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“Vanderbilt for a day...”

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The Inn at Irwin Gardens
Ranked #1 of 2 Columbus B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 11, 2013

When you visit the unique architectural jewels of Columbus, Indiana, this is a place where you can put yourself into the shoes of the influential lords and ladies of yesteryear......

Climb up the master suite at the top of the building (W.G. Irwin's Suite). Write a quick note to your well-heeled friends while sitting in the original leather chair and take in the view of your lovely garden. Take a dip in the tub or douse yourself with an invigorating shower, then slowly get dressed while sun rays stream through a small window (again overlooking the garden). Go downstairs for a soiree or take a walkabout in the garden. Have your "valet" lay out the next day's clothes in the wardrobe room. Before turning in, sink yourself into the chaise lounge and sniff/sip some quality Cognac or Scotch on the rocks.

Back to today, this is a very nice B & B chock-full of history, managed by young and attentive staff. Great breakfast served in the original retro-ware (ours was 1930's). Great setting. Typical B&B guests gather for breakfast (talkative, mid-aged, retired, intellectual), if you can chat your way. It is rather turn of the last century (dream is alive in the 1890's) so do not expect the stark, sterile, industrial cleanliness. A fantastic stay overall.

Room Tip: W.G. Irwin's Bachelor Suite; You are staying at a historical mansion, so do it.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank nomaddumonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 66 of 88 reviews

Reviewed June 5, 2013

My wife and I stayed there for our 30th wedding anniversary. Sarah was the innkeeper and she was wonderful. Very prompt and helpful. She prepared an excellent breakfast for us. The grounds are just as amazing as the house itself. Very well maintained. It was fun and easy to imagine what it must have been like to live in that house back in the day. We only spent one night there but we would like to spend a weekend sometime. We would definitely stay there again and we would highly recommend the inn to anyone.

Room Tip: We stayed in the third floor "Bachelor's suite." Great view of the spectacular gardens...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

We've traveled by car back and forth across the country many times, but only recently did we learn about Columbus, Indiana, and its amazing collection of mid-century architecture.

While the Inn at Irwin Gardens isn't one of these buildings, having been built in the 1870s and then fully "modernized" in 1910, it is a house museum with few equals. Four large guest rooms -- two are suites -- await you as they served the residents more than a century ago, complete with the original intricate plumbing and fixtures in the spacious bathrooms.

The rest of the mansion is equally well preserved, and it rambles on and on through something like 12,000 square feet of gracious living space, with all of its original stained glass, finely crafted woodwork and intricate details. Even the original elevator, just big enough for two, clatters through its paces exactly as it did when the place was new.

Outside, the lovely formal gardens are the setting for many events throughout the warm seasons; there was a small party the afternoon we arrived for a gent just turning 60.

Managing this entire operation is the warm and charming Sarah -- part hostess, part marketing director, part historian, part chef and part mechanic...a very necessary talent for keeping everything working in a home this elderly. When I noted that the central air conditioning (only 50 years old, not 100) was cooling our room down to meat-locker conditions, she scampered up into the attic to adjust the air-flow by hand, where she shifted the various valves and diffusers until all was well again.

Sarah also is responsible for preparing a full, hot breakfast each morning. We've experienced a lot of marginal efforts at B&B breakfast tables, but this was not one of them. With so few guests each night, she can pretty much cook to order, which was the case with us.

We rarely spend this much for an overnight stay on the road. Far more rare is a place that is actually worth the splurge, but that was the case at the Inn at Irwin Gardens.

If you're a high-end B&B fan, and if you have any interest at all in seeing homes, churches, schools and other structures designed by world-renowned architects, take the trip to little Columbus, Indiana, enjoy this inn located in the center of town, and take one or more of the excellent tours of the fascinating buildings around town.

You won't be disappointed with any of it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Wiley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Had a wonderful visit to the inn over Memorial Day weekend. We came to visit the Irwin miller home and see the architecture in Columbus. The inn was lovely, the gardens are beautiful. It is a serene and relaxing place. The room was spacious and quiet. Sarah, the innkeeper, was lovely and we had a delicious breakfast Sunday morning. We look forward to staying there again.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Jelly_toast_2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

A work in progress is what the owner said when we checked in to this huge, 150 year old mansion. The owners have been restoring this elegant home for several years now and I was taken by their labor of love, not to mention the capital they must be investing in the Inn. They have maintained most of the original furnishings and decorations. The plumbing was interesting, i.e., turn-of-the-century accessories for soap and toothbrushes, antique faucets, plunger toilette and a deep, slanted bottom tub. We could not control the heat so we moved a portable heater into the bathroom for morning showers.

The breakfasts were fine and Sara, the Inn keeper, was most gracious. We did make use of the spa center on the grounds having a massage and foot soak. It was a typical experience, nothing out of the ordinary. The gardens are beautiful and well cared for in terms of the plantings. Much of the cement work though is in need of repair and I am sure it will happen as money is available. To make ends meet, the gardens are rented out for daytime parties including a birthday party and bridal shower while we were there. As guests, we were not bothered by either event.

The location was central to all that Columbus has to offer.

Room Tip: Only suites have TVs
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Robsy5111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We visited Columbus, IN recently to visit the Miller House and stayed at the Inn which was the former home of a wealthy banker. If I used the word Inn it is only because it is in the title of the B&B as it does not begin to describe the very Italian Gardens and Haute European stylings of the mansion. We had a great time strolling through the gardens and by night we enjoyed the delightful living room with its lovely collection of books and antique furniture. The property is a pleasant trip to the past like travelling back to the heydays of the rich banker and his family living in luxury and comfort. The service was excellent and our hostess Emily was gracious enough to give us a guided tour that was worth the trip. Our daughters ages 6 and 15 enjoyed frolicking in the gardens. It is definitely great value to stay here as one gets to experience and feel the rich past of its owners and its location makes it ideal for a tour of the historic buildings around town. Service and breakfast were excellent! Thanks :)

Room Tip: The Clementine Room with garden views was our favorite!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ShankarBexley_Ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We decided to stay at the Inn for its convenience, we were attending the Yelp.com Event. We are so happy we choose to stay at the Inn, We were warmly greeting by Sarah who made us feel at home from the very beginning. Our room was clean and charming. The grounds made a perfect venue for the event. We slept comfortable and the next morning had a wonderful breakfast, The staff was warm , friendly and helpful, There was a small elevator that helped those that may have trouble with stairs. The staff was so helpful and friendly. We look forward to staying at the Inn again in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gegi C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Irwin Gardens

Address: 608 5th St, 3635 Woodside Drive, Columbus, IN 47201-6853
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Indiana > Columbus
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Columbus
Price Range: $193 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Inn at Irwin Gardens 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This majestic, historic home and gardens in downtown Columbus, Indiana is a spectacular get-away for relaxing or celebrating a special event. Come spend a weekend and enjoy being walking distance from the Columbus Visitor's Center and architectural tour, Zaharako's old-fashioned soda fountain, and world-class restaurant fare and pubs. An experience like you just stepped back from the past and lived as the elite of the early 19th century! A full-service spa is onsite and waiting to relieve your stress! Leave feeling rejuvenated! ... more   less 
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