Short-Stay Getaways

ColdWater Inn - great boutique hotel nearby

by Bruce Hartfield
Posted 3/15/23

In my last installment I suggested a day trip to our neighboring county in Alabama, Colbert County. First we visited Coon Dog Cemetery in the Freedom Hills, Rattlesnake Saloon (on the route to and …

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Short-Stay Getaways

ColdWater Inn - great boutique hotel nearby


In my last installment I suggested a day trip to our neighboring county in Alabama, Colbert County. First we visited Coon Dog Cemetery in the Freedom Hills, Rattlesnake Saloon (on the route to and from the cemetery), and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia.
We also suggested a visit to the Colbert County Tourism Bureau to find out about all of the attractions in that area and maybe get a coupon to offset entrance fees. Suzanne Hamlin is the Executive Director of the Tourism Bureau there, and she and her staff are very knowledgeable about all things related to traveler’s interests or needs.
The first time I visited with Suzanne, I asked her if there were any interesting boutique hotels in the area, and she quickly pointed across Highway 72 to the ColdWater Inn. In case you are wondering exactly what a boutique hotel is, it is a smaller, upscale, luxury hotel that offers a distinct personality, intimate experience, and personalized service.
The trip we went on in our last installment was directed towards a one day trip with no stayover, but The Cat and I always like to stay overnight when we can, and we like to try and find a really good local eatery to visit in the area.
Thanks to Suzanne Hamlin and her administrative assistant, Marianne, we were able to make connection with Donna Ream at the ColdWater Inn, and she made arrangements for us to stay in a Queen Cotton Suite on our last visit….great recommendation, Suzanne, and great accommodations, Donna! Finding a great local eatery…and we did…is a story within itself, but first let me tell you about the ColdWater Inn.
The Cat and I have passed the ColdWater Inn many times on trips to Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, or Florence, and it does have a big sign that anyone ought to see, and it is across Highway 72 from the Tourism Center and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame
I’m almost always the driver, but some details like big, obvious signs, don’t always catch my eye. The building did, however, and at first I thought it was a bank or insurance company because it has four, huge, round, 3-story columns at the entrance.
That style is reminiscent of the neo-classical or new Greek architecture that first gained popularity in the mid-1800’s in the design of antebellum homes and public buildings, and it was a popular architectural style throughout the rest of the 19th century.
As soon as you enter the hotel you’re struck by a set of twin, spiral stairways leading to second floor, and everywhere you look, the place is full of antique furniture and furnishings! You could be entering the parlor area of a Tennessee River steamboat, where guests could gather to eat and enjoy visiting with each other! In fact you can eat a good complimentary breakfast on the first floor as one of the many amenities that come with a stay at ColdWater.
The antiques came from the personal collection of the original owner, Harvey Robbins and his wife, and the spiral staircases lead to another set of antique couches and furnishings in a second floor area that is called The Refuge. Among the many items and furnishings on the common areas of the first and second floors, was a working, player grand piano on the first floor, and a Victorian parakeet cage in The Refuge (rare occasion: both The Cat and I agreed they were our personal favorites), and our suite was furnished with antiques as well!
I could go on and on about amenities, but part of the fun in a get-away trip is doing a little internet searching of your own and see what appeals to you, if you are considering a stay in the area. Plenty of surprises left, including some very reasonable, seasonal room rates. The hotel has 68 rooms, plus meeting areas, and on the back side, you will find a fire pit, cooking grill, pool, and battery charging station for boaters.
Also, before I move on to our local night spot, I have to compliment the management and staff of the ColdWater Inn for their over-the-top hospitality and accommodation during our stay! They should start a consulting business for everyone in the hotel and hospitality business, and most of the reviews I saw agreed with that observation.


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