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(Photos by Dale Smith). The public keeps coming through the front door of Nuns & Roses Bed & Breakfast during the Dec. 12 "Tour and Taste" walk through the historic inns in downtown New Smyrna Beach as part of Christmas on Canal. As shown in this photo, visitors view the parlors on the first level before climbing stairs to the second level where the private suites are located.
Editor's note: The following story was submitted by contributing writer Dale Smith:
NEW SMYRNA BEACH – Four of the city’s most established overnight accommodations were decked out in their finest holiday attire earlier this month for a bed and breakfast "Tour and Taste" as part of Historic Canal Street's wrap-up of Christmas on Canal. They included Night Swan B&B on South Riverside Drive, Kelsey’s Riverview Inn on Flagler Avenue and The Longboard Inn and Nuns & Roses B& B, both on Washington Street.
From elegance to casual, each establishment on tour showed their wide appeal to anyone seeking short or long-term stays as we discovered during the Sunday, Dec. 12 event.
Here is a brief synopsis of each locale along the tour:
A view from the sitting room in the Captain’s Suite of the Night Swan affords guests a view of the Indian River. A Christmas tree is beuautifully decorated in the front parlor of the Night Swan.
The Night Swan B&B, 512 South Riverside Drive, is owned by Chuck and Martha Nighswonger. The couple bought the main house and two cottages in 1990, and in 1997, the Nighswongers purchased the Cygnet House next door, adding to their oasis on the Indian River.
Night Swan features 15 guest rooms, all with private baths and full breakfasts for overnight guests. Espresso, appetizers and desserts are available to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Night Swan, whose name is derived from the family’s name from Switzerland, started to receive the tour guests promptly at 2 p.m. Lines of curious folks darted to the expansive front porch through a light drizzle.
Once inside, they were not disappointed as they got to walk at their leisure through each room in all four buildings. The Nighswongers had a Christmas tree gaily decorated in the main parlor and other holiday trimmings throughout the homes. With the Indian River dotted with large sailboats and yachts anchored just across the road, the scenery from the rooms was breathtaking.
Dee and John Green have owned the Longboard Inn, 312 Washington St. and Nuns & Roses B&B, 213 Washington Street, for just over six years. While Dee welcomed the tour crowd at the Longboard, husband John was entertaining the visitors a block away at Nuns & Roses, originally known at Rose Villa.
Dee, from South Africa and a registered nurse, is not only the innkeeper at the Longboard Inn, but also is the chief cook.
John Green, propprietor of the Longboard Inn and Nuns & Roses, with his wife, Dee, is all smiles as he welcomes gursts to the Nuns & Roses.
“Some people say I’m a gourmet cook,” Dee Green said. “But I’m really just someone who likes to cook a lot.” Husband John is from England and was a captain on windjammer cruises. It was during one of those tours Dee and John started their new life together.
A table full of holiday goodies is prepared by Longwood Inn owner Dee Green. Here is the typival bedroom at the inn.
The Longwood Inn is more than 75 years old and has survived many hurricanes over the years. The home is perfectly suited for beach-goers and surfers. Between the two properties, there are eight rooms, all with private baths.
“We’re more casual here than at Nuns & Roses,” Dee Green said. The small, but elegant Victorian known today as Nuns & Roses B&B, was built in 1896.
The house went from being a family residence to a boarding house, to a nun’s retreat for the Catholic Church. It got its name from its original name, Rose Villa, and the nun’s retreat.
Renovated in 2006, the home provides a quiet, tranquil setting with what Dee Green calls “Caribbean charm.”
Perhaps the most defined and recognizable hotel in New Smyrna Beach is the Riverside Hotel, 103 Flagler Ave., located at the doorstep of the North Causeway drawbridge.
Overlooking the main lobby, people who came for the B&B Tour and Taste had the opportunity to view all of the inn’s accommodations.Elegance can be found on each level.
The hotel, today known as Kelsey’s Riverview Inn, was built in 1885. Over the years the building went from two stories to three and was once known as Barber Hotel, named after Captain S.H. Barber, who built the building and was once the bridge tender on the Indian River.
Jim and Christa Kelsey, former owners of the Faro Blanco Marine Resort in the Florida city of Marathon, bought the property in 1990, and have restored the iinn into what it is today.
The Riverview prides itself as the only hotel in New Smyrna Beach with its open world class spa, waterfront restaurant, marina and gift shop. There are 18 guest rooms, all with private baths and features an expanded continental breakfast, complimentary bicycles, and a heated pool.
EDITOR's NOTE: NSBNEWS.net hopes you enjoyed this write-up as we appreciate the hospitality shown us by the organizers of Christmas on Canal during this 2010 holiday season. NSBNEWS.net provided "exclusive coverage" of all of the events related to Christmas on Canal.
Want to know more about these wonderful inns, please Contact them directly:
Night Swan B&B
512 South Riverside Drive
312 Washington St.
Nuns & Roses
B&B 213 Washington St.
Kelsey’s Riverview Inn
103 Flagler Ave.
About the contributing writer:
Dale Smith is a resident of New Smyrna Beach, who has reported on local news in Volusia County since October 2009. His writing background includes a mix of journalism and public relations in several community newspapers and a p.r. firm in northern Virginia. He attended Barton Academy in Barton, Vt., and the Cambridge (Mass.) School of Broadcasting for radio & TV broadcasting.