Once you set foot on Gervasi Vineyard and Villa Suites' 55-acre grounds, it's easy to forget the surrounding suburbs. The Italian-vineyard inspired resort features neatly planted vineyards leading to a cluster of handsome buildings that include a popular Italian bistro (in the a restored 1823 barn), a tasting bar, a marketplace selling wine and other gourmet goodies, and Gervasi's latest addition, overnight accommodations.
While the heavy-handed Italian village theme feels a little Disney-esque, it's still a lovely retreat destination. The 24 spacious Villa Suites, housed in Tuscan-style buildings, feature stucco walls, dark wood beams, stone fireplaces and flat-screen TVs, queen or king-size beds (with Egyptian-cotton sheets), and large Travertine-tiled baths with heated floors and walk-in showers. Fluffy robes and slippers and free Wi-Fi encourage lounging in-room. Two-level king luxury suites feature lake views and a separate bedroom loft. In the morning, guests brew up Italian java with the in-room coffeemaker and enjoy fresh-baked breakfast treats at the communal table in the shared living room (they arrive in a charming wooden box). The living room features a fireplace, cozy sitting area and complimentary snacks.
Nearby, the Grand Villa houses Cucina, the gleaming kitchen where guests can take cooking, knife skills or wine-tasting classes, plus a conference and events center. The villas range from $179 to $339 per night (including breakfast) and have quickly become a favorite destination for romantic getaways. As one couple in our villa said, "This is the closest thing you can get to Italy in Ohio." And it's certainly an easier trip.