Donna’s Premier Lodging in Ohio’s Amish Country

A gas fireplace is in every unit

A gas fireplace is in every unit

There’s nothing like opening a cottage door at a B&B resort and finding a twinkling Christmas tree, particularly after a foggy drive on country roads after dark. That’s how it is at Donna’s Premier Lodging in Berlin, Ohio in the heart of the Buckeye State’s Amish country. Owner Donna Golden has been anticipating guests’ needs for more than 25 years and she has it down to an art form. Even if you arrive after she’s gone home, the warm welcome is still on hand.

donnas-outsideBefore I headed to my cottage, I’d stopped by the main building where Donna told me I’d find the key. Sure enough, a white welcome bag with my name on it was waiting for me. The key was accompanied with homemade cookies, two clementines and a hand-written “see you tomorrow” note.

Along with the Christmas tree, I found everything I needed for an R&R stay. The gas fireplace with directions on how to work it, the CD player with CDs, the soft lighting, and the plush throw draped over the couch, were settle in for the night essentials. Each are included in the 17 units that make up this small resort.

The units also include a Jacuzzi for two, TVs that don’t take over the room vying for attention, and a kitchenette with a coffee maker and microwave. Some units have stoves as well. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate mix and popcorn are included. Custom made stoneware mugs and champagne glasses for those with romance in mind are just a few of Donna’s thought out touches.

Decor changes often depending upon Donna’s purchases. Whenever she is at one of her favorite stores, she buys whatever catches her eye and then figures out where to put it later on. As she told me, the idea is to stay current and fresh. The results are homey and tasteful comfort with plenty of happiness producing items.

Because the resort caters to couples there are add-ons for any occasion. Flower petals and candles placed around the Jacuzzi along with chocolate covered strawberries and champagne are one romance minded addition. There is a cheese and cracker plate for a do-it-yourself picnic in front of the fire, and you can also order various flower arrangements and romance inspired games. Through the winter, as long as there’s a 3-inch snow base, you can add in a horse drawn sleigh ride.

Decor tends to capture, upbeat and happy

Decor tends to capture, upbeat and happy

Because of the proximity to Amish farms, Donna and her staff can also arrange for farm visits and buggy rides. Berlin is an excellent hub for such ventures. This small, walk-able town is also perfect for browsing its antique and folk art type stores.  Plus, since this is Amish country, head to a market for cheese, baked goods and jars of old-fashioned favorites like apple butter.

Another add-on year round is an in-room massage. Choose from Shiatsu, deep tissue, Swedish or relaxation massages. The accommodations have enough room for two massage tables, so make this a couple thing.

If you don’t have wine or beer with you, you’ll have to drive about 10 minutes to Millersburg. That’s what I did. After driving through fog–again, that beer tasted so good.

Donna's Premiere Lodging main building reception and common area

Donna’s Premier Lodging main building reception and common area

After a wonderful night sleep in a king-size Victorian mansion bed, I headed to the main building for a continental breakfast. The breakfast area where the reception desk is located also doubles as a shop where you can buy Donna’s Premiere Lodging stoneware mugs, candles, lotions and glycerin soaps–essentially anything one might need to replicate a romance inspired stay, but at home.  After the continental breakfast, the counter switches into a hot chocolate and snacks bar. Amish baked cookies are other accompaniments.

For an extra fee, you can order a hot country breakfast with a variety of menu choices. The country breakfast can be served in each unit.

A one room cottage makes for a cozy winter getaway.

A one room cottage makes for a cozy winter getaway.

Along with the two one-room cottages with private bathrooms, (I stayed in one of them), Donna’s Premier Lodging has several other options. In the main building there’s the Sauna Suite with a separate bedroom from the living room/kitchenette area and a sauna. Near the main building (where the cottages are located) are the villas and the Bridal Suites. The villas are two level Cape Cod style units. Bridal Suites are one floor units and are larger than the cottages. And, a mile from the main resort are five upscale, cedar cabins tucked in the woods.

No matter in which unit one stays, the mix of cedar wood ceilings, Amish-made furniture accents, and rich textured fabrics are simply lovely. Outdoor grills and patio furniture also come with each unit.

You can make reservations by calling 330/893-3068 or 800-320-3338 between 9 am and 8 pm or use the reservation link on the website. If you’re in the area, you can take a tour to check out the accommodations.

Downtown Berlin offers plenty of shopping for everything Amish and more

Downtown Berlin offers plenty of shopping for everything Amish and more

I’m definitely heading back and bringing my husband. This trip was a solo experience courtesy of Donna’s Premier Lodging. I stayed here as research for another article. As any guest who has stayed multiple times (I read my cottage’s guest book) can attest to, Donna Golden knows how to treat guests right. Many book their next stay at checkout.

Room rates range from$149 to $399 depending upon the unit, the day of the week, and the season.

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein

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