Lighthouse Inns Around the World
What can be more romantic than a lighthouse on Valentine’s Day? The wild weather of mid-February, with waves crashing on the deserted beach, accomodations ranging from rustic to luxurious, and in most cases, cheaper off season rates. No matter where in the world you live, there is a lighthouse available for you and your honey to escape for a day or two or three. And although it may be too late for this year, you can plan for Valentine’s Day 2009.
While technically not a lighthouse, this former life saving station offers views of several lighthouses off the Kennebec River, Maine, including Seguin Island. And it especially qualifies as a romantic site, as you may have seen it featured in the movie Message in a Bottle. Right on the beach, there are four rooms to choose from, which come with a two or three course breakfast served in the former mess hall.
Six tastefully decorated rooms and a cottage comprise The Cove’s amenities. This isn’t a lighthouse, but is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, only a stone’s throw away from Ocracoke Lighthouse. A ferry ride takes you the island, where you can do nothing or everything, from walks on the beach to fine dining. No information on their breakfast, other than that it’s scrumptious. Hint: the sunset side offers views of the lighthouse.
Imagine staying in one of the six rooms of the original lightkeeper’s house on the Oregon coast. And waking up to a seven course breakfast. And falling asleep to the First Order Fresnel lens flashing out its warning. It doesn’t get much better than that. Oh wait, did I mention the fireplaces to take the chill off the night? Or the two lighthouse cats available for cuddling? Hint: The Victoria’s Room may come with a guest…Rue, the famous ghost of the house.
Four period furnished guest rooms and two cottages are available for rent in the Lightkeeper’s original home at Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. All the rooms have ocean views, and the Lightkeepers Room in the main house comes with blackout shades as it overlooks the Third Order Fresnel. A five course gourmet breakfast is provided, and all guests are treated to a nighttime tour of theworking lighthouse.
Four of the rooms at this inn are located right in the lighthouse, and the fifth is in the original fog signal building. A stay at the lighthouse includes champagne hors d’oeuvres upon arrival, a multi-course dinner with wine and a full gourmet breakfast the next morning. Guests are also provided with a full tour of the island. Special discounts for January, February and March.
Eight lovely rooms, each with private bath and two with whirlpools and balconies are decorated in Victorian style. Breakfast is served at a fashionably late hour for lovers, at 9:30. The original lighthouse lens is in the house, in the lightkeeper’s office. Enjoy the views of Lake Superior’s majesty, or stay warm playing billiards in the recreation room. And enjoy the stars at night…no light pollution to get in the way (watch for the Northern Lights).
Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast
#3 Lighthouse Road, Big Bay, Michigan 49808
Phone: (906) 345-9957
The special February 13- 17 Valentine’s package (filled for this year of course) includes two nights lodging with full breakfast each morning, two one hour relaxation massages, romance gift basket, flowers and dinner at the Thunder Bay Inn. The lighthouse also doubles as a spa, with full sauna facilities and massage therapy. You can try the hot stone and Dead Sea pack massage. Or perhaps the Relaxation (Swedish) massage and herbal body wrap. Whatever you choose, this would be a perfect winter getaway with your sweetie.
Palmetto Point Lighthouse (Bahamas)
Not a bed and breakfast, but a full size house at the only charted lighthouse vacation home in the Bahamas. It’s available as a weekly rental, with three bedrooms, two full baths, air conditioning and a pink sand beach at the doorstep. Yes, pink. What other color is suited for love?
Lighthouse Inn (Jamaica)
Located across from the Negril Lighthouse, these guest cottages are just made for a midwinter getaway. The cottages are in a “nearly untouched” natural garden setting, and the Inn restaurant advertises it as famous for catering fine romantic dinners. And of course, in Jamaica, you have all the normal things to do and see besides the lighthouse.
Australia and New Zealand
Cape Otway Lightstation (Australia)
Can it get any better than this? The lightstation is in the heart of the Great Ocean Walk, and is the oldest surviving mainland lighthouse in Australia. And you have your choice of three types of accomodations, ranging from the Head Keeper’s House (up to 16 people) or the two Beds and Breakfast buildings, the Head Lightkeeper’s Bed and Breakfast or the newer Manager’s House Bed and Breakfast. The food is homemade at the lightstation by Greek and French chefs.
The Lighthouse and The Keep (New Zealand)
Phone/fax (04) 472-4177
Mobile phone: 027-442-5555
And for a completely different experience than Cape Otway, you can stay in a rustic lighthouse, or its companion, The Keep. At the lighthouse, the bottom floor is the kitchen and bathroom, the middle floor has the bedroom and the top floor (lantern room) has a sitting room. The site says you can sleep on the top floor if you like, as long as you’re prepared to be awakened by the sunrise. Plenty of breakfast items to choose from. The Keep is a stone building set into the mountainside, and has the lounge and kitchen on one level, and the bedroom and bath (with a spa) on the next. A hatch opens to the roof.
A one room hotel is how this decommissioned lighthouse calls itself. The lighthouse is available for two people only, and includes breakfast. Extra amenities can include champagne, red roses and a champagne breakfast. If the lighthouse is booked (2008 is full) you can always stay at the Harbour Crane or the Lifeboat.
The “Queen of the Baltic,” the Damman Island Lighthouse in Sweden is a full service hotel created from an abandoned lighthouse. Upgrades are ongoing, and plans for this year include adding wind generators. The light is open year round, however, weather may play a part. The hotel includes sauna facilities, including one on a pontoon boat, the Misty Sauna, complete with bar, where one can float around Kalmar Sound and enjoy a true Swedish sauna and dip in the Baltic Sea afterwards. Menus are custom built for you.
Regular readers will recognize this luxury hotel as being for sale. And the romantic, award winning restaurant’s sample menus are to die for. And if staying at the hotel is not private enough for you, there are two new suites about three minutes from the main hotel building, with spectacular sea views. Nearby golf (of course, this is Scotland after all) and museums can fill your spare time.
Thirty, yes thirty, lighthouse accomodations to choose from, from Cornwall to Devon, the Isle of Wight to Yorkshire. Trinity House, Great Britain’s lighthouse authority, has refurbished an amazing amount of lightkeepers homes and rents them out through Rural Retreats. You’re sure to find something for your romantic moments together. On the website, click on lighthouses at the left and you’ll be presented with the listing of accomodations. The photo at the right is Alderney Lighthouse in the Channel Islands, one of those available for rent.
Okay, so that was more than 15, since the last had 30. But even if you don’t get to a romantic lighthouse hideaway this Valentine’s Day, there’s always the next. Tell your sweetie to start saving (and booking now). Any other plans or places for lighthouse lovers to celebrate? Let us all know with your comments.
Photo Credits (Some rights reserved):
- Popham Beach (Dave in Maine)
- Cove Inn (James Jordan)
- Heceta Head (Ariel Amanda)
- Point Cabrillo (Thaths)
- East Brother (Tom Hilton)
- Sand Hill & Big Bay Point (Spring Chick)
- Negril (Mr. Haney)
- Corsewall (Jaypod)
- Cape Otway (Csett86)
- Harlingen (Stefan Schlautmann)
- Alderney (NeilAlderney123)
The other photos were taken from the respective websites and are copyright by those sites.