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RI Archives: Rural Road Trips

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Lodgings: The Inn at Kent Falls is Cozy and Chic

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When Ira Goldspiel turned 40 a few years ago, he started to think about changing his life. A high-flying retail executive who’d worked in New York and San Francisco for companies like the Gap and Armani Exchange, he had the proverbial fantasy about opening a bed and breakfast in the country. He also had the proverbial gay gene for style and entertaining, which is why staying at the Inn at Kent Falls is like spending the weekend at the country house of a friend with great taste, impeccable manners, and a generous heart.

From the road, the Inn at Kent Falls looks like a prosaic bed and breakfast but don’t expect to find curtains with ruffles or tables with doilies. Goldspiel has managed to maintain the 18th century inn’s historic character—sloping floorboards, period hardware, a meandering layout— while creating a laid-back sense of modern luxury. Rural Intelligence Road Trips There are extra deep sofas and armchairs in the living room and den, which both have fireplaces, and a screened porch and swimming pool for summer visitors. The six distinct bedrooms (which range in price from $195 to $350) are uncluttered, soothing, and sensuous. Comfort is paramount: “We have Frette sheets on all the beds,” notes Goldspiel. While he originally decorated the rooms with minimal pattern and color, he is slowly adding bold strokes to some rooms, like a Dorothy Draper-inspired graphic bedspread and neo-Baroque mirror in the Falls Suite. Goldspiel is justifiably proud of his immaculate bathrooms; he’s managed to fit them into existing spaces so the state-of-the-art fixtures seem well-suited to the historic context. In the Lakes Suite, a free-standing clawfoot tub sit in front of a fireplace filled with candles. “Everybody love this bathroom,” he says.

Breakfast is, of course, the most important meal of the day at the inn. Goldspiel sets the table with Blue Willow china in way that is fresh, not fuddy duddy, along with starched napkins and gleaming silverware. “We have a baker who comes in and prepares dough for the scones that we freeze, so we can serve fresh baked scones every morning,” he explains. There’s always a buffet of fruit, yogurt and granola along with something hot like a frittata or waffles.Rural Intelligence Road Trips Besides running the inn, Goldspiel sells real estate for Sotheby’s new branch in Kent, where he has become an integral member of the community. He redesigned the Kent Chamber of Commerce‘s website a few years ago, and he was instrumental in organizing the town’s first annual Christmas potluck supper three years ago, which attracted more than 250 people last year. “My boyfriend from the city thought I was crazy,” he says. “This Jewish guy running around organizing a town-wide Christmas party.”  And it is Goldspiel’s expansive, ecumenical, eager-to-please spirit that permeates the Inn at Kent Falls 365 days a year.

The Inn at Kent Falls
107 Kent Cornwall Road, Kent, CT ; 860.927.3197

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Each modern bathroom has been artfully fitted into existing spaces in the 18th century house.

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The screened-in porch overlooks the swimming pool.

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 03/28/08 at 06:44 AM • Permalink