Chattalocal: A Night In At The Inn

November 20, 2018

My go-to vacation (besides Disney) is usually somewhere tropical and involves a lot of frozen cocktails and copious amounts of guac. But living in landlocked TN, getaways like that involve a ton of planning & at least a full week off from work. Sometimes you need a getaway but you can’t fully get away so taking a mini staycation is the perfect solution to get that R&R fix.

When I travel, I like to switch up the usual hotel routine & go for an Airbnb, which can often be a much more personal experience. Don’t get me wrong - I absolutely love hotels & resorts, especially when there is an amazing pool involved (& we’ve already established I have a thing for hotel lobbies), but opting for an Airbnb instead can offer some pretty amazing & unique accommodations (think vintage airstreams, luxurious treehouses, & tiny homes in remote locations).

Recently we got the chance to check out the Inn at the Gray Dove, an Airbnb located just outside Chattanooga, in Ooltewah, TN. The Inn is a newly renovated 1920s farmhouse, situated on a 40 acre farm with a picturesque backdrop of the mountains. The Inn is actually part of The Gray Dove, which is a wedding venue - but it's not just for brides! Anyone in need of a getaway can book this beautiful & charming little farmhouse.

Check-in was incredibly easy with the pin codes provided ahead of time. The first thing I noticed when walking in was how cute everything was (it's as if Pinterest & Joanna Gaines had a baby). Talk about aesthetic! The Inn is basically furnished exactly how I would decorate my own home (if Barry let me add things like fur pillows, pink blankets, & gold glitter coffee tables).

The Inn provides your usual amenities like cable, wifi, and ample parking, but there are some other features that make the Inn the perfect little retreat. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, it's very functional. There are 3 bedrooms (all gorgeously decorated, but I would expect nothing less than perfect from the owner, Melissa), plus the sofa turns into a bed so you can comfortably sleep 7 people here. There are 2 full baths and numerous mirrors (which would make getting ready with your girlfriends all at the same time totally do-able), including a giant full-size one in the kitchen that was pretty much made for selfies.

The living room also has a desk, which would make the perfect spot to work or blog on the go. With so much well-planned space, I can absolutely see this place as a great spot for a girls getaway weekend, oldschool slumber party crash pad, or a blogger retreat, perhaps!? And while the Inn isn't pet friendly, it is most definitely family & baby friendly, which was a huge bonus for us (a Pack 'n Play is stored in the closet for use, if needed).

Sweater: c/o xomandysue (sold out); similar: Haven Top & AE Cropped Sweater | Over the knee boots: Go Jane

Then there are the personal touches & bonuses (this where an Airbnb can totally trump a hotel). We were provided a s'mores kit to enjoy fireside - because oh yeah, there's an outdoor fireplace. Notice I said fireplace, not pit. This thing is legit! It's original to the property and is the oldest standing remnant of the former farm. I think it's pretty cool that it's still functional after all this time!

Since Lilly was already asleep by the time we checked in (& I was not about to poke the bear by waking her!), we sadly didn't get to enjoy the s'mores & missed out on chilling fireside, but bonus points to the Inn for providing that nice little perk!

Instead, we opted for getting takeout & a nice bottle of wine. The Inn is pretty centrally located within Ooltewah, and one of our favorite spots, Cambridge Square, is just about 5 minutes from the Inn. There you'll find several eateries where you can grab a bite, or bring it back to enjoy in private (Il Primo is one of our favorites.)

The next morning, we my husband slept in (HA! I'm up at 7:00am every day because I have an infant & my body is now permanently hardwired to get up when she wakes up). But it was just as well, because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to check out the grounds, since it was dark when we checked in the night before. So I donned my rainy-day finest, and went for a walk.

This place has some stunning views, and plenty of space for outdoor activities (like swinging)! They also do yoga sometimes (provided by Yoga East) in the wedding pavilion, and that is open to anyone.

The Inn provides a Keurig & coffee, so you can enjoy a cuppa on the porch. But if you need double coffee like me, be sure to check out 4 Corners Cafe nearby. They have a great breakfast selection (ask for your muffin warmed on the grill!) and delicious coffee (like the iced mint latte). If you're feeling fancy - because hey, you're technically on vacation - they also have gelato (who says you can't have ice cream for breakfast?) I stuck with coffee, but next time, gelato, it's on!

If you've stuck with me this far, I applaud you. If you skipped all of my rambling and just looked at the photos (I see you!), then just know you'll definitely want to put this place on your getaway list!

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