Situated on a sprawling corner lot just blocks away from the town square is Belle Oaks Inn, a luxurious Texas bed and breakfast in Gonzales, Texas. It is where my daughter and I enjoyed a recent girl’s weekend, but it’s also THE spot for any stay in Gonzales, whether a girl’s getaway, romantic anniversary weekend stay, or a visit during the annual Come and Take It Festival.
(We enjoyed our visit to Belle Oaks Inn and Gonzales, Texas as part of a sponsored campaign, and I’ve got all the information on this historic destination).
Small towns hold quite a bit of charm. Though a big city girl most of my life, I find I’m often drawn to these small towns – the natural beauty, the hidden gems, and most of all, the people. Gonzales, Texas has a population of just over 7,000, but it draws travelers from all across the state (and as I’ve recently learned, all across the world). Why? History and southern charm.
Where to Stay in Gonzales, Texas – Belle Oaks Inn
Truth be told, I’m one who stays in hotels and resorts during most of my travels. Every now and then, though, I will stay at a smaller, more intimate inn or bed and breakfast, that will forever hold a place in my heart. Belle Oaks Inn is such a place.
History of Belle Oaks Inn
As we pulled up to Belle Oaks Inn, my daughter was sure we were staying at The White House. With gigantic white columns in front, American flag, and circular drive, it was clear this place would be special.
We had noticed driving through Gonzales that there were many historic homes (and I took photographs of many), but I dare say Belle Oaks Inn was my favorite even before stepping inside.
The home, originally built by successful banker C.E. Dilworth in 1912, has been extensively renovated since under the control of current owner Clint Hille with the help of interior decorator Ken Berryhill. Previously known as the C.E. Dilworth house, it’s been called Belle Oaks Inn since 2002 when it welcomed guests.
Architect J. Riely Gordon originally designed the home in Greek Revival style, and it stands out as one of the most beautiful historic homes in Texas.
The history is fascinating. While oftentimes a private residence, in 1951 the house was purchased to serve as a home for doctors and nursing staff. When polio was cured, the staff was no longer needed and the home sold and was converted back to a private residence. It has been home to only five families in its 100-year existence.
As if the main entrance of Belle Oaks Inn wasn’t impressive enough, the grounds of the property were quite something to explore.
An L-shaped porch features prominently on both the downstairs and upper levels, complete with rocking chairs.
As I walked the property, I felt as if I was on a southern plantation in a Hollywood movie from a bygone era.
While not common, Belle Oaks Inn does open it’s doors/grounds for weddings or parties every now and then. It’s easy to see why.
The lawns are huge. An unexpected swimming pool hides in the back. Other than the main house, there are outer buildings such as a carriage house and greenhouse.
You’ll find benches and statues around every corner along with a Koi pond and stone fountain.
It was so peaceful just strolling around under the live oak and pecan trees.
But let’s take a look inside…
Inside Belle Oaks Inn
From the outside alone we were impressed, but what happened when we stepped inside?
The insides matched the outside. The same southern charm we saw as we pulled up was exhibited in every room of the inn.
There’s a reason children under 12 aren’t allowed – antiques are everywhere, and it is apparent how much time and attention has gone into every room, every detail.
Downstairs rooms include a formal living area and library.
Though we only passed by the kitchen, I was drooling when we did.
Two eating areas were available for use – the formal dining room with crystal chandelier and artwork, and the breakfast room, a bright cheerful room with table and faux cowhide chairs.
An extra-large butler’s pantry is where we found our complimentary breakfast and drinks each morning.
Full gourmet breakfast always included something hot, something sweet and plenty of options. Best of all, it’s self-serve, so whether you are an early bird or love sleeping in, you can enjoy it fully.
As we stayed in Gonzales during the most popular weekend of the year for the Come and Take It festival, Belle Oaks Inn was at capacity.
We were fortunate to stay upstairs, in one of the rooms overlooking the front of the inn with round portico.
The room was warm and inviting, complete with fireplace, refrigerator stocked with cold drinks (much appreciated after a day of sightseeing), and private bathroom. The door had its own lock so we could come and go as we pleased.
We enjoyed the sitting area in the room and spent plenty of time looking at all the artwork and antiques.
A beautiful private bathroom was inside our suite with bath/shower, toilet, and sink.
Belle Oaks Inn even had their own toiletries.
Turn down service was a nice surprise when we arrived back in the evening.
The comforter and decorative pillows were removed. Warm cookies were on a side table in a domed container (WHAT?). And a printed sweet message awaited us on our bed, a prayer for “The Stranger Within Our Gates”.
Why Guests Return Year After Year
It was easy to see why couples return year after year to this destination, to Belle Oaks Inn. Before leaving I had the chance to speak with one such couple, Rick and Fiona Koch from San Antonio, Texas, who stayed in a suite opposite mine. This happened to be their 4th visit to Belle Oaks Inn, and it was clear they will be coming back.
The couple were specifically visiting Gonzales for the Come and Take It festival, having invited friends from Alberta, Canada along the way. They shared how much the history of Gonzales meant to them personally and how they fell in love with Belle Oaks Inn from the very first time they spotted it online. One thing is certain, they’ve become like family to owner Clint and those who manage the property, referring to even the children by name.
What do they love about Belle Oaks Inn most? How personal it is. They choose to stay in favorite suite if they can each visit, one filled with personal items of someone the Belle Oaks Inn family has loved and lost.
You won’t find this in a chain hotel or resort. I dare say you won’t find the feel you get while walking through the home in many other places.
Belle Oaks Inn is one of a kind.
I will never forget our stay at Belle Oaks Inn and highly recommend a visit to this very affordable gem in the heart of Gonzales, Texas.
Just one hour away from Austin or San Antonio, it’s a perfect weekend getaway.
NOTE: House tours and in-room massages are available by appointment. No pets allowed nor children under age 12. No smoking except outdoors.
Visit their website online to book a reservation.
STAY TUNED: On the blog soon I’ll be making a very special recipe, one that you just might find available for breakfast during a special stay at Belle Oaks Inn!
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