Background: Having stayed away for several years, I looked up Ravenwood again on a whim. I was surprised to read their website and to find that they were under new ownership and management. I was even more surprised to read up on some of the changes that the new owners were adding- such as themed weekends and gaming getaways. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find that Shadow Stalkers were doing Murder Mystery weekends again after a hiatus of several years. Since our last stay several years ago was at one of these Murder Mysteries, I jumped at the first cancellation announced so that we could go back and do this again.
Lodging: We booked the Clock Tower and were looking forward to having the roomy cottage to ourselves. Unfortunately, when we arrived we discovered that it was unavailable due to frozen pipes. We were given the choice of another room and a price discount and ended up staying in the Queen Elizabeth room, which we had stayed in before. We were, of course, only charged the reduced rate with a 10% discount. While we were disappointed by not getting our original cottage for the weekend we found that staying in the Castle during one of these murder mysteries on a very cold weekend is actually quite convenient. On the plus side, we were close to breakfast, dinner, all of the puzzles and clues, etc. On the negative, if you are an early riser, like me, you have to wait for the cook to arrive and make coffee and soak in the whirlpool with a good book for a few hours. Also, it's a castle so walking around makes noise for those below you. On the whole, since we shaved about $200 off of the weekend's expenses I didn't have too much to complain about.
Food: We had two dinners and two breakfasts at the Castle and everything we ate was delicious. One of the best additions from the new management is the ability to purchase soups and sandwiches during the day. The beer and cheese soup especially was very yummy.
The Murder Mystery: I highly recommend attending one of these weekends, but they sell out quickly so book early! I don't know of any other experience of this type anywhere within driving distance. It's an awesome way to escape from reality and yourself for a couple of days and it's affordable! Denham and his crew have puzzles everywhere and it's great to test your brain in a way that doesn't feel like work.
It seems that the new owners are coming up with lots of good ideas for weekends and events. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. I will definitely be keeping my eye on the event calendar to find the next excuse we can find to come back.