The Candlelite Inn is located in the small town
of Bradford in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee
Region. This country Victorian Inn was
purchased in January 1993 at bank auction. The house
was totally empty and needed a lot of work. We are finally winding down our
renovations and hope that by Summer of 2005 the inside work will be completed.
Summer/Fall 2005 our goal is to complete the outside. The Inn has six guest
rooms all have private baths and a queen bed. The Inns sits on 3 acres of
property with a stream and pond. Benches are located around the pond and
watch the fish swim. We are an all seasons Inn, close to all winter & summer
sports & attractions. The Candlelite Inn is known for its quiet and relaxing
atmosphere. There are 2 porches on the house to sit and relax on—the kitchen
porch and the gazebo porch.
Interview with innkeeper Marilyn Gorden:
Can you tell us a little bit of the history of the Candlelite Inn?
The Candlelite Inn was built as an Inn in 1897 by Charles Gillis to replace his
former inn that burnt on the corner. The Candlelite Inn has always been a guest
house/Bed & Breakfast except in the late 1970’s when it was turned into
apartments. The previous innkeepers (1982) turned it back into a B&B. On our
website there is a page on the history of the Inn with some pictures.
What made you interested in innkeeping?
About 25 years ago, we were going on vacation and a friend of ours asked us if
we every stayed in a B&B. At that time we had never heard of them. We bought a
book and our first experience was a B&B in Maine. Both Les & I loved the
experience so much, that when we would go away, we would always try and
stay in a B&B. We would go off season and talk with the innkeepers, we bought
and read books on innkeeping and also took a seminar on buying an Inn.
However, we waited until my girls were out of high school and decided on what
they were going to do.
What made you interested in buying this particular property? When did you
We chose New England to buy our Inn, because of the 4 seasons. We did have a
deposit on an Inn in Vermont, but later it was returned because our house in NJ
was taking to long to sell. But, we kept on looking and fell in love with NH—
then found the Candlelite Inn. The house was everything we wanted. Gazebo
Porch, horseshoe driveway, rooms were good size. I could go on and on. We
bought it through back auction in 1993.
What kind of shape was it in when you purchased it and what kind of
renovation work was required?
The Inn was totally empty and needed a lot of cosmetic work. There were only 2
baths on the second floor to accommodate 5 guest rooms. Wallpaper was coming
down or down, the molding was chipped and needed repair. Trash in the rafters
on the 3rd floor. Bath fixtures were holding on by rags, caulk or were bolted to
the wall. Around the toilets, the wood was rotten. So we got in plumbers and
electricians and started Phase I of our renovations—putting in more baths,
updating the plumbing and electrical. We still have the same plumbers and
electricians and when they come over to do another phase of our renovations, the
early days are brought up. We did keep a before and after scrapbook on the Inn
and periodically I sit and look at the pictures. We definitely have come a long
What is it like living at your B&B? And what is your favorite spot or room at
the Candlelite Inn?
It has been fun living here at the Inn. In the past 14 years that we have been here
has been a lot a work, but so gratifying. We turned a bankrupt Inn into the 2001
Inn of the Year, not to mention the other awards and publications we have been
in. Les & I have talked about retiring one day soon. When that day comes it will
be very sad for the both of us. This has been the best job that either of us have
ever had. My favorite spot is on our deck overlooking the pond. It is so serene
with the willows trees gently moving with the breeze and catching a glimpse of
the fish. The guests favorite spot is the gazebo porch with its soft breezes and
you are able to listen to the resident bull frogs serenading you every evening.
What makes a stay at your at the Candlelite Inn unique?
We provide our guests with the quiet and relaxation that they need from the
everyday stress in their lives. Also the gourmet breakfasts—pumpkin pancakes,
and pound cake French toast—just to name a few. As we are finishing up our
renovations, we are putting more and more amenities in the guest rooms, i.e. gas
stoves, bath baskets, hairdryers, memory foam mattress toppers, etc. Afternoon
refreshments of the season, guest refrigerator stocked. All this at no extra charge.
What kind of specials do you have for your guests throughout the year?
We are always trying to come up with something new and different. Some of our
packages are: Holiday Shopper’s Weekend, Chocolate Tasting, Inn to Inn
Christmas Tea, Midweek Fall Foliage Getaway, September is for Seniors, Maple
Sugar Weekend, Romance on the Lake—just to name a few. Also holiday
packages—New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day. Special weekends—Relay for Life—
which is an 18 hour walk for Cancer. All who stay that weekend, 10% of their
room rate goes to the American Cancer Assoc.
When is the best time of year to stay at Candlelite Inn?
All year. There is a lot more going on Spring through Fall, of course. Winter is
more on weekends.
Please tell us a little about your area.
The Lake Sunapee Region has a lot to offer our guests. Known as the “best kept
secret of NH”. I always tell our guests “this area if for grown ups”. There is a lot
to see and do in the area and most people don’t realize it. There is hiking, biking,
historic attractions, etc. and being centrally located, driving from the Bradford
area is quite enjoyable.
What is a “can’t miss” attraction in your area?
I make sure my guests visit the Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury,
outside of Concord. That place is great with their 2 ½ hour tour, restaurants,
gardens, gift shop. You could spend a day there. And probably the best is all the
beautiful scenery NH has to offer.
Anything else you want to add about your property?
The Candlelite Inn has come a long way in the 14 years we have had it and it has
been good to us. When retirement comes it will be very sad to leave.
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