An unusually charming and quaint B&B gem at the top of the hill in sleepy Jerome sits The Surgeon’s House, run by proprietor Andrea Prince who has been running it for over 20 years after buying it in 1992. She transformed an area that was once a wasteland of willow trees, rocks and broken concrete with a derelict house into the flowing old fashioned two story Mediterranean styled mansion and garden wonderland it is today, the weeping cherry tree and magnolia in the back more than just a sweet plus.
The gardens are vibrant and alive with flowers, shrubs, trees, stone walkways and fountains and inside the house, each room is overflowing with plants, decorative pillows, turn-of-the-last-century quilts, old tea pots and funky pottery and relics of yore.
Each wall is filled with paintings and framed articles and photos and the wooden floors have one throw rug after another, none of which match each other or the walls and yet all seem to work.
The hallway that separates the main living area and the staircase is overflowing with historical books and novels and the widen open main two living spaces have massive windows which face the mountains in the distance, presenting one of the best views in the town. The original house was home to Verde Mine Mine employees and community members before it closed in 1953.
You may have the feeling as you walk through the house that parts of it are a bit like home, meaning your grandmother’s home from a long time ago. The Raggedy Ann doll in the corner before entering our street-facing room took me back in time during my stay there. Our room was painted a Victorian yet vibrant blue and the extremely comfortable king bed had one of those old fashioned cream colored quilts on it and what felt like a dozen pillows across its middle.
There is wifi although work or email isn’t the first thing you think of when you stay here. The cat duo, homey and nature magazines and the numerous antiquities in every nook and cranny of the house may be the first thing to distract you but if you pay close attention, you’ll also notice porcelain and clay angels in every room.
Andrea herself has an interesting past, so I encourage you to ask her about her life and how she started and more importantly, why. Karma is the order of the day here and just letting go if you can allow yourself to, even if for a night or two. Be sure to wake up for at least one of her homemade breakfast spreads, which includes an odd mish mash of delicious dishes — from broccoli and fish to yogurts, fresh juices and a soft apple concoction with raisins.
Some of the dishes reminded me of the South, like the bowl of deep fried potatoes with dill and lemon pepper which she referred to as “Fried Squared.” She also had homemade key lime scones which were ever so delicious and as for toppings, while butter may have been available, it’s not something I even thought of when I had home made maple bacon bourbon jam and a chocolate, kahlua and vodka spread to choose from.
The Surgeon’s House
100 Hill Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
For those staying for longer than just a night or two or simply want more space, there are a couple of fabulous house rentals, also in the center of town, both of which boast to die for views of the red golden mountains in the valley below.
We stayed for a couple of nights at The Miner’s Cottage, which has two one bedroom apartments, both with private front porches and outside sitting areas, a real treat in this town. Imagine a European style apartment but in an old fashioned double decker wooden house, the kind you’d typically find in the midwest.
There are many unique things about this property, the first being that it is propped up on a hill, which means that the property slants and so do the floors. While some may find this to be an inconvenient quirk, I loved the uneven beautifully restored wooden floors as they reminded me of the old homes I grew up in as a child. For this New England native, it brought back a ton of nostalgia yet there I was on the other side of the country, in the middle of a valley in central Arizona.
If you love historical homes with old wooden floors, then you’ll love the top floor of the Miner’s House, which exudes history with its brick panels, wooden ceiling beams and chandelier hanging from the main room.
There’s also a working gas fireplace, Satellite TV, a dining room table, a couch which could easily seat eight people, one of those deep claw bathtubs, and a poster bed that is so nestled into an enclosed section at the top of the house, you’ll feel as secluded and cosy as you did when you built your first tree house except that it’s ten times more comfortable.
Original antique wooden furniture with marble tops make their way into every part of the small but charming apartment, most notably in the kitchen and the bathroom. The bathroom sink is made of copper and the cupboards are made from an antique rich wood, all of which have intricate carvings that make you marvel every time you see them. I loved the charm of this place and would gladly return – it’s a godsend for a writer or artist wanting to get away from it all for a few weeks.
The side yard with a porch swing.
Views of Jerome and beyond from the Miner’s Cottage.
The Miner’s Cottage
553 Main Street,
Jerome, AZ 86331
Another great rental is The Kelly House, a few doors up Main Street on the same side of the road as the Miner’s Cottage. Owned by photographer and artist Donna Chesler and her husband, who have completely restored the upstairs unit, this two bedroom gem is a great choice for people wanting more space. Not only is there a TV, fully equipped modern kitchen, dining room and living room area and fully decked out bathroom, but there’s also a washer and dryer in the unit, making it a great choice for longer stays.
Offering stunning views, there’s a large outdoor covered porch where you can soak up the morning sunrise, and ease your way into the day. They also have a lovey side patio with a table, umbrella and chairs should you want to relax at your “Jerome” home for the evening — remember there’s a full kitchen so you can cook on-site.
This should be your top pick if you want modern conveniences mixed with charm, plenty of space and a stunning view of the valley. It sits over Gallery 527, a fabulous art gallery in town which has a variety of creative eye candy – from pottery, glass works of art and jewelry to Donna and her husband’s photography and acrylic paintings.
Above, all the modern amenities you’d need for a long weekend, a week or even a month – a kitchen with dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator and stove, cabinets, storage and stools by a tiled counter.
There are two bedrooms, making it great choice for two couples eager for a getaway in an eclectic artsy town, away from the stress of urban living. The dining area has a chandelier and table that expands to seat 8. The large picture window looks out onto an incredible view of the Verde Valley. Satellite TV, phone service and internet connection are all provided and a full bath features a cultured marble tub and sink with lovely lighting.
The Kelly House
527 Main Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
More information on booking can be found here: http://www.vacationrentals.com/listing/p7028627.
Two more traditional options in the center of town are the historical Hotel Connor and the slightly run down but kinda funky Ghost City Inn. While we didn’t stay in either this trip, I stayed in the Ghost City Inn about ten years ago and from first glance, not much has changed.
Jerome has a history of ghosts and haunted tales so it’s no surprise to find a Ghost City Inn here, nor was it a surprise to discover the infamous Haunted Hamburger, a local favorite, open every night for dinner at the top of the hill. Below is the Ghost City Inn from the street.
The Ghost City Inn was originally built in 1890’s as a boarding house for employees of the copper mines, and was restored in 1994, when it converted into the inn it is today. There are six antique-filled rooms with private baths and flat screen TV’s with Direct TV and two off-site suites. Cushioned at the bottom of the main drag, it is centrally located giving you easy access to the shops, bars and restaurants.
The Ghost City Inn
541 Main Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
The very historical Hotel Connor is also located on the main drag, smack in the middle of the town. It feels a bit more touristy than the rest, as it has a gift shop which is open in the evenings as well, attracting passerbys who are not even staying there.
One of their front bedrooms, albeit a noisy choice, has oversized windows which offer a bird’s-eye view of the town park, the mountain, and downtown Jerome. Add to it one memory foam king bed, a hammered copper bar sink and kitchenette in the room, and a retro black and white tiled tub/shower combo and you have one eclectic choice for a central Jerome stay.
The below room still has its original wallpaper, which has a bordello look to it, and boasts brickwork and two sunny windows overlooking Main Street. The rooms are all romantic and cosy, but if you do want a quieter option, ask for a room in the back.
64 Main Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
Note: we were hosted by Surgeon’s House and Miner’s Cottage, however all opinions expressed here are my own. Other suggestions came from asking recommendations from many locals in the town over the course of our stay.