Midwest Living Review
The conservatory at Garden Manor might well be the prettiest place in Columbus, Ohio, to have breakfast. Exquisitely furnished with Impressionist landscapes and fine antiques, the room is lined with tall windows overlooking a formal walled garden where pink hibiscus blossoms brighten the terrace and neat rows of boxwood border the pathways. Chippendale chairs surround a table beautifully set with damask, crystal and china, and the B&B's guests sit down to leisurely breakfasts featuring generous bowls of cut fruit, fresh-from-the-oven quiche and copies of the latest newspapers. Innkeepers Allen Baker and Al Waddell are genial and gracious hosts who have created a luxurious bed-and-breakfast in an English Country-style home that was originally the residence of a prominent Columbus physician. Three tastefully decorated guest rooms all have comfy queen-size beds outfitted with plush linens, and rates start at $119 per night for a room with a shared bath. If you book a room, be sure to ask for directions, because Garden Manor has no exterior signage and can be difficult to spot from the street. You should also be aware that it's located in Olde Towne East, a once fashionable neighborhood that sharply deteriorated after World War II. Staying at this plush B&B amid such urban decay feels like being a bird in a gilded cage. Indeed, there are protective bars on the first-floor windows. Because the area is convenient to downtown Columbus, the airport and attractions like the Columbus Museum of Art, Olde Town East is being revitalized but still has issues. Prudent guests always use the Garden Manor's fenced-in parking lot and are careful to bring valuables inside. We are hopeful that businesses like Garden Manor will garner support from visitors and help this neighborhood continue its revival, but until then, visitors should be aware what they're in for.