Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 New Year!

From our house to yours, we wish you all the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As you reflect on the year ahead and make plans, we'd love to welcome you to Burlington! Until then, here are some pictures to give you a peek inside the inn - these are some of our favorite shots from over the years during the holidays...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bob and Nancy in the News!

Yay! Bob and Nancy received some much deserved recognition by a Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky reporter, Mark Hansel, in the linked article. He interviewed them since Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast was recently rated as a National Top 10 Inn! You can read his article by clicking on the link below...


(This was posted by someone who works for Bob and Nancy; I have worked for the Swartzels over the years, and they are two of the kindest and most authentic people I have ever met. Those of us who get to work for them are lucky, just like all their guests for whom they work to create a memorable escape and getaway. Join me in congratulating this deserving duo on such a big honor to be a top 10 destination!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Updated Winter Video and Personalized Gift Certificates

Our inn video has been refreshed for winter by our talented videographer, Brian. Click on the photo link below to watch our new video on Facebook:

And if you are looking for gift ideas, we offer personalized Gift Certificates for relaxing getaways at Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn!

We can customize gift certificates for any amount over $25 to be used toward a relaxing stay.  The recipient can choose between two masterfully restored early and mid-1800s buildings: the 1850s log cabin and the 1830s Federal brick homestead. Our goal has always been to understand our guests and deliver a lasting impression that involves all five senses: the sight of antiques and comfortable surroundings, the sound of soft music, the touch of plush towels, the smell of the freshly ironed sheets, and the memorable taste of homemade cookies.

Call us today at 888-226-5096 to give a memorable gift of relaxation this Christmas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Top 10 U.S. Bed and Breakfast Award" from

This Thanksgiving week, we are giving thanks for the news that Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn was just awarded designaiton as one of the "Top 10 U.S. Bed and Breakfasts" in the 2013 Awards.

We sincerely appreciate your support and patronage that makes receiving such an honor possible! We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. And in the meantime, as you gather with family and friends over the holidays, if you are looking for ideas to serve something special, here are links to all our previous recipe posts... Enjoy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Updated Video - Aerial Footage!

Our videographer, Brian from, just updated our inn video with some amazing aerial shots. We hope you enjoy this new vantage point as much as we do!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Samples at Willis Graves B&B

Our daughter, Liz, is friends with a Steven from Robert’s Remedies, a company focused on creating all natural remedies for common skin ailments. Steven’s father, Dr. Robert, is a pediatric endocrinologist and pharmaceutical developer, which led to their development and launch of products blending the best of science and nature.

One of their products, Bite + Burn, is designed to help take “the burn out of sunburns, the itch out of bug bites, and even soothes the sting of razor burn.”

Steven is sending some samples to Willis Graves, so if you find yourself the unwelcome recipient of a bug bite outdoors or sunburn, then feel free to pick up a complimentary sample packet from us to use during your stay. After reaching out to Steven to let him know we were going to write about their product, he offered to provide a code for our readers to receive a discount on their website. If you are interested in trying any of their products, type in the code WILLIS during check-out to save 20% on your purchase.

Just to clarify for our guests, Robert’s Remedies did not ask us for an endorsement or to share a blog post about them, rather we contacted them about sharing the information with our guests and friends since finding products that actually live up to their claims is something worth sharing!

Happy summer to you all!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Fun in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati

It's the time of the year for family travels and summer getaways! Here are a few links to help get the fun started in/near Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Enjoy!

Northern Kentucky Links
MainStrasse Village
Newport Aquarium
Newport on the Levee
Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau

Cincinnati Links
Cincinnati Zoo
Cincinnati Reds Baseball
Cincinnati Bengals Football
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati Museum Center
King's Island
The Taft Museum of Art
Cincinnati Jazz Festival
Taste of Cincinnati Festival
Regional Tourism

Antique Shows
  • Burlington Antique Show - Held the 3rd Sunday of the month (April - October), the Burlington Antique Show has been visited by producers from the Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers.
  • Tri-State Antique Market - At the Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, six times each year (1st Sunday of the month, May thru October) browse for antiques and collectables.
  • MainStrasse Village Antiques Marketplace - Held seven times each year (4th Sunday of the month, April thru October) in Covington, Kentucky.
  • Cincinnati Antiques Festival - Sharonville Convention Center, October Dates TBA.
Antique Shops (Northern KY/Cincinnati)
Antique Shops (Lebanon, Ohio area)
  • Ambassador's Antiques 513-934-5677
  • Broadway Antique Mall 513-932-1410
  • Gerhardt Tribal Art 513-932-9946
  • The Lemon Tree Antiques 513-934-3077
  • Miller's Antique Market 513-932-8710
  • Oh Suzanna 513-932-8246
  • William & Mary 513-932-4030
  • Website for all:
Antique Shops (Waynesville, Ohio)  
Waynesville, twenty minutes northeast of Lebanon, is 
the home of Benner’s Colonial Traditions, who crafted the custom kitchen cabinets in our kitchen and several bedroom furniture pieces.
BB Riverboats 
Located in Covington, Kentucky, BB Riverboats offers lunch and dinner cruises on the Ohio River.

Big Bone State Park
A short drive takes you to Union, Kentucky, where Big Bone State Park is located. Giant mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths, and other prehistoric animals, driven southward towards the end of the Ice Age, were attracted to the salt and minerals found in the swamp area now known as Big Bone Lick. Many of these prehistoric creatures became trapped and perished in the quagmire surrounding the swamps' ancient sulfur springs. Today, there are hiking trails, camping and picnicking grounds, a gift shop/museum, and a herd of buffalo. Visit Website

Big Bone Lick - Jane's Saddlebag
Unique merchandise and gifts.

Boone County Fairgrounds 
Kentucky's Boone County Fairgrounds, located in Burlington, is home to the Boone County Fair, antique shows, horseshows, bluegrass festival, and car shows. Check schedule for events.

Boone County Parks and Golf Courses
Boone Links and Lassing Point Golf Courses
Boone County Parks

Cabin Arts and Quilt Shop 
Located down the street in Burlington, the Cabin Arts and Quilt shop has everything for your quilting and gift needs. 1,500 bolts of fabric, quilting supplies, handmade toys, quilt and craft classes, unique local handicrafts, quilted treasures old and new.

Civil War
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum
Behringer-Crawford Museum

The Dinsmore Homestead
The Dinsmore Homestead, located in Burlington, is a living history site. Learn what rural life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Check schedule for special events and operating days. 

Eagle Bend Farm
The Eagle Bend farm, located in Burlington, is where our inn gets the farm fresh eggs used at breakfast. It is also the largest alpaca farm in the state. Tours are available with advance notice. Their Fiber Workshop store is filled products for sale such as beautiful raw fleece and items made from the alpaca.

Little Britain Farm
For horse lovers and those seeking an unique location, the Little Britain Carriage House is available for tea, weddings, receptions, and group functions.

Rabbit Hash General Store
In the nearby historic community of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, visit the General Store. Open every day, year-round, 8 AM to 7 PM. There you will find Bybee Pottery, Elmwood Inn Teas, Shortbreads, Curds, Berea Brooms, Sunflower Sundries, Soap, and other Kentucky-made products.

Riverbend Music Center
Cincinnati Ohio's premier outdoor concert facility.  Riverbend Music Center hosts many genres of music.

Hollywood Casino
Casino is located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Turfway Park
Home of the Lane's End Stakes and Kentucky Cup Day of Champions. Live thoroughbred and simulcast horse racing.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Scenes at Willis Graves

Hello friends and guests! We've been so busy this spring that the blog went silent for a bit. But we are back, and just in time to give you some ideas for summer travel. Later this week we will have a list of some summer attractions in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, but first, here is our video redone to highlight the inn during the spring and summer months. It sure is a beautiful time of year!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Espresso Machines and Nancy on the Morning News

Guests at the inn will find a new update in their favorite rooms and suites. Espresso machines have been added in all five accommodations, so you can enjoy a warm and comforting drink in the morning before breakfast, during the day to relax, or as a nightcap after dinner.
Photo source and description:
And related to drinks and food, Nancy was recently featured on the Fox 19 Cincinnati Morning Show. She shared tips related to her signature Creme Brûlée French Toast and the clip shows a tutorial on how to torch the top of this treat before serving. If you click on the following link, it will play the morning show clip after a short commercial by the news station: Click here for video.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thank you!

Just wanted to THANK YOU so much for all your support over this last week! While we came in just 39 votes shy of moving on in the Breakfast Tournament yesterday, we sincerely appreciate all our AMAZING guests and friends that voted. You all are the very best, and we couldn't do what we do without you. Thanks again!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Check Out Our New Video!

We have a new video to share that profiles our property and the experience awaiting guests at Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taylor Morris Update

Nancy and Bob's son, Dan, was teammates in the Navy with Taylor Morris, whose story we have shared with you along his journey to recover from an explosion in Afghanistan. This week, Taylor and his girlfriend were invited to the White House for the swearing in ceremony, to be on the Citizen Co-Chair float in the parade, and attend the Commander-in-chief Ball.

As you read their latest blog post update, I have no doubt you will be as inspired as we all are by how Taylor is recovering from injuries that led him to be the 5th person at Walter Reed to ever survive a four limb amputation. At the end of the update, Taylor's girlfriend shares they are heading soon to the x-games in Colorado and Taylor has been fitted for a snowboard. Wow!

Taylor is truly a hero.

(photo from