A free online encyclopedia about bed and breakfasts created and edited by travel writers

sign in or out

Ashley's Island House

Ashley's Island House is a bed and breakfast established on South Bass Island in Lake Erie—presently owned by Dave Schafer. Patrons can stay in one of the property's 13 accommodations, all of which are uniquely themed and provide a queen size bed, a private bathroom, and a TV. Every morning, breakfast is organized for everyone staying at the house. Dave intends to treat guests like they are a part of the family, and he tries to inform visitors about some of the attractions or activities that they might enjoy in the vicinity. For those who desire to explore the village of Put-in-Bay during their visit, Ashley's Island House rents golf carts for an additional fee. The property is within walking distance of downtown Put-in-Bay where a fairly wide range of restaurants, bars, and entertainment can be found.


Situated in the village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, Ashley's Island House is located in northern Ohio. The business offers a total of 13 guestrooms, 12 of which are found in the property's main building, while the other accommodation is a mini-suite that is found in a separate building at the back of the premises called the Carriage House. The mini-suite in the Carriage House sleeps up to six occupants and contains standard kitchen appliances, such as a refrigerator and a microwave. Every room is equipped with a queen size bed, a private ensuite bathroom, and a TV with about 130 available channels. It should also be noted that patrons have access to WiFi over the course of their stay.  

The main house is two stories high, with three rooms on the first floor and nine rooms on the second. One of the most unique elements of the bed and breakfast's character is that each accommodation's name reflects its theme. From the pictures hanging on the walls to the patterns of the bedding, the decor arrangement in the guestrooms corresponds with their given names. Dave Schafer—the owner of the establishment—says that the most popular accommodation out of all 13 rooms is the Lighthouse Room due to its larger size. Generally speaking, Dave estimates that the main house can lodge up to 30 people at a time.

In addition to the rooms that visitors can reserve, a number of common areas are found throughout the house as well. The house's front parlor is one such common area that contains two couches and a few rocking chairs for lounging. "When the weather isn't as nice outside, people gather in the parlor," Dave comments. Another notable common area is the front porch. Dave takes pride in this particular feature of the property on account of it being "rated the best front porch in the article of a magazine." He remarks that "people like to sit on the porch, watch the world go by, and meet the rest of the guests that are staying at Ashley's Island House." Moreover, several picnic tables are set up at the back of the premises where visitors can gather to eat, play games, or socialize.

Breakfast is served in the dining room every morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. This meal typically consists of scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese omelets, hash browns, waffles, french toast, English muffins, bagels, danishes, cereal, oatmeal, pop tarts, fruit cups, pineapple, blueberries, bananas, and apples. With regard to those who have dietary restrictions or food allergies, Dave believes that the selection of breakfast options that are provided "has enough variety for everyone to find something to eat." On some occasions, Dave serves tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers that were grown from the on-site garden.

Ashley's Island House has eight golf carts that patrons can rent during their stay for an additional fee. These golf carts are available for the general public to rent as well. Dave also has a few old-fashioned coaster bikes for guests to borrow for free. Ashley's Island House is within a five-minute walk from the downtown area, where a number of restaurants, bars, and attractions are featured. Dave mentions that people can also tour some of the state parks on South Bass Island. One particular site that Dave suggests is Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial, which he reports commemorates the War of 1812 and the Battle of Lake Erie. 

Furthermore, live entertainment frequently takes place in different parts of Put-in-Bay from June to September. According to Dave, the musicians that perform at these events come from various parts of the United States. For those who take an interest in live music, Dave says that he can inform visitors about where the bands are playing. As for nearby outdoor recreation, Lake Erie often serves as a hot spot for fishing and boating. In view of the many attractions that are found on South Bass Island, Dave describes the location as a "tourist island." The village of Put-in-Bay additionally contains an arrangement of dining options. Some of the specific restaurants that Dave recommends to his patrons include the Goat, the Reel Bar, and the Forge.


With regard to how Dave Schafer, the owner of Ashley's Island House, wants people to feel when they stay at his property, he expresses, "I want them to treat the house like it's their own." He further explains that in terms of how he sees visitors, he lives by the following statement: "The first time you visit, you are a guest; the second time you come, you are a friend; the third time you visit, you are family." Dave ultimately has the goal of allowing his patrons to feel like they are comfortable enough to ask him any questions and to express any concerns that they might have during their stay. He also wants people to give him feedback on how he can improve the overall experience for future visitors. An individual who previously stayed at the property commented in a review about their stay, as they remarked, "We felt so welcomed and Dave took the time to give us a tour and a bit of history. Breakfast was nothing short of amazing. Located close enough to walk everywhere and quiet enough to enjoy the front porch."

The establishment's accommodations can be reserved throughout its season of operation from April 22nd to October 22nd. Dave observes that the bed and breakfast tends to experience its busiest time of year from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The typical demographic of those who stay at Ashley's Island House primarily encompasses people between the ages of 55 to 75 years old, and about 80% of guests are returning patrons.

A few policies are implemented at the bed and breakfast, which everyone is expected to conform to over the course of their stay. With the intent to preserve the house's historical significance, dogs are not permitted to stay on-site. For the same reason, smoking is prohibited inside the buildings; however, there are designated areas in the front and back yards of the property for people to smoke at their leisure. While there are no appointed quiet hours each night, Dave mentions that he will let people know if they need to be quieter—though he generally has not had an issue with noise. Lastly, children under the age of six are prohibited from staying at Ashley's Island House.


As a 160-year-old establishment, Ashley's Island House bears historical significance. Originally owned by the Doller family, who constructed the building, the home was first built to serve as a boarding house in 1863. The present owner of the business, Dave Schafer, explains the property's history, as he mentions that throughout the 19th century when there was a bad storm on the lake, people would moor their boats along the harbor in the bay because it protected them from these storms. As such, the boat crews would often stay in the boarding houses on the island, one of them being Ashley's Island House. The present name was given to the property roughly 32 years ago by the previous owners, Bob and Judy Bransome, who named it after their daughter, Ashley. Bob and Judy were also the ones who converted the home into a bed and breakfast business.

Dave Schafer took ownership of Ashley's Island House in 2016. Prior to purchasing the property, he stayed at this bed and breakfast 20 times within 5 years. Dave was led to enter the lodging industry as he was "looking for something to do when [he] retired." Dave's familiarity with the bed and breakfast and his love for the island prompted him to buy the home. "I love it; I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now," he remarks. The owner has come to find that his favorite part of the job is "meeting people from all over the United States and making connections with them." With the hope to continue operating the bed and breakfast for several more years in the future, Dave makes an effort to keep up with the standard maintenance of the house and preserve its historic character.

Click for directions on Google

557 Catawba Avenue
Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Dave Schafer

Owned Since
Previous Owners

Bob and Judy Bransome

4.9 (89 Reviews)
4.9/5 89 Reviews
Sponsored By ResNexus