St. Augustine bed-and-breakfast offers a rosy respite

Southern Wind Inn is notable for tea, wine and its proximity to shops and restaurants.

ST. AUGUSTINE -- Like many historic inns in this oldest American city, the Southern Wind Inn has hardwood floors, a collection of antiques and reproductions, shady porches on which guests may relax, and yummy chocolate-chip cookies.

It also has a kind of funny, but useful, sign posted above the staircase. If you're making your way down the steps, and you are not short, you would do well to take heed.

"Attention tall people: Duck!"

Both my husband and I fall into that category, but fortunately, we noticed the warning and the low ceiling in time to avoid bumping our noggins. It has happened before in other old homes, and we appreciated the warning.

We stayed in the Rose Room upstairs, in the back of the house. True to its name, it had rose-themed artwork, a dried flower arrangement on the wall above a king-size bed and little rosebuds embroidered into the bed cover.

Within easy walking distance of St. George Street, the Spanish Cemetery, Flagler College and a host of shops, restaurants and galleries, the Southern Wind Inn also has off-street parking, an increasingly rare amenity at B&Bs in the city.


"ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The oldest settlement in America has plenty of appeal for the modern-day travelers, including history, beauty, entertainment, and delightful dining.  And that's why we and our veteran traveling companions found ourselves heading south.

...Our bed and breakfast, one of 27 in the old city of St. Augustine, was named Southern Wind Inn.  Built in 1916, it was a Victorian delight.  There were 10 rooms, all occupied.  We quickly became acquainted with our friendly housemates from various parts of the country.

Throughout our five-day stay, we were treated to breakfasts unparalleled and every afternoon there were hors d'oeuvres, mulled cider, coffee, and pastries.

When we tired of walking the streets and sightseeing each day, we headed for the front porch, where we reclined on whicker chairs and watched the passersby on the sidewalk.  We couldn't have asked for a more quaint small-town feeling.

We often would see groups walking past our inn on the "Ghost Walks".  These were walking tours around the old city at night.  A guide would lead them and, in sepulchral tones, he or she would regale the group with stories about the ghosts that live there, the history of former settlers, and the legends about them...."

"IF YOU GO... There are 27 bed and breakfasts in St. Augustine.  We stayed in a charming one, The Southern Wind Inn, on 18 Cordova St., St. Augustine, FL 32084, telephone 800-781-3338 or 904-825-3623.  The proprietors are a delightful couple and great chefs...."


By Sheila Lotterhos

"The Southern Wind, a very fine coquina masonry structure dating to 1915, makes its home at 18 Cordova.  One of the most handsomely appointed bed and breakfasts in the city, the Southern Wind whispers understated elegance.  

Crossing the threshold of this fine town house, the visitor feels at once that he has been transported to St. Augustine's famous Flagler era.  As a matter of fact, Henry Flagler's personal physician, Dr. Andrew Anderson, built this home for his son and namesake.  

Furnished with period antiques and featuring a full breakfast and afternoon restorative with homemade chocolate chip cookies, frosty lemonade, and wine, the Southern Wind has nine guest rooms, one suite, and a host of special amenities for its pampered guests.

...whether spending one night or a week's vacation, the bed and breakfast inns of St. Augustine offer guests unique accommodations and delicious breakfasts served with a generous dollop of Southern hospitality and Ancient City charm..."

Room in Victorian inn has jet-age extra
by Shannon Colavecchio, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The Southern Wind Inn is a romantic getaway with old-fashioned hospitality.

ST. AUGUSTINE -- The hosts of the Southern Wind Inn have convinced me:  My bedroom really needs a Jacuzzi.

Right there in the corner, a Jacuzzi is crying out for a home in my home.

Such an extravagance never entered my practical mind, until my boyfriend and I stayed in the Willow Room at the Indelicatos' 10-room Southern Wind Inn.

For one lovely night, we lived in Victorian luxury with a modern kick:  the Jacuzzi tub.  One of two rooms featuring the bubbling treat, the Willow Room is the culmination of the inn's latest renovation project.

Spacious but warm, the carpeted room offers guests a fluffy king size bed, a large armoire with television, an antique writing desk, soft white robes, even a basket of chocolates and a decanter of liquor.

But the real draw is that tub, with massaging jets that create boisterous bubbles not experienced since I was a 5-year-old making a wet soapy mess in Grandma's bathroom.

The Willow Room ($200 per night, including tax) is one of three with a private entrance, but all the rooms are furnished in antiques and period pieces.

The three-story Southern Wind Inn, located in the middle of the compact downtown historic district, was built as a residence in 1916 by Dr. Andrew Anderson.  Local lore has it that Anderson was key in bringing Henry Flagler, and his money, to St. Augustine.

After World War II, the home was turned into student housing.  Today, the Forbes are host to a romantic getaway with the kind of old-fashioned hospitality all too often forgotten in hustle-and-bustle South Florida.

Florida's oldest city, founded in 1565, is just a four-hour drive from the cookie-cutter subdivisions and Boca pink shopping plazas of Palm Beach County, but visiting St. Augustine is like stepping into a time warp.

Historic homes with wraparound porches line the residential streets.  Up and down St. George Street, we found an old schoolhouse, fudge kitchens, restaurants, antique shops and gift boutiques.

The waterfront area is beautiful, as was our stroll through Flagler College.

The next morning, after eating home-baked chocolate chip cookies, we discovered the hosts appreciate the 'breakfast' in "bed and breakfast"

The main dining room held a healthy feast of fine raisin toast, English muffins, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, coffee, three kinds of juice and a warm bacon and cheese quiche -- baked that morning along with buttery biscuits.

Other mornings, the offerings include hot dishes like pecan French toast, pancakes or egg and cheese strata.

We sat on the veranda, chatted with an older couple from Atlanta and then bid farewell to our gracious hosts.

"It's a lot of work, 24 hours a day. But if we didn't love it, we'd have quit a long time ago.

Thank goodness they love it.

RATING:  Two purses
Ah, Victorian luxury in the heart of St. Augustine.  The whole B&B treatment, including fresh breakfast.  And ooh!  Those tiny bubbles in the room.