I'm not going to go on with some long-winded prose. My wife and I have reasonable judgement, experience, and expectations. We just returned from our first stay, and we won't be staying anywhere else whenever we return to Wilmington.
- Location: 5 minute walk or 8 minute stroll to market street near the water, the heart of the historic district. On a lovely, quiet, vintage brick street lined with spanish-moss-adorned live oaks.
- Parking: Don't worry. Park on the street right out front. We were there during the UNC Wilmington graduation weekend, and half the block was empty.
- Room: Just spring for the extra few dollars and treat yourself to the Cypress Suite. You'll have a private entrance flanked by transcendentally fragrant jasmine, and the place is so big it'll feel like you're coming home. Very uncommon for a historic B&B. Kitchen, laundry, living room (with sofa bed), lovely bedroom, and bath with clawfoot tub/shower. You even have your own front gate, although you don't have to use it, as a mulch path leads around to the main entrance.
- Food: Spectacular and beautifully presented. Breakfast is measured in courses and flexibly timed (eat any time it's available).
- Atmosphere: Eclectic and charming, proper yet informal (which is why we steered away from the Graystone). Steve and Paula are warm proprietors. The gardens are lush yet tidy (and did I mention fragrant?). Even if you have animal allergies (which I do), don't worry about the house dog. She's quiet and either doesn't shed or Steve & Paula are fastidiously clean, probably both.
- Service: Hotel quality, rooms are promptly serviced, all details attended to, including filling and setting the coffee maker for us to wake up to the smell of morning java (a nice surprise). Steve and Paula live on the premises, so the issues of absentee hosts don't exist.
Unless you demand residence ON the beach, I'd love to hear why on Earth anyone would want to stay anywhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Once home to artist Henry MacMillan, The Camellia Cottage is a high-peaked, Queen Anne shingle house featuring four guest rooms. A long veranda, painted by a local artist, provides a view of the lush garden of azaleas, magnolias, ferns and camellias. Here, great food, gracious service and a friendly atmosphere make for a relaxing guest experience. Greet each morning with coffee at your door and a sumptuous breakfast of fruit, homemade pastries and entree. Paula’s stint as a hotel pastry chef ensures a delightful dining experience. The Crane Suite features an ornate, metal bed, carved fireplace and vibrant color. Formerly the sun room, the bath and dressing area is filled with lush tropical plants. Henry’s Room, featuring a canopy bed and fireplace, reflects the stateliness found in two of Henry’s paintings hanging in the house. Jane’s Room is named after Henry’s mother and features floral designs and vintage photos complementing the four-post bed and fireplace. In the Tuscany Room, the golden glow of the walls and large windows make you think you’re in an Italian villa. Enjoy the fireplace from the whimsical iron bed or soak in the claw-foot tub with a glass of Chianti. ... more less