Inn Your Dreams

Credit the cubicle with inspiring throngs of gay people to dream of opening a bed-and-breakfast. But for those who actually ditch their 9-to-5 jobs for wake-up calls, the innkeeper life has its share of nightmares. Meet four gay couples from Connecticut to California who are living the dream.

BY Charles Runnette

September 11 2008 12:00 AM ET

Stevenswood Resort and Spa (from thier web site) | Advocate.com

Clinging to the
cliffs two hours north of San Francisco, the quaint town
of Mendocino -- with a population of just 800 -- is best
known for its TV appearances as the fictional Cabot
Cove, Maine, where Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury)
solved mysteries in her sensible shoes. It has no gay
bars and no lesbian coffeehouses. But a handsome
30-something gay couple own one of the better-known
local inns, Stevenswood Resort and Spa. Michael
Webster and Seth Kelman bought Stevenswood in 2004 and have
slowly transformed their pride and joy into a chic,
eco-friendly, 10-room property with an innovative spa
and notable restaurant deserving of its AAA
four-diamond status. But they don’t have many gay
guests.

“Gays
don’t generally go for cool misty mornings and foggy
afternoons,” jokes Kelman, who could pass
easily for Lance Bass’s older brother. But that
didn’t stop Kelman and Webster from snatching up this
place miles away from Fort Lauderdale, Provincetown,
and Palm Springs.

Having studied
the business for many years as hospitality management
consultants in Southern California, the couple started
their search for the perfect inn about 10 years ago.
They looked in New York, Vermont, France, Spain,
Italy, the Caribbean, and all over California, taking a
few key lessons into consideration: at least 10 rooms to
make a decent profit, room for improvements, and for
their personal satisfaction, located near a body of
water. But neither Webster nor Kelman considered the
gayness of the destinations as critical.

Of course, they
are quick to point out that they didn’t choose some
bigoted backwater to call home. “Being gay in
Mendocino is a nonissue,” says Webster.
“It’s a very, very liberal community with just
a handful of gays, but it couldn’t be less of a
thing here.” And that’s the way they
seem to like it: as the gay couple who own an inn that
appeals to both straights and gays in a town where gay
or straight is immaterial.

Todos Santos Inn (from their site) | Advocate.comAbove: Todos Santos Inn

John Stoltzfus
felt the same way when, out of the blue, with no prior
experience, he up and left Los Angeles and bought a charming
19th-century Mexican inn. He and his partner were
ready to escape their day-to-day lives and try
something dramatically different. So rather than doing
anything related to his previous experience running a
company that made dental hygiene products, he settled
on buying the Todos Santos Inn in the eponymous town
near the tip of the Baja peninsula. “It seemed like a
long shot,” says Stoltzfus, “but when we
came down and saw this charming town with its
artist-meets-surfer sensibility, we were convinced.”

Tags: Travel

AddThis

READER COMMENTS ()

Quantcast