This weekend is our first anniversary, but due to the holiday and being busy with family events, we decided to celebrate last weekend! After enjoying the scenery along the way and reminiscing about some of our times at Grove City on the way up 79, we arrived at Buhl Mansion, a historic mansion renovated to become a Select Registry inn/bed & breakfast.
Once we arrived, our car was valet parked and our luggage taken up to our room while we checked in and got our itinerary for the rest of the weekend, including the times for afternoon tea and a champagne reception. There was also the option to be driven to Buhl’s sister property, Tara: a Country Inn, for dinner.
Each of the rooms at the mansion is done with its own style of decor, and since we arrived early, we were able to take a peek in the rooms that weren’t occupied. They were all unique, but I liked the room we stayed in, Park Place, the most. I loved the bay window/reading nook and stained glass lamps. It also had a spacious bathroom with a corner Jacuzzi and a shower. The Jacuzzi was comfortable and relaxing, with bubble bath and herbal bath salts. When we got to the room, peaceful music was playing and there was a tray for us with fruit, cheese and crackers, and a bottle of champagne (and an anniversary card!).
While we waited for afternoon tea, we explored the mansion and gardens. The mansion itself was full of interesting sculptures and pieces of artwork – notably many reproductions of well-known impressionist painters. It was fun, and made it feel like we were staying in an art gallery. The gardens outdoors were attractive, with hedges and several ponds with water lilies.
At 4, we sat down in the parlor area for tea. There was fresh fruit, tea sandwiches, and a variety of delicious baked goods, as well as tea. I try to avoid as much caffeine as possible, so I was very excited by the variety of herbal teas that were available. While we ate, we read a coffee table book about other Select Registry properties and a story about how the owners bought their properties in the area.
Before dinner, we stopped by the champagne reception for some refreshments, this time taking our food and drink into the library, with its knights in armor guarding us from the corners of the room. There was a variety of books, magazines, and DVDs, and we grabbed The Devil Wears Prada to watch later. We took a walk through downtown Sharon until we reached Donna’s Diner, which we saw recommended in some brochures and online. It seemed close enough to walk, so we took a stroll through downtown Sharon. It would have been a great walk without the heat, but alas, there’s nothing to be done about that. We enjoyed looking at the shops and interesting buildings as we went along.
We spotted it from a distance with its distinctive decor, both inside and out. The whole building really looks like a retro diner and boasts a fun menu of comfort food staples named after famous songs from the era. The staff at Donna’s were very friendly and we loved our burgers – I already forget the names of what we ordered, but I got a barbecue bacon one and Thad got a “Pittsburgh-style” burger with fries and coleslaw on it. We both managed to finish our burgers, despite all the great refreshments at the mansion.
Before returning home, we stopped at Dauffin’s Candy – allegedly the largest candy store in the world. It did have a huge variety of candy with especially-tasty looking fudge and chocolates, but the majority of the store seemed to be kitschy gifts. If you’re actively shopping for candy, or are a grandma, you will probably love it. If not, eh.
When we got back to the mansion, they stopped us to say that when they came in to do our turn down, the room seemed very hot, so they had prepared the room next door for us to stay in if we wanted. The temperature seemed okay to us (we think we might have accidentally switched off the AC), but we were very touched by the offer. Our turn down included two of the chocolates from Dauffin’s and menus to fill out and return for breakfast the next morning. The bed was incredibly soft, and I think both of us would have been happy to bring it home with us!
The next morning, we had breakfast in the sunroom at 8. Only one other couple was there at the time, so we sat by the window overlooking the garden. Our breakfast came in several courses – first some coffee cake, tea, and juice, then fruit salad for Thad and an amazing yogurt parfait for me, and then our main dishes – scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives, toast, sausage, and home fries for me, and french toast and bacon for Thad.
We took a second walk around the garden, got back in the super-soft bed to read, and then took a trip to the day spa downstairs. There were a lot of services available, but we stuck with the sauna package that was included in the room rate. We took the steps downstairs to the spa, which was bright and had zen-like music playing and were shown to the sauna. It was its own little suite of rooms with a changing room with big robes, bathroom with a monsoon shower, and then a steam room and sauna. Neither of us had ever done anything like that before, so as Thad said, “it was definitely a new experience.” The steam room felt like the air was full of water, which made breathing unusual for a minute, but I quickly relaxed and enjoyed the relaxing heat. After a a bit, we went to the sauna, which was a hot, wood-paneled room that quickly dried us off. The directions in the room advised us to get in the monsoon shower next and then repeat the sauna/monsoon shower routine. The shower was a big shower with spouts along the walls that sprayed you from all sides – in my case, surprising me with cold water! I adjusted it quickly, took my shower, and repeated the process. After that we finished up and got changed. I had a lot of fun with it, and after I got home, I noticed the tension that I always carry in my shoulders was totally gone. So far this week I’ve felt a lot more loose and relaxed than I normally feel, so I’m definitely a big fan of steam rooms/saunas now!
After that, we read and packed up, and then headed home. It was possibly the nicest weekend I’ve ever had, and the mansion was the perfect place for a relaxing and romantic getaway.
(The mansion was only about half full when we went, and I can’t guarantee that the food options and other features would necessarily always be the same, but this was our experience. Other reviews I’ve seen confirm that most people love it there!)