I'm sorry, but Shaker Village did not live up to even my most minimal expectations for a weekend trip with my mother. My sisters and I seek out interesting destinations with interesting accommodations to engage our mother's sense of wonder while respecting her limited mobility. Frankly, the opportunity to live and sleep in a restored Shaker building seemed a perfect fit to this spec, but ultimately, there were more disappointments than delights in this equation.
Simply put, our room was 62 degrees (at least that's the lowest our thermostat could register) overnight our first night. I huddled under my coat to keep warm. The manager sent over two portable oil heaters for night #2, but leave the halo of that warmth and you could practically see your breath.
There is virtually nothing to do. Despite paying in excess of $150/night for our room, we would have had to buy $15/pp passes for the self-guided tour of the working buildings if we wanted to actually see the place - not a good option given my mother's limited mobility. We couldn't even access the internet since the only building with access was at the other end of the property. Instead, we spent most of Saturday in our room, bundled up in front of the flickering Lexington TV channels with the wine we'd brought along and some American cheese we'd bought at a mom-and-pop market in Harrodsburg.
We had reservations for Saturday dinner at the on-property restaurant but my mother had eaten so much cheese (etc.) by dinnertime that she went to bed early. Nevertheless, my sister and I did keep our reservation - and had a choice of four entrees, all of which were relatively unremarkable and (she observed) well-suited to being held at temperature in an oven for the length of evening's service. We imagined a chef coming by around 4p.m. to get the prime rib and the pork roast into the oven...
If I ever need to do some intensive self-reflection in an atmosphere that provides no distraction, Shaker Village would be ideal. Furthermore, if in that process I feel the urge to strip away the comforts of my day-to-day life, the buildings are so austere and so clearly unaltered that an overnight stay gradually morphs from a marvelous and intriguing and historic (e.g. as in Colonial Williamsburg) to an experiment in self-denial. Sadly, and I say this with the most profound of regret, we couldn't wait to leave.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shaker Village has been a warm beacon of hospitality for more than 200 years. Named as a top hidden travel destination by BBC News, The Inn is much more than a traditional hotel. Guest rooms, suites and private cottages-each offering distinct character-are located in 13 restored Shaker buildings. Rooms are comfortably appointed with Shaker reproduction furniture, original hardwood floors and spectacular countryside views. This complete Kentucky destination allows you to be as active or as restful as your heart desires. Dine on seasonal seed-to-table menus at The Trustees' Table and take home treasures from The Shops, then explore Shaker Village's 3,000 acres of discovery. Shaker Village is within short driving distances from Kentucky's legendary bourbon distilleries, horse farms and historic sites. Whether you're planning a family vacation, weekend getaway, business meeting, destination wedding or other special occasion, The Inn provides the perfect stage for your most memorable occasions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shaker Village Of Pleasant Hill Hotel Harrodsburg