Midwest Living Review
Our editors and writers stayed at many, many B&Bs in 2010 while doing research for a big 2011 B&B story, and so we can say with utter confidence that J. Palen House is not just among the best in Cleveland, it is among the Midwest's best. Built in the 1800s by a local brewmaster, the home has all of the historical touches that B&B fans crave, including a two-story stained-glass window in the stairway, original hardwood floors, leaded-glass French doors and gas lighting fixtures. But it also offers amenities that travelers have come to expect, including spacious baths with rain showers, bubble tubs and brand-name products. The beds are big and comfortable, the suites have sitting areas for watching TV, and small TVs also are available in the bedrooms as well. Innkeeper Scott West walks that service-privacy tightrope like a pro, reading guests well to know when they want some attention and when they want to be left alone. His homemade breakfasts, served when you'd like between 7:30 and 10 a.m., include fresh fruit, yogurt, still-warm coconut muffins and, in fall, a seasonal apple-French toast dish served with ham. (Did we mention the warm apple cider and homemade pumpkin cream-cheese bread we received when we checked in?) For all this, guests pay $150 a night. In 2010, the owners of J. Palen House opened a guesthouse about a block away that's designed for longer stays, with kitchens of their own. Those three suites also run $150 a night. Overall, the B&B is a great West Side place to stay for visitors eager to explore the West Side Market and the quirky Tremont neighborhood, which is packed with restaurants old and new.