The longest running bed and breakfast in Arkansas is still going strong, although Innkeeper Beverly Williams sometimes feels forgotten. The Inn at Bella Vista is still nestled into 14 acres overlooking Lake Windsor.
"We call it a peaceful corner of the Ozarks," Williams said. She works hard to make sure her guests have a stress-free environment. While locals seem to have forgotten about the Inn, it continues to attract visitors from out of town.
When they opened the Inn 22 years ago, they put up a lot of Walmart vendors, Williams said. She opened it with her late husband, who was a POA board member for a time and active in local politics. He died last year and she plans to continue on her own.
The Inn has five rooms, each with its own bathroom and four of them with a stunning lake view. Visitors can also use the dining room, living area and decks. Breakfast is often served in front of a window where guests can watch dozens of bluebirds visit a bird feeder.
Williams has hosted dozens of small weddings, which can take place outside on the deck or inside in front of the large fireplace. She only considers small weddings so guests can be comfortable inside in case of rain. The wedding package includes rooms for the bridal party if needed.
The house was designed by E. Fay Jones, Williams said, although he didn't complete the work. It was built as a family home for John Cooper's daughter, and she insisted on some changes that Jones didn't like. Eventually, she found a different architect to finish. When Williams bought the house, only a few changes were necessary to make it a bed and breakfast.
One of the things that attracted the Williamses to Bella Vista was the golf courses. Beverly Williams became a professional golfer and joined the LPGA at age 43. Eventually, she was ready to settle down and teach. She started out with some private lessons, but her students wanted more. Since 2003, Williams has been offering multiple sessions of golf school.
Her students stay at the Inn from Monday through Friday. They have a cookout early in the week and finish the week with a pizza party. They spend mornings at the driving range and afternoons on one of the golf courses. In recent years, she likes to take them to Berksdale because it's not as busy as the 18-hole courses and they can take their time to practice. But they play other courses too, depending on the skill level of her students.
"It's a very intense class," she said. She teaches the fundamentals of golf, and some of her students return every year for "golf boot camp."
"It's not playing; it's learning," she said of her program.
Some of her guests prefer other games. She recently hosted several couples who travel together and play board games. She's also seen her first cyclists and expects to host more when the new trails are completed in central Bella Vista. One will be just across the street, she said.
Williams isn't planning any changes to the Inn at Bella Vista. She's happy sharing the unique home, the views and the peaceful atmosphere of Bella Vista.
General News on 01/30/2019
Print Headline: Innkeeper still welcoming guests to her 'peaceful corner'