This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019
Woodstock Inn Bed & Breakfast is a gem I just have to share with you. Right at the heart of Independence, MO, is this quaint and historic inn — and it’s one of the nicest inns I’ve ever stayed in.
But why stay in Independence, MO? Well, first of all, it’s a bedroom community of Kansas City — less than ten miles away, actually. The location is a perfect jumping off site for exploring downtown Kansas City and many other sites of interest nearby. And in Independence itself, you will find the Harry Truman Presidential Library, the junction of three old west wagon trails (the Santa Fe, the California, and the Oregon trails), the stately Vaile Mansion, the Community of Christ International Peace Temple, and even the jail cell of Frank James (Jesse James’ brother). Independence is also the site of many civil war battles. There’s a lot of history here.
So if you’re planning a visit to a history-packed town, you really should stay in a historic bed & breakfast. Woodstock Inn (website) is rated the best B & B on TripAdvisor, not only in Independence, but also in the greater Kansas City area. You’ll also be within walking distance of award-winning restaurants and a revived historic downtown district.
History of Woodstock Inn
Woodstock Inn was built for the Morris & Viola Short family in the 1890’s, on a road that stood witness to thousands of wagon trains heading west. During the civil war, one of the Confederate lines was less than a hundred yards away. Woodstock Inn also witnessed religious history — just across the street is the dedicated temple site for the future temple of Zion (definition of Zion). It was dedicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but hasn’t yet been built because the property has changed hands many times.
Morris & Viola’s daughter, Ruby, lived here (now called McKim Studios) after marrying Arthur McKIm. Ruby McKim is famous for her prolific career as a quilter and publisher, actually being inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame.
In the 1980’s McKim Studios became Woodstock Inn. The current owner has traveled extensively and reflects this in the room decor, as each room represents a different European theme. Just think — you can experience the heart of the wild west AND live in a fine European-themed suite at the same time!
Welcome to Woodstock Inn
I couldn’t have felt more welcome during my stay at Woodstock Inn. In fact, the Innkeeper, Mark Look, was just pulling warm banana nut muffins out of the oven as my husband and I entered the front door. It wasn’t just the heavenly aroma that welcomed us, but the beautifully decorated front room and fireplace, the dining room table with an autumn centerpiece, the gorgeous old wood floors and graceful staircase leading to the upstairs rooms.
A comfy TV lounge and library also beckoned. The views to the backyard and patio, from the large picture window, were lovely. Many details showed lots of thought and effort — brochures about the area, books to read, videos to check out, and more. This was an inn that felt like home.
A Tour of Woodstock Inn
Because I’m a naturally curious person, I wondered if Mark might oblige me with a tour of the house. I’m always so fascinated with historic homes, and I love to explore! Of course, Mark was more than happy to show me around. I was able to peak in and see many of the intricately decorated rooms. Each room had a theme and several details that I could truly appreciate.
The English Spa room has a beautiful colonial toile wallpaper and a spa, plus I’m a sucker for the rich blue and white colors and the four-poster bed.
The Italian Spa Suite has a cozy fireplace and Roman columns in the spa area for a truly indulgent spa atmosphere. Beautiful art on the walls also add to the theme.
The Scottish room has a strong presence with Tartan plaids and a lovely fireplace seating area.
One of my favorites was the Greek Isle room with its hand-painted bougainvillea framing the window and the cycladic colors of blue, turquoise, and white.
The Scandinavian room has a beautiful bed and wall tapestry.
The Moroccan room has rich, vibrant colors luxuriously draped over the bed, reminiscent of a desert tent.
There’s even a Victorian room fit for a would-be princess.
Mark included the Woodstock Inn events venue in our tour — another historic home on the property with warm wooden floors, a carved wood staircase, window treatments, and even dining cubicles. I could totally imagine that staircase decked out with greens and a beautiful tree decorated for the Christmas holiday in the entryway. Wouldn’t that be gorgeous?!
Saving the best for last
I’ve saved the very best room for last — the French Riviera spa room. Best because that’s where we stayed. And also because it was so beautiful. I felt truly pampered with a gorgeous four-poster bed, twinkling glam lights, a generous lounge area, spa, and lots of little details that made it just perfect. Like the chandelier and tapestry of the Chenonceau Castle (my favorite castle in France)!
An over-the-top gorgeous antique Italian wardrobe was definitely the centerpiece of the room. Mark told us it had to be brought in in pieces and re-assembled. I loved the extras – a mini refrigerator filled with complimentary sodas and water bottles, a tray of chocolates, plush bathrobes for the spa, and even a signature line of toiletries and makeup remover wipes.
I’m pretty sure the French Riviera spa room is the largest of all the suites. It’s also on the second floor with views to the street, and a skylight over the bed. Once you open the door to the room, you first walk down a hallway before reaching the suite. It just feels more secluded and private. I loved this room because it was so romantic. I don’t know if my husband cared so much about the twinkling lights and fancy details, but he liked that I liked it!
Breakfast is part of the deal!
What is a Bed & Breakfast without a breakfast? Mark’s home-cooked meal definitely did not disappoint. I also liked that he consulted with us about the time of our breakfast. It’s usally served at 9:00 am, and that suited us just fine. But he was willing to adjust the time a little if we needed it. I imagine that might depend on how many guests are staying at the Inn.
Our breakfast included juice, fresh fruit, an egg dish, perfectly cooked bacon (that takes skill), and fresh blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup. Everything looked picture-perfect with lace and plates on turquoise chargers (that’s even my favorite color!). I should note that even the table itself is beautiful — a French trestle table. It added to the feeling of luxury and richness. Breakfast is included in the cost of the room, making the prices that much more competitive.
Extras at Woodstock Inn
I think an Innkeeper can make or break a stay at a B & B…and Mark definitely made our stay memorable. He never made us feel like taking care of us was a job, but instead welcomed us like we were family. Mark took the time to answer all of our questions — about the Inn, about Independence, where to eat out, and more. He was always there when we needed him and he also let us have our space. When he took us on our little tour, he invited us to enjoy the firepit on the back patio if we desired, showed us how to use the television, and told us where extra snacks and sodas were stashed. When does this ever happen in a hotel?
Should you stay at the Woodstock Inn?
Let me just phrase it like this: “YES!”
Woodstock Inn offers the personal touch we all long for when traveling. Being treated so well here doesn’t cost any more than staying in a very standard hotel in downtown Kansas City. And at Woodstock Inn, the parking, the WiFi, the “Concierge”, the snacks & sodas, the delicious breakfast spread, and a local history lesson are all complimentary. Should you ever need accommodations for a large group, you can even rent out the entire Inn for an excellent price.
When we checked out of Woodstock Inn, I was sad to leave. I would have preferred to stay several days and really enjoy that “home away from home” feeling. Oh, and I missed those banana muffins!
What you might want to know:
- Woodstock Inn rooms rent from $125 (Queen and King suites) to $185 (suites with spas). The French Riviera Spa room is currently $205 per night. You can book a room here.
- All rooms have private baths, luxury linens, toiletries, hair dryer, turn down service with chocolates, gourmet breakfast, wifi, a daily newspaper, and more!
- Members of the military, active or veterans, receive a 15% discount.
- Sports fans and concert goers can create their own package with Woodstock Inn and receive a 10% discount on their room rate.
- We ate dinner at Ophelia’s Restaurant in Independence and highly recommend it; they have a friendly, attentive staff and a wonderful menu.
As is common in the travel industry, I was hosted by Woodstock Inn so that I could share my review with you. I am grateful to Woodstock Inn and Mark for a memorable stay. I believe in revealing any potential conflicts of interest, but I can assure you my review is honest, and I would gladly visit Woodstock Inn again as a paying guest.