I’ve been staying at bed & breakfasts for years. I have always liked the personal aspect and added security as a single woman who often travels solo. For the past decade or so, I’ve also been conducting research as a part of those stays. You see, my life goal is to run a bed & breakfast. I love the idea of serving people a wholesome, filling breakfast and providing them with a comfortable place to relax & lay their heads after a long day of travel, touring, or outdoor rec (I’m an avid hiker, myself). Every time I stay at an inn, I learn a bit more about what I would or wouldn’t do when running my own place. I also believe in my heart that when the time is right, I’ll know it. That brings me to the meat of my story.
I had a trip to Chattanooga planned in late July 2023 to visit a friend. Instead of a VERY long single-day road trip from Norfolk, I decided to split the drive over two days. I settled on Roanoke as the prime location for my stop. I-581 makes it easy to get in/out of the City and even though I would not have much time to explore, I knew that I could find some good food for dinner and perhaps even squeeze in a short hike the next morning on my way out of town.
I started to look online for a place to stay and searched the area bed & breakfasts (per usual). After comparing a handful of options, I decided on the Roanoke Boutique Hotel. Besides the great location, the inn and the rooms are beautiful. My home in Norfolk is a historic building from 1912 that was gutted & recently renovated and I really appreciate a combination of historic character and modern convenience. Also, it was obvious from the RBH website that the inn caters to outdoor enthusiasts – that’s me! Decided, booked, done.
I arrived that evening about 7 pm and Diane, the previous owner, was awaiting my arrival. After I settled in, I headed downstairs and struck up a conversation with Diane about the bed & breakfast and her experience as a single, female owner who runs the place by herself. I won’t bore you with all of the details of that discussion, but I will say that I was inspired. Then Diane dropped a bomb – she is selling the business to move out of state!
After breakfast and a long soak in the clawfoot tub the next morning, I said my goodbyes, wished her luck, and started on the road to Chattanooga. As I pulled away from the inn, I had a gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Roanoke Boutique Hotel being MY bed & breakfast and envisioning the ways I would use the space and the personal touches I would put on the breakfast service. (I am all about the second "B" in B&B!)
After about an hour or so on the road, I stopped for lunch and texted Diane. I told her of my interest in the RBH and that’d I’d be back to visit her soon. She jokingly replied that I should stop by on my way back from Chattanooga. Well, I did just that. I stayed at the RBH for another night (in a different room so I could experience more of the place) and continued discussions with Diane. After one more stay in the suite, we got the ball rolling on the sale.
Fast-forward to 2024 and I am proud to be the new owner/innkeeper of the Roanoke Boutique Hotel, a small bed & breakfast outdoor enthusiasts and breakfast lovers!
To offer travelers a comfortable, relaxing place to lay their heads and prepare them for the next day’s adventure by serving a hearty, wholesome, homemade breakfast and by assisting with activity and itinerary planning to help them get the most out of their visit to Roanoke.
To fulfill my life’s goal of running a bed and breakfast to welcome and delight travelers and enhance Roanoke’s reputation as a tourist destination.