BED AND BREAKFAST
At Sherwood Forest, you get the point right: away: The chalkboard
has the weather report and a new idea for an adventure each day.
While sprawling verandas envelope this Victorian-style home, a classic oak staircase
anchors the antique-showcase foyer of the private-home-turned-inn. On the first
floor, there is a dining room that seats 10. To the right is a sitting area with
music, books and local memorabilia. Off to the back of the home are the kitchen
and personal quarters of the owners, Keith and Sue Charak. Before they were innkeepers,
the Charaks, who have been married 15 years, lived in the Chicago area, where
Keith was in carpentry and Sue worked in medical publishing. When the Charaks
purchased the building 13 years ago, they finished gutting the 40-year-old building.
The Tree Tops is a spacious corner bedroom with fireplace and private
bath that has a view from the treehouse painted across the walls and
did most of the painting, with the exception of the Tree Tops room,” Sue
says. Kalamazoo artist Conrad Kaufman hand-painted the remarkable mural. In contrast,
the Black and White room offers a muted monochromatic palette with accent colors.
A perfect way to begin the day after emerging from the queen-size bed is a quick
walk to the window for a view of the expansive woods. With private bath and Jacuzzi,
this room is popular with romantics. “This is a great place to unwind and
relax. Time stops here, catch a moment with your significant other,” Keith
Outside, Sherwood Forest also has an inground pool surrounded by a
heated pool’s main allure, though, is a hand-painted Kaufman mural of a
Greek shipwreck. If you prefer a Lake Michigan setting, borrow one of the Charaks’ bicycles
for a 1/2-block ride to the beach. Or take off in the other direction to Douglas’s
downtown area. It is good to rise early anyway for the French toast, fruit and
gourmet cof-fee served on fine china each morning. Maps and agendas can be requested
and conversation with the Charaks is always available.
"We’re pretty unique with time, thought and effort, and amenities,” Keith
says "That’s why people return.” Sherwood Forest has about a
50% repeat business clientele. Open year-round, Sherwood Forest has 5 bed- rooms
in the main house and a two-bed- room cottage next-door.