Technically a bed and breakfast, The Hillside Inn feels more like a quiet boutique hotel, or perhaps like staying in the manor house of a friend. The inn has five luxury suites, plus two cottages. It’s an ideal place to stay to explore the lovely Door County peninsula or for an event like a wedding.
My suite is, in fact, the bridal suite, as it has a separate entrance providing a dramatic walk down a staircase toward the vast lawn which is perfect for a wedding ceremony and reception. Technically called the Marsh Marigold suite — all suites are named after local flowers — I have two separate sundecks as well as a window seat ideal for soaking up the sun on a cooler afternoon. My bed is a comfortable king size awash in luxe linens, with interesting books placed thoughtfully on each bedside table. I have a gas fireplace with two easy chairs (a TV with DVD is hidden above the fireplace; it pulls out to be viewed from bed), plus a desk and ample storage space. The decor is in soothing whites and creams. I love my large and well-lit bathroom with its glass walk-in shower complete with seat and the plush terrycloth robes.
My windows face the back and side gardens, but I can also see the water from one deck. Three of Hillside’s five suites share the same water views of Eagle Harbor Bay as the massive front porch, which is, in fact, the largest porch in all of Door County. Each suite has a private bathroom and a balcony. Trillium comes complete with a wet bar and a separate bedroom.
Hillside’s two cottages are in the garden. One has three bedrooms and one bath, and the other two bedrooms with one bath. Both have fully-equipped kitchens and perfect front porches.
Breakfast is served in the elegant dining room. During my summer visit, there was an abundance of fresh berries with yogurt breads, plus fresh orange juice and very fine coffee. There’s a sunny library sitting area in addition to the front porch. Guests can also wander through the pretty gardens.
The welcoming Hillside has been hosting guests since the late 1800s, when it was a four-room log cabin. It’s now on the U.S. national register of historic places. The building received a remodel in 2002 to become a luxury historical inn, and was reopened in 2016 by new owner and real estate broker Diane Taillon.
Hillside Inn is in the charming village of Ephraim, overlooking Eagle Harbor Bay. Almost next door is the old-fashioned Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor, serving ice cream treats, home-drafted root beer, and casual meals for over 100 years. A pier with boat rentals is across the street. You could easily enjoy your time just in Ephraim, but you’ll want to explore all the little towns and highlights of the entire Door County peninsula.