Two years ago, the Carriage House, the newest addition to the Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast, was completed. This free-standing structure is located on the back portion of our property, & it includes a three-car garage, two full suites on the second floor & David’s “man cave” in the basement. We began construction on the Carriage House, pool & hot tub in February 2009, & the project took 15 months to complete.
Today, I want to talk specifically about the Llano Estacado Suite. First, though, I’ll include a bit of history regarding the name. Llano Estacado is a name Spanish conquistador Francisco Coronado gave to this rugged, yet beautiful area of the Southwest. Literally translated, it means palisaded plains & is often mistranslated to mean “staked” plains. I’ve tried to capture that unique Texas feel in this suite, while ensuring comfort for each guest who kicks off his “boots” here.
My inspiration for the interior came from the the many historic missions surrounding the San Antonio area, & someday I hope to return to the area to photograph the missions in order to decorate the walls of the suite. Overall, I envisioned that the suite would be suitable for a long-term stay/corporate apartment situation. It has served that purpose well since it was completed.
This suite offers probably the most versatile accommodations in our Bed & Breakfast in that it is a comfortable fit for a larger group of people – such as my friends during our recent “Girls’ Weekend.” It’s a bit deceptive when you open the door. Guests first see a cozy kitchenette that includes a small dining nook for two, a full-size LG washing machine & dryer, full-size dishwasher, flat-top range, microwave, small refrigerator, sink, coffee maker & well-appointed cabinets.
During our weekend, David surprised us by placing ice-cold margaritas & screwdrivers on the counter to get our party started (there are benefits to being on good terms with one of the proprietors).
The seating area of the suite includes a luxurious leather sofa, which makes out into a queen size bed, & a wing back chair – both accented by burnished nail-head trim. These pieces are flanked by a carved credenza & matching coffee table that slides open to reveal storage for extra bedding. A large plasma television is mounted above the credenza, & it is easily viewed from any point in the suite. There is a large open space behind the sofa, with cabinetry built along the back wall.
The fun aspect of this feature is the queen-size Murphy bed hidden in the center portion of cabinet. When fully opened, the bed is accented by a light bar & each side cabinet has a pull-out tray that doubles as a nightstand. The Murphy bed was invented by William Lawrence Murphy (1876-1959) after moving into a small San Francisco apartment with his new wife & finding their bed took up most of the floor space. He wanted to be able to entertain guests, so he began experimenting with design, applied for a patent & founded the Murphy Wall Bed Company in 1900. Today, it is one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the nation (for a more comprehensive history, go to murphybedcompany.com). The wall unit also includes a small section for hanging clothing, as well as drawers for storage.
The bathroom proved to be a favorite with the girls, particularly the huge jet tub, with dual rain shower heads & glass brick window that allows the morning sun to bask the room with warm, West Texas sunshine. The room features more closet storage, with linens, a full-size ironing board & iron & plush robes tucked inside. Just so guests know we take very seriously our commitment to be good stewards of our resources, the toilet is designed to conserve water, & guests often chuckle over the fact that they have to study the instructions to ensure they know how to “operate” this feature.
Another unique aspect of the room is a loft that overlooks the living area. It is accessed through a pull-down ladder. Guests are often delighted to find two twin brass beds in this space, & children find it a great “hideaway” from the adults below.
The suite offers a stunning view of the pool, hot tub, backgammon, chess & Scrabble boards, as well as the Caboose. It also is just a short walk to the main house for one of our sumptuous breakfasts.
One of my favorite traditions is to include a journal in each of our special rooms, & even though this suite has a very short history, I wanted to share with you some of the comments a guests have penned:
“This is my 6th year visiting. Each time it gets better. No commercial hotel can match your hospitality & charm. The new pool & suites are fantastic. I can’t imagine what you are going to do next – perhaps claim the whole block!”
“I began my week-long West Texas/New Mexico trip in the Caboose, then spent my final night in the Llano Estacado Suite. What a treat! Very restful wrap up to the journey.”
“…your place is so different. Thank you for the extra touches – they did not go unnoticed.”
“We came to Lubbock to marry our daughter off – the B&B has been a relaxing place to come for peace & quiet each night.”
“We came home to grieve…Llano Estacado is a place of peace for us.”
Finally, one my friends from the Girls’ Weekend shared this:
“Our “Girls’ weekend was beyond expectation. I can’t wait until the next adventure…”
In future blogs, I will tell you more about the Honeymoon Suite, & maybe David will even let me invade his cave in the netherworld of the Woodrow House Carriage House (we have had a friend or two bed down in the basement when we were blessed with a full house).
With Tech football season fast approaching, maybe some of the guys out there should plan a “Bro Weekend” in the Llano Estacado Suite (I couldn’t bring myself to say “bromance”). Maybe I can even get David to host a few of his buddies & they can see if they can outdo the girls!
Suite Rates are $139 weekdays/$159 weekends
Rates are per night, single or double occupancy
Suite sleeps two, but $15 each additional adult
David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Toll Free: 800-687-5236