2022 Best of Lake Erie: Accommodations
Sleep tight at a boutique hotel, storybook English cottage or Buckeye pride palace.
Boutique Hotel: Steele Mansion Inn & Gathering Hub
When Carol Shamakian and her husband, Arthur, purchased the 1867 Steele Mansion a dozen years ago, “it was months away from the wrecking ball,” she says. A passion for its history as the “grandest home in Painesville” that once hosted U.S. presidents including James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant and others — along with Harriet Tubman and Amelia Earhart just one year before her disappearance — the couple set out to recreate its French Second Empire grandeur while adding modern amenities.
“Your eyes tell you that you’ve gone to a different time, but you are as comfortable as you could be in the finest home around,” Shamakian relates.
Today, “it’s essentially a new building in old skin,” she says. There are 16 hotel rooms decorated in period style, celebration and meeting spaces and picturesque grounds. You’ll get your lavish bedding and antique fixtures along with free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, in-house bar and hot breakfast.
The couple runs the inn with their son, Brian Shamakian, and daughter, Elissa Petrozzi, for what has become “an adventure of a lifetime,” Shamakian says, adding that this pandemic was the fourth the mansion has lived through.
Painesville, Ohio, 440-639-7948, steelemansion.com
Storybook English Cottage: Lana’s The Little House
For an enchanting day and stay, book a reservation at Lana’s the Little House. Enjoy tea, a tour, a walk through the gardens or an arts workshop on the premise. Located in the heart of Chautauqua County, this storybook English cottage is a gem during any season. Experience Winter Wonderland, the Summer Garden in Bloom or Fall Beauty. And yes, the property even includes a wishing well.
Forestville, New York, 716-965-2798, lanasthelittlehouse.com
Buckeye Pride Palace: All Star Ohio House
Calling all Buckeye fans — this updated Put-in-Bay rental house is a home team win if you bleed scarlet and gray. A five-minute walk from the Jet Express dock, the family- and group-friendly house has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and can sleep up to 22 people. There’s no mistaking the Ohio State pride here, with decor boasting the college colors in a tasteful, clean-lined way. Lounge on large front and rear decks, enjoy the screened-in porch and plan a cookout in the backyard using the grill, fire pit and cornhole set. The kitchen is fully updated, and the rental includes VIP access to Put-in-Bay Resort, with a swim-up bar and the world’s largest jacuzzi.
Put-in-Bay, Ohio, 888-742-7829, allstarohiohouseputinbay.com