Historic Galena, tucked away in the northwest Illinois rolling hills, is the quintessential romantic getaway. During the day, guests visit historic sites or browse small shops housed in Main Street’s nineteenth century buildings. In the evening, after dining in one of Galena’s trendy restaurants, they retreat to romantic B&Bs and inns. We were recently invited to the Goldmoor Inn, located just minutes from downtown, to experience the inn’s first Artists in Residents program. One look at the inn, and I fell in love.
Castle overlooking the Mississippi River
As a child, I dreamed of living in a castle. Stone buildings, especially those with turrets, always grabbed my attention—and they still do. So when we pulled up to the European-style Goldmoor Inn, complete with turret, I was excited to stay there.
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I especially liked that there’s plenty of outdoor space at the Goldmoor Inn. After all, every castle needs acreage. Goldmoor Inn sits on 21 acres on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Besides the 13-suite inn, the Goldmoor Inn offers three cottages and two cabins.
Our suite at the Goldmoor Inn
Our suite was in a four-unit wing of the Goldmoor Inn. The two first-floor suites and two second-floor suites open to a two-level common space with access to an outdoor deck. This wing is perfect for couples traveling together or for a wedding party.
When we stepped into our room, the Arthur Suite, my jaw dropped. The room was by far the largest room we’ve stayed in at any inn—854 square feet. The room’s focal point, a heavy wood four-poster bed, is fit for a king. The fireplace and antique or antique-style knick-knacks peppered throughout the room complement the King Arthur theme.
Every castle has plenty of fireplaces, and the Goldmoor Inn is no exception. There’s a fireplace in every Goldmoor Inn unit—suite, cottage, and cabin. Every unit also has a two-person whirlpool tub and a convenient kitchenette with a sink, fridge, and microwave. The heated bathroom towel bar adds an extra touch of pampering.
Other Goldmoor Inn rooms
We had the pleasure of touring a few other suites during our stay. Each suite is decorated uniquely, yet all with the same amenities and charm.
One suite, aptly name Chef’s Quarters, is accessible only through the inn’s kitchen. The Chef’s Quarters suite is on the second floor of the A-frame portion of the inn. The suite runs end to end, from east to west, with floor-to-ceiling windows at each end. You can catch the sunrise on the private deck, or view the sunset over the Mississippi while sipping wine in the whirlpool.
The two-floor Turret Suite, with private entrance, is great for a special getaway or a bridal suite. Enjoy a romantic private meal on the first floor and then climb the spiral staircase to the second-floor bedroom.
We also toured the French Country cottage. Even in January, its light, elegant décor is reminiscent of a summer day. In warmer months the screened-in porch, which also overlooks the Mississippi, is a great place to wind down the day.
Both cabins, set a distance from the inn and cottages, were occupied during our stay, so we couldn’t see the inside. However, knowing the amenities in them, they’d be perfect for a secluded romantic getaway.
Goldmoor Inn dining
Breakfast is included with your stay at the Goldmoor Inn. You can choose to eat in the dining room or have your breakfast delivered to your room. We ate in the dining room both days. We took seats near the window where we watched cardinals and chickadees flutter and nibble their own meals as we ate.
Our breakfasts were waffles with wild blueberries one day and French toast with peaches the next. Breakfast included scones and muffins, plus yogurt and fresh fruit, a delicious start to our days.
The Goldmoor Inn is also open for dinner for both inn guests and non-guests. Executive Chef Ryan Mead changes the menu seasonally to incorporate in-season ingredients in his gourmet meals.
As a special treat, you can choose to sit in the kitchen at the Chef’s Table. From the Chef’s Table, which seats eight, you can watch Chef and his staff prepare dinner. Chef Mead is happy to answer questions and share some of his cooking secrets.
Chef Mead treated us to a special Chef’s Tasting dinner in the private dining room. We were served course after course of impeccably-plated gourmet fare.
Tara Mead, the pastry chef (and Chef Ryan’s wife) made the dessert, which included a refreshing green tea cheesecake.
When you stay at the Goldmoor Inn, I strongly recommend eating at least one dinner in the dining room.
Meet your Goldmoor Inn hosts
Birgit and Slobo Radin, the Goldmoor Inn’s welcoming hosts, bought the Goldmoor Inn a few years ago after an extensive search all over the United States for just the right place. Originally from Germany, the Radins loved the European style of the Goldmoor Inn. They also liked that it was a newer property and in good shape. The Radins added their own decorating touches.
Before we left for home, Slobo gave us a to-go package with two large oatmeal raisin cookies. Not cookies, Slobo told us, but “super food” to give us energy when we start getting tired on our long drive.
If you stay at the Goldmoor Inn
The Goldmoor Inn is located at 9001 W Sand Hill Road in Galena, Illinois, approximately seven miles south of downtown Galena. Check room rates
Disclosures: The Goldmoor Inn hosted our stay at the inn. My accommodations were complimentary; however, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book a room through the “Check room rates” link above, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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