It may only be 10 minutes from downtown Vernon, but the Maria Rose Bed and Breakfast is worlds away.
Tucked amidst towering pines, the large, yet cozy light-filled home is what owners Ruth-Maria Cushing and Peter Filas hope will be a home away from home for their guests.
Set on 6.93 acres, the Maria Rose is not the first bed and breakfast for Cushing and Filas, who are both cousins and business partners. They ran their former business for 10 years on the same property, although set closer to Silver Star Road.
They closed the original in 2003 and pursued other ventures: Filas runs ABC Driving School and Cushing enjoyed her volunteer work with organizations such as the Vernon and District Heritage Society.
Sitting at the large table in the breakfast room of the home, the pair explained why they made the decision to jump back into the hospitality business.
“We subdivided and we had the land still and were trying to decide what to do with it,” said Filas.
“But we’re doing things a little differently this time.”
When asked why it was time to re-open their popular establishment, Cushing laughed.
“I swore that never again would I do this, but the fact is, we know how to do it,” she said. “I have really missed the variety of guests we used to have. I missed the people that came from all parts of the world, and that’s what was always interesting; we enjoy the hospitality.
“And if you are interested in things, it makes the job so much fun — I don’t want to age gracefully, I’d rather be working. You can’t wait for things to happen, you have to make things happen.”
As Cushing and Filas banter back and forth, teasing each other good-naturedly, the scent of coffee and home-baked cookies drifts through the house that is decorated with items from Cushing’s collection, giving a homey feel, rather than that of a hotel.
Built over two years, the two-level home has three guest rooms, each with flat screen TVs and ensuite bathrooms.
There is access to cooking facilities, such as a fridge and microwave for warming up a mug of hot chocolate after a day on the slopes.
And if that doesn’t do the trick, the infrared, two-person sauna certainly will.
The cozy rooms are outfitted with all the comforts of home, and a hot, cooked breakfast is provided.
The Maria Rose welcomes guests from the moment they step out of their car: classical music can be heard softly playing through built-in speakers in the car port.
In addition to the large breakfast room and living room, there is a smaller sitting room outfitted with plenty of fluffy cushions and throws, as well as books and magazines.
And, unlike many bed and breakfasts, the Maria Rose welcomes children and pets.
“I enjoy talking to guests on the phone, rather than e-mailing, to find out what their needs are, their interests, and once they’re here, people come to a B&B to socialize.
“Comfort and hospitality is the most important thing to us.”
And there is plenty of parking for guests pulling in after a day of winter sports, which can be accessed in just 10 minutes.
“We like to say that we’re 10 minutes down and 10 minutes up from either Silver Star or downtown Vernon,” said Filas.