The Steamboat House

Address: 605 S. Prospect Street, Galena, Illinois, 61036, United States | B&B
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    Historical Traveler Reviews The Steamboat House Galena

    The Best B & B in Galena


    We have just returned from The Steamboat House Bed and Breakfast and have already made reservations to return in January 2006. The house is furnished with beautiful antiques and we throughly enjoyed our time with Glen and Char Carlson, the Innkeepers of this wonderful home. The rooms are wonderfully decorated and very comfortable. Breakfast was always delicious and we enjoyed every minute we spent at the Steamboat House. This is our B & B of choice in Galena, no one else can compare and we have stayed at other Inns in Galena. We can't wait to go back!

    No thanks


    I have been to several B&B's -- this was my least favorite. The rooms were ok, but the "warm & welcoming" feeling you expect from a B&B experience was absent. The hosts were overly bossy & know-it-all -- which didn't exactly make us feel "at home." They shuffled us through as though they were doing US a favor. At every turn, there is a list or sign ordering you to do/not do something. Don't do this, don't touch that, don't sleep under your quilt, must do this, must do that. Excuse me? For the price, I would have expected amenities that were of higher quality. (i.e. something other than generic tea bags, box-o-wine (please don't bother), cost cutting measures, and what tasted like non-dairy coffee creamer (?) poured over a bowl of fruit. Strange.)

    Further, the review contains statements that are figments of someone's imagination. "Box" wine? Never. Local and California wines are served each evening in antique crystal decanters along with with local cheeses. "Generic" teas? Bigelow, Gevalia, or Hawaiian imports are hardly generic.

    Nearly 7000 guests in 6 years have been warmly welcomed. During a personal tour, we encourage them to use the parlors and library, surrounded by priceless antiques and heirloom furnishings. Guests are delighted that such family treasures are freely shared.

    "Do's and dont's"?? A greeting letter indicates when breakfast and early morning coffee are served, gives instructions for the fireplaces, lists restaurant information, local attractions & activities, etc. Breakfast is a 3-4 course formal occasion with some of our recipes chosen for national publications.

    The only "rule" relates to no smoking in the inn. Our home is not suitable for those who carelessly abuse/damage antique furnishings or engage in behaviors which would disrespect other guests.

    If someone has a problem, they should address the innkeepers, not wait nine months, hide behind an anonymous identity and write a false, damaging and potentially libelous Internet review.

    We'd Definitely Return Here!


    This was my husband's and my first stay at a bed and breakfast, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. We were there for two nights early in November. We had trouble negotiating highways that were unfamiliar to us and had to call the Inn from miles away to let them know we'd be later than we'd expected. The host, Glenn Carlson, gave us super easy-to-follow directions over the phone and let us know there'd be no problem with a late check-in.

    We found the Inn extremely quiet, clean, beautiful, and in a choice location close to the downtown area. The host and hostess were very knowledgeable, both about the historic building they've chosen to share with their guests and about Galena and its surroundings. If there was any problem here at all, for us it was thinking of the Carlsons as acquaintances we'd made because of what technically was a business arrangement, rather than as good friends. (Their breakfast, by the way, was delicious and far more bountiful than what we usually have at home.)

    If all this isn't enough, we left a small piece of luggage there by accident, and they called our home to get our cell phone number from our son, who called us to tell us to call them. They mailed it to us promptly.

    Bad Experience at a B & B


    My husband and I stayed at the Steamboat Inn in Galena, Illinois for part of our Honeymoon. The very first time we stepped into our room, it was extremely hot and uncomfortable. We found a 6" fan in one of the windows, and immediately plugged it in on High, but it gave no relief, so I

    climbed down the staircase, in search of the Innkeepers. I found them both sitting in the same room and cheerfully said, "Oh there you are! It is extremely hot in our room, neither one of us can bear it. Could we get a bigger fan, or somehow get it cooled off?" Sweat was evident pouring from my forehead to my brow, soaking downward into my clothing, cheeks were flushed into a deep red. My chest was tightening, breaths were coming in heavy puffs, and, even with the aid of medication for my blood pressure, I felt ready to explode.

    Her Husband Looked at me and scoffed, "Ah, there is a fan in your room, you know!" I replied, "Yes, we are using it, but it isn't giving us any relief." The wife looked at me as if she were smelling garbage and said,

    "This has never happened before. There IS air going into your room!", as she put her nose in the air, and led me back upstairs where my husband was turning into a small puddle of sweat. I heard her let out a "Hmmmphhhh!" as we thanked her for opening the air vents which were completely shut.

    From then on, things just seemed to get worse. My husband worked very dilligently to keep the room at an inhabitable temperature, drawing the shades during the day and running the fan to circulate the air. I begged him to book us in some other B & B, or any hotel, anywhere, but he insisted we were 'locked in' to three days due to the previous verbal agreement over the phone. We tried to be gone as much as possible during those three days to further avoid contact with the unpleasant Innkeepers, but as the temperature outside was in the low 90's, it became necessary for us to eventually have to retreat back to 'our quarters.' We enjoyed the charm and historyof Galena, Illinois, and would love to go back there again someday, but at a different location. I felt like a prisoner on my own honeymoon!

    The situation, we thought, had been resolved since nothing else was ever said. During breakfast and subsequent conversations, there was no indication of a problem.

    We work diligently to make every guest's experience a pleasant one. That same weekend, another couple (a returning guest) already re-booked for next year. We've served over 6600 guests in 5 1/2 years of business, a large number of which frequently return and refer their friends and relatives.

    Best Location, Best hosts, Best B & B in Galena


    The hosts are wonderful, the food is excellent and you cannot beat the wine and cheese hour!! The perfect place for a romantic getaway or a fun girlfriends weekend! Every guest room is tastefully decorated with one of a kind antiques, and the front porch is a perfect place to enjoy that glass of wine!! Highly recommend The Steamboat House!

    Diana Sanguinetti

    Loved The Steamboat House


    We were given a gift certificate for the Steamboat House from family who have stayed at there. We now know why they love this Bed & Breakfast. The charm of the mansion is amazing, surrounded in the owner's family history. The owners are on site and very knowledgable of the mansion and the Galena area. Breakfast was delightful, both the food and the company. And Char is even willing to share a recipe if you discover a new favorite delight. The rooms on the main floor are arranged for guests' enjoyment with a range of game, literature and video entertainment. The bedrooms are beautifully decorated and well kept. The local restaurant recommendations were right on target for a great weekend getaway. The house is conveniently located near downtown. We plan to make this an annual getaway.

    35th wedding anniversary enjoyable at the Steamboat House


    My wife and I found the Steamboat House B&B just a wonderful place to enjoy our 35th wedding anniversary. The hosts did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome to their home. We were very pleased with our experience and look forward to return visits during other seasons. I hear the Christmas Holiday time in Galena is spectacular.

    We especially enjoyed the fact that we could walk to everywhere we want to in Glalena from the Steamboat House B&B which made this very convenient.

    4 Years in a Row


    My wife and I have stayed at the Steamboat House for 4 years soon to be 5. We have made it an annual trip. The owners are very friendly, helpful, and always making you feel like home. I strongly reccomend The Steamboat House.

    Wonderful B&B


    The house was beautiful and impeccably clean! The owners are wonderful hosts and are very informal and friendly. The breakfasts and desserts served were delicious!! The bed was sooo comfortable and the location was perfect...just a couple of blocks to town (walking distance and not too close to traffic or the main streets). I highly recommend this B&B.

    TripAdvisor Reviews The Steamboat House Galena

    4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

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