Ever dreamed of owning and running your own bed-and-breakfast?
Rita Graybill once did. In 1990, she and her late husband fell in love with an 1883 stick-style Victorian house in Stillwater, just blocks from its picturesque Main Street.
The couple planned to convert the house, with its wraparound front porch, into a B&B. But not the typical Victorian-style inn, full of crocheted doilies. Instead, the Graybills wanted their home to reflect the places they had traveled and the artifacts they had collected from all over the world.
Their B&B, which they christened the Elephant Walk, has four themed guest rooms furnished with exotic antiques and artwork. “Tour the world, one room at a time,” said Graybill. There’s the Rangoon room with its teak bed, hand-forged copper sink and masks from Bali. The Chiang Mai room features a Thai-style bed and Asian artifacts, while the Raffles, named after the British Colonial Hotel in Singapore, includes a Balinese corner in a stone grotto with a large aquarium. The Cadiz suite features hand-carved cathedral doors, a Spanish armoire, Moroccan carpets, and a private rooftop garden with a koi pond and fountain.
“We don’t have a doily in sight,” said Graybill.
All the guest rooms have gas fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, refrigerators — and free Wi-Fi. “It’s an old house but with high-tech touches,” she said.
The main house is 3,628 square feet, which includes an owner’s suite and a commercial kitchen with two dishwashers, a copper sink and a 4-by-8-foot granite-topped center island for prepping the four-course breakfasts that the Elephant Walk serves its guests. (The rooms rent for $149 to $289 per night, depending on the room and the day of the week.)
There’s also a two-story carriage house with an art studio that could be converted into another guest room or owner’s suite. Gardens, koi pond and a Thai gazebo complete the property.
Graybill, who is ready to do more traveling and escape Minnesota winters, is selling her well-established B&B “completely turnkey,” including furnishings, linens, plush towels, guest robes, dishes, the wine in the cellar, and an attic full of furniture, artwork and collectibles from all over the world.
Richard McDonough of Edina Realty has the listing, 612-819-3518, email@example.com.
Staff writer Lynn Underwood contributed to this report.