Because we hadn’t exactly gotten a leg up on planning our Kentucky weekend away, by the time we thought to look into lodging, the majority of B&Bs in the area were already booked due to it being Memorial Day weekend. Most places we looked into ran anywhere from $129 to $189 a night per room—full breakfast included, of course—yet we had a hard time finding an inn with two rooms open that would accommodate the four of us.
As luck had it, my friend Samantha from home was accompanying me on the May Enrichment Voyage and had lived in Bardstown last year during the end of her 11-year stint in the Army. She told me about this great place, Rosemark Haven, right downtown. I inquired, and while all the rooms in the main house were booked, there was a dual-story, 1,900-square-foot detached building called the Federal House (pictured above) that was open all weekend. Even better, it was just $209 per night—or $105.50 a couple, less than we would have paid anywhere else short of the Super 8. Perfect. (It turns out, it only costs $189 on non-holiday weekends, too, while rooms in the main house start at $109.)
The Federal House had two bedrooms and a shared bath and was very much frontier-style. There was a living room, a dining room, a back porch and a very steep staircase that led into the sleeping quarters, as well as a basement that we opted not to explore. (I saw Cabin in the Woods, people; I’m not making that mistake.) It was a charming weekend of affordable time travel, without even needing a DeLorean: I felt like I was back in the 1800s (eh, except for that whole TV-and-DVD-player part).
The owner Mike happened to be manning the bar when we stopped in for a few beers—in Bourbon Country? surely, that must be sacrilegious—and was more than eager to give us recommendations of his favorite things to do (as well as his don’ts) for the area. We even ran into him on the Maker’s Mark tour the next day with his daughter; now, there’s a guy who practices what he preaches (read: bourbon). The bar doubles as a restaurant on Friday and Saturday night, and while we didn’t make reservations in advance (required), I wished we had, as the menu looked divine. Also, if ever I get into the hospitality industry, I want the “rustic chic” look that the Rosehaven tavern so effortlessly achieved.
I loved Rosemark Haven, and while I planned this weekend as solely a vacation—as a travel writer, sometimes you have to have time “off the clock”—I’d be surprised if this cute little spot doesn’t make it into my magazine writing soon (such is the curse of turning your passion into your full-time job, I suppose).