The Quiet Satisfaction of the Inn at Glencairn

Recent travels have landed me in some big city hotels (Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, et al.), some more isolated but comfortable spots (Harrisburg, Wheeling and even Bloomsburg, Pa.) Good hotels all. But hotels aren’t all there is to the sleeping mix.

We stayed recently at the Inn at Glencairn, near Princeton, N.J., and are reminded at how vital and welcoming a part the inns and beds and breakfasts play in the travel picture. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea but I have always liked the comfort and general friendliness that such places offer in a landscape cluttered with in & out places lacking any charm whatever.

Great Room

The Inn at Glencairn is reasonably priced for the region — and a bargain when the terrific breakfast and free parking is factored in. We picked it out of the web because it broke up a trip nicely, but the beautiful old place offers so much more than that. The rooms were large and comfortable. The hearty food was perfect to start off the day. The location was ideal and the friendliness of the operators, Jon and Susana Onkka, made the stopover something of a destination in itself.

The inn itself dates back to the early 1700’s with additions and changes, of course, over the three ensuing centuries. You could easily spend your time just studying the architecture, the construction and the beauty of farmland around. The original house sort of slid into bed and breakfast status in the late 1970’s and has eased uphill from there to full inn status today. The place has all the character you could ask for, but all the most modern requirements the traveler needs, too.

With lovely and lofty Princeton just up the Lawrenceville Road, the elegance of very high education is nearby but quietly distant enough. near enough to Philadelphia to the south or new York to the north, the inn exists as an oasis of comfort from which to sail out and explore the historical region — or just get a very good night’s rest.

(The Inn at Glencairn, 3301 Lawrenceville Road, Princeton, NJ 08540; 609.497.1737;

Denis Horgan will be speaking at the Mark Twain House and Museum on February 8. His latest book is “Ninety-Eight Point Six … and other stories.” Available at and selected bookstores.)



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