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The Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast is located on over one acre of farmland in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts. Several well-known colleges and universities are near the property. The bed and breakfast is known for its large botanical gardens cared for by the owner Candace. There are two guest accommodations at the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast. The main floor suite has a single bedroom, and the second-floor suite has two bedrooms. Kids are welcome at the bed and breakfast, and Candace often holds children's programs on site. Guests can walk through the botanical gardens or observe any of Candace's goats, chickens, or kittens. The Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast is open year-round.
The Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. The farm sits on nearly two acres of land in the center of the small university town of Amherst. There are five universities and colleges within close distance of the bed and breakfast. These include the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. The 1900s farmhouse is painted yellow, and the entire property is bordered by a white picket fence. A barn is attached to the house, and there are two additional freestanding buildings on the property, including a chicken house and a corn crib which has been converted into a playhouse. Near the back of the property, there is a freestanding stone house with an 8 by 10-foot circumference. The stone house was originally built as a smokehouse in the early 1900s.
A large botanical garden grows throughout most of the lawn, along with a small fruit orchard, a vegetable garden, and herb boxes. Candace, the owner of the property, spent her college education studying botany and has had a passion for gardening since her early years. Candace cares for all of the plants and flowers throughout the property. A large front porch is located at the front of the home and has several hanging planters. Upon entering the house, guests walk into a large sunroom filled with Candace’s latest flower arrangements and younger plants. There is seating in the sunroom for guests who wish to spend time in the space. The entire home is decorated in a contemporary farmhouse style.
There are two guest accommodations at the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast. Each suite includes a few similar amenities. A private entrance leads into each room with private air conditioning controls, an alarm clock, cable television, bathroom soaps and lotion, wireless internet access, a refrigerator, microwave, and a Keurig coffee maker. Warm cookies, snacks and old fashioned candies, water bottles, and extra linens are stocked in each room upon guests’ arrival. Fresh flowers picked from the botanical garden and arranged by the property host Candace are also added to each room.
The Downstairs Suite is a single bedroom accommodation. This room is most commonly reserved by couples visiting for anniversaries or special occasions. Single visitors will often reserve the Downstairs Suite. The suite includes a private bedroom, a full ensuite bathroom, and a private sitting and dining area. The suite is painted blue and yellow with a flower comforter, a sofa embroidered with blooming plants, and landscape-themed artwork. A small hutch by the dining table holds extra dining china.
The Two Bedroom Suite takes up the entire second floor of the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast. This suite has two bedrooms, a large bathroom, direct access to the front porch, a sitting area, and a dining area. Each of the rooms on the second floor looks out over the botanical garden. Upon walking up the stairs, guests look into the main sitting and dining areas with separate entrances to the bathroom and two bedrooms. The larger of the bedrooms has a queen-sized bed, and the smaller has two twin-sized beds. The Two Bedroom Suite is most commonly reserved for families, groups of up to five individuals, or multiple couples.
Breakfast is served every morning at the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast. Candace is the owner and cooks breakfast for each of her guests, which she delivers to their rooms every morning. Guests are encouraged to inform Candace of any dietary restrictions or meal suggestions, and Candace will try to accommodate. A typical breakfast at the bed and breakfast would include two courses. For example, the first course typically consists of fresh fruit either grown on the property or purchased from local farmers. The main course might include a veggie scramble with local corn, greens, homegrown basil, and scallions in the eggs, tomato slices from three different types of tomatoes, and three different types of bread. Some bread options maybe rye, sourdough, and raisin pecan. Edible flowers are also served with each meal such as garlic chive flowers and insurgents.
Candace sells a proportion of the eggs produced by her twenty chickens and often sells her seasonal flowers to guests. There are many things to do in the Amherst area, including touring college campuses, hiking, biking, and historical tours. Candace recommends guests visit the Eric Carl Museum or the Emily Dickinson Home. Her recommended restaurants in the area include El Camino, an authentic Mexican restaurant, the Blue Heron, an upscale cafe, and the Book Mill. The Book Mill is an old sawmill recently turned into a used bookstore and cafe. The attraction is a fifteen-minute bike ride from the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast and sits along a small river near a waterfall.
When visiting the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast, Candace, the owner of the property, hopes that every one of her guests can feel relaxed and disconnected from the normal "hustle and bustle" of everyday life. “I want every guest to feel connected to the beauty of the gardens and old farmhouse. They should feel like they are on vacation,” says Candace. In order to encourage this type of experience at the bed and breakfast, Candace is very particular in her process by getting to know each guest and asking them first thing if they have any dietary restrictions, meal suggestions, or any special situations she should be aware of. “Clear communication with my guests makes mine and my visitor’s experience more enjoyable.”
Building a bond of trust, understanding, and friendship is very important to Candace when running her bed and breakfast. People often come to the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast for the property’s convenient location and large botanical garden. Candace is willing to give guests in-depth tours of her gardens, showing them her favorite flowers and most recent additions to the space. Gardening is Candace’s passion, and one of her favorite sayings to share with guests is, “People from a planet without flowers must think we would be wild with joy having such things around us.”
There are a few policies at the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast that, when followed, help in keeping the property clean and guests comfortable. The first of these policies is that there are no pets allowed on-site. Candace has three Nubian goats, twenty chickens, two cats, and a groundhog. None of these animals are allowed inside the guest quarters and are kept in a specified area of the property to avoid allergies or damage to the gardens. Stone House Farm is a smoke-free environment, and guests are encouraged to follow the designated quiet hours from 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM every day.
Candi gets a variety of positive reviews regarding her large breakfasts, extensive gardens, unique animals, and exceptional hospitality. A recent guest at the inn left this review, “The charming gardens, cozy room, bright screened porch, delicious breakfast and Candi my lovely and helpful Innkeeper could not have been more perfect! This is a special place, the flower farm complete with chickens for fresh eggs, art barn, outdoor charm is all cared for with great devotion by this warm and caring Innkeeper.”
Since the early 2000s, Candi has hosted a variety of children’s programs for kids in the area. One of her popular programs is a ten-week summer camp where children are taught valuable life skills such as cooking, sewing, weaving, gardening, and stonework. The camp is open to children from ages six to fourteen, grades one through nine. Similar day activities or weekend retreats are held where Candi teaches creative art, crafting, and cooking lessons. Oftentimes, children who participated in the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast programs will return to visit and help her in the gardens.
Most of the guests who stay at the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast are visiting the area from Brookly or Boston. Many of them are parents of children moving into one of the nearby colleges or couples spending their anniversary in the area. The gardens draw many who are interested in botany, and the size of the Two Bedroom Suite is a draw for families and groups coming for women’s retreats. The Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast is open year-round with an increase of guests from April to October when the gardens are most active.
The Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast was first built as a family home in 1904. It was built as one of the first vernacular-style farmhouses in the area. Vernacular-style homes were originally invented by George Stanford. The homes typically feature what looks like two homes joined together. These homes are usually colorful with large six-foot windows and two chimneys on each side of the home. The two separate sides typically have separate entrances. The bed and breakfast served as a family home for almost sixty years before being abandoned. The current owner Candace purchased the property in 2006.
Candace has spent time in many different bed and breakfast establishments and had enjoyed the atmosphere and operations of the properties. Candace gained a college reputation and wanted a property in an area that could have a large garden. When she saw that the Stone House Farm Bed and Breakfast farmhouse was for sale she knew it suited her needs perfectly. The farmhouse had two sides with separate entrances where she could live separate from the guests, a large lawn for her to garden, and only space for two suites which would be a convenient number for her to manage on her own.
Upon purchasing the property the home was hardly livable, and the yard was overgrown, so for an entire year, Candace spent her time and money updating the suites and redoing the landscaping around the home. Ensuite bathrooms, a large porch, and newly updated furniture were some changes made within the home. In the future, Candace intends to continue expanding her botanical garden. In addition to being an innkeeper, Candace also does garden consulting in the area. Candace enjoys not only gardening but also getting to know each of her guests and providing them with the best possible experience when staying at her bed and breakfast.
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