Tucked on the corner of a wooded residential street, you've probably driven by Shafer Baillie Mansion Bed & Breakfast off Aloha many times, and just figured it was another Capitol Hill mansion.
Little do many of us know, a cozy bed and breakfast has been in operation there for over eight years, run by husband and wife team Ana Lena Melka & Mark Mayhle.
"My husband fell in love with the house," said Melka, the Innkeeper of Shafer Baillie. "But it was in really bad shape when we bought it. We had to remodel before we opened for business."
Melka and Mayhle spent a lot of time (and money) cleaning up the 14,000 square foot Tudor revival home originally built in 1914.
"There was literally a waterfall in the corner of the study!" said Melka. "We replaced almost all the ceilings, fixed the plumbing and corrected a lot of the water damage."
The result is an incredibly charming B&B that feels right out of a Victorian novel. Melka and Mayhle have gone to great lengths to keep the interior decor on par with the home's age and history (the master suite still has the original ribcage shower!) We have to say, it's working beautifully.
The eight bedroom B&B has faux wood radiators, air conditioning and is heated by hot water. The most expensive room is the master suite (the original master in the house), and has the capability of sleeping six. Cost per night is between $219-$249. The cheapest rooms in the house are $149 per night.
"We're one of the only bed and breakfasts that take kids of all ages," said Mekla. "This means we're really popular with families, and summer is our busiest time with the cruise ships coming in."
Tourists are finding Shafer Bailie on Trip Advisor, Yelp and BedandBreakfast.com, but Mekla says it's been harder getting the word out to local families looking to take a staycation or night off in the city.
"China is becoming a really big tourist market for us," said Mekla. "It's so fun to listen to all the different accents and languages at breakfast!"
Speaking of breakfast - the second 'B' is equally as important as the first.
"We're really low key about breakfast," said Mekla. "Guests can come down for the buffet anytime between 8-10 a.m., and pajamas are totally allowed.
While summer is the Mansion's busiest time, they still do have opening and rooms available in the next couple months. Find out more, or plan your next trip on their website.