Swan Haven Inn
Serenity of Swans
England Meets Missouri in Augusta Bed-and-Breakfast
Just 45 miles from St. Louis, nestled between the bluffs and vineyards of Augusta is one of the state’s best-kept secrets—Swan Haven Inn, owned and operated by Gene and Jacqui Schaper. Gene is from St. Louis and Jacqui hails from England.
Married for nine years, they knew when Gene retired from his job at Ralston Purina that they wanted their own home-based business. The Schapers drove through many towns in the St. Louis area, and then they saw the house that is now Swan Haven Inn. It was a private residence at the time, and a far cry from the charming inn that it is today. The home had some updates, but many of the original fixtures from 1860 remained. But, the Schapers had a vision, and in 1998, they purchased the house and restored it.
During the renovation, the couple tried to think of a suitable name for their inn. They settled on Swan Haven Inn in honor of their love of swans. There are 72 decorative swans scattered throughout the inn.
In 1999, the Swan Haven Inn opened for business.
Guests to the Inn can retire to one of the three rooms available. The Taylor Suite is the inn’s premier suite. Decorated with Jacqui’s English influence and subtle Victorian touches, it features the hand-hewn beams from the original frame of the farmhouse and a modern gas fireplace. Another popular feature of the suite is the large bathroom and the Jacuzzi bathtub for two.
The second floor of the house features a small sitting area and the other two suites, the Scenic and French suites.
The Scenic Suite has a large window overlooking the beautifully landscaped backyard. The room is decorated in soft mauve hues and has a large bathroom with a canopied antique claw-foot bathtub. Off of the bathroom is a cozy reading nook.
All of the rooms have amenities such as robes, bubble baths, hair dryers, and lotions.
Outside the inn, there is a 36-square-foot deck adorned with potted plants, flowers, and bird feeders. In the yard, rest and recuperation can be found in lawn chairs, a hammock, an outdoor fireplace, and a six-person Jacuzzi.
Mornings are a time of culinary delight at Swan Haven Inn. Some mornings, guests are treated to blueberry or orange cranberry homemade muffins and a two-cheese frittata as well as bacon and sausage. On other mornings, Jacqui makes her vanilla custard French toast. Guests might also be treated to a full English breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, and a grilled or fried tomato.
“Gene and I both love people, and I would have to say that meeting and getting to chat with our guests is the best thing about owning an inn,” Jacqui says. “If guests seem inclined to talk after breakfast, we will sit down with a cup of coffee and chat with them.”
Tourists tend to flock to the inn during the fall months when the foliage is breathtaking and the weather is accommodating. The Schapers recommend that guests who wish to stay at the inn during the fall months give them as much notice as possible. During the slower months, guests typically need to book rooms two to three weeks in advance.
Visit www.swanhaveninn.com for more information.