Bernadine's Stillman Inn is a Historic Bed and Breakfast Mansion in romantic Galena, Illinois. Located in Jo Daviess County in the far Northwest corner of Illinois, this Historic Inn is not far from the Mississippi River. Enjoy a river cruise or walk through the many antique shops and stores in Galena.
Feb 25, 2011 - "It was my first time at a Bed and Breakfast and Dave made it a special and memorable stay."
Accomplishments & Awards:
2011 "Talk of the Town" Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction - 4 Star Rating
TripAdvisor 2010-2013 Certificate of Excellence Award
2010 CMUS "Talk of the Town" Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
Bed and Breakfast.com "Best B&B in the Great Lakes 2009-2010"
BnB Finder "Property of Distinction" 2008
"Superior Bed and Breakfast" 2008
Our B & B is the perfect place for Weddings or Private Parties!
Located in town across from Grant's home and just three Blocks from Main Street
Members:PAIIIBBAGalena Chamber of CommerceJo Daviess Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sorry, no pets. Smoking is allowed on covered porches and grounds only.
Call for more information about our Special Rates!!!
Call Dave directly with any questions or to reserve your room! Toll Free 1-866-777-0557
Bernadine & Dave
"Not a problem. You're gonna love it!" -Dave
"I was skeptical at first but I loved my stay at Bernadine's Stillman Inn. It was my first B&B experience and I plan on always staying in a B&B when I travel. I really liked coming to breakfast in my robe and Dave & Bernadine made us feel right at home!" -Chicago Police Officer 2004
It can be a little intimidating staying in "someone's home" but once you try it you'll see it's so much better than any other lodging option. First time B&B guests have several concerns and we'll try to clear up some of the misconceptions and give you tools to use when selecting a B&B that will assure you a successful visit.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
The most frequent concerns we hear are "I will feel like I'm intruding on the family that lives there" and "I won't have any privacy". The size of the B&B or Inn has a lot to do with the answers to those questions. For example, here at Bernadine's we have 6,700 square feet of living space. We have our private quarters on the third floor and in the lower level. At no time do the guests walk through our private living areas. We have a large parlor where we serve breakfast and it has a seating area where guests can meet if they'd like. That is where we serve our cookies, popcorn, evening cordials and more. We are fortunate that this room is located at the back of the Inn so a guest can choose to mingle or not. We once had a couple check in for a 4 day stay. Except for at check in we never saw them again. They didn't want to come to the parlor for breakfast and enjoyed total privacy during their stay. If you see that the B&B is like an average ranch size home, then you may end up going through the innkeepers living room to get to your bedroom. They expect this and are usually comfortable with it. Feel free to ask your innkeeper what the situation is in their B&B!
How To Choose A B&B
Click on "How to Choose A B&B" for a handy guide you can use when selecting a B&B. This has helped many of our guests think of comfort issues they may not have thought of asking. Print it out and use it whenever you are searching for a B&B. This helps cover some of the most basic questions and begin to make you feel more comfortable about your choice.
about how they decorate, serve, etc.
Two Best Tips when choosing a B&B
1. Be sure to look at the B&B's website. They should have one and it should show pictures of the house, the grounds and rooms, prices and hopefully a picture of your hosts. This is very handy to check out the décor. Make sure it is decorated in a style you're comfortable in.
2. Next, call the innkeeper. If they are friendly and welcoming on the phone they will usually be that way in person. Do they seem interested in taking your reservation or are you bothering them?
B&B Guest Etiquette & interesting B&B facts
I haven't seen one B&B or Inn that has a full time receptionist checking people in and answering calls 24 hours a day 7 days a week. B&B's are small family run businesses with an average of 5 rooms to rent. Whoever owns the business usually answers the phones, checks you in and makes you breakfast. If you are calling a B&B, it would be helpful to do it after the busy breakfast rush (usually 10:30am) and before 9pm at night. If you call in the middle of the night you will most likely be waking the owner up.
More and more B&B's are providing online reservation requests for you night owls. On average, a B&B owner will check their reservation requests and emails one to four times a day. I don't know any yet who can afford to hire someone to sit at the computer waiting for an email to respond to! Sometimes we go through busy seasons that keep us from responding as quickly as we'd like to. Email is not perfect and sometimes we never receive an email someone says they have sent and sometimes people don't receive our emails. So if it's a property you're really interested in and you don't get a response via email, try one more time!
You should be given a key to come and go as you please. This would be another good question to ask before making your reservation.
Cancellation policies are tough. Having only a few rooms to rent, if a guest cancels at the last minute it is very unlikely an innkeeper will be able to refill that room meaning they loose the income. That is why most inns have strict cancellation policies and enforce them. Be sure you know their policies before making the reservation. Think of how upset you'd be if they didn't keep their end of the contract and the guaranteed room wasn't available for you when you arrived.
Why a two night minimum? Many B&B's have a two night minimum on the weekends. This is because if a lot of people were to come in on a Friday they would not get there until late and do not want to pay for a room if they don't check in until say 10pm. They'd rather get an early start Saturday morning and hopefully check in early. The problem is if a B&B rents only a Saturday night they will more than likely not be able to rent the Friday night. B&B's generally don't make a lot of money and live for the weekends. Taking a one night only would cut the income for that room in half and most B&B's can't stay in business that way.
Be sure to let your innkeepers know if you plan on bringing a pet. Some B&B's will allow you to bring your pet but most won't. There are many reasons for this. The biggest reason is because a lot of times we get a guest who is allergic to animal hair and there is simply no easy way of getting rid of every little hair Fido leaves in a room.
Be sure to ask if breakfast is included. Believe it or not some B&B's don't serve breakfast, some don't serve breakfast midweek, so be sure to ask. There are a few basic types of breakfasts that a B&B will serve. In most B&B's you have no food choice. You get what they serve. Ask beforehand what they are planning to serve. Let them know ahead of time if you have any food allergies.
Family Style - everyone sits down together at a specific time (usually 8:30am) and gets served plates of food to pass around which could vary from one entrée to three, fruit, juice, coffee, etc. Sometimes your plate will be prepared and delivered to you. You generally don't have a choice of what you will have.
Continental - You show up between a specific range of time and enjoy fruit, pastries, coffee, juice, muffins and breads. Depends on the B&B but usually limited to these types of items.
Buffet - You show up between a specific range of time and enjoy a variety of casseroles, fruits, breads, pastries, cereal for example. Better be there early because the food can run out or get dried out pretty fast.
Made to Order - Here at Bernadine's Stillman Inn and an embarrassingly few other B&B's, you arrive between a certain period of time whenever you'd like and we take your order after serving you hot coffee and orange juice. We offer two entrees every day (one egg recipe like omlettes and one syrup recipe like pancakes) and you can have one or the other or both. You get to keep ordering until you are full and your food is hot off the griddle. Pastries and fruit are also available and we rotate our menu daily.
Breakfast in bed Some B&B's offer this and some charge a small fee for the preparation, setting up of a place to serve you in the room, delivery, clean up, etc. Breakfast in bed can be fun but the real treat of staying at a B&B is the pampering and service that can go into the event. A good innkeeper will make comfortable introductions and get the conversation rolling! I encourage you to give communal dining a try, it's what we specialize in!
Will the innkeeper be there for breakfast? Overwhelmingly our guests want to meet the innkeepers and are disappointed with their visits to other inns where they did not get to meet them. If this is important to you this would be another great question to ask your host before making the reservation.
Does the innkeeper live on site? The majority of the innkeepers we know live on site. A small percentage hire someone in to stay at the house or to come to make breakfast for you. Many towns require that the B&B's be owner occupied. We always love it when the innkeeper is around when we stay at a B&B. No one else cares about the place as much as the innkeeper and you usually get better service when they are there but then again, we've stayed at places with no one living there and that can be fun as well!
Staying at a B&B can be very relaxing and great fun. We have many return guests that have made the Stillman Inn their "Home away from Home" and we just love seeing familiar faces. If you ask the right questions and take time in selecting a B&B that fits your style we are certain you will never stop choosing a B&B wherever you travel!
It's been a pleasure helping you sort through the facts and we hope we can meet you one day!
Candles Due to strict fire codes we do not allow candles burning in any of the rooms.
Leaving Early If you are unable to stay for the length of your planned stay we will be happy to give you a gift certificate for the difference you paid. You have up to one year to plan your return visit to complete your stay with us. We require a two night minimum stay on the weekends and holidays.
Gift Certificates Gift certificates are available for purchase in any amount "towards a stay" at the Stillman Inn. Gift certificates are charged at the time they are made. Gift certificates are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable. Most weekend reservations require a two night stay. Rooms based on availability. Gift certificates cannot be split between two or more visits. Gift recipients are responsible for paying any additional room rate increases. Gift certificates can be used in the Inn, Restaurant or Gift Shop.
Refunds We do our very best to make sure your stay at the Stillman Inn is delightful. No refunds will be issued for complaints if we are not given a reasonable amount of time to correct what is found to be a problem with your stay. We cannot be held responsible for acts of God which limits the use of the room during your stay, for example the cable TV goes out, the VCR breaks down, acts of nature such as an occasional fly, etc.
Room Cleaning We have staff available to clean rooms from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If your "Maid Service" sign is posted after 3 p.m., we cannot guarantee your room will be cleaned. Please contact the owners to make arrangements if you need a later time for "Maid Service".
Check In & Check Out Check In is by appointment and can be as soon as the room is cleaned and available. Check Out is 11a.m.
Room Rates and Package Prices Are subject to change at any time without notice. Your room or package rate will not be raised once you have made a definite booking. If you cannot complete your stay and return at a later date, you are responsible for paying any differences in possible new room rates.
Time of Room Charge We accept Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. We also accept cash. Checks only if prepaid in enough time to clear your account. You are not charged your room fee until check in.
Leave Something behind? Please give us a call as soon as possible regarding the lost item. If found, we will package it up and bring it to the Post Office as quickly as possible. Before sending the package we will get your permission to return the item and charge the Postage and handling fee to your card. We charge the price of the postage plus $5 for packaging and taking it to the Post Office. Items left for 30 days will be destroyed.
Room Cancellation Policy We require a 14 days notice by phone at 866 777-0557 to cancel your reservation. At time of cancellation we will issue you a cancellation number that should be used in any future references to your reservation. If cancellation is made less that 14 days from your reservation and we are unable to re-rent your room you are responsible for paying for the room. When reserving three or more rooms, a 30 day cancellation notice is required. Some special event weekends also require a 30 days cancellation notice. You will be informed of this time requirement when making your reservation. We reserve the right to charge a $25 cancellation fee.
Smoking Policy No cigarettes, pipes or cigars are permitted in the mansion. Smoking is permitted on the grounds and covered porches of the Inn.
Children Children over 12 are welcome.
Pet Policy No pets are allowed in the Stillman Inn. We have 2 dogs at the inn, a pug and a maltese. They stay in our private quarters.
Holidays Some weekends and Holidays require a three night stay at the weekend rate. Most weekends require a two night stay at the weekend rate be it Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun. Most October weekends require a three night stay at the weekend rate be it Thu/Fri/Sat or Fri/Sat/Sun or Sat/Sun/Mon.