It was early morning, and the faint sound of whizzing lawn equipment could be heard near the Grand Courtyard of The Sanford House. The trim lawn and flowerbeds surround the spacious, stone-paved courtyard that serves as an event space for weddings and receptions.
The family-owned and operated Arlington bed and breakfast has been a home away from home for guests for 20 years. Its Manor House, Carriage House, Villas, and Cottages combine to give quests a choice of 12 accommodations for a memorable and luxurious getaway experience. For events, the Renoir Room can accommodate 50 guests indoors; the outdoor Courtyard can provide space for up to 200 people.
“The Manor House was constructed in 1996,” General Manager Valerie Landry says. “We wanted it to look like a classic, Southern mansion, full of elegance and style but with the amenities of modern times.” She explains how her grandmother and mother bought the vacant lot and designed the B&B, which was constructed from the ground up. A year later, The Sanford House expanded by renovating adjacent duplexes into one-bedroom Cottage Suites, which Landry says are the most requested rooms.
The cottages sit on the north border of the property with a gated entry for added privacy. The luxurious suites are tastefully decorated for a jaw-dropping experience upon entering. Each cottage suite is individually stylized with king beds, two-person Jacuzzis, and stand-alone showers, as well as cozy fireplaces.
“The cottages offer a little bit of everything you need, especially for people who are looking to come in for more than just an overnight stay,” Landry says. “The spacious living areas are very relaxing.” The Sanford House Cottages rent for $220 per night plus tax Sunday through Thursday and $275 per night plus tax on Friday and Saturday.
To the west side of the property lie the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Villa Suites. Added to the property in 2009, these rooms are $275 per night plus tax Sunday through Thursday and $330 per night plus tax on Friday and Saturday nights.
Inside the Manor House, laughter can be heard above the vocal and instrumental jazz music that pipes throughout the building. An emerald-colored carpet trail leads up the winding bannister staircase past massive antique oil portraits to rooms decorated in classical composer themes. “Our family has always been passionate about music,” Landry says. ”Which is why some of the rooms have been named after composers.” A hallway library and cozy reading area adjoin the Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms rooms, while additional Bach and Strauss rooms are located in the Carriage House. Both of those rooms are on an upper level overlooking the Grand Courtyard and have a separate entrance. All the rooms in the Manor House have king size beds and full baths. Manor House Rooms cost $165 per night plus tax Sunday through Thursday with weekend pricing of $220.
The Sanford House also has an indoor private event space, the Renoir Room, which serves as a popular site for corporate meetings, wedding and bridal showers, as well as specialty “House Events,” such as Cooking with the Chef and Wine School. Other amenities are a full-services salon and spa located across the street.
Landry says the Manor House dining areas were renovated in 2008 to add dark walnut wood floors throughout the dining areas and the Van Gogh Bar and Lounge. “It’s an intimate, cozy bar,” Landry says, ”where you can get a drink and have some great food. It’s just a nice, quiet place to come and relax.” The Van Gogh bar is an extension of restaurant506, which features Inspired American cuisine.
“This was an incredible find in Arlington, wrote one guest on Trip Advisor, “A quiet, intimate five-star restaurant on the property of a gorgeous inn. The dining experience was amazing from the food to the service to the decor.”
The Sanford House Executive Chef, John Klein, leads a culinary team whose creations combine classic cooking methods with fresh ingredients for delicious and artfully presented food. “We rebranded the restaurant in 2013 to clearly define that it was open to the public, and people don’t have to be an overnight guest to dine here” Landry says, adding that the restaurant’s crab cakes and chocolate destruction are a few customer favorites. “We have just started our new winter menu, and it’s been received quite well!” she notes.
Many of The Sanford House’s overnight guests are looking for something new and unique, while others are in town for stadium events. However, restaurant506 also draws Arlington residents and other diners from all around North Texas. The Sanford House is in the process of developing an improved on-line presence, Landry says, adding that many guests learn about the property through websites like Yelp, OpenTable, and TripAdvisor.
Landry recalls how her mother, Dr. Joan Bergstrom, an Arlington gynecologist and owner of the Inn, managed the enterprise for several years after her parents retired. Landry came onboard after finishing college at Hofstra University in New York. She has been general manager at The Sanford House for seven years and obtained her MBA through UTA. She says Arlington has provided her many wonderful opportunities to grow both professionally and personally, plus she loves being part of a family-run business.
Camille McDonald, Valerie’s youngest sister, is the Food and Beverage Manager of The Sanford House. She joined the family business full-time after completing her college degree at TCU. Camille developed the fine dining service of restaurant506 and is the point of contact for private events. She is currently earning her Sommelier certification and has upgraded the wine cellar to include many exclusive wine offerings.
“It’s really been a cool opportunity to work with my mom and sister,” Landry says. “We have a lot of autonomy to make decisions for the business – while a family business is challenging, there are some really fun times when you get to meet people that would otherwise not be on your radar.” Landry says that actor Adrien Brody who played in “King Kong,” “Angels in the Outfield” and “The Pianist,” for which he won an Academy Award, has stayed at The Sanford House. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Rooney family, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry have also dined in restaurant506.