I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a planner. Over the years, I’ve relaxed my planning style. I’ve come to appreciate that not all plans come to fruition and I’m learning to accept the beauty and life lessons that accompany altered plans.
So why am I talking about planning when this blog is supposed to be about information to know before I book? Simple. It’s about planning your getaway. We can appreciate there are many types of vacation planners out there, some of you have a free weekend and plan a getaway on the Wednesday before; some of you plan six months, a year, two years out; some people stay with us because they want a low-tech mountain retreat, and still, others only stay with us because we were on their way somewhere; some of you plan every minute of your trip, while others wing it when you get here. There are millions, billions of travelers, and you guys all travel for different reasons. And while we love all of you and want everyone to experience the wonders of unplugging in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the truth is it’s just not for everyone, and that’s okay. We would rather you have the amazing experience you were hoping for, which is why I’m writing this blog.
So, without further adieu, below are the four things you need to know before you book with Sugar Tree Inn.
1. Sugar Tree Inn is located in a rural area. Rural is cute. Rural is quaint. Rural is really far away from stuff. That’s right. We just want you to be aware and plan accordingly if you need to. I know, you’re looking at the miles on Google Maps, or some other map app, and you see ten miles to here, twenty miles to there, that’s not too bad. And it’s not. But in a world of interstates and straight roads, mileage on mountain roads takes a little adjusting. Case and point, my in-laws live six miles away; it takes twenty minutes to get to their house.
I also bring up the rural point, because inevitably you will need food. We are a bed and breakfast, so of course, a full country breakfast is included every morning of your stay. But what about dinners? We don’t serve dinner every night, though we do offer a hearty appetizer basket any day of the week with a little bit of notice, and the closest food source – Gerties’ Country Store where they serve burgers, BBQ, sandwiches, and the like – is down the mountain from us, about four and a half miles away. I’ll repeat. It is down the mountain from us and will take you about ten minutes to get there. Mountain driving bothers some people more than others, and sometimes once you finally pull in to our peaceful retreat you don’t want to leave right away to find food. Just throwing this out there so you can plan accordingly, or not. (If you are interested in learning more about the food options near us, I’d encourage you to read Top 3 Closest Restaurants to Sugar Tree Inn.)
One other small factor to consider in our rural destination: not all businesses are open 24/7. If you are coming here to hike, then obviously this won’t play a huge role in your planning. However, if you are coming to check out some of the unique shops and stops along the North Rockbridge Trail, business hours and days of operation will vary. So, again, you might want to check into it, or not.
2. Our Driveway. You’ve survived the windy mountain road with no street lights and no guardrails. The black and white Sugar Tree Inn sign on the side of Rt. 56 is your shining salvation. A sigh escapes your lips and color returns to your knuckles as you turn onto our driveway. You’ve made it. Oh look, there’s a house right here. Is that part of the lodge? I don’t remember seeing anything like that on the website. I’ll just follow the signs and sugar maple trail blazes on around. Pavement turns to gravel. You can’t make out a lodge, only woods and a one-way gravel road. Huh? Well, I can turn around later. The gravel ends, pavement begins again. Great, except now…
This is the moment you stop breathing, nearly snap your steering wheel in half, and pray to whomever you may pray to that this place better be worth it. Don’t worry, it is.
This is also the place where bango music begins to play and we snap a souvenir picture for you. I’m just kidding, we don’t really do that. But it would kind of be funny. (And this is the type of humor Russ and I have; we are your innkeepers. Plan accordingly.)
Seriously, all joking aside, our driveway isn’t that bad. Again, it’s all about expectations. We don’t want you to turn onto our driving thinking it’s a straight shot to the Lodge, there is a switchback and steep incline. If you are interested in learning more about our driveway, I’d encourage you to read A Q&A About Our Driveway.
3. No WIFI and no TV. This is pretty self-explanatory. But in this day of Free WiFi everywhere, we thought it worth noting. Before you panic though, we do have cell service up here, typically 4G. We don’t have a cell phone ban up here, but we do encourage you to unplug a little while you’re here to experience the low-tech wonders in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. (If you’d like to learn more about what we do have and what we don’t, I’d encourage you to read Accommodations: A View into Our Rooms.)
4. Collaboration with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. This year, in an effort to support our community and educate travelers on the importance of booking direct with your chosen lodging establishment, Sugar Tree Inn will make a donation to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation via its Parkway Plus program for every #bookdirect night we receive. (If you’d like to learn more about this collaboration, I’d encourage you to read 2020 Season of Gratitude and Giving: Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.)
And that is our list of top four things you need to know before you book with Sugar Tree Inn. If you’ve already booked and now you’re panicking, please reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-377-2197), we’ll see what we can do. At the end of the day, we just want you to have a great experience and if that’s not at our little mountain retreat, that’s okay.
We hope everyone stays safe and stays healthy. Until next time, we’re looking forward to your stay!