If you're looking for a romantic escape from Chicago, look no further than Copperstone Inn. Located on a sprawling property west of Rockford, the getaway is a short two-hour drive from Chicago, but it feels like it's a world away.
Copperstone Inn is overflowing with charm. It's more than the two-lane rural road that takes you to the bed and breakfast. It's more than the apple orchard or the rolling hills or the picturesque rolls of hay. It's those, and it's also the thought and detail that go into every part of of this getaway.
The 9,000 square foot inn began as a home built in 1858. The original building still stands, and owners Richard Spanton, Jr. and his wife were determined to stay as true to its history as possible. At one point during construction they had to shore up the old foundation because it was beginning to crumble. They feature the photos and the story of the renovation on their project gallery.
The result is a warm, comfortable inn that features seven suites, each one with a different personality. The Northwoods Suite is a two-level homage to the northwest, with black walnut walls and natural hickory floors. The Farmer's Quarters are reminiscent of a barn, but one with a Jacuzzi tub for two and a double-headed shower. The Queens Retreat is a study in elegance, boasting a large private veranda and a granite top vanity.
I was invited to visit Copperstone Inn personally and we were given our choice of suites. While we were leaning towards the Queens Retreat, we elected to stay in the Sundance Suite. It's located on the second floor, with a wagon wheel chandelier hanging from the cathedral ceiling, a stone fireplace with a six shooter on the mantle and another hanging from the bed post, and a rocking chair sat atop a cows hide rug. The swinging doors made entering the bathroom feel like you were entering a saloon, and even the sinks were fashioned out of barrels.
Decorating to a theme with such dedication could very easily be overdone. Instead of a cheesy feeling of folksiness, however, they managed to pull it off with a sense of luxury. This could have had something to do with the HD flat screen TV, the in-room music satelite system, the Jacuzzi tub or the huge shower with jets that sprayed from the walls. Maybe it was the thick, plush robe and slippers, the homemade cookies or the tray of meat, fruits and cheeses awaiting us. Even the door lock was sophisticated; instead of a key or a card, we were given a fob that we simply had to wave over the pad next to the door. The fob also gave us entrance to the house and opened the property's gate.
Before heading to nearby Beloit, Wisconsin for dinner at the 615 Club, we toured the building and the property. Saundra, whose son and daughter-in-law own the inn, told us we'd have the place to ourselves that night and wanted to make sure we saw all of the amenities. We first visited the adjacent hot tub and outdoor kitchen. The hot tub is in its own building with its own sound system, and just outside is semi-circular kitchen area with a gas grill and a fireplace with a towering chimney. I envisioned summer parties and pre-wedding celebrations.
Back inside the house, she took us through the basement. In addition to the Wine Cellar and the Apple Cellar, two of their more intimate rooms, the bottom floor houses the spa, a theater room, and a bar. The bar is stocked with snacks and wine and guests are welcome to help themselves. After we returned from dinner we truly did have the place to ourselves, so we donned those plush robes and slippers and took advantage of the theater room and its impressive sound system.
The next morning we took a walk down to The Pavilion. This, and its heart-shaped lagoon, were built specifically for weddings and receptions. The "walls" of the 10,000 square feet building are floor to ceiling glass doors, opening the building to the surrounding countryside.
As we returned to the inn, Nicola invited us to relax while she made breakfast. Despite having no formal training, the innkeeper provided us with an elaborate gourmet meal. We began with a yogurt and citrus medley that was laced with a ribbon of honey and topped with granola. Our breakfast was a decadent dish with rosemary thyme potatoes, asparagus, and eggs benedict. One of the eggs was served on top of a spicy crabcake; the other, on buttermilk arugula waffles. Breakfast was finished with lemon pound cake and fresh blackberries. It's worth a stay at Copperstone Inn for the breakfast alone!
The exquisite care that's evident throughout the home did not come as a surprise. The inn is a member of Select Registry, a collection of nearly 400 Inns and Bed & Breakfasts. I've now stayed at several of their member properties and each one has exceeded expectations. Each member must go through a rigorous selection process and meet the highest standards of independent inspectors. Nicola told us about a particular guest with whom she'd developed an instant rapport (and with Nicki, that's easy to believe). It wasn't until he was preparing to leave after his three night stay that she learned that he was inspecting the Inn for Select Registry! It seems he was as delighted with his visit as we were with ours.
Take a trip to Copperstone Inn. I imagine you'll be delighted, too.
Copperstone Inn, 6702 Yale Bridge Rd, Rockton, IL (815)629-9999