By Jennifer Campbell- Just Chasing Rabbits
After a six (plus) hour drive to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, late on a Thursday night, we arrived at our accommodations and pulled into our very own designated parking spot. It was at this point that we were already fans of the Bay Town Inn, and we hadn’t even gotten out of the car. Of course, it was dark, but we were able to see the buildings painted a very airy blue and the white railings of the front porch. Yes, y’all…our suite had a front porch! Our review of the Bay Town Inn bed and breakfast in Bay St. Louis only gets better from here!
See Related: 5 Reasons to Visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast
A long drive will absolutely wear you out. Right before arriving at the Bay Town Inn, we were so ready to get in bed and get to sleep. Once we set foot on the porch and opened our room door, we were so pleasantly surprised at the very generous size of the suite and its fantastic decor that sleep totally left our thoughts!
The Suites Are So Spacious!
Set up more like an apartment, the Bay Town Inn feels like a home away from home. We had a seating area with couch, chairs, and tables, a kitchenette with microwave and small fridge, beautiful bathroom with toiletries and super plush rug, and a very spacious bedroom with king bed, dresser, TV, and closet (that held cushy waffle-weave robes!). The details of the beach and ocean-themed decor were incredible. I will never get over the lamp made from a knot of rope!
Special Welcoming Touches
Not only were we greeted with this fantastic space, but there was a light left on for us, a sweet hand-written welcome note from owner Nikki Moon, and COOKIES! We were so pumped to change into comfy pj’s and snack on cookies! The perfect before-bed snack after a long day!
The Property Is Gorgeous
The next morning, the full beauty of the property came into view in the sunlight. In the middle of the courtyard, the most perfectly precious frog (with a crown) fountain sprays water into a very inviting pool. Tables, chairs, and lounge chairs are available for guests. The landscaping, while beautiful, is really brought to life with little whimsical touches of metal art and statues. Overall, the entire property just felt welcoming, airy, carefree, and FUN.
10 Things We Loved About the Bay Town Inn:
1. Yummy cookies to snack on and fresh muffins for breakfast.
2. We were welcomed with a hand-written note from the owner. The hospitality is amazing!
3. The special details in the beach-themed decor.
4. The plush rug in the bathroom and comfy waffle-weave robes.
5. The suites include hair dryers, small refrigerators, irons, bedside alarm clocks, and adequate plugs.
6. Each room has a guest book for visitors to write their thoughts, memories, and suggestions.
7. Drinks and snacks are available in the rooms, and included in the price of stay.
8. Each room has a designated parking space.
9. The design of the Inn, including the front porches and decor, gave it a very Southern and coastal feel.
10. The location is perfect for walking around the Old Town Bay St. Louis area. There’s so much nearby!
The Inn Is Not A Traditional B&B
At no point did we ever feel like we were in a hotel room. It was like visiting a friend’s home, or staying in someone’s guest house or cabin. (A friend that leaves cookies for a snack and muffins for the next morning’s breakfast!) The Bay Town Inn isn’t a traditional bed and breakfast. Each weekday, a light breakfast is left in the suite, and a full breakfast is delivered on the weekends. Pretty awesome, huh?
It is also important to note that the minimum age for all guests is fifteen years old. This didn’t even occur to us since we don’t have kids, but is worth noting before you book if you are a parent.
Location, Location, Location!
The location of the Inn is ideal, with the marina and beaches literally across the street, and tons of local shops and restaurants all within walking distance. As we walked from the Bay Town Inn to our breakfast destination at the Mockingbird Cafe, Bay Town Inn owner, Nikki Moon, gave us an Old Town tour with descriptions of each shop and restaurant. Many of the shops hadn’t opened up so early in the morning, but I was doing some serious window shopping! Also serious is the Serious Bread bakery, which I wrote an entire post on!
Hospitality and Kindness Reign
Every person we passed waved and spoke to us, which is always so nice. It may be a Southern thing, but the hospitality was definitely on the high end of the spectrum at the Bay Town Inn and on the Mississippi Coast in general. Kindness! The world needs to take notes from the locals of the Gulf Coast! It was apparent how much Nikki loves her community and how much they love her as well.
Nikki not only runs her business in Bay St. Louis, but she supports all the other local businesses around her. I think this is so phenomenal and important. We should definitely support one another and lift each other up, especially with small, locally-owned businesses. The decor in the rooms and around the property of Bay Town Inn came from local shops and artists, and we also heard Nikki point a customer to a boutique nearby after the lady complimented Nikki’s blouse. I’ve never seen a hotel/inn owner make such a point to speak and connect with each guest. “Above and beyond” is a great phrase for the Bay Town Inn and Nikki Moon.
History of the Bay Town Inn and The Angel Tree
The original Bay Town Inn, built in 1897, was lost to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Nikki had purchased the Inn just two years prior and was actually inside when the colossal storm hit. Six others were there as well. Some swam to safety, but Nikki, her terrier, and two others held tight to a nearby tree hours through the storm. This tree now sits across the street from the Bay Town Inn. It has been carved into an angel tree, which is so fitting because it saved those four lives in 2005.
Visiting the tree with Nikki was very emotional, but I think it’s important to understand the story, the loss, the emotion, and the significance of what happened to the people of the Gulf Coast during and after Hurricane Katrina. If you read my post 5 Reasons to Visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you know that I talk about the significance of visiting locations that have been affected by disaster. Tourism helps these places to rebuild.
The Bay Town Inn as it stands today was completed in 2013, not long after the passing of Nikki’s husband, who shared her vision and love for the Inn and the Bay St. Louis area. The attention and love that she has put into the Bay Town Inn and that she passes onto her visitors are such an incredible way to honor her husband’s memory. She is touching hearts every single day. We often say that one of the best parts of travel is meeting people, and it was an absolute privilege to meet Nikki Moon.
A stay at the Bay Town Inn is really a stay at the heart of Bay St. Louis, in more ways than one.
As long as there’s an open room, I’ll be staying at the Bay Town Inn during every trip to Bay St. Louis! Thank you, Nikki, for your kindness, hospitality, and the walking tour of the Old Town area. And for letting me say hello to your sweet fur babies!
DISCLAIMER: Our visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was sponsored by Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Tourism, and our stay at the Bay Town Inn was provided by owner Nikki Moon, but, as always, all opinions are our own.
Full article here