The FireLight Bed and Breakfast is located at 175 W. Mead Avenue
in Williams. For more
information, call 888-838-8218 or visit www.firelightbandb.com.
© Peter Schwepker
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Modern EnglishIt exudes English Tudor charm, that's true, but the FireLight B&B in Williams is anything but haughty. Heck, it even has a Wii.
By Keridwen Cornelius
Williams Don't be fooled by the fact that the FireLight B&B's bedrooms are all named after English counties: Somerset, Yorkshire, Devon, Cornwall. This isn't one of those Victorian throwbacks filled with dusty red velvet and the mingling scent of mothballs and potpourri.
For one thing, they have Wii. And though the décor is a nod to cheery English country houses, it's plush and modern. In fact, it's this mixture of luxury and interesting activity that's the hallmark of the FireLight.
"We wanted a feeling of cozy elegance, where people would feel OK putting their feet up on the furniture," says Eric Eikenberry, co-owner of the FireLight with his partner, Debi Zecchin.
Three years ago, the couple bought and completely renovated the home, which is tucked into the forest overlooking downtown Williams. Eikenberry, a contractor, made all the structural changes, adding romantic ceiling beams and hardwood floors.
Zecchin brought her skills as an interior designer, taking her cue from the home's English Tudor exterior. The handsome Yorkshire suite, with its four-poster bed and chandeliers, exudes a subtle sense of royalty. The soothing Cornwall room evokes that coastal county's seascapes, while the Devon's floral and arboreal accents bring the garden indoors. And from the butterscotch-colored Somerset room, decked with antique plates, guests can watch the sun set over Williams. Plus, a fireplace and bathrobes make every room cozier, and throughout the inn you'll find whimsical touches, like a flying pig motif.
That's the luxury part of the equation; here's where the games begin. In the upstairs game room, guests can compete on the antique shuffleboard table, play Scrabble overlooking the town, or try their hand at virtual sports with Wii — all to an oldies soundtrack streaming from the 1947 jukebox. And that's when they're not riding the train to the Grand Canyon.
"Twenty-somethings enjoy coming here as much as the retirees," says Eikenberry, who admits he has "a blast" running the B&B.
A native Arizonan, Eikenberry managed the Williams Tourist Information Center for several years, adding to his wealth of knowledge about Arizona. He and Zecchin met when he performed as a train robber on the Grand Canyon Railway and, apparently, stole her heart as well as her purse. Though he's since put thievery behind him, he still performs as "Tombstone Red," playing accordion and harmonica.
He's also become quite the chef. Breakfast at the FireLight might include a crustless potato quiche, croissant french toast or a Mexican strata. But always on the menu is a generous helping of hospitality and humor.
"People come here as guests," says Eikenberry, "and they leave as friends."