Live It Up at Ohio’s Winery Resorts and Hotels
by Rich Warren
Go for a day or lengthen your stay; Ohio’s wineries offer guest experiences, second-to-none!
Just north of Canton, Gervasi Vineyard has long been a destination resort for wine lovers. Its beautifully landscaped Estate comprises a contemporary winery, three restaurants for casual and fine dining, and upscale guest accommodations.
Tuscan-themed The Casa is a boutique hotel with 24 guest suites, each with a fireplace and adjacent covered patio. Breakfast is delivered to guests each morning in a wooden wine box, and can be enjoyed, al fresco, with a lovely lake view.
The Villas at Gervasi have twice been named by USA Today as Best Wine Country Hotel. A luxurious Villa comprises four Tuscan-inspired suites – each with heated travertine floors and cozy fireplaces – comfortable living and dining areas, and access to a shared patio.
The Farmhouse, built in 1830 and original to the Estate, has been lovingly restored and modernized. The charming 2,200-square-foot home sleeps up to eight guests in four bedrooms, with two bathrooms, a living room, dining room, sitting room, study and modern full kitchen. A wrap-around porch affords breathtaking views of the property’s spring-fed lake.
The Red Fern Inn
To find The Red Fern Inn, look first for The Rocky Point Winery in an imposing circa 1893 limestone structure that once housed the schoolhouse in downtown Marblehead. The Winery occupies the first floor and grounds of the historic structure. On the second floor, you’ll find one- and two-bedroom guest rooms, each with gas fireplaces and modern full kitchens with granite counter tops. Climb the spiral stair to the old schoolhouse cupola for breathtaking views of four Lake Erie islands.
The Inn’s newest addition, the Lake Erie Loft, is a two-bedroom suite located across the street from the Winery, in the Martha and Molly’s building. The guest suite has a full kitchen and a patio that affords stunning views of Lake Erie. Just a short distance away is the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse. Built in 1821 it’s the oldest continually operated lighthouse on the shores of the Great Lakes. Cross the street to catch the ferry to Kelley’s Island, and a State Park with miles of hiking trails, scenic vistas and the world-famous Glacial Grooves.
Opened in May of 2022, the luxurious Hotel Versailles was constructed on the site of the former Inn at Versailles, which also housed Michael Anthony’s, a much-beloved destination restaurant. That building was destroyed by fire in 2019. The new, sophisticated, boutique Hotel Versailles offers 30 individually designed guest rooms and suites – many with floor-to-ceiling windows – with upscale furnishings, artwork by Ohio artists, and iPads offering access to 150 publications. On the first floor, Silas Creative Kitchen offers an unrivaled dining experience with largely local farm-to-table ingredients, including produce harvested from the Hotel’s own, nearby farm. I had a lobster roll as good as any I’ve had in Maine, and a dish called Golden Peach Caprese that was both colorful and tasty. Although the Hotel does not have a winery on site, it maintains a close relationship with the nearby Winery at Versailles, which bottles wines that are sold exclusively in the Hotel’s restaurant and are offered in the guest room mini-bars.
Laurello Family Partnership
Immediately adjacent to Laurello Vineyards in the Grand River Valley, you’ll find rental properties with names illustrative of their unique charms. The Farmhouse is a cozy, two-story home, with four bedrooms, a patio with a grill and fire pit that overlooks the vineyards, and a “mancave” with a 50-inch flatscreen television. The Log Cabin, a rustic two-story cabin, renovated in 2018, sleeps seven and features a wood-burning fireplace and a screened-in porch with beautiful views of a pond and the vineyards. The Ranch is a one-story, retro-style home with a spacious, open concept living room, kitchen and dining room, and a gorgeous sandstone fireplace as a centerpiece. The best feature of all these properties? They’re an easy walk to Laurello Vineyards, and no more than a 5- to 15-minute drive to 15 other wineries. Laurello Family Partnership, also known as Northeast Ohio Getaways, also manages four rental houses in Geneva-on-the-Lake, two of them right in the heart of “The Strip”; two houses are located in quieter, adjacent neighborhoods; and, all four houses sleep between six and eleven guests.
Buccia Vineyard is located in a peaceful, rural setting just outside Conneaut, in close proximity to Lake Erie. The famed Conneaut Township Park, where it’s permissible to drive directly onto the beach, is just minutes away. Under new ownership since 2018, the rustic winery has dramatic rooflines, an outdoor stage and pavilion, and an enclosed patio. The new owners have tripled the size of the vineyard. Four, recently renovated guest suites with unique furnishings, eclectic artwork and color schemes, are located steps away from the tasting room. Each guest suite has a hot tub and kitchenette, and one of the suites features a sleeping loft. Breakfast and wine flights are included in accommodations for guests who can stroll among the grapevines, easily accessed from their guest suite patios.
The Wishmaker House is home to an award-winning winery and a full-service restaurant that exudes charm. The opulent 1890’s mansion, located near Bellville’s town square, has eight comfortable guest rooms, some with Amish-made furnishings, fireplaces and antique English tiles. The Midnight Rendezvous room, located on the third floor in what was formerly the attic, offers the ultimate in privacy and is perfect for a romantic getaway. The spacious 1,200 square-foot accommodation includes a sitting area and a kitchenette, and affords views of Bellville’s iconic bandstand, through dormer windows with window seats. All of the Wishmaker House guest rooms are named for wines produced by the Wishmaker House Winery. Whether Starry Night or Velvet Rain, it’s not uncommon for guests to choose rooms named for their favorite wines. The sumptuous breakfasts served by the Wishmaker House, including Eggs Benedict and a version of Belgian waffles with whipped cream, candied pecans, and caramel, are sure to keep delighted guests coming back for more!
Sip and stay and dine among the vines at these superb, resort and hotel properties
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