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“Escape from reality!!”

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Bernadine's Stillman Inn
Ranked #6 of 33 Galena B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hayfield
1 review
“Escape from reality!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2012

My boyfriend planned a get-a-way weekend for my birthday at the Stillman Inn. Once we arrived, the Stillman Inn is breathtaking. It is gorgous on the inside and out! The 'keyhole staircase' is sure a site to see. I was a little nervous about our first stay at a B&B, however all of our nerves were subsided the minute we met Dave. He welcomed us in, gave us a tour and shared the history of the mansion with us. The room was excellent! The fireplace, comfy robes, comfy beds and the bottle of champagne in the fridge were top notch! The room was very quiet and it felt like it was just my boyfirend and I. The Inn is located near downtown and with in walking distance and located across the road from U.S Grants historic home. Very cool.
Dave the innkeeper was superb. Once we were finished with the tour he sat us down and went through some local restaurant menu's and current activities that were going on in Galena. He supplied us with a map so we new where everything was located. He even arranged our reservations at the restaurant for us. Once we were ready to head out for the evening Dave took our picture in front of the fireplace in the dining room and printed it off for a keepsake. The next morning breakfast was ready in the dining room. This was a great time to meet the other guests at the Inn. Dave served the breakfast and even sang 'Happy Birthday' to me. As we returned home from the Inn ( 5 hours away) I realised I lost a diamond earring. We called Dave and asked if they had come across anything. Dave and Bernadine searched the room 2 times and we received the call telling us the good news that they found the earring. Dave had it in the mail the next day. Dave and Bernadine truly go above and beyond for there guests. I can not thank them enough for finding my personal item that had more sentimental value than worth.
We can honestly not say enough good things about the Stillman Inn and Dave and Bernadine. It was a perfect weekend to relax and escape from reality for a few day! We WILL be back to visit soon!!
Dave & Kristen

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DaveKristen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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612 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (120)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

My husband surprised me at Christmas with a week-end get away in Galena for this month. I didn't know where he was taking me, so arriving at the Inn was exciting - such a beautiful place! When we walked through the front door I was awed by the 3 story oval staircase. Dave said it is called a "key hole" stairway. With greenery and lights all the way up it is so impressive. Dave said he hoped Bernadine would elect to leave the lights up year round, and we agree. We regret we only got to say hi to Bernadine, but we did have opportunity to visit at length with Dave and their son. Delightful. Our room was wonderful, we loved the fireplace. Dave gave us lots of information about restaurants so we had a great supper. Otto's for a drink and good meal. Also ate at 111 Main. Great scratch food, much of it local. We met 3 other couples staying the weekend at Stillman and we all had a fun time at breakfast. We were all ages, married 3 years, 25 years, 33 years and 48 years! The Stillman is a terrific place to stay, with caring, involved hosts and every amenity you need plus a few you didn't know you needed : ). We will definitely be back!

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank pru43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2012

... Then you would enjoy the truly generous efforts of hosts Dave and Bernadine. I enjoyed many a good conversation between my girlfriend's and my visits to downtown Galena. Located across the street from Grant's home (and one of the best vistas to view Galena) and a period graveyard (suitable for a great Halloween night walk by with a friend), The Stillman Inn is a great place to meet new people and is a source of fond history itself. Comfortable rooms, vegetarian friendly breakfasts, and conveniently located off IL-Rt 20, it was a great place to enjoy our long weekend away from the suburbs of Chicago!

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank raddancliff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Moline, Illinois
Level Contributor
120 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2011

I decided to surprise my husband and take him to the stillman inn for Christmas. We have stayed here a few times before, this would be our 4th. As always was a wonderful stay. We absolutely love it at the stillman! Everything about it is perfect! The house, the food, and of course breakfast...which you get plenty of. The best part of our stay is Dave and. Bernadine. They are the 2 nicest people you will ever meet! They really make your stay amazing. Honestly, I don't know why anyone would stay at any other place! They don't know what they are missing. We have stayed at other b n B's in Galena and none of them come close to the Stillman Inn. We now only stay here. Me and my husband love it so much we decided we will be moving to Galena in a couple years and hopefully will own our own bed n breakfast. In the mean time we will always go back to the stillman inn. We are already booked to stay here in March and are looking forward to it! Thanks Dave and Bernadine for another amazing stay and more great memories. Have a wonderful New Year and see you in March!
Peg n Jared

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jaredsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Central, IL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2011

This was our first time staying at a B&B and it was good overall. Dave is very personable and will provide directions or information for anything you ask about. He has a wealth of knowledge about the area.

Rooms - The rooms were small as one would expect for being in a period home. The bathrooms were tiny too but again, expected. There is a little shelf space for toiletries. The fireplace in the room was great. It works very well...sometimes too well but that's better than not working enough. The TV's were old school and on a cabinet off to the side. A flat panel above the fire place would be ideal.

Amenities - The bottomless cookie jar was almost empty the entire time of our stay. That's not because people kept eating them. There were only a couple of store bought cookies in it when we arrived and no one touched them the length of our stay. Same with the ice cream bars. There were a couple in the box when we arrived and they were consumed. They were not replaced. Our group wanted an ice cream bar the last day of our stay but with the freezer just being full of ice and not ice cream bars we went without. Granted, we didn't need the bottomless cookies or ice cream bars but they were expected since they were part of the advertising. It was something fun we were looking forward to.

Random details - We were there with a group of friends for my birthday and when we called to make reservations Dave took all kinds of information about the group....whose birthday, how do we all know each other, what high school did we graduate from (all are high school/grade school friends), what year did we graduate high school, etc. None of this information was used during our stay. We had most of the rooms at the Inn that weekend but nothing was made of the information. We didn't need anything made of it but since the information was taken we were expecting a little something above and beyond from the owners. Otherwise, why take the information.

Dave and Bernadine - We didn't see Bernadine at the Inn until our last day there. We met her briefly. It was a Sunday and she was most likely there so she and Dave could go to church together. We completely understand that but were surprised that the Inn is named after her but she is not anywhere around. I will say that we were not at the Inn much during the day so she may have popped in and we just weren't there to meet her. We were not without owner involvement though. Dave was always available and was so personable. He is the Shell Answer Man for all things Galena. If it's your first time to the area utilize his knowledge.

Food - Breakfast was good but not outstanding. Food was okay. Some was microwavable and prepackaged/canned. Others had a little bit of a homemade touch. I expected a 'right out of mom's kitchen' experience though. Our glasses of juice, coffee etc. were bottomless. You could also have as much breakfast as you felt you needed. Portion sizes were good. We had just enough. They seemed a little small when served but our country now a days is used to giant portions. The servings were just right. We weren't overly stuffed but also didn't waste a bunch of food. Again, you can always ask for seconds if you need more.

Overall - We would stay at Stillman Inn again. The things that didn't meet up with our expectations were little things that didn't affect our stay at all. They were just little extras that would have been fun and for the price we paid for the room we kind of expected the follow through on advertising. However, they weren't required for a delightful stay. 4 stars out of 5 overall.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank ILTraveler4309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2011

This was not only our first time at a B&B, but it was our mini-honeymoon as well as my husband's birthday...and it was a perfect weekend thanks to Dave (the owner). I wanted to surprise my husband with a cake in his room and asked Dave if he had any ideas as to who could deliver a cake. Wouldn't you know, he went and bought a cake his self and had it put in the room for me! Other perks was wine hour, a homemade breakfast and friendly conversation. By the end of the night he felt more like 'uncle Dave' rather than an Innkeeper. Very personable, sweet and kind couple and we will always return to The Stillman Inn whenever we visit Galena :)

Room Tip: Choose the room with the fireplace and whirlpool
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steffani B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winona, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2011

This was our first experience at a b & b. I was especially hesitant, didn't want to feel like we didn't have our own space but..... our experience was unforgettable. We arrived and were greeted by Dave; he gave us the tour, recommended restaurants etc. Our room was great and breakfast was amazing. Evenings in the courtyard or on the porch with a bottle of wine was relaxing. We recommend Bernadine's Stillman Inn and will be back again ourselves.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bernadine's Stillman Inn

Property: Bernadine's Stillman Inn
Address: 513 Bouthillier St, Galena, IL 61036-2703
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Galena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 33 B&Bs / Inns in Galena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bernadine's Stillman Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Romantic and Historic 1858 French Italiante Bed and Breakfast. Awarded "Best Breakfast In the Midwest" and "Best Innkeeper" among others. We look forward to serving you and helping you get the most out of this attractive destination. ... more   less 
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