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Union Gables Inn and Suites

I want to share with you my interview with the Head of Marketing, Carla Smith, about bed and breakfast Union Gables Inn and Suites of Saratoga Springs, New York.  So why do people love staying at Union Gables Inn and Suites?

We offer all the luxury amenities like an outdoor pool, free wifi, plush bathrobes in the room, as well as the personal touches and comforts that only a locally owned bed and breakfast can provide like freshly made cookies and complimentary wine each evening. What we receive the most praise from guests about after they have stayed with us is how much they enjoyed getting to know and interacting with the staff. Jane, the Innkeeper, has a personality that brightens everyone’s day and she makes each guest feel at home at Union Gables. Creating that personal connection is the greatest benefit, although the outdoor pool, private parking lot and pet-friendly rooms are also greatly appreciated by guests.

Since you have seven pet-friendly rooms, how many guests bring pets?  What pets have stayed at your inn?
As we are one of the only pet-friendly bed and breakfasts in the area, guests often come to us because it is luxury lodging that they can enjoy with their beloved canines. Guests looking for pet friendly rooms compromises approximately 30% of our bookings. Once we had a guest bring a bird for a weekend stay, but mainly the staff gets to gush over guests’ dogs and spoil them with bones!

What is your most popular room and why do you think that is the case?

Guests always ask us which room is our favorite, and it is honestly almost impossible to choose one because each room has a unique charm and various antiques. The two that are requested most by guests are the Bill Room and the Pond Cottage. The Bill Room is in the main mansion of the Inn on the second floor and is one of the largest rooms we have. Its unique feature is a private outdoor porch overlooking Union Avenue that is perfect for morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. The Pond Cottage allows people more privacy because it is a one bedroom cottage in the Japanese garden area of the grounds and has a private outdoor patio so guests can have an area to themselves surrounded by the beautiful gardens.

Are the rooms with names named after people you know?

The rooms were originally named after the individuals who resided here when the property was state-owned in the 1900’s. A few names have been changed over the years after members of the owner’s family.
 
 

Do you have regular guests that visit at least once every year?

We actually have regular guests that visit as often as once a week or once a month and that have become very close friends. We offer a discount to Skidmore [College] parents as they visit their children or attend sporting events regularly, so they comprise a significant portion of our regular guests. We also have many guests that come back each year for the Saratoga Race Track or for annual events in Saratoga like the Flurry Festival or the Food and Wine Festival.
 
From what locations have your guests visited from?
We have had guests from as far away as Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
 
Your website shows your award-winning gardens you have, do you have a landscaper or gardener to help you or are you a master gardener?
The owner is the master gardener, credits for the beautiful gardens go to his vision and hard work of him and his maintenance staff.
 
The heated pool is a nice touch!  Since it is heated, what months does it get used?
Thank you! The pool opens in May and closes in September or October depending on how quickly the winter weather strikes in the Northeast. 
 
I am impressed at how well you blend antiques with modern day technology such as flat screen televisions in all the bedrooms.
Since you mentioned blending the old with new, our mission has been to tastefully merge the historic, Victorian culture of the Inn with modern technology and luxuries. We would like to preserve the history of the Inn and the antique decor while advancing into the modern century.  For example, we have purchased a GE Wattstation 240V electric vehicle charging station in order to provide an electric vehicle parking spot in our private parking lot. Guests can charge their vehicle in 4-6 hours while they enjoy a luxurious and comfortable night in Saratoga Springs.  We are now the only bed and breakfast in the state of New York with a 240V electric vehicle charging station.  Saratoga Springs is halfway between the major cities of Ottawa, Montreal, New York City and Boston so Union Gables is now part of the network supporting sustainable travel between those cities.
 

Since you are a bed and breakfast, I have to ask, what is your most popular breakfast dish?

We judge the most popular dish ordered for breakfast by how often it is ordered and how clean the plate is after the guests have finished. The chef’s Cinnamon Baguette French Toast guarantees a spotless plate returned every time. Everything we serve is cook to order and the freshness makes a difference. Bruce, the chef, drenches the baguette in the cinnamon egg mixture and browns it on the griddle, then it is baked in the oven until the center becomes a delicious custard. It is served topped with powdered sugar and the guest’s choice of blueberries, strawberries, or bananas and paired with pure Vermont maple syrup.

How many innkeepers and members of the staff are there?

There are the owners, Tom and Barbara Fox; the Innkeeper and Manager, Jane; the Chef, Bruce; and Me, the Assistant Innkeeper and Head of Marketing. We also have various cleaning and maintenance staff. Tom and Barbara have a close connection to the Union Gables Inn, as this was where they met and married. Because Saratoga Springs was the place for horse lovers to show art and Barbara is an equine artist, it brought her to the area and this is where she met Tom. The Inn has a few paintings in the main foyer that she has painted. Tom and Barbara both take pride in maintaining the beauty of Union Gables as a historic icon to Saratoga Springs, and hope that it will bring enjoyment to those that stay here.

Carla, what do you enjoy most about what you do at Union Gables?

When after a stay at Union Gables, a guest tells me that their experience at the Inn and of Saratoga could not have been more perfect. I get the most joy out of personalizing someone’s stay to make sure their individual needs and goals for their trip are met. I was born and raised in Saratoga, so the greatest pleasure is welcoming visitors to the city I am proud to call home and providing local tips and recommendations that allows them to enjoy Saratoga just as much as the locals do. 

There is so much that Union Gables Inn and Suites offers their guests.  They are located in the heart of Saratoga’s Historic district known as the ‘Magic Rectangle’, one and a half blocks from the Saratoga Race Course on Union Avenue and two blocks to the Historic Congress Park.   Check out their photo gallery and make a reservation to be the guests at another bed and breakfast!

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

Blue Mountain

 

Innkeepers Brady and Elaine Anderson-Wood love showing hospitality to their guests at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana.  Missoula is said to be “the best small town under 100,000 people” in America.  With breathtaking views of the mountains and Bitterroot River as well as beautiful gardens and wildlife to watch.

 

 

They relish sharing their mountain, home, and Montana history with others from around the world.  Meeting people from every walk of life is a real treat for them.  Guests come for a variety of reasons including: visiting their kids at University of Montana, fishing, relaxing between visits to Yellowstone and Glacier Park.

Guests have visited from every state but Delaware as well as the countries of Israel, Bolivia, Jacarta, Mongolia, Honduras, Namibia, South Korea, and Romania.  One couple from France comes every year to enjoy Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast and the surrounding area. Brady and Elaine’s biggest surprise as innkeepers has been to see how people with very different view points are able to come together, share breakfast, and take away an appreciation for each other.

Elaine, who takes professional pictures, says she has always adored taking pictures because of her deep love and connection with nature.  The animals that can be found outside their B&B include: woodpeckers, humming birds, hawks, eagles, bears, bunnies, deer, wild turkeys, elk, chipmunks, and much more.

Because of her background in history and education,  Elaine was able to take more classes (including classes specifically oriented toward the bi-centennial of Lewis and Clark) to become an official tour guide.  There are so many lovely walking trails in their area.

Blue Mountain B&B is open year round and guests can stay for just one night if that is their desire.  Some choose to have one night escapes from Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, and other places. There are fun things to do all year long in Missoula.  The benefit of their particular location is that they are close to town, yet secluded.  Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is on twenty acres of registered wildlife habitat next to National and State forest land.  The home was designed by their family and the room decor reflects their Swedish family heritage as well as their ranching backgrounds.

Their most loved breakfast dishes include their asparagus gratins, macadamia-crusted French toast, and Aebelskivers (a Dutch stove top doughnut).  Brady and Elaine would love to have fellow innkeepers as guests so they can enjoy the beauty of nature, do fun area activities and/or just relax, and taste their awesome breakfasts as well as share fellow inn-keeping experiences!