This was a "girls only" trip to Shipshewana to visit the shops and antiques stores, go on a carriage ride, and generally relax and unwind in the country atmosphere for a couple of days. Our family has enjoyed staying in the air conditioned log cabins at the campground on the northern edge of town on previous trips to Shipshewana. This time, however, with the weather forecast predicting very hot weather and a heat advisory, we booked a 1-bedroom king suite with kitchenette at the Country Inn and Suites to fix and chill snacks and beverages and to go for a swim in the hotel pool. The temperature reached the mid 90s with a heat index of 105 degrees F during our visit, and we definitely appreciated the Country Inn and Suite's heat beating amenities.
We were greeted politely by the front desk clerk and promptly checked in upon our arrival a few minutes before the official 3 p.m. check-in time. Although our king suite was located on the second floor just a few doors down the hallway from the open staircase from the lobby, it was very quiet without any noise reaching our room from the lobby or the indoor swimming pool off the lobby area. We definitely appreciated the cleanliness and spaciousness of our suite as well as the ceiling fan in the living room and effective A/C to cool us off after a hot afternoon of shopping and sight seeing.
The suite's decor closely matched the country style theming of the homey wood furnishings of the hotel's public areas, with wall paper borders and warm toned wood furniture. The living room immediately inside the room's entry door was furnished with a sleeper sofa for two, wing back chair, picture tube TV atop a stand with storage drawers containing bedding and pillows for the sofa bed, two end tables, small dining table with two wooden chairs with chair pads, ceiling fan, several lamps and a wall mounted light fixture. Despite the lamps and wall light fixture in the living room, it seemed dimly lit at best after dark, and natural light from the bedroom window didn't reach quite all the way through the entire living room during the daytime. The ceiling fan wasn't equipped with a light fixture, and adding a light fixture to the fan would likely improve the living room's light level tremendously. There was adequate floor space in the living room for converting the sofa to a bed, and very generously open floor space when the sofa bed was folded up. The sofa itself was fairly worn, though, with some visibly worn or torn edges on the flattened sofa cushions, but comfy enough for my kids to snooze on after a long and busy day.
The small kitchenette equipped with microwave, small sink, mini-fridge with tiny freezer compartment, and coffee maker occupied a niche between the living room. Some foam cups and an ice bucket with a few disposable cups and coffee supplies were provided. An open closet area with hangers, iron and ironing board located along the wall between the living room and bedroom.
The suite's generously sized bathroom was opposite the kitchenette and closet. The tub was a jetted single person tub/shower combo. We weren't expecting a jetted tub at all so that was a pleasant surprise. There was a single sink with vanity counter top, extendable wall mounted magnifying mirror, hair dryer, retractable clothesline adjacent to the shower curtain rod, and multi-tiered towel racks with plenty of towels and washcloths for a party of three to four guests. Mirrors actually abounded through the suite, with a full length mirror on the bathroom door in addition to the vanity top mirror and extendable magnifying mirror. Another full length mirror was on the living room wall adjacent to the kitchenette, and there was a dresser top sized mirror in the bedroom. Small bars of face and bath soaps, small bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion were provided toiletry items.
The bedroom's king sized bed was comfy and very conducive to a good night's sleep with 4 or 5 pillows and reasonably soft to the touch bedding. The bedroom's full width window along its exterior wall overlooked a field and a distant view of the town's business district. A windowed door with semi-sheer curtains over the window panes allowed us to close off the bedroom from the living room. A fan above the bedroom doorway could be turned on using a switch with a timer in the living room to help circulate air from the bedroom's air conditioning until to the living room. A large dresser had a picture tube TV atop it in the bedroom and had generously sized storage drawers. Nightstands with lamps, an alarm clock, and phone flanked each side of the king bed, and additional room lighting was provided by a ceiling fixture.
After heading back to the central part of town for an early dinner, we happily went for a swim in the hotel's small indoor heated pool. The pool was clean and the water temperature was comfortable. The pool's depth ranges from 3 to 5 feet with a couple of full width steps down into its shallowest end (not a zero entry pool). Pool towels and a towel return bin were right inside the pool's entry door. A drinking fountain, restroom, and a few tables and chairs were poolside, along with several outside benches on an adjacent outdoor patio area. Posted pool hours were from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with adult only hours from 10 p.m. to midnight. We had the entire pool area to ourselves in the early evening, possibly because other guests were still partaking of dinner before the town's restaurants closed for the evening. It's worth noting that most if not all shops in Shipshewana close between 5 and 6 p.m. Mon-Sat. and are not open on Sundays. Restaurants are also closed on Sundays, and their hours Mon-Sat. vary depending on the specific restaurant. It's best to verify restaurant hours and plan meals accordingly so you don't miss out.
Speaking of meals, we also appreciated the hotel's included breakfast buffet offerings. There was a reasonable variety of breakfast options, including hot and cold items such as a cereal, danish, yogurt, bananas, apple and orange juice, coffee, make it yourself waffles, and toast. The breakfast was apparently quite the draw judging from the number of guests partaking and pretty much occupying all of the small breakfast room's tables shortly after we sat down to have breakfast.
Our checkout experience was as warm and friendly as our arrival experience and made us wish we could have extended our stay a bit longer. The Country Inn and Suites is our top choice for a return trip to Shipshewana.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Van Buren Hotel is the ideal place to stay while visiting the Shipshewana area. Our exceptional service and hospitality is among the best in town. We offer a full, hot complimentary breakfast, free wireless internet, along with many other fine amenities. Come, stay, and enjoy The Van Buren Hotel at Shipshewana where our family serves your family. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Country Inn Shipshewana
- Shipshewana Country Inn