Sometimes staying in a kid-free, no-pets historic inn feels like escaping from the family. Cultural Heritage TravelingMom discovered just the opposite in St. Augustine, Florida, at Casa de Suenos. Luxury, yes, in the adults-only historic district property she stayed in, but also abundant, solid tips about the Inn’s sister properties, which are kid-friendly. Easy research for future trips over a lingering, luxurious breakfast.
A girlfriend getaway to St. Augustine, Florida, begged for adult-only accommodations with luxury amenities. Found that but kept my eye on tips for multi-generational traveling families like mine that need to scout tips for later trips. That’s why my overnight luxury choice with a girlfriend was the historic inn Casa de Suenos, which has accommodating sister properties suited for the family.
House of Dreams is the translation of the inn’s name, and the point is made repeatedly with graphic designs declaring just that in most rooms. Find out here just how many ways those three words can be posted artistically, triggering your dreams.
History Reigns in St. Augustine
With 450 plus years of community building, St. Augustine invites immersion in history. Casa de Suenos was built in 1904 and rests squarely in the historic district.
Two and a half blocks is the walk to the heart of the Old City. Narrated trolley rides and guided walking tours stop at this inn because of its own stories, and the location.
I was startled fixing a 9:00 p.m. herbal tea in the sun room, glancing out the window to find 20 people staring back at me! Their guide had his back to the window, so perhaps it wasn’t about me after all.
Casa de Suenos Rooms
Do you peek in the other rooms when you stay in a bed and breakfast inn? I’ll confess to that, preferably when the doors are ajar. Each of the seven rooms at Casa de Suenos is decorated differently, so the mood changes.
I was in the lighthouse-themed room on the second floor, with a balcony overlooking horse and carriage icons showcasing the city with tourists, trollies on history tours, other inns and lots of walking visitors.
St. Augustine is a pedestrian kind of place. We parked our car in one of the seven spaces dedicated to Casa de Suenos guests.
My room featured a deep soaking tub and a tiled shower, flatscreen tv, long bar to plug in all my devices and fresh-baked apple cobbler!
Guests who miss the early evening dessert find a serving delivered to their room for late-night decadence. I missed the wine social too, but that doesn’t become automatic room service.
One bedroom is on the ground floor and is fully accessible, even a roll-in shower. The other six require climbing the stairs.
Breakfast In This House of Dreams
Bright, light, airy is the mood in the many-windowed dining room, with flowered chair upholstery and fresh flowers on the tables.
Consideration for dietary needs is evident also. I travel with a husband managing diabetes, so seeing a bowl of hard boiled eggs on the buffet portion of breakfast is much appreciated. So simple, and so rarely provided for carb-counting travelers.
Casa de Suenos honors gluten free diets, or other special needs, recommending such requests be made with lodging reservations.
Full service is the serving style for breakfast and my French toast casserole was superb: side of fresh fruit and not cloyingly sweet.
TravelingMom Tip: If Linda is the cook and server, and if you like insider information, strike up a conversation. She won’t overdo the chat but knows abundant history and current day stories. Should you want to ask about the ghosts, she’ll assure you they engage only with subtle encounters here.
What Doesn’t Work For Families
Adults only at Casa de Suenos. One room does have a fold-out sofa so it’s possible to bring another adult—maybe your mother.
Extra Perks Because They’re Sisters
The St. Francis Inn is a sister to Casa de Suenos. Built in 1791, the St. Francis is a complex of lodging, courtyards, bicycles to borrow, gardens, ample parking and a pool.
Casa de Suenos guests can head on over there any time to use the pool or a bike.
The ocean is available in comfortable ways to guests at the adult-only inn too, because these sister properties have beach access complete with towels, changing area, restrooms, shower and parking. The drive might take 15 minutes; ask the innkeeper for directions.
Ask for other sister benefits too, like the free ticket to the lighthouse or half-price for the Oldest House in St. Augustine tour. Christmas crowds abound for the City of Lights illuminations, so the benefit of the sister inns providing their own trolley tours strikes me as a big one.
What Does Work For Families
The St. Francis Inn
With 17 rooms in multiple buildings, the St. Francis Inn sets aside six as pet friendly.
Families can choose the cottage that sleeps six: two bedrooms, two baths, two stories, and pet friendly, as well as other family-friendly rooms. Ask about queen-sized sleeper sofas in suites with sitting rooms.
Breakfast involves hot entrees and fresh-baked breads. Tea selections are extensive, and well labeled with fresh leaves to steep.
The ample parking lot – a big deal in always-bustling St. Augustine – also caters to sustainable travelers with a Tesla charging station. That’s worth pointing out to the kids for the juxtaposition to 1791 history.
Dune-side houses at the beach welcome families. Access these through the St. Francis Inn website: a one-bedroom bungalow, one story cottage and two story house. Crossing over the fabled Bridge of Lions adds an iconic short drive to the experience.
Intercoastal waterways matter a lot in Florida so staying next to one, also arranged through the St. Francis Inn, is a connection to the region. Harbor 26 is the name, located in Vilano, some 10 minutes from downtown St. Augustine.
Other Ideas to Pursue
TravelingMoms like St. Augustine and offer tips for families. Check out Retro TravelingMom Mary Moore with her ideas about historic sites to see with kids.
Then take a look at what Healthy TravelingMom Gwen Kleist has to say about zip lining with teens in St. Augustine.