If you’re looking for a romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day, or a location for an Anniversary trip, I’ve found a destination that you’ll adore! Monmouth Historic Inn, located in fabulously Nachez, Mississippi, meets the needs of those escaping the demands of everyday living with beautiful surroundings, fascinating history, and luxury beyond compare for its guests.
Weary from our six-hour drive from Montgomery, arriving at Monmouth was like reaching an oasis for sleep. Signs directed me to the clearly-marked check-in station, situated in a building next to the main house (I later learned it was originally the kitchen building when Monmouth was a plantation). A sweet and personable staff member welcomed me to the Monmouth Historic Inn and quickly acquainted me with the lay out of the estate and also filled me in on the included breakfast arrangements for the next morning, all while handling my check in proceedings. She handed me my key and told me how to reach her if I needed her, then we drove to our assigned suite at the Carriage House.
My reservations were for a fantastic Queen Suite in the Carriage House. I climbed a few steps to the front porch of the Carriage House after having parked right outside beside it, (talk about convenient parking!) and the wooden rocking chair I saw sitting by my door set the mood for the slow, easy relaxation that I was ready to enjoy. The wooden floors and heavy wooden door to my room imparted a vibe of traditional luxury, and the key hole with a slide over it thrilled my history-loving little soul. The Monmouth Historic Inn uses actual metal keys for their room locks, a touch I haven’t seen in a long time at a hotel. Walking into my suite was like going home in that it was instantly comfortable, but also like entering the lodging of royalty!
My suite’s backdoor opened on to a private patio (defined by hedges) with wrought iron furniture that overlooked the gardens and croquet lawn, and I cannot think of a more perfect place to sip morning coffee (tea for me, please) either alone or with your partner in preparation for a relaxing day of fun.
A beautiful and ornate cherry queen bed awaited me in the bedroom, along with matching nightstands and gold brocade curtains typical of antebellum decor. I can honestly say that I slept better in this bed than I have in any other hotel or inn I’ve stayed in! It had me wishing I could bring it home with me, and the comfort of the linens was out of this world. The floors in the suite are made from beautiful hardwood, and the living room drew me in with its cozy yet decorative formality.
A fire was already crackling in the fireplace for us, which was a very welcome sight after coming in from the chilly night air, and best of all, it’s controlled by a light switch! No need to maintain or build a fire yourself in this suite; simply flip a switch next to the mantle and you’re ready to go.
A lovely armoire housed the TV, but it went completely unnoticed during our trip, as there were far more interesting things to do and none of us wanted to spoil the blessed solitude of the Monmouth Historic Inn environment. We were far more excited about relaxing on the comfortable sitting sofa (that also comfortably functions as a twin bed) and chatting about the weekend’s upcoming plans.
Breakfast at Monmouth Historic Inn takes place in the Garden Room, just a short walk from the Carriage House where we stayed. The building is set up with a gorgeous covered patio, perfect for al fresco dining or a party but the 30 degree weather convinced us to dine inside the Garden Room.
Tables for two, four, or six stand ready for hungry guests to seat themselves at their linen tablecloth-covered surfaces, set with fine china and silver. A “cold bar” with sliced fruit, yogurt, juices, and muffins is available for guests to serve themselves, or guests may choose to be served hot breakfast at their tables. Two options for the hot breakfast were presented to us, and they were both DELICIOUS.
One plate consists of Miss Mary’s Deep Fried French toast (with cream cheese in the middle) and hot maple syrup. This selection is so decadent and famous that other suggested trying it to me before we ever arrived at Monmouth Historic Inn! The other option included eggs (any style), grits, bacon or sausage, and toast. The grits were DELICIOUS and tasted as if cream had been added to them. YUM. Our server was very personable and took great care of us, continuing the feeling of luxury and being pampered.
As lovely as it was in the nighttime when I arrived, the stunning beauty of Monmouth Historic Inn absolutely took my breath away when I saw it in the morning.The manicured landscape, brimming with azaleas and other flowering foliage, runs the span of Monmouth’s 26 acres and the two hours I spent wandering the property’s paths after breakfast seemed too short; there was even more room to enjoy beauty of God’s creation that time constraints kept me from exploring.
The quiet atmosphere restored my stress-weary soul, and the idea of coming back here alone for a retreat, in addition to separate romantic trip with my husband, thrills me to my core. After walking over the pond’s wooden bridge, reminiscent of the one seen in Monet’s paintings, I discovered a set of marked but unpaved walking trails that would be fabulous for taking a run. In the gardens alone there are endless places to sit to read quietly, write while being inspired by the beauty, or just to think; too often we are so consumed with electronics and other people that we neglect our basic need for a bit of solitude.
Opportunities for private moments and stolen kisses abound; Pairs of Adirondack chairs are sprinkled throughout the garden and along the sides of the pond, just waiting for private conversations or silent hand-holding.
For anyone thinking of popping the question, I saw two amazing spots on the grounds of Monmouth that would be perfect for a memorable proposal. During my walk I came across the Chef’s Herb Garden, which he uses in creating culinary masterpieces for the 1818 Restaurant which is housed inside the Monmouth Historic Inn main house. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to dine there, but it’s on my definite to-do list for when I go back to Monmouth Historic Inn, and believe me, I’m going back! A couple that I spoke with on the House Tour (more on that in a moment) had eaten there the night before and sang the praises of Restaurant 1818, not only for the amazing food but also for the experience of eating supper in a period-correct Antebellum environment.
After walking off that amazing breakfast, I waited in the main house courtyard for the House Tour that is available to Monmouth guests twice daily (10:00 AM and 2:00 PM) and chatted with other guests who were excitedly waiting for the same thing. Monmouth is on the National Historic Register and boasts multiple Historic designations. Our guide for the tour was Lacey, and she showered us with fascinating history about the house, originally built in 1818 by Mr. Hankinson for his family, then most notably occupied by the Quitman family and their descendants over the next century. We were treated to fascinating stories about various Quitman family artifacts as well as the restoration of Monmouth that began in the 1970’s by the Rich family. Monmouth had lain in ruins for three decades prior, so the processes needed to restore then preserve the antebellum marvel were extensive and intense. Hearing the chronicle of the Quitman’s love story and the couple’s devotion to one another magnifies the already romantic air surrounding Monmouth Historic Inn, and I can only imagine the dreaminess that staying in one of the period-correct Main House bedrooms would evoke! We were not able to view those bedrooms (with velvet canopies and antebellum furniture) because other guests were actively staying there, but the Monmouth Historic Inn Website shows lovely pictures. Next trip there I would love to stay in the main house! John Quitman, the famed owner of the home, was a Mexican-American War hero, a two-time governor to the state of Mississippi and a U.S. Senator. His connections to Southern history make visiting the home all the more fascinating and come alive for history buffs as they imagine the discussions that took place between those walls.
Call Monmouth Historic Inn to inquire about Valentine’s Day weekend availability, or make a reservation for your next getaway, whether it be with a special someone or a soul-restoring retreat alone. You won’t be disappointed, and Nachez, Mississippi is full of history and beautiful places to explore along the Mississippi River. This year is the city’s Tricentennial (that’s right, 300 year anniversary!) so even more fascinating and fun things are going on for you to experience.
In exchange for this review, Monmouth Historic Inn graciously gave me two nights complimentary stay. I was not compensated financially. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own, and I wouldn’t steer you wrong!