The Annville Inn Bed & Breakfast
The History of Annville Inn Bed & Breakfast
Annville Inn & Breakfast was founded by Rosalie George with help from her husband, Craig, in 2006. The story begins much, much earlier, however. Rosalie is an original Washingtonian, who moved to Oklahoma and met Craig, a leading portrait photographer throughout the Southwest USA. They married and launched two portrait studios and other related businesses, which they ran for ten years until relocating back to Washington, DC.
There, Rosalie worked for a large organization, and Craig went full time into what he had started doing in Oklahoma—nonprofit enterprises. He spent years at the Smithsonian Institution, helping to launch a museum—hemispheric in scope…the National Museum of the American Indian. Throughout their time in Oklahoma, Rosalie was very involved in decorating and design as well as hospitality. She took those skills back to Washington where, although running a large enterprise, she also supervised the design and decoration of the top three floors of an office tower and numerous other projects of similar scope.
The last five years of their time in DC, Rosalie and Craig started dreaming of opening “The Bed & Breakfast Different,” an enterprise that was more than the “typical” B&B, intended to include a great deal of public space, and a place that could be a destination unto itself.
Their last three years in DC, they spent weekends and holidays traveling up and down the east coast, looking for the perfect B&B location. “We searched from South Carolina to upstate New York, and one day, found the ‘General’s House,’ and fell in love not only with it and the magical vibe we felt there, but the entire area and its people,” Rosalie says.
Right away, after moving in, Craig started building grand formal gardens throughout the estate, and Rosalie busied herself and her team indoors, designing rooms, flow plan, special projects designed for guests’ conveniences, selecting colors and décor. “We want each guest room to be completely different. No two are alike, and the decisions on paint colors was a long process. It was not unusual during our first year of design and decorating, to see a room with multiple swaths of different color painted on the walls, where we were trying to see how the colors looked under different lighting conditions,” Rosalie explains. In the end, everything was done first class—from best paint on the walls to ultra-high end mattresses to furnishings, we spared no expense—in fact, we invested everything we had in order to provide the best experience for our guests,” Rosalie said. “Instead of trying to see how to squeeze the most revenue out of the property, we worked instead to squeeze out the absolute best and most rewarding experiences for our guests, whatever the cost,” she stated.
Today, some locals still refer to the large 7,000 sq. ft. home of Annville Inn as “The General’s House.” That is because it was built by famous WWII Four-Star General Bruce Kendall as his retirement estate. “The house is built like a fortress,” Craig said. “Neighbors who watched it go up told us when we were initially looking at it, that it is built as an amazingly solid structure. Once we were in the house, we saw what they meant. Everything from the roof system to flooring joists to the main boiler is way overbuilt…more than any normal residence would ever need, but great for the Inn! It is almost as though General Kendall was building a ‘house for the ages,’ and certainly it lends itself extremely well to a bed and breakfast,” Craig explains.
General Kendall had an illustrious career, is credited with rebuilding the infrastructure of Japan as U.S. Army Quartermaster General with General McArthur. From WWII, to reconstruction in Japan to his career at the U.S. Army War College, he is an American Hero.
To that end, the Georges have built a small Japanese garden as a paean to his service to that country, and have worked very, very hard to maintain his structure and grounds to the exemplary standards a Four-Star General would expect!
Interestingly, both Georges come from military families, both sides of the family from the U.S. Army and the newest generation, U.S. Marines. To honor that, the only “standing discount” the Inn offers is to active U.S. Military as an honor to them, their service, the George’s families, and of course, the builder of Annville Inn’s structure, General Bruce Kendall.
The Georges reflect upon their odyssey into providing exemplary lodging experience in a house of historic integrity, “We do not see ourselves as owners as much as we see ourselves as caretakers. We believe we are taking very good care of The General’s House, and we expect future generations of Innkeepers here to see themselves the same way—much more than owners…caretakers of a great legacy. We, too, are creating our own legacy here—that of platinum lodging and guest experiences,” say the Georges.