After our elopement, Steve and I stayed at the most amazing suite at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I know when you think of inns and bed & breakfasts you immediately picture old and Victorian, but this was not the case for our suite. The Mountain Laurel Suite that we stayed in was built almost 2 years ago and is very modern and gorgeous. It was like our own little home away from home, and I can assure you, we did not want to leave. In fact, if we could pack up and go back right now, we would.
The Mountain Laurel Suite that we stayed in and the Water Lily Suite are both under one roof and are referred to as the Spring Water Cottage Suites. They are nestled across the pond from the main inn and have their own little driveway. They are completely secluded from everything else and that’s what we loved most. The suites are across the hall from one another, so they really are very private and quiet. We only heard our neighbors come and go, but that was it.
When we arrived, we walked into the main entrance and checked ourselves in, which was awesome. All you have to do is enter the code provided and walk right in to pure bliss. We opened the door and just stood there for a moment talking it all in. There was soft classical music playing in the background and a plate displayed that said “Welcome Francesca & Steven”. We were so excited!!
The suite was inviting and so calming, and we settled in perfectly. We loved that it was like our own little home with a bed, dining area, living room space, little kitchen, a gorgeous walk-in shower, and a deck with a view. Everything we needed was right at our fingertips. We really couldn’t have asked for more.
The bed, oh the bed! We’ve never slept on a more comfortable bed. It was fluffy and cushiony and oh so comfy cozy! And the sheets? Egyptian cotton. A first for us and it was glorious, I tell you. I’m not sure we’ve ever slept so well.
The walk-in shower was amazing as well. It had a rainfall shower head and body sprays, which was beyond relaxing. I do have one small complaint though—the hot water didn’t last long enough at all, which was a real bummer. Well, I suppose I do have one other complaint as well. The lovely TV mounted to the wall only had a few channels. No real cable at all. On the plus side though, there was Wi-Fi! We were thrilled about that. Oh, and very comfy chairs in the living room. I curled up with a blanket a few times and it was wonderful!
Considering we stayed at a bed & breakfast, breakfast was delivered to our door every morning. It arrived around 8:45am in a cute little picnic basket. Our first breakfast was an incredible egg soufflé served with some cooked greens, some melon, and a yummy bun with butter and jelly. So, so good! When we reserved our suite, I made note that we don’t eat meat, and they very graciously accommodated us, and remembered not to serve us any meat. We appreciated that! Anyway, our second breakfast included some delicious heart-shaped waffles with pecans and syrup, along with a hard-boiled egg and an apple cut to resemble a heart. Both breakfasts were out of this world! Coffee isn’t included with breakfast, but there is a coffee pot in the room along with coffee grounds and creamer. We didn’t really want that though, so the first morning we headed to McDonald’s to pick-up some coffee to enjoy.
We really loved the private deck! It was nice to step outside for a breath of fresh air and to take in the view. The pond is a lovely sight, for sure, as is the weeping willow that hangs over the pond. I’ve had a thing for weeping willows since I was a kid, so I really loved this view. Our last morning there, Steve and I sat on the deck together and read our private vows, or love letters really, to one another. We both cried! We didn’t really expect to, but it happened. It was a really beautiful moment for us. We were going to go sit under the weeping willow to read our letters, but it started pouring just as we were heading out. Bummer!
A few other things worth mentioning—the inn isn’t all that far from downtown. I’d say about 5-10 minutes, depending on where you’re going. There is plenty to do in Harrisonburg and the surrounding area, but this time we just kept things simple. We didn’t really want to be running all around. We’re homebodies on vacation too. Ha! Another thing is that the inn is literally by the side of the road, but it wasn’t loud or noisy at all. Of course you hear cars passing by if you’re on the deck, but other than that, all was quiet.
Our time in the Mountain Laurel Suite was beyond anything we could have imagined. We loved every minute of our stay, and we cannot wait to return next year. We’ve already figured out how far in advance we can book the suite. Next time, I think we’ll stay closer to a week, or at least several more days. Our few days in the Shenandoah Valley were some of our best. We loved being in the country, in small mountain towns, and just being tucked away from everything. It was REALLY hard to shut the door to our suite and walk away. We really, really look forward to returning next year!!
If you ever find yourself in Harrisonburg, Virginia, we absolutely recommend staying in the Spring Water Cottage Suites at By the Side of the Road. They book up quickly on weekends though, especially in the fall, so make sure you plan early!
By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
491 Garbers Church Road
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801