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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stay in a 100+ year old mansion? Ever dream of waking up in a historic home that oozes class and character? Then you need to book a stay at the Mansion at Elfindale in Springfield, Missouri. Keep reading to find out why!
The history of the Mansion at Elfindale
In 1888, John O’Day and his second wife, Alice, bought a 400 acre farm in Springfield, Missouri. They began building a home on half of the land. Unfortunately, they divorced in 1900 before the house was finished. Alice was awarded the farm and house. She finished building the home and named it Elfindale.
The mansion, which was completed in 1905, has three stories with a fourth story tower on one corner. It also has a full basement.
Sadly, finishing the mansion took most of Alice’s money. Soon after construction was completed, she was forced to sell it. The home was bought by a priest and some nuns who used the mansion as a Catholic girls school until 1964.
After that, the mansion sat unused for many years.
In 1984, the Mansion and chapel sitting next door to it were sold to the Cornerstone Church. They built a new sanctuary next to the chapel. The church still uses the chapel and sanctuary for church services. Additionally, they operate a bed and breakfast in the Mansion.
Staying at the Mansion
Staying at the Mansion at Elfindale is so much more than just sleeping in a hotel. It is an experience.
Each room is decorated differently, but all of them have a vintage Victorian flair to them. They also all have claw-foot tubs in the adjoining bathrooms.
Throughout the mansion, you will find lots of original details, including the molding, doors, fireplaces, and even some of the furnishings.
The door to each guest room is an extra large pocket door.
You really will feel like you just stepped back in time when you walk into the Mansion at Elfindale. It is not hard to imagine a formal, turn-of-the-century party taking place on the first floor of this beautiful inn.
Now, let me be honest with you, because this place feels like it is still in the early 1900’s, many people (my husband and son included) feel that this mansion is haunted. The innkeeper promises that it’s not, but many people are not convinced. Regardless of what you believe, the character of this place will definitely add a sense of excitement to your stay!
Even though the Mansion at Elfindale looks and feels like it is still 1905, it has been updated over time. During your stay, you can enjoy some of the modern amenities that you would expect to find in a 21st century hotel.
These amenities include cable television and wifi in every room.
While the rooms have wifi, it is not the greatest. It is slow at best. So, don’t expect to be able to stream movies or get a lot of work done here.
We stayed in the Chapel Suite during our stay. I found that the wifi in our room was very weak. I don’t know if this is because it isn’t strong enough to handle so many people at once or if it is because the walls and doors are so thick and heavy that the signal has a hard time traveling through them.
Breakfast at the Mansion
The Mansion at Elfindale is a bed and breakfast, so of course, you should get breakfast with your stay. But, this is limited.
First of all, breakfast is only available on Saturdays and Sundays. And it is only served from 8:00 until 8:30. (This is primarily due to the inn being ran by a church who has dedicated a very small staff to the inn.)
Even though breakfast is only offered during a very limited time, it is an experience as special and unique as the hotel itself. It feels like a breakfast you would have had as a guest in this grand house back in the early 1900’s.
Breakfast is served on the first floor of the mansion in the dining room. This room, like the rest of the inn, is decorated in a classic Victorian style. The dishes are all mixed matched china. They remind me of dishes that would have been used for meals when the house was originally built.
The food served is pretty typical of a hotel breakfast. It consists of fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, sausage, bacon, and juice. It is good, but nothing extraordinary.
My favorite part of the breakfast is the service. Before breakfast starts, the staff sets a table for each group of guests. When you arrive, they will direct you to a table set for the number of guests in your party. They check on you during your meal, get you anything you need, and clear your dishes after you finish. It feels very personal and special.
Things to know before you go
There are a few things that you need to know before you go to the Mansion at Elfindale in order to make your stay as pleasant as possible:
- Check-in is only available from 3-6 pm. If you need to check in after 6 pm, be sure to call in advance of your arrival to make special arrangements.
- The outside doors to the mansion are locked at 6 pm. Upon check-in, you will be given a key to your room and a key that will open all of the outside doors so you can come and go after hours.
- While children are welcome at the mansion, you need to call in advance and let them know you are bringing kids with you. There are only a few rooms that can accommodate families with children. So, the staff needs to know you are bringing your kids so they can be sure to put you in one of those rooms.
- The mansion is closed on Mondays to allow the staff to clean and do any necessary maintenance. However, this is not the type of place where you want to spend an entire week. This is the perfect place for a weekend stay, but you probably don’t want to stay longer than that. A weekend stay will give you the best experience.
- Due to the Victorian design of the inn, it feels very feminine. It is better suited to a girls weekend getaway than it is to a family vacation with a house full of rough and tumble boys. I loved it much more than my husband and son did.
The Mansion at Elfindale in Springfield, Missouri is unlike any hotel you have ever stayed in. This unique bed and breakfast was built more than 100 years ago and has a rich history that you can feel from the moment you walk through the doors.
It is beautifully decorated in vintage Victorian style with lots of original details and enough modern amenities to allow you to experience the past without feeling like you are stuck in it.
This is the perfect place to stay for a fun weekend getaway, especially if it’s a girls weekend. I highly recommend a stay at the Mansion at Elfindale.
For more help planning your next trip, see the best places to start trip planning, the best places to book hotels, how to plan an epic vacations, how to take amazing vacations on any budget, and ways to save on hotel rooms.
Also check out my tips to improve your vacations and how to make hotel bathrooms more functional for families.
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