By Warren Resen International Food Wine Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)
MILLS RIVER, NC — This is the story of one woman’s 25 years of dedication, planning and prayer to achieve her dream. This is also the story of a singular bed and breakfast in the rolling hills of Western North Carolina, an area steeped in history, tourist attractions, cooler summer temperatures (for Floridians) and magnificent fall colors.
Selena Einwechter grew up in the Tampa area. Her father, an Air Force Captain, was stationed at MacDill AFB. She attended Tinker and Westshore Elementary Schools and graduated from Robinson High School going on to graduate from a well known Florida college whose identity will be kept secret in the interests of bi-partisanship.
After graduating from college, Selena and a friend left on a European backpacking trip and as she told me, “It was on this trip that the seed was planted to have my own, properly run, bed and breakfast.” Selena spent the next quarter century working in Government and Corporate America, gaining business experience and saving money, while keeping her dream alive.
There is a saying that goes, “It’s the journey not the destination…” In this case though, it was ALL about the destination. Selena’s journey started 25 long years before her destination was reached though she now admits that once construction started on her bed and breakfast, “it was fun watching my dream grow and take physical form.” The inn took one year to build and opened in June 2009. She had finally reached her destination.
“One night I went to bed as a B&B wanna-be and the next morning woke up as an Innkeeper with breakfast to make. My dream had come true,” she said. The people who supported and encouraged her to follow her dream were the inn’s first guests.
Less than two years after opening, the Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill in Mills River, NC, it was named one of the top 10 Romantic Inns in North America. There are over 3,000 B&Bs and Country Inns in North America, but only 10 receive this annual designation and Tiffany Hill was one of only three so designated in the Southeastern United States. The Inn has also been admitted into the Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America. The February 2011 issue of “Every Day with Rachael Ray” named Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill as one of the top 10 romantic places to stay in the United States! Quite a singular achievement in such a brief time.
Historically, a bed and breakfast was a small home with a few converted bedrooms which were rented out to travelers. However today this terminology is also used by facilities with multiple structures and a hired staff, stretching the credibility of the term “bed and breakfast.” Having experienced many different types of B&Bs, I found my stay at the Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill a singular and delightful experience.
Tiffany Hill was designed with the express purpose of being a bed and breakfast. It is not a couple of rooms for rent in someone’s home or an old structure retro-fitted with oddly shaped spaces, squeaky wooden floors, “quirky” antique plumbing, “cutsie” decorating and beds needing a ladder for entry and exit. Nor is it a rambling property with off-site management. Tiffany Hill was designed with impeccable attention to details for a specific purpose.
Nestled into the rolling landscape, the inn looks like it has always been there. Nothing was overlooked or deemed too insignificant for the comfort of its guests. The inn has the amenities of a 5-star hotel but with the charm of a country bed and breakfast.
There are just five beautifully furnished suites each with its own luxurious en suite bath, not a shared facility down the hall. The inn also provides the modern technologies to which travelers have become accustomed.
All rooms have wall mounted flat screen HDTVs with built in DVD players and there is a large selection of DVDs for guests to enjoy. WiFi Internet access is available anywhere in the house and keyless entry provides security for each suite.
Mornings start with a candlelit three-course gourmet breakfast. Complimentary beverages and snacks are at hand twenty-four hours a day. Selena is always there to help her guests make the most of their stay, but her presence is never intrusive.
Using the inn as your base of operations, the rolling hills and mountains of Western North Carolina are yours to enjoy at your own pace. Asheville with all of its big city culture and restaurants is less than a half- hour away. The charming pedestrian friendly city of Hendersonville with its theatres, restaurants, and antique shops is a short 10 mile drive. Flat Rock Playhouse is also near by. And then there’s the Biltmore Estate, but that is a story all by itself.
A must see for anyone visiting the area is the famous Chimney Rock. Driving up, and up, to the parking lot, the contours of the road on my GPS looked like the squiggles on a seismograph during an earthquake. The top of the rock is about 500 feet above the parking lot and an elevator is available; but call first to learn if it is working the day of your intended visit. I had to walk to the top, but the spectacular views made it worthwhile.
Should you feel the need of a late afternoon break from touring, head back to Tiffany Hill and enjoy a glass of wine in one of the sitting rooms or outdoor patios. Take time to stroll the 6 pastoral acres with its paths and secret gardens. In summer, sit on the front porch at dusk and watch uncountable numbers of fire flies put on a dazzling show as they rise from the grass.
The Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill is about a woman and a dream fulfilled. It should be on your list of places to visit if you are in the area and want to linger awhile in elegant comfort. Innkeeper Selena Einwechter says that her inn represents, “Casual elegance filled with Southern hospitality offering personal service in a romantic setting.”
For complete information about this B&B go to the web page: www.BBonTiffanyHill.com and be sure to click on the Specials tab to see the packages available for guests at Tiffany Hill.