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“Favorite Part of Galena”

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Richards House Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #3 of 8 Dubuque B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Favorite Part of Galena”
Reviewed 3 October 2013

My wife and I picked last weekend to visit Galena, Illinois—and as it turns out, it was one of the area's busiest weekends. We were also only able to stay a single night. As if these factors weren't enough to severely limit our choices, we also had budgetary considerations. Thank goodness our online search led us to The Richards House! 15 minutes from downtown Galena—just over the bridge spanning the river—is this Victorian treasure on the National Registry of Historic Places in Dubuque, Iowa.

For our one-night stay, we were given use of the enormous and richly appointed Library Suite, outfitted with original fireplaces, stained glass, woodwork, and built-in bookcases. We slept in a majestic antique half-canopy bed, read in leather chairs before the bay window, and soaked in a decadent clawfoot tub.

The rest of the house was just as inviting. The front parlour is a music room housing a baby grand piano (and a large collection of DVDs to take back to your room, tucked into yet more built-in bookcases); the dining room boasts breakfasts of homemade cakes, waffles, and baked eggs with bacon; and all the other bedrooms we got a peek into were charmingly decorated with well-selected antiques. Not content to rest on their laurels, Michelle and Dave are continually making improvements: when we got there, the backyard was being worked on, and one of the bedrooms had just been repapered in a dazzling suite of vintage papers.

Then there are the hosts: Michelle is friendly, accommodating (she serves breakfast on your schedule, not on a fixed one), and more than happy to give tours of the place from top to bottom. While Dave was busily overseeing the work in back, we enjoyed the attention of the property's feline staff: Momma Cat, Oliver, Sassy, and Socks. They're beautiful animals, happy to be petted but not overly sociable and underfoot; and since they're not allowed in the guest rooms, my allergies didn't cause me a sniffle.

True, the Richards House isn't in the heart of Galena. And its exterior, which will be restored and painted in 2014, might put you in mind of Miss Havisham's house in Great Expectations. But those minor setbacks pay huge dividends: once inside, you're rewarded with an outstanding B&B experience—for a fraction of the rates charged on the other side of the river. We look forward to staying there on our next Galena getaway, and we recommend you do the same.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Necr0mancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 August 2013

My husband and I truly enjoyed a 5day stay inside the Library Suite on a special getaway. I searched for months for a bed and breakfast that was inviting and immediately felt that after clicking onto their site. I fell in love with the photos and decided to reserve a suite in June. The outside might throw you, but you have to put that aside and venture inside. Our jaws dropped once we stepped inside, everything from ceiling to floor is so Beautiful. You would have to see it, because mere words can't do what your eyes take in. Michelle and Dave treated us as if we were friends, very pleasant, very open. We enjoyed the most delicious and most filling breakfast each morning with very good conversation with both of them. They are both very knowledgeable, we found we had a lot in common. We even became friends with the cats, but we both love animals. We formed and everlasting friendship in a very beautiful and inviting place. If you love beautiful and unique antiques, stain glass windows and History, we recommend you visit the Richards House you won't be sorry.. I promise, it was a Blessing from GOD, we found this place. We loved everything about it.

Room Tip: We recommend the Library Suite if you want lots of space, but all the rooms are beautiful so you won...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Timothy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2013

Dave and Michelle were excellent hosts for our weekend getaway, and the breakfasts were top notch. When the room we had reserved wasn't available due to renovations, they comped us a night and let us use an even better room (the library) on our second day. Admittedly, the outside isn't much to look at and serious renovations are in the works, but we loved the Victorian interior and the history of the house. The fellow guests were great, and privacy was never a problem. This is a great "mom & pop" B&B that deserves your support!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ISUCyHopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eau Claire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2013

My husband and I enjoyed 2 nights in the Library Suite over Memorial Day. We feel quite lucky to have found this wonderful B and B. Dave and Michelle were so welcoming and very helpful with ideas and suggestions. Our room was spacious and clean. We had 2 fireplaces that we enjoyed on this rainy weekend. The clawfoot soaker tub was heavenly. The breakfast on both mornings was scrumptious and plentiful. We are already discussing when we can go back.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank wisara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

I booked a one night in the Richards House, hoping the photos did the B&B justice...they did and more. The interior is wonderful...they inkeepers, Michelle and David are very hospitable and the accomodations were great. The location and value is also excellent. The state of restoration varies from inside to outside. The size of the property makes this a huge undertaking and it will be awhile before they're able to get everything done, but from my perspective it doesn't harm the overall experience. Our group loved the evening snack, the complete breakfast as well as the inkeepers knowledge of the local history, history of the house with insights into some of the intricate wood and tile craftsmanship, the stained glass, and their painstaking effort to make sure every new addition is in keeping with the Victorian period. The bedrooms are very roomy with wood burning fireplaces, sitting areas, and comfortable beds (the pictures make the rooms appear to be smaller then they really are) the bathrooms have big tubs.

Our only cautions are if you're looking for a 100% rennovated place or are alergic to pets, you may want to look elswhere, but if you love experiencing living history, seeing what ingenuity can accomplish, enjoying a home-cooked breakfast all at very affordable price, then you'll love the Richards House.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with an attached bathroom.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Judith L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, UAE
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Just got back from a long weekend at the Richards House. What a gem in Dubuque!! The house is in amazing condition and our room was full of wonderful furniture and antiques. Michelle does a fantastic breakfast every morning and is ready to accommodate any diet needs. We loved all the personal touches and recommendations from her over our coffee at breakfast. We brought out little dog and he was warmly welcomed. Only drawback is the exterior - which is under renovation. Can't wait to see it when they're finished.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MsJewl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2013

Michelle and David are excellent innkeepers with a passion for their home. I have stayed at The Richards House seven times over the past 12 years. It is a worthwhile destination unto itself for lovers of Victorian architecture, working fireplaces and stained glass windows. Almost every room offers a fireplace of marble or handmade tiles. The 90 stained glass windows radiate inspiration, as does the stunning collection of period light fixtures, antiques and art. Towering museum quality semi-canopy beds of mahogany, walnut and maple center each room in grandeur, reminding you that you are lucky to be staying someplace with history and a 'sense of being"...not just another cheap chain hotel. Understand that the restoration and the home is a work in-progress: the exterior is being painstakingly repainted and looks a little rough, making the breathtaking view once the front door opens all the more dramatic. Michelle and David's breakfast is second to none and is served on Blue Willow china as antique oil lamps light the table, and a fireplace blazes. The Richards House is a tremendous value. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Room Tip: The library is the quietest and most dramatic suite in the house! Simply phenomenal.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank 195KellyH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Richards House Bed and Breakfast

Property: Richards House Bed and Breakfast
Address: 1492 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001-4714
Region: United States > Iowa > Dubuque
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Dubuque
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Richards House Bed And Breakfast Dubuque, Iowa

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