First of all, I watch too much tv.
I never saw the original airing of Own TVs season of “Checked Inn” but while scrolling channels one day in the Spring, I ended up binge watching the entire season until 2:00 in the morning.
I was hooked and set a goal to visit the featured Bed&Breakfast “The Mansion at Noble Lane” before the end of the year.
The Mansion at Noble Lane is a 100+ year old, former property of one of the founders of the Woolworth five and dime empire. The history of the Mansion can be found here: http://www.mansionatnoblelane.com/the-storied-history/
Knowing the mansion is not only now black-owned, but owned by former Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine, Monique Greenwood, meant I had to find the time to support. I loved the irony of this place now being black-owned.
Located in Pennsylvania, in the Poconos Mountains, The Mansion at Noble Lane is a four and a half hour drive from the DC area. A 25,000sq ft mansion with 14 rooms, an indoor pool, a spa, spacious lounge areas and outdoor space, a bottomless bar, fresh breakfast to die for and Happy Hour that allows you a moment to mingle with other guests and just take in the beauty of the space.
When visiting the Mansion at Noble Lane, you don’t need any other plans for the weekend. There’s a game room with a selection of board games and cards. Fireplaces to sit around and chat. A large heated pool and activities to keep you entertained.
When I arrived, my boyfriend and I were greeted by the Innkeeper, Bill, who gave us a tour and chatted with us like we were family. Unfortunately there was a grumpy white man who was bothered by our laughter at 3pm that he brought himself to running downstairs to ask us to quiet down. (This man also complained about the wonderful jazz music that was played daily and the weird sounds that he seemed to be the only one to hear). I found his presence and complaints a bit irritating because there was a certain cultural energy that he seemed to try to dim. Pity for him because you can’t dim black magic.
Happy Hour is daily at 4:00 and while munching on a smorgasbord of delicious appetizers and alcoholic beverages. (beverages are separately paid for at check out) While eating, I beat my guy in a game of Scrabble and also chatted with other couples and individuals arriving for the weekend.
We ended the evening with a swim and water games in the large, indoor heated pool which was detached from the main property.
The jetted tub and comfortable bedding made for a well rested sleep that allowed us to easily wake up for breakfast at 9am. Chef Cheryl was amazing with making sure our bellies and taste buds were satisfied all weekend.
Saturday consisted of an excellent yoga session at the Mansion and plenty of time to walk the grounds for a little more exercise and picture taking. With absolutely no plans, we found ourselves valuing every moment to just be away from home.
After Happy Hour, we ventured into town to check out a restaurant Bill had recommended, located inside of Wayne Hotel. We weren’t necessarily hungry but after seeing the menu online, we decided to just get out. My observation was that the people in town don’t see too many people of color so they not only seemed alarmed by our presence but, the staff at the restaurant appeared to debate who would even take care of us. Fortunately for us, the sweetest girl named Alex gave us the best recommendations and service we could have hoped for. The food was absolutely amazing as well. Here is their menu for when you decide to visit: http://www.hotelwayne.com/Fine-Dining/
Our stay at The Mansion at Noble Lane ended with another delicious breakfast that consisted of shrimp and grits. I don’t eat shrimp so Cheryl was nice enough to quickly cook up some eggs for me to go with my grits. Heaven was in those eggs. They were so delicious.
The Mansion at Noble Lane was everything I expected. Peace, tranquility, Culture and Family hospitality. I didn’t go there expecting the reality show I fell in love with. I didn’t expect to see Chef Shawn and it would have been a bonus to run into Monique. I went with the idea that this beautiful place would give me the break I needed and another experience to check off my list.
Monique Greenwood and her husband Glenn own other properties which together make up Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns. While Noble Lane was my first, it certainly won’t be the only property I visit. I’m already making plans to visit the Cape May, NJ location and invite my mom for a stay at the DC location. Information on the history of Akwaaba Inns can be found here: http://www.akwaaba.com
If you’re trying to figure out where to go for your next weekend or weeklong getaway, The Mansion at Noble Lane is a top recommendation from me. Go solo, with a friend, your lover or book the entire space to host a retreat. Choosing to go this time in December was perfect for me but it may be too quiet for someone else. Choose peak or off-peak season based on your needs or personality. I don’t think you could go wrong at any time.
Mansion at Noble Lane: you owe me nothing. My mind, body and relationship thank you.