Getting Lucky in Kentucky: A Bardstown Retreat

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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.

Rosemark Haven bed and breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky

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.)

Rosemark Haven bed and breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky

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).

Rosemark Haven bed and breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky

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.

Rosemark Haven bed and breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky

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).

Rosemark Haven bed and breakfast in Bardstown, Kentucky

COMMENTS
  • June 6, 2012

    What a great deal and such a nice place. I love the Cabin in the Woods reference! I’ve been a happy Whedon fan this year! 🙂

    • June 7, 2012
      Kristin

      That movie was straight-up weird. Yet enjoyable in its quirkiness at the same time.

      • June 7, 2012
        Briel K.

        That movie was all Joss Whedon style. Have you ever been a fan of his other stuff? Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, etc?

        • June 12, 2012
          Kristin

          Can we still be friends if I admit that, no, I haven’t seen any of the above?!? Though I am a fan of all things vampire and did love Buffy the movie!

          • June 20, 2012
            Briel K.

            No worries, I won’t hold it against you! 😉

            • June 20, 2012

              I did go see Cabin and Avengers all in one month–does that count?!

  • June 7, 2012

    Boy you did more than luck out. Such a huge and sweet place for the price.

    • June 7, 2012
      Kristin

      That’s the beauty about the South–everything here is so darn affordable! I love it.

  • June 7, 2012

    So happy to see you made a trip to Kentucky! We have lots of offer here in horse country. Next time, come to Lexington while Keeneland is running! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. The most beautiful horse track in the country.

    • June 7, 2012
      Kristin

      Oh, without a doubt! We wanted to head into Lexington this time, but were tired after our aggressive distillery itinerary =) And we checked into Keeneland but realized we just missed the season. We did, however, get to see some of the beautiful horse ranches around Versailles. It’s not a far drive from Tennessee, so I’ll be back soon!

  • June 7, 2012

    I love awesome lodging finds like this! This is super similar to the house my husband rented for my birthday getaway last year. In Ohio, where we live, but a similar super old brick house, a bit more rustic decor with a steep, narrow staircase, and super affordable. I’m really not just trying to pimp my blog, but I posted some pics of it here: http://breadandcheeseplease.com/2011/05/this-birthday-brought-to-you-by-the-letter-h/

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      That might have to be my next weekend road trip! Looks perfect!

  • June 7, 2012

    Gorgeous pictures, as usual 🙂

    I enjoyed following along on your adventure via Twitter, btw. Lots of bourbon in a short period of time — I was v. impressed!

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      You could have kept up, but that goes without saying!

  • June 7, 2012

    Adorable! And affordable! Two-birds-one-stone. Gotta love it. 🙂

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      I’m a sucker for a good deal! In fact, when I don’t purchase a great Groupon Getaway for any of the states surrounding Tennessee, I actually feel like I’ve “lost” money, which is just plain stupid!

  • June 8, 2012

    through the bird cage…very cool shot!

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      Thanks! Scott took it. I’ve seen several at antique stores around the South, and after our cute little B&B am thinking we might need a bird cage for our new house!

  • June 8, 2012
    Alex

    Oh I love the look of the bar/restaurant! I totally agree with you! If I ever had a restaurant or hotel of my own, I would definitely decorate it a lot like that!

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      I love how they manage to pull off the Christmas lights without looking the slightest bit tacky. I might try that when we get a home of our own.

  • June 11, 2012
    ris

    Wow, beautiful photos (as always). When done well, I just love rustic chic.

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      Agreed! I think I want that to be the theme of our first Southern house (which hopefully is happening soon!).

  • June 11, 2012

    I love places with authentic rustic chic vibes. It’s so country and so simple and so cozy and so perfect.

    • June 12, 2012
      Kristin

      Spoken like a true Southern lady! Love it.

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