You don’t have to go across the pond or even out of my state to stay in an honest to goodness manor.
All you have to do is head to an Ohio State Park in Geauga County.
Punderson Manor State Park Lodge, once the home to wealthy land owners, has changed appearances since its construction in the early 20th Century. Recently given a freshening up on the inside to enhance the aesthetically-pleasing facade, the manor is home to guest rooms that are decorated and furnished to compliment the English Tudor style, dining is top notch, and activities are plentiful.
The manor’s history is just as rich as the look and feel- and I was instantly drawn in from the get go. Many folks believe that the manor is haunted, but that’s a whole different story that I can’t wait to delve into further. Mr. Locke and I spent the weekend at the Manor House this summer and what we discovered was beauty and luxury all rolled into a state park.
Ready for some Ohio history and luxury lodging? Read on!
In the late 19th Century, a wealthy man named Lemuel Punderson purchased the land that Punderson Manor sits on. He fell in love with it compliments of Crystal Lake, now known as Punderson Lake. He and his wife, Sybal found much pleasure in the land and built a cabin on the property.
After the passing of both Mr. and Mrs. Punderson, the property exchanged hands and a Mr. W.B. Cleveland became the rightful owner. He married a Miss Ocie Coppedge and they built what was known as the “Big House” on the spot where the manor sits today. The Clevelands used the property for their own means as well as a dog kennel and called it Lakefield Farm and Kennels. He housed birding dogs, as well as goats, buffalo, and elk on the 500 acres.
Around 1925, a Detroit business man named Karl Long contracted the property and an English Tudor-style mansion began to transform the “Big House”. Told he could only make minor renovations to the structure, Long spent a great deal of money creating the new style anyway. Long defaulted on his mortgage loan in 1929, abandoned the property, and ownership was taken back by the Coppedge/Cleveland Families.
The State of Ohio purchased the rights to the land in 1948 and three years later more renovations were made on the manor- 8 guest rooms and a dining facilities. In 1956, additional renovations were made to add on 26 cottages and more guest rooms.
Fast forward to present day. Punderson Manor State Park Lodge now offers its guests 26 fully furnished solo cabins and 31 guest rooms in the Manor House- my kind of state park lodging!
The updates of the Manor House throughout the years have kept with the luxurious theme and beauty of its details and the plentiful windows allow for gorgeous views of the property and Punderson Lake.
Punderson Manor has to separate wings, each with a distinct style and feel. Mr. Locke and I stayed in a modern style, two full bed room and loved everything about it. The beds were super comfy and the linens crisp white.
Along with a table and chairs, large working desk, and plenty of great lighting with extra outlets to plug in our e-devices, the second story room had tons of room to move about. Look at all that floor space! And in every room sits Bucky, the honorary Ohio State Park Lodge mascot. I just had to take him home to The Kid.
Our windows, fashioned in typical English Tudor style, have views of the back grounds and a partial lake view. The manor does have rooms that face the front of the property but my pick is a back side view. What a spot to check out the sunrise that comes straight over the lake in the morning!
The bathroom is separated into two areas- with two separate sinks! Talk about a time saver in the mornings. I commandeered the marble vanity area and Mr. Locke put all of his toiletry items on the shelf above the pedestal sink in the actual bathroom.
If you’re looking for a room that’s furnished with pieces typical of the era when the manor was built, go for the historical, Estate Room wing. The furnishings are antique reproductions (I never would have guessed!) and the decor so pretty. These are definitely the rooms I want to stay in on my next visit. I had a “Gone with the Wind” vibe in every room we toured.
On a side note, each room in the Estate Wing is suitable for two guests but there are adjoining rooms available that are highly suitable for family getaways.
Each room is named and numbered and the in-house order is to benefit all guests with allergies and aversions- non-smoking.
And on a SIDE side note, this wing of the manor has more than one report of a supernatural presence. Nick Fischbach, grounds historian and Punderson Haunted History Tours guide, took us through the wing and told us all about the occurrences. Now, I really want to visit again!
Along with the 31 guest rooms and 26 fully-furnished two-bedroom cabins, Punderson Manor State Park Lodge offers the following amenities and services:
- A full service dining room (incredible food and service! More about that below)
- Gift Shop- some of the most affordable takeaways I’ve seen yet
- Free wifi
- Free parking
- Business Center
- Fully renovated outdoor pool
- Indoor pool- undergoing renovations as I type but is slated to be completed this fall
- Cocktail Lounge with the coolest bar tenders I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
- Indoor game room
- Complimentary board game rental
- Movie rentals
If you can tear yourself away from the beauty of the manor, there’s plenty of outdoor activities in Punderson State Park:
- 18 hole Championship golf course
- A sandy beach on Punderson Lake
- Children’s playground
- Rock climbing
- 18 hole disk golf course (Mr. Locke is an avid DG’er and said it’s one of the best in Northeast Ohio if not the entire state)
- Winter outdoor sports and activities
- Sunday horse-drawn carriage rides when available and weather permitting
Punderson Manor’s Cherry Dining Room not only offers stunning views of Punderson Lake and the surrounding grounds, but offers guest incredible meal selections compliments of the head chef and in-house pastry chef. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you don’t need a room reservation to dine in but it is a restaurant truly worthy of a visit when you do.
The dress code is casual but there were many guests who came to dine for special occasions and chose to dress up. Once again, not necessary, but I love finding an excuse to dress up.
On the dinner menu are traditional appetizer offerings of charcuterie and Caesar salads, but there’s also more unusual offerings like fried green tomatoes and bbq pork egg rolls.
The main courses are definitely the standouts. I loved the filet topped with a delicious béarnaise sauce, whipped potatoes and fresh green beans. Not in the mood for something so heavy? They’ve got burgers and BLT’s on the menu, too.
Punderson Benedicts are what many come to try for breakfast, but I was hankering for a Belgian waffle topped with fresh cream, cherries, and chocolate sauce. Calories don’t count on vacation anyway, right?
On the lighter side, fresh fruit and pastries, as well as traditional breakfast meats and eggs, are staples on the breakfast menu.
If you adore scones as much as I do, the chocolate chip scones are so delicious so give them a try.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc. and Punderson Manor State Park Lodge to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the manor and park so incredible for visitors. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!