Best Bed and Breakfast - 2004
The Park Avenue Mansion
Unless owners Kathy Marks-Petetit and Michael Petetit hire folks to hang out in the parlor of their bed and breakfast impersonating satisfied customers, their Park Avenue Mansion is the real deal. The Petetits, who moved to Lafayette Square from Clayton a few years ago as empty nesters, rehabbed a stately Victorian to keep themselves busy and bring in some retirement income. The result is a meticulously renovated home with a lovely courtyard framed with flowers and vines and dotted with fountains. Inviting outdoor seating coaxes visitors to grab a bottle of wine from nearby 33 Wine Bar and Shop, or a book from the home's library. "It's like staying at your favorite aunt and uncle's house," Michael Petetit says. "You might find a dust bunny or dog hair laying around, but if it bothers you that much, go stay at a hotel." The Petetits' hospitality and the comfort of one of their five guest rooms will run you about $100 per night ($160 for one of the two suites). You can try doing as we did and drop in on the spur of the moment ("Sorry for barging in, but some friends coming in from North Dakota need a place to stay..."), but we suggest you make reservations.