If you’ve never heard of an inn with schoolhouse charm, you might not be alone. An elementary school turned luxury inn may be hard to picture, but The Davie School Inn in Anna, owned by Lyle and Tammy Woodrum, is one of the most unique and hospitable places to lodge in Southern Illinois. Full of antiques, contemporary decor, and every modern convenience imaginable, the masterfully remodeled grade school is a treat for each and every guest.
The couple, who left corporate America to explore a new career in hospitality, live in the lower level of the school. Lyle and Tammy are friendly, upbeat, and attentive hosts to all who pass through the schoolhouse doors and it is no wonder the two have so many repeat guests.
“We get lots of really good feedback from our customers. I would say that’s the most enjoyable part of it, interacting with the customers,” said Lyle.
The pair share in the responsibilities of being innkeepers and run the entire operation by themselves. Lyle cooks, Tammy does the laundry, and both handle reservations and cleaning. The school, which was built in 1910 with an addition completed in the 1950s, holds eight rooms in the original portion and three luxury suites in the mid-century wing.
The rooms are decorated with both pertinent antiques and updated linens, furniture and electronics. The Woodrums take an immense amount of pride in the upkeep of the suites and are constantly on the lookout for ways to exceed their guests’ expectations.
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“We’re trying to keep a tasteful mix of modern and antique furniture in almost every room, and we wrap it in as much hospitality as we can,” said Tammy.
Each room has its own heat and air, for maximum comfort, along with complimentary water, snacks, and a Keurig coffee maker in the kitchenette. Every morning, breakfast is served, made fresh in the onsite kitchen. A sample daily menu includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sweet potato hash, handmade apple crisp pastries, fresh fruit and orange juice.
Each suite in the 1910 area boasts high ceilings and a wall of tall windows, making for a light and airy feel to the space, while also allowing for privacy with opaque curtains. The rooms each have a theme, such as geography, math, and American history as well as a spacious bathroom with a separate tub and shower. The recently refinished, original hardwood floors still show where the students’ desks were fastened to the floor and a chalkboard in each room makes for a distinctive guest book.
The spacious luxury suites in the newer wing have two-person spa hot tubs, gas fireplaces, and a private, fenced in patio and courtyard, making these rooms perfect for honeymoons and anniversaries.
Both the accommodations and the innkeepers at The Davie School Inn will delight and impress both travelers from outside the region and locals looking for a weekend getaway. The Woodrums, who have taken every detail into account, providing special touches to each impeccable room, are an absolute joy to connect with personally and only add to the overwhelming charm of this remarkable inn.