One year ago this week, we received our first formal guest to our B&B.
At first, we offered two rooms. Quickly we were busy enough that we opened a third on our second floor. And now, after a year of renting out our third floor as an separate apartment, we have remodeled it into our final two B&B rooms.
Originally the third floor was servants’ quarters, home to the women and children who made their living as housekeepers to the Corson and Sherwood families. From about 1950 to now, the third floor has been a two-bedroom apartment, accessible from a private side entrance. Renting out the third floor has been a source of income to the owners for many decades.
Now we have we have painted the entire floor and stairwell, remodeled the third-floor bathroom with new fixtures and a new floor, and furnished both third-floor bedrooms.
The guest quarters now feature a common living room, Room #5 (the “Delft Queen” room), Room #6 (the “Four-Poster Queen” room), and a shared claw-foot bathroom. Renting the two rooms together makes for a lovely two-bedroom suite out of the entire floor.
Third floor landing
Third floor landing with TV
Third floor landing with seating and dining table
Room #5 and #6 off the landing
Room 5 Delft Queen
Room 5, with dresser and vanity and coffee nook
Room 5 vanity
Room 6 with Queen bed and seating area
Room 6 Fireplace
Room 6 Four-Poster Queen
Third floor bathroom
Third floor bathroom lavatory
Third floor bathroom with claw-foot tub
We are so grateful to all our guests, supporters, friends, family, and to God’s providence that we have come so far in a short time. We are deeply blessed.
Can’t wait to see what a second year of this will bring.
Try a Classic B&B to Make it Worth it
The Van Andel Arena showcases the biggest events in Grand Rapids, from the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team to classic rock shows to latest and greatest Top 20 chartmakers. And it’s only a mile away from The Parsonage Inn!
Surrounded by restaurants and boutiques, the Arena is a fantastic spot to make memories and celebrate important occasions. Whether you need a lovely beverage from the Grand Rapids Brewing Company, desire the famous Crack Fries from HopCat, want to take your pick from a whole slate of restaurants at The B.O.B., explore the Spanish tapas menu of the San Chez Bistro, or wish to explore a dozen more culinary options, the Arena neighborhood has it all.
And what better way to make the most of it than to top off your visit with a stay in an elegant Bed and Breakfast rather than yet another hotel room.
Stay in Beautiful History
Our 1882 Queen Anne Victorian offers several bedrooms and gathering spaces, indoor and out, perfect for an outstanding getaway. Come as a couple or as a group! Enjoy a glass of wine on our wraparound porch, engage in conversation under our living room chandelier, or linger over weekend waffles in the dining room.
Many event-goers stay with us to maximize their journey, so don’t delay. The biggest events tend to fill up quickly!
The Biggest Events are Within Walking Distance
In good weather, the Arena is a brief 1.1 mile walk, with numerous restaurants and breweries along the way.
Parking is readily available, either in surface parking behind the arena or in parking garages nearby.
Uber, Lyft, and taxi service are also readily available.
Most organizations, from churches to corporations, or even extended families, need to take time away somewhere. They need to go off-site and retreat from the daily demands in order to pay attention to bigger picture questions and relationship building.
But where can a group go to get overnight lodging in Grand Rapids that’s more than a sterile, vanilla hotel?
There are some places out in the country, like the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds or Camp Geneva on the lake shore, or maybe The Shack up in Jugville.
But what about here in Grand Rapids, close to the attractions of downtown and the Van Andel arena? That’s where a Bed & Breakfast becomes a great choice.
The Parsonage Inn bed and breakfast, for example, has a few rooms that could be rented as a block for a retreat, and our beautiful living room and other amenities would be all yours. Enjoy a bit of elegant history in our historic downtown neighborhood as you gather. You could not only sleep in one place, but have some hours to talk, play, and interact as a team in our grand home setting, and still be within walking distance of excellent restaurants, pubs, and breweries. It’s an excellent place for a team to come away and enjoy some time together.
And if we don’t have enough rooms to suit, our colleagues at the Leonard at Logan, just around the corner, as well as Peaches and the Lafayette House have more rooms available and similarly elegant and inviting amenities and decor. There should be plenty of space for all kinds of teams.
So for your next business retreat, off-site gathering, or family getaway, consider a bed & breakfast in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.
There are many hotels in Grand Rapids. Most are for business. Or maybe landing spots for visiting nearby family or hitting a travelling sporting event.
One of our first customers was a man whose son was in the hospital around the corner from our Bed and Breakfast. We didn’t yet have beds built in all our rooms, so at first we referred him to one of the other B&Bs, like Peaches, The Leonard, or the Lafayette House. But it was ArtPrize week, and everyone was booked. So we said, give us an hour and we’ll cobble a room together. He spent two nights with us within easy walking distance to St Mary’s and his son.
The man who built our 1882 Bed & Breakfast once lived in the hotel that is now the Amway Grand Plaza hotel. From our pioneer days, Grand Rapids has needed housing for businessmen. Today there’s also the JW Marriot or City Flats hotel in the downtown core to offer luxury and trendy accommodations.
And no doubt, the chain motels abound in the suburbs and interchanges for those passing through efficiently. If you need a hotel in Grand Rapids, there are many corporate and conglomerate options.
But we are less hotel and more home. The Parsonage Inn is more a Victorian refuge in the heart of the city than a cookie-cutter room in a factory building. We live here in this house, so we hope it’s more like staying with your favorite relatives than counting the frequent flyer miles. Our furniture has stories, like the couch that survived the 1956 F5 tornado, or the 1939 grandparents’ honeymoon suite, or the $5 coffee table that kept our kids safe from hot pizza.
We too are a hotel in Grand Rapids, but as a bed and breakfast filled with stories, we are more home than hotel! We hope you’ll come for a visit!
Call it a soft launch, but on 16 September 2017 we welcomed our first guest to our bed and breakfast. We’ve truly entered the commercial lodging business, but hope to be more home than hotel.
We’ve had many, many guests over the years, mostly friends and family, some friends of friends, and a few complete strangers. Better than any hotel, we’ve tried to be a home away from home as best we can. Some we rescued from sleeping the night in the airport. Some needed to find their feet in a new city. Some came to see us and some came to see the sights. Some just needed to be somewhere other than they were for a while.
Hospitality is one way we’ve been gifted as pastors. it’s our prayer The Parsonage Inn LLC is Home, Hotel, and Hospitality center all at once.
Sometimes we chat with people from our front porch as they walk by. Sometimes they come up for lemonade, some stories, and even a prayer or two. Sometimes we bring them in for a tour of our 1882 Queen Anne house, built without plumbing until 1900, tiled floor to ceiling in the 1940s, and remodeled in the 1990s. And now, sometimes, people can come stay with us overnight, catch some stories, and explore the whole city.
And sometimes we may well reserve a weekend or two just for guests who want to join us for a seminar on marriages and families. We lead retreats from coast to coast, so it seems like a good chance to lead a few right here, literally at home.
In any case, we’re in business now. We’re looking forward to how our home will be used to bless all who enter.