What is it about a bed & breakfast that conjures up visions of snuggling beneath a fluffy duvet and eating gourmet French toast as you gaze out the window over treetops rustling in the breeze?

Maybe that’s just me.

Regardless of your personal vision, there’s something magical about the B&B experience. It’s especially true of the three fabulous B&Bs in Bend, Oregon. To give you an inside peek at what makes them unique, we asked a few questions of the folks running the show at each of the Bend, Oregon B&Bs. Here’s the inside scoop on what it’s like to stay at a bed & breakfast in Bend, Oregon!

 

Lara House Bed and Breakfast
Owners: Brian and Sandy Griffin
Find them at www.larahouse.com

The historic Lara House B&B.
The historic Lara House B&B.

What’s the history of your B&B?
The Lara House was built in 1910 by Arthur and Mable Lara.  The Laras sold the home in 1919, and since then it has been various housing establishments. It served as a girls’ dormitory for a while, then as a boarding house during the Depression.  During WWII it housed some of the families who had loved ones stationed at the Army Camp at Sunriver.  It has been a B&B for the past 30+ years under various owners.  The home has a wonderful history and is a cherished landmark for the City of Bend.

What features or amenities make you most proud of your B&B?
The features we are most proud of are our historic designation as well as our location.  We are only B&B that is downtown within two blocks of Drake Park and the historic downtown shopping and dining district.

The Drake room at Lara House.
The Drake room at Lara House.

What’s for breakfast?
Breakfast is different every day. We trade off between a sweet main entree and a savory main entree.  Included in breakfast is a fruit/yogurt and/or granola and then our main entree and pastry.

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about the B&B experience for vacationers?
The best thing about the B&B experience for vacationers is the personalized service they will receive.  It is a great alternative to a hotel.  For us, not only is breakfast included in their room price, but also wine and beer hour. We serve Naked Winery wine as well as local craft beers.

 

Hillside Inn Bed and Breakfast
Owner and innkeeper: Annie Goldner
Find them at www.bendhillsideinn.com

Hillside Inn B&B.
Hillside Inn B&B.

What’s the history of your B&B?
I purchased the home in August 2001 and began running the B&B in October 2002. The modern, craftsman style, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house was built in 1999 and the previous owners attained the conditional use permit and ran it briefly as a B&B until my purchase in 2001.

I relocated to Bend from NYC, and at that time my three children were grown and independent and I could choose the place to live “the rest of my life.” I searched for a small town (fewer than 100,000 people) with four seasons and dry weather and visited a dozen locations west of the Rockies that fit that description. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Bend felt as if it has a mid-west background and culture. I spent two years visiting Bend, and on the third visit, found this very special home in a great neighborhood for walking. Bend’s Riverwest neighborhood is close to Newport Market, restaurants and coffee shops, and all that Bend’s Westside offers in “walk to” convenience.

What features or amenities make you most proud of your B&B?
The B&B has all the modern conveniences you would require. My guests often say, “you’ve thought of EVERYTHING.” I prepare breakfast to the guests’ preference. I often have visitors who like organic, gluten free, vegan, lactose intolerant, etc etc . I enjoy the challenge of cooking to particular dietary requirements. I have been told that men often resist going with their wives to a B&B because it’s too feminine with flowers and dolls, etc. Men love my place as for the modern, contemporary furnishings and super comfortable bed and European bedding. The ladies love the colorful décor and attention to detail.

I’m very proud, yet humbled by the wonderful 100 perfect ratings given on TripAdvisor.com by my guests to my B&B over the past 12 years. I’m in awe of the fact that over 3,000 people have the memory of a visit to Hillside Inn B&B, a business I created and continue to create as a lodging alternative in Bend.

The balcony suite at Hillside B&B.
The balcony suite at Hillside B&B.

What’s for breakfast?
So many of my guests ask for low carb breakfast.  Thus, I don’t make muffins and seldom pancakes or waffles, although my Belgian waffles are in demand. I love to cook with grains served with a lazy susan of fruits, nuts, and dried fruit. The guests love a mix of brown rice, quinoa, and couscous sautéed quickly with fresh veggies served with a poached egg on top. Also egg soufflé nested in a portabella mushroom is a big hit. The Brits love the fried egg and broiled tomato on toast. The Germans and Austrians love the bread, cheese, and muesli selection, and the locals enjoy omelets with a choice of veggies and cheese. Each breakfast begins with a fruit medley or a smoothie and fresh squeezed juices. Guests are ALWAYS asked, “what is your favorite breakfast? Challenge me, please.”

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about the B&B experience for vacationers?
The personal touch…. from providing all the details in amenities that make the guests feel at home to the conversation with them about Bend and all it offers. B&Bs are particularly sought out by visitors who are considering relocating to Bend and wish to chat-up the innkeeper about the community. I was the chair of the Riverwest neighborhood association for 8 years and learned much about how the city manages the community and these are questions these visitors often have for me. A B&B is not “just a room” in a house or a hotel or a motel. Each B&B is very unique it what they offer to their guests. There is that pleasant surprise when the guests arrive…the ah-ha moment when they check into the room and often say it appears lovelier than the photos on the website. They feel at home and settle in completely. The B&B is a total creation of the innkeeper, unlike the corporate directives of a hotel or motel. The guest feels it is special and not a cookie-cutter predictable lodging experience.

 

Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast
Proprietors: Zane and Trish Littrell
Find them at www.millinn.com

The Mill Inn B&B.
The Mill Inn B&B.

What’s the history of your B&B?

The Mill Inn was built in 1917 as the original hotel and boarding house for the Brooks-Scanlon Saw Mill.  In 1990, the building was completely renovated by the owners at the time, and converted to a casual 10-room bed & breakfast. In 2005, the Mill Inn changed hands again, and was renovated to complement the contemporary design vision of the new owner who had moved to Bend from New York (hence the Statue of Liberty in front of the building).  In 2013, we happily became the new owners of the Mill Inn, and couldn’t be more excited to share in and be a part of its rich history and bright future as Bend’s truly original boutique hotel.

What features or amenities make you most proud of your B&B?
The features and amenities that make us most proud of the Mill Inn are those most appreciated and loved by our guests, such as the fabulous gourmet breakfast made to order and served daily in the common dining area, our central location, the beautifully designed and super-comfortable sleeping rooms that inspire our guests to stay with us whenever visiting Bend, and our back deck with an outdoor spa that’s perfect for relishing the fresh air morning, afternoon, and night.  These features, together with our passion for ensuring all guests have an amazing experience during their stay, are what make us most proud of the Mill Inn.

The cozy side deck at Mill Inn – great for barbecues or drinks under the stars!
The cozy side deck at Mill Inn – great for barbecues or drinks under the stars!

We also have a secure basement storage facility equipped with a washer and dryer, ski and snowboard racks, waxing tables, and a work station for bicycles.

What’s for breakfast?
We’ve never had a guest leave the Mill Inn hungry after indulging in our delectable, seven-course gourmet breakfast.  We offer a buffet style menu consisting of an amazing assortment of quiches, potatoes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, homemade scones, coffee, tea, and juice, along with Belgian waffles and eggs made to order.  Our master chef will accommodate any dietary restrictions such as gluten and dairy intolerance and vegetarian/vegan requests.

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about the B&B experience for vacationers?
The best thing about the B&B experience is spontaneity.  From impromptu wine/beer social hours to engaging with other travelers from all over the world, you never know what the day may bring or who you’ll meet in the process, and it’s always tons of fun!

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Eager to learn more about Bend, Oregon bed and breakfasts? Check out Visit Bend’s B&B page!

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