We were greeted by name by our 'Butler' Robert as we stepped out of the car and we realized quickly his job title was not an affectation and would be solidly embodied and earned through our stay. He offered us a tour of the Baker House before settling in and we received a true tour - not just of the rooms but also of the mission of Baker House in its current incarnation which is, essentially, the hotel is operated as a 'home' and guests should feel as if they are at home while they reside here.
I am not a fan of the Victorian style or, usually of B and B's. Baker House is a beautifully wrought restoration of a historic property that pays lavish homage to its history but is also modern and comfortable and cool. And it should not be classified as a B and B. This is a great small hotel. The only organically comparable eccentric lodgings I've stayed at in this country would be the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC and that is a high compliment.
The stars might never align quite so rightly again but, during an extremely unseasonable burst of mid-summer weather in March we were the sole guests. Robert offered to leave all 5 suites open so we could tour at our leisure and explore all the rooms (which are much more handsome and detailed than they appear in BH's website photos). So we loafed from one themed suite to the other feeling like movie stars.
The hotel has two hundred hats hanging around and guests are encouraged to wear them. Reading about this I thought it was impossibly corny. In practice it was fun and natural. I should know, I wore my captain's hat through our dinner in the guest dining room.
The bartender brought up some of his own homemade limoncello when we requested Amaro (which they didn't have but that's no knock). The small bar was a great, atmospheric room, as was the guest lounge upstairs.
And...paradise. The hotel has no TVs in their rooms and Will Not Accomodate Children or Pets. Those are three very good things for this reviewer. We stayed in the Burgundy suite, which I would site as my favorite with the Versailles a close second.
The food we ate was good, well prepared, pretty much exactly what it was presented as and priced accordingly. I'm in the food biz and couldn't help imagining a more ambitious style cooking - something like Milwaukee's 'Hinterland' or Chicago's 'Publican' - making this place even more sublime but that's not a knock either - just my 'magination.
I feel like I found a mini-Claridge's in Lake Geneva (not that I've had the pleasure of staying at the original). Think I'll go back for a week over the winter.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Indulge Yourself at Lake Geneva's NEWEST, MOST LUXURIOUS Boutique Hotel on the lake. Designed with a hint of vintage glamour, and a dash of old world aristocracy you will be completely swept away to a world of Gilded Age living within this decadent lake-front mansion.Every room has lake views and original working gas fireplace, stretch out across the signature "Baker House Bed" with King size, hand-made mattress by OSTERMOOR and travel back in time as you melt into the softest sheets you've ever experienced. Guests are provided with room service, private bar and lake view dining room as well as private Butler and exclusive access to the English gardens during the day and reserved garden pavilion for al fresco dining & cocktails in the evening. The "Baker House Bath" is rumored to be ranked as one of the "Sexiest in America". Select between decadent steam showers built for 2 with rain head and multiple massaging sprays or submerse yourself in an over-sized soaking Jacuzzi tub with aromatic bath salts. All baths are equipped with heated marble floors, state-of-the-art Grohe fixtures and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.For your convenience and enjoyment, modern amenities of flat screen television with DirectTV, in room Wi-Fi, refrigerators, safes and hair dryers are standard in all rooms.BEST Panoramic Views, Lakefront Garden Lounge, Listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER of HISTORIC PLACES, 13 Original Fireplaces, Decadent Furnishings make the Mansion suites a truly memorable time for every guest. ... more less
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