My husband and I rarely have the chance to travel anywhere together, just the two of us. So when an opportunity to spend a long weekend in Kentucky presented itself, we didn’t have to think twice about it.
The focus of our trip was A Storybook Inn, a Select Registry property, in Versailles, Kentucky. We were greeted upon arrival by Elise, proprietor and innkeeper. Elise showed us around the main floor of the house and I knew right away that it was going to be extremely difficult to ever leave the inn. The elegant but comfortable decor, the 50-foot glass conservatory, the ever-so-inviting reading nook… Storybook is a destination all on its own.
In talking extensively with Elise, we learned the fascinating history of the house, which was built before the Civil War. Elise took ownership of the home in 2004 and began massive renovations. A Storybook Inn officially opened in April of 2005. Today, the home still maintains and exudes the historic charm you’d expect from a pre-Civil War mansion in horse country, all while highlighting modern conveniences and elements of luxury.
As gorgeous as the home is, the real star of the show at A Storybook Inn is Elise. Simply, Elise does it all. She is the innkeeper, the chef, the designer, the decorator… She does it all with grace, elegance, and confidence. My husband and I spent a good amount of time talking to Elise throughout our stay. She was never intrusive, and we truly enjoyed hearing her stories of distinguished guests past (British Royalty, anyone?) and appreciated her recommendations on local dining and attractions.
So, a bit more about…
The four suites at the inn are named after classic Hollywood movies: “My Fair Lady”; “Gone With The Wind”; “Casablanca”; and “Somewhere In Time”. The decor of the rooms fit the themes of the movies they’re named after. We stayed in Gone With The Wind, a two-room suite on the top floor of the home, overlooking the expansive front lawn and driveway. Movie memorabilia, photos of the stars of the classic American film, and copies of the Gone With The Wind book are all tastefully displayed throughout the suite. The bedroom features a king bed, armoire, television, full closet, mini-refrigerator, and lounging chair; the second room has a recliner, daybed, desk and chair, and the private bathroom with two-person shower. In the upstairs common area right outside our suite, Elise keeps a refrigerator stocked with bottled water and juices for her guests, and a coffee maker with a variety of coffees.
On the main floor of the home, the foyer leads to a formal parlor, complete with piano and Civil War-themed chess game. Through the parlor is probably my favorite space in the home: the most adorable library, or reading nook, I’ve ever seen. As soon as I saw it, I told Elise, “You’re going to have to kick me out of here!” Tall shelves are generously stocked with books and magazines and, in the middle of it all, two fluffy chairs to plop into and read for hours. I attempted to do just that, except I was so relaxed that I inevitably fell asleep in the chair while reading.
Two more main rooms round out the main floor of the home: the formal dining room and the glass conservatory, where breakfast is served every morning. The conservatory looks out onto gardens in the backyard; it’s such a peaceful setting. Guests are encouraged to relax in the conservatory beyond breakfast, as well.
In addition to the suites, the new Huntsman’s Chase Guesthouse is also on property. Essentially, it’s a private home with a fully-equipped kitchen, a deck, an adorable front porch, an office, 4 bedrooms, and 3.5 baths. We didn’t get to go inside, but I imagine it’s as gorgeous as the main inn.
It’s quite amazing. Elise does all the shopping and meal preparation herself. She’s known to frequent local markets and to also go out of her way to procure organic, natural, and fresh ingredients. Elise will also accommodate any dietary needs and allergies.
On our first morning, we were treated to organic lemon crepes with homemade whipped cream and homemade, organic blackberry syrup. But that’s not all. Homemade lemon blueberry scones, oven roasted local bacon, and an organic fruit, yogurt, and granola parfait rounded out our breakfast. In addition to the divine breakfast, it’s the little things Elise does that truly warmed my heart. For example, the diffuser emitting essential oils to promote relaxation, and personalized breakfast menus for guests each morning.
Versailles is in Central Kentucky, in the middle of scenic horse country. Lexington is 15 minutes away by car, and it’s approximately one hour from Louisville. It is an optimal base for touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. A number of distilleries are just a short drive from the inn (we made it to Woodford Reserve and Four Roses). There are fantastic dining options in Versailles (we loved Napa Prime Burgers + Seafood!), Lexington, and nearby in the town of Midway.
Whatever brings you to Kentucky – visiting family, enjoying the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, or even attending the Kentucky Derby – seriously consider a stay at A Storybook Inn. Indulge yourself and enjoy the luxury, the relaxation, and the hospitality. Elise will make you feel so at home that you will find it difficult to ever leave.
We stayed two nights at A Storybook Inn, one of which was complimentary, thanks to Elise and Select Registry. We paid the regular rate for the Gone With The Wind suite ($299/night + tax) for the second night. I’d gladly pay in full to stay again at A Storybook Inn. Needless to say, all words and opinions – as always – are my own.