FAIR HAVEN — The Maplewood Inn Bed & Breakfast in Fair Haven is enjoying its 30th anniversary this month, and — if the travel website tripadvisor.com is any indication — current owners Paul and Roy Allen-Webber, who bought the property only two years ago, can feel good about how their venture is faring.
The website contains comments from 45 patrons, all of whom gave “excellent” ratings to the establishment, located at the corner of Route 22A and Bolger Road, a mile south of the village center.
“We offer a very intimate setting,” Roy Allen-Webber said, in explaining the B&B’s good fortunes in a recent interview. “It’s the attention to detail that we provide.”
Attention to detail is a given when the lodging place, like Maplewood, is on both the national and state registries of historic places. Local farmer and legislator Asahel Kidder built the home that now houses the inn in about 1843, using a side-hall plan with Greek Revival elements. Ells were added in about 1870 and 1880, and today the Allen-Webbers welcome guests to an imposing 15-room inn that includes two guest suites and three other guest rooms, in addition to several common rooms, the kitchen and the couple’s own residence.
In 1986, after almost a century and a half as a sheep farm and then a dairy, the house became a B&B, with a succession of owners. The Allen-Webbers purchased the property in August 2014. The hammers and saws then took over, gutting the house’s kitchen, exposing vaulted ceilings, installing new maple cabinetry, replacing rotted sills and clapboards, and adding wainscoting, among other improvements. The refurbished establishment reopened in July 2015.
In the year-plus since then, patronage has been “pretty decent,” Roy said, citing a 35-40 percent occupancy rate, weekdays included. “We’ve certainly had some repeat guests — at least a dozen to 15 or more.” With lots of sunk costs to absorb from the renovations, he said, “We’re hoping to turn a profit within the next two to three years or so.”
With the help of local environmental groups and volunteer organizations, the couple are also working to remove invasive species and reintroduce native flora along a brook that flows through the property.
In the kitchen, Paul Allen-Webber handles the chores, specializing in an egg-souffle breakfast baked and served in a ramekin, or small casserole. He also bakes the bread for a French toast dipped in Grand Marnier or Rum Chata, a liqueur made from rum, cream and flavorings.
Asked what lies ahead after barely a year in the hospitality business, Roy said, “We’re still just trying to figure out what to expect.” He and Paul aren’t commemorating the 30th anniversary in any particular way, but are planning special guest packages for both Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. More information is available on Maplewood’s website, at www.maplewoodinnbedandbreakfast.com.