. Did I say they love it? I never once came home from a business trip feeling like this.
6. Do you have any special offers coming up?
We're extending our popular suite deal through December 24, with our most decadent suites at 25% off rack rates. Atlanta is a great place for holiday shopping, so we hope shoppers make a few days of it at our many boutique shopping districts and malls, then come home at night to soak and put up their feet at Stonehurst Place. That 25% off could be just the extra money needed for someone's Christmas gift!