The Teapot Inn is located at 989 W. Center Street in Chino Valley. Information: 928-636-7727 or www.teapotinn.com.
© Morey Milbradt
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Teapot InnOriginally built as a farmhouse in 1926, the Teapot Inn in Chino Valley is a great place for a good night's sleep. The sourdough pancakes are something special, too.
By Hilary Peele
Tombstone, Tubac, Greer, the Grand Canyon … these are the places people think of when they think of weekend getaways — Chino Valley rarely cracks the top 10. One night at the Teapot Inn, though, and people might start thinking otherwise.
Originally built as a farmhouse in 1926, the two-story tan structure is easily identified by its brown shutters and white picket fence. The sofa on the front porch and the soft ringing of wind chimes give it away, as well. Other than that, only a hand-painted sign out front tells visitors that this old house is now the Teapot Inn.
Like most B&Bs, this one has been through its share of remodeling projects, including the addition of rooms in the 1980s. Still, it retains much of its original country charm.
Jim and Vera French opened the Teapot in November 2004, and they were perfectly suited to the bed-and-breakfast business. Vera had worked in the hotel industry for more than 30 years, and Jim worked in home construction for decades.
So far, they've spent about $50,000 on renovations, adding modern amenities while maintaining the integrity of the farmhouse. Vera says she always wanted to open a B&B, and Chino Valley seemed perfect because of the great weather and friendly townspeople.
"It was always my idea of retirement," she says. "You get more one-on-one time with the guests."
It's been a big change for Vera. Instead of managing large hotels, she now oversees the five-bedroom Teapot Inn and cooks breakfast for the guests. The menu varies, but some of her specialties include sourdough pancakes, eggs Benedict, and biscuits and gravy. It's more than just great food, though. Breakfast is served in a charming dining area decorated with flowered curtains and several tea sets. Guests can also eat in the living room, where a hodgepodge of furniture creates a casual, easygoing environment.
That feeling carries through to each of the five guest rooms. Personal touches are everywhere — bright flowers or plants, quilts at the feet of the beds, and stuffed animals resting on the pillows.
In all, the Teapot Inn comfortably accommodates up to 14 guests, although some rooms have rollaway beds, allowing for a few more people. Three of the rooms have private baths, while the two smaller rooms share a hall bathroom.
Vera says that many of their guests travel to nearby Prescott, Jerome and Cottonwood during their stays, but, she stresses, there are things to do in Chino Valley, too, including wine tastings at Granite Creek Vineyards. Regardless of where people go during the day, they always come back at night. Jim and Vera say they get a lot of return customers because they treat their guests like family. If you're looking for a reason to add Chino Valley to your list of weekend getaways, this is it.