Amish Country, Ohio: lodging from luxury to family-friendly

Inn at Honey Run, common area

Inn at Honey Run, common area

Amish country in Ohio is a rural landscape of rolling hills, picturesque farms and two-lane roads that wind through small towns such as Charm, Berlin, and Sugar Creek. Here’s where the largest Amish population in the world lives, cheese is abundant, and tourism thrives. Happily, the lodging bounty runs from quaint B&Bs to family-owned hotels and well-known chains.

Heini's cheese found in Berlin and Sugar Creek

Heini’s cheese found in Berlin and Sugar Creek

Several establishments,  such as the Inn at Honey Run between Millersburg and Berlin, pair overnight stays with an Amish experience. Known for its award-winning dining and tucked-in-the-woods luxury of polished wood and stone fireplace details, the Inn at Honey Run has a package that includes an Amish buggy ride.

While not touring the countryside around Millersburg, the inn’s hiking and biking trails, common areas and upscale spa offer relaxation and respite from the tourist buzz.  Room options range from a king room to cottages. Each are appointed with plush bedding, towels and furniture that gives individual rooms their own aesthetic appeal. Rates start at $199 and include a continental breakfast.

The last time I was here, I was researching drinks to drive to. The inn’s restaurant’s bar serves signature libations, some that change with the seasons. Chef Scott Fetty is known for his blend of upscale American cuisine fused with a French and southern flair.

Although the Inn at Honey Run is geared for couples or friends who are get-a-way  from the crowd type travelers,  there are other hotels that lean towards family-fun.

Overlooking the Doughty Valley

Overlooking the Doughty Valley

This past weekend, I did an Amish country jaunt and came upon three hotels among several that are not far from each other. Each are worthy of consideration depending upon your desires. Like the Inn at Honey Run, none are chains. Between them the variety of rooms is impressive from non-fussy simplicity to polish and snap.

The Guggisberg Swiss Inn, just outside of Charm, is perched on a hill overlooking the Doughty Valley. The inn’s location and ambiance is perfect for families looking for warm hospitality and a horse encounter within a close drive to tourist hot-spots.  This establishment has its own riding stables where horses roam the property.

With spring approaching and summer close behind, a 45 minute guided horseback ride is a pleasant way to take in the scenery. Because trips are limited to two to five people, personal attention allows for non-seasoned riders to have fun as well. Children must be 7 or older, however and riders over 250 pounds are also not allowed to saddle up.

Rooms at the Guggisberg Swiss Inn range from standard double rooms with two double beds to jacuzzi suites.  Room rates are lowest from Nov. 1 to May 9.  Currently,  standard rooms are $99.95 a night. On May 10, the price jumps to $129.95 and in the fall, this room goes for $149. As with the Inn at Honey Run, breakfast is included in the room rate. For reservation page, click here. Guggisberg Swiss Inn, 5025 Route 557,  Millersburg, 877-467-9477

Berlin Hotel and Suites offers plenty to do

Berlin Hotel and Suites offers plenty to do

If an indoor pool, hot tub, private movie theater with over 300 movies from which to choose, social gathering areas and a racket ball room are of interest, then consider the Berlin Hotel and Suites. This hotel, outside Berlin, caters to everyone from couples to wedding parties to families looking for a place to keep everyone busy.

Depending upon whether a stay is a weekday or a weekend, rates are from $62.95 for an economy room with double beds to $188.95 for the Presidential Suite with a king bed. Although the complimentary breakfast at the Berlin Hotel and Suites is called continental, the offerings are abundant. Oatmeal, make-yourself-waffles, sausage patties and eggs are included.  Plus, coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available 24/7. To reserve a room, click here or call. Berlin Hotel and Suites- 5330 County Road 201, Millersburg, 888-621-1967.

Berlin Village Inn, simplicity and comfort

Berlin Village Inn, simplicity and comfort

For another budget-friendly, low-keyed version of an Amish country stay, try Berlin Village Inn. Located just on the outskirts of Berlin but within walking distance to its shops and eateries, this 22-room hotel offers homey comfort and cleanliness.  A continental breakfast of coffee, juice, cereal,  fresh fruit and pastries from a local bakery is complimentary. And, the mini-fridge in each room is perfect for keeping the cheese and trail bologna bounty you might have purchased cold. To reserve a room at the Berlin Village Inn, 5135 State Route 39, Berlin, 800-869-7571, click here. Room rates are $55 to $95.

You can’t visit Amish country without buying cheese. Along with the Amish,the Swiss settled this part of Ohio. Baby Swiss is a specialty. On this trip, I stopped at Guggisberg Cheese where sampling several of the many flavors is a must.

Post and photos (except for the Inn at Honey Run photo) is courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association. The Honey Run photo is courtesy of Inn at Honey Run.

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