Welcome to the Dollhouse
Driving the stretch between Fennville and the outskirts of Allegan, Michigan, you feel as though you’re in the dusty middle of just about nowhere. When the Castle in the Country suddenly looms like a giant, lavender dollhouse on this stretch of Highway 40, it seems like a mirage. It’s not. The 104-year-old Queen Anne Victorian mansion has five lavish guestrooms ($139 to $269) within its painted-lady façade. Ruth and Herb Boven bought the then-decrepit place in 1990 and spent a year-and-a-half evicting resident squirrels and uprooting vines that had snaked through broken windows and made a jungle of the interior. Today, the place is stunning, an elaborately detailed palace of picture-frame moldings, glossy hardwood floors, and heirloom antiques. The décor details are utterly charming from the tiny, vintage coin purses hanging from the boudoir mirrors to the century-old pump organ in the parlor. The 65-acre grounds include a hidden lake (with a dock that’s perfect for cannonballs) and walking trails through woods, lawns, and gardens (where the Bovens grow the herbs they use in cooking breakfast). “Castle Keep,” a contemporary building with five additional rooms ($139 to $269), is separated from the main house—and hidden from the highway. The Castle also has one of the loveliest spas we’ve ever seen: Facials, massages, and mani-pedis are available in a deeply shaded, screened-in gazebo overlooking a lily pond.
GO Castle in the Country, 340 M-40 South, Allegan, Michigan; 888-673-8054, www.castleinthecountry.com