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

Todos Santos Inn 02 (from their site) | Advocate.com

Right: The Todos Santos Inn

At first
Stoltzfus thought it would be a challenge to be a gay couple
in a small Mexican town but that turned out to be far
from true. They found urbanites to locals in sleepy,
colonial town a cinch. “The community accepted
us immediately,” says Stoltzfus, “and we were
pleasantly surprised that in the end we turned to out
to be one of several gay couples living in the
area.”

Five years after
making the plunge, Stoltzfus feels that being an
innkeeper is what he was meant to do. And despite being away
from the large gay community in Los Angeles, he has
never regretted the choice to open an inn that
draws a mostly straight clientele. As he puts it,
“Todos Santos Inn is open to all and run by a gay
man.” He points out that while gay men may have
some extra hospitality skills, anyone, gay or
straight, can be a great innkeeper. He adds, “When I
look around any given night at tables full of happy
guests, there's no greater feeling of
satisfaction.”

Casitas Laquita Inn 01 (publicity) | Advocate.comAbove: The Casitas Laquita Inn

Even inns in
traditional gay enclaves are attracting straight guests.
Across the border in über-gay Palm Springs, Calif.,
Joanna Funero and Denise Roberson run an adorable
hacienda-style inn called Casitas Laquita. The couple
have run their 15-room lesbian–friendly spot for
about nine years, and unlike the town's clothing-optional
places, they welcome both genders and straight
folks.

"Our clientele
tends to be lesbians, but we’ve had lesbians with
their guy friends, transgendered folks, married straight
folks," Robertson says. "We’re open to
anyone.” What do they all have in common? They
want to come back to this relaxed getaway draped in
bougainvillea. The atmosphere is not sexually
charged. And with kitchens in the units, the inn
caters to quieter folks who like to stay in at night.

Casitas Laquita Inn 02 (publicity) | Advocate.comAbove: The Casitas Laquita Inn

Roberson and
Funero say they still love the choice they made to
escape Los Angeles and run a little inn in the desert. They
admit, though, that the job can get tiring.
“We like people, so we enjoy it,” says
Roberson. “But it’s like having guests
in your house every day.”

Back in
Litchfield County, Conn., Ira Goldspiel has learned his
lesson from his skinny-dipping scenario. He’s
now pulling back a bit to give himself more personal
time. On those infrequent nights when he has no
guests, he unplugs the phones, turns out all the lights, and
shuts off the "Open" sign. With light solely from
candles, he and his boyfriend hunker down in the lakes
suite and soak in the extra-large claw-footed tub
before jumping into the king-size bed. After all, Ira
says, "even innkeepers need a romantic
getaway.”

Tags: Travel

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