I’m Back! And My Belly is Full of Cookies!

 

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Beautiful Ohio Amish Country

I’M BACK! I seriously missed you guys. Traveling is hard work! A quick “thank you” to Christi and Cindy for stepping in and sharing with you some of their most recent experiences!
Guys. I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I love everything about the “holiday season.” I need the cheer, I want the decorations and I gotta have the snow. Good lord, how do people in no-snow places even do it? TJ and I were in California recently (you’ll hear about that next week!) and it just isn’t the same. It’s like, Christmas on the surface – Christmas music playing, holiday décor, cinnamon pine cones everywhere… but it just isn’t. It doesn’t have the same…feeling. But you know what puts me in the holiday spirit? Holiday traditions. And I am so happy to report that we successfully completed the 9th Annual Amish Country Cookie Tour for the second year in a row. If you have no idea what I’m talking about or for some reason don’t associate cookies with Christmas – I guess I’ll just have to show you! To explain further, this is a tour of inns in Amish Country (OHIO!) that comes complete with Christmas decorations, Christmas cookies, Christmas music, this year – snow (!) and even a goat. So! Feet and hands inside the sleigh…

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Guggisberg Swiss Inn – Charm, OH

1st Stop – Guggisberg Swiss Inn

If someone blindfolded you and dropped you at the Guggisberg Swiss Inn you would think you were in Switzerland. Holiday décor aside, innkeepers Julia and Eric Guggisberg have done an excellent job of making this inn feel authentic. One of my favorite aspects of the inn, although I didn’t get a chance to snuggle them this year, are their horses. They roam free on the property and are happy for a pet or to take you on a trot around the property. Decked out for the holidays, the Guggisberg Swiss Inn is exactly where you picture yourself with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a book. As always, at this stop, you can taste some of their Doughty Glen Wines!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

The Barn Inn – Millersburg, OH

2nd Stop – The Barn Inn
Every. Time. Innkeeper Loretta Coblentz out does herself. The Barn Inn is magnificently decorated for the holidays – although she gives her staff all the credit. Each guestroom is immaculately appointed, each with its own holiday theme. Some extra special touches are always waiting for you at The Barn Inn – quilts handmade by Loretta (check out this one that is the 12 Days of Christmas!) and during the tour, this sweet little goa—ahem—reindeer greets you at the door.

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Berlin Resort – Berlin, OH

3rd Stop – Berlin Resort
Yowza! Talk about a non-traditional Amish Country lodging experience. The new suites at the Berlin Resort are top of the line. Covered in all things shimmery and glittery for the holidays, the Berlin Resort is the type of place I want to have a Girls Weekend. The massive suites building is ideal for a Bridal Suite or the whole family! Rooms are cleverly situated to continue to be joined until you have just the right number of impressive bedrooms, fireplaces and enormous bathrooms to suit you and your guests. I couldn’t get over the views from the suites facing the lake. The crew here did a great job of accenting the contemprary nature of the design with the contemporary Christmas pizzazz!

 

4th Stop – Comfort Suites Berlin

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Comfort Suites – Berlin, OH

It’s a funny feeling when you think you know what something will be like and you’re wrong. That is exactly what happens every time I visit a Comfort Suites, particularly the one in Berlin. With so many great lodging options around the area, the Comfort Suites Berlin has made sure you have a unique experience while enjoying the comforts of brand recognition. I absolutely loved what the staff did for the holidays. The rooms were festively decorated in different ideas of Christmas – from blue, gold and all things glitter, to a classic farmstead Christmas with plaids and wood. The Comfort Suites Berlin always does a great job of showcasing local

businesses in the area at the end of the tour too – those cupcakes were phenom!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Berlin Grande Hotel – Berlin, OH

5th Stop – Berlin Grande Hotel
Always one of the hot spots on the tour, the Berlin Grande Hotel was pulsing with holiday spirit and people! The tree that greets you in the lobby is nothing to contest with. One of my favorite decorations on the tour was what we playfully called the “Winter is Coming” room (Game of Thrones – anyone?). The white fur blanket on the bed was a luxurious touch! At this point in the tour, I was ready to cozy up for a nap with that blanket. This stop is also the hub for the shuttle that takes you to two more stops – onward!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Carlisle Country Inn – Berlin, OH

6th Stop – Carlisle Country Inn
Wow. This is the first time I’ve been to this property and I was glad we went. Innkeepers were welcoming guests into a warm cozy living room (it was freezing that day!) and Jim was busy cookie (I’m going to leave this typo here to give you a sense of where my mind is at…) COOKING** up a special Apple Cider on the stove top – complete with whipped cream and spice! The rooms at this inn had the highest ceilings! I found one of the best wingback chairs near a fireplace at this stop. If I’d only brought my kindle!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Garden Gate Get-A-Way – Millersburg, OH

7th Stop – Garden Gate Get-A-Way
Also a new stop for me on the tour and we were impressed. Far removed from the bustle of downtown Berlin, this little spot is a great “get a-way.” The main room was packed with people clamoring for an iced Ginger Cookie (my favorite cookie of the tour!) and some of their German Tea. We snagged a tea and headed to one of the cottages. The cottages would be a great place to spend a weekend away from home – no doubt! I also loved their Teddy Bear Christmas Room – something unique for the tour!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Oak Ridge Inn – Walnut Creek, OH

8th Stop – Oak Ridge Inn at Walnut Creek
Exhausted yet? We should have done this in two days for sure. Luckily, the crew at Oak Ridge Inn was ready to save the day. Not only did they have our cookies, but little containers of grapes and cheese. After all, it was almost dinner time and we were working hard! I have visited several Nivea Hospitality properties but the Oak Ridge Inn was something different. Right around the corner from the ultra-modern Wallhouse Hotel Walnut Creek, this quaint little inn is tucked back off the main drag. The guest rooms here are massive with big Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces waiting to help you unwind. Definitely worth a longer visit (and soak!) next time I’m in town.

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek – Walnut Creek, OH

9th Stop – Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek
Talk about competing with your siblings. The Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek and Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek were battling it out for most over the top, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping holiday display. The Christmas tree at the entrance to the Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek is impressive to say the least. Actually, the cool thing about this place is there are many entrances. We came in from the “bottom” level and were greeted by a secondary lobby display where we were able to snap an official blog picture (Check out that shirt!). Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek is a big property and they made sure not a corner went unturned. Every inch of the property was dressed for the holidays.Thank you for a great back drop!

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Inn at Walnut Creek – Walnut Creek, OH

10th Stop – Inn at Walnut Creek
New Kids on the Block – Welcome! Not totally new, just new to the tour! We are SO GLAD you joined us this year and it sounds like your staff is too! I was pleasantly greeted by the new innkeeper’s mother who was handing out handmade French Madeleine’s – YUM. I was on my way out of the Welcome building when I overheard someone was getting a room tour – so I jumped in line. The guestrooms were classically decorated for the holidays with festive wreaths and Christmas trees. This place is a great stop for a visit to Amish Country – centrally located, easy to access and great hospitality.

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek – Sugarcreek, OH

11th Stop – Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek
We made it! Not to be outdone by its sister property, the Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek has an even more impressive tree and lots of them. I have to give them kudos for my favorite room of the day. I took so many pictures of this room and immediately turned to TJ and asked, “could we do this?” to which he rolled his eyes and said, “No. We’re missing a jacuzzi tub, a four-poster bed, a fireplace and a miniature lamb.” SHOOT. I wasn’t the only one taking pics of this room. The photos say enough. Nice work.

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

Inn at Amish Door – Wilmot, OH

12th Stop – Inn at Amish Door
Sadly, we hit our step count by tenfold, stood in the frigid December air for the shuttle and digested as many cookies as possible, only to come up short of hitting the LAST STOP before the end of the tour. Luckily, I’m from Amish Country so I’ve had the fortunate pleasure to visit the Inn at Amish Door many times before and know that it is an excellent addition to the tour this year. The team there was happy to share some pictures with me to share with all of you so please check them out in the Visual Adventure Gallery!

Lesson learned. Two Day tour tickets next year!

Of course, I can’t miss the opportunity to thank Leon Troyer and the staff of the Wallhouse Hotel Walnut Creek for hosting TJ and me for our 2nd Annual Tour. The Wallhouse is one of my favorite places to stay for an awesome breakfast, beautiful views, and excellent hospitality. Until next time…

Ohio Amish Country Lodging Council Christmas Cookie Tour

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

Christi Does Ohio Amish Country

A Visit to Ohio Amish Country can have an Upscale Lodging Twist at The Wallhouse Hotel

Christi Does Ohio Amish Country @ the Wallhouse Hotel – Walnut Creek

Guest Blogger: Christi Saunders

I’ve never been the girl who loved to write, I was always the girl who loved to read; the one you found curled up with a book in the backseat of the car at night reading a sentence by each passing street light. When Halle asked me to “Guest Blog” on Inn Love (which has taken off with fast strides), I admit – I was intimidated.

I’m the OHLA staff member you will find as soon as you open the door, where I am planted with a smile. I love to travel but my job doesn’t require as much traveling as the others in the office so I was excited when member hotel property, The Wallhouse Hotel, hosted a Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau educational event at their property that was in my area of expertise! Marketing and SEO’s, yippee.

Ohio Amish Country

Christi Does Ohio Amish Country

So off Halle and I went! Down the highway where I saw the Longaberger Basket, (this picture doesn’t do the size justice) to the back country roads up to the land of Ohio Amish Country! Now if you are one who gets car sick, I recommend sticking your hand out the window (a little trick my mom taught me) before

A Visit to Ohio Amish Country can have an Upscale Lodging Twist at The Wallhouse Hotel

Upscale, Modern @ The Wallhouse Hotel – Walnut Creek

you proceed down these winding roads.  We arrived in Walnut Creek and I was in complete shock. The Wallhouse Hotel amidst all of this country land was not what I was picturing AT ALL. It looked like it should be planted in the middle of a downtown city! It was so vibrant with an upscale, sophisticated atmosphere. The lobby was modern and shining with sleek décor and a unique feel all around.

The Wallhouse Hotel is currently the only one of its type, located right in Walnut Creek, OH but they are expanding into new and exciting destinations!

As you’ve learned from Halle’s other posts, she is a foodie, but so am I. We inquired with the front desk staff on what our local out-of-the-normal options were. We both weren’t

Foodie Finds in Ohio Amish Country @ Park St. Pizza

Foodie Finds in Ohio Amish Country

up for filling and heavy home-cooked noodles and mashed potatoes so the staff recommended Park Street Pizza which was just a short drive over to Sugarcreek. The place was absolutely packed! With outside patio seating as well. You go inside and order up front before taking a seat. Now normally when I hear pizza, I am semi-disappointed because being a Gluten-free Girl, not all places have good options — but not at Park Street! We had the option to have any of their woodfired pizza’s on gluten-free crust. Halle and I decided to split the “Greek Town” Salad and the Great White Chicken pizza with gluten-free crust and made our way out to the patio to sit and take in the atmosphere after a long drive. Let me tell you, you will not be disappointed with either of these options! They were fantastic…and I have tried my fair share of not-so-fantastic gluten free options. The crust was a thin, but very good!

Once finished at Park Street, we made our way back to The Wallhouse Hotel, but had to stop at this

Ohio Amish Country

World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock

Giant CuckCoo Clock in downtown Sugarcreek!  It isn’t only giant, it is the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock! We got tucked into each of our beds in our spacious, clean suite and read until falling asleep.

Bright and early I woke the next day to head down to the basement floor to the fitness center to get my workout in before our E-Marketing Workshop, but not without first taking a step out onto the balcony of our room that faces the most beautiful sunrise over country land as far as you can see. After a quick but sweaty workout, I grabbed an assortment of their complimentary, hot breakfast to take back up to the room while getting ready.  The two things I secretly judge a hotel by is the quality of the fitness center and how the breakfast is – both expectations were met at The Wallhouse Hotel!

I can’t forget to mention, somewhere in that chain of events, I learned what triple-sheeting was and if you’re a fan of this as Halle is, definitely head over to the The Wallhouse Hotel if not for their unique look and experience but their triple-sheeted beds!

The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau put on a fantastic workshop with three great and engaging presenters. Lael Miller from Creative Warehouse provided me with lots of thoughts

Creative Vibes @ The Wallhouse Hotel - Walnut Creek

Creative Vibes @ The Wallhouse Hotel – Walnut Creek

and ideas to take back to the office on how to formulate a successful online strategy and some awesome handouts to keep with me to refresh my memory once I returned! Jordan Mullet with Sandler Sales training laid out some ways to break the rules and close more sales; and Kevin West opened up my eyes to growth and how to make positive changes to help with productivity and success.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and refreshing experience at The Wallhouse Hotel. The rooms are immaculate and the space and staff are very engaging with the most welcoming General Manager around. So on your next trip to Ohio’s Amish Country, if you decide you don’t want to stay in your usual spot or want to shake things up a bit, think about staying at The Wallhouse Hotel, you won’t regret it.

A Visit to Ohio Amish Country can have an Upscale Lodging Twist at The Wallhouse Hotel

 “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck