Review: Sayre Mansion (Bethlehem, Pennyslvania)

After weighing the reality of not being able to take the kind of vacation I used to love taking--running off into the mountains and hiking was generally my favorite excursion--I realized two things:

1. It was not good to sit around my own apartment feeling sad, although a staycation was more realistic
2. You can totally rewrite what counts as a vacation

So I rewrote it. I chose my vacation destination on the basis of how nice the room was rather than how nice its location was, on the theory that I might be in the room the whole time. I also shortened the time I was actually away to just a few nights, rounding out the rest of my vacation with staycation-type things. It worked. I regained my emotional equilibrium a bit. And that is how I ended up in the Conservatory at Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem for two nights last month.

Fortunately, it was cloudy most of the time I was there. As lovely as this room was, it would have been unbearable in strong sun. I also slept pretty badly because the sound of the road was so loud. But it was sort of magical anyway.

I asked for vegan options for breakfast when I made the reservation and they gave me "rustic grains" (oatmeal with some other random grains in it) both mornings I was there, which is a bit unimaginative, but I do give them credit for trying. I rounded my breakfasts out with some of the other things on offer.

Toast, homemade jam, and fruit. I missed my vegan I Can't Believe It's Not Butter but tried not to think about it too much. The jam was nice.

If they offer you hash browns, take the hash browns. Hash browns are always tasty, whether a reheated frozen patty, fried cubed potatoes, or the shredded kind like this. Mmm.
Their "rustic grains" came with optional toppings of brown sugar, pecans, and dried cranberries. I took them all. Overall, these were very carb-heavy breakfasts, but tasty.

General thoughts: I don't know if I'd stay here again, but I would recommend it to others for the experience the first time around. I might suggest, if you're not trying to have the feeling of being outside without being outside, that you choose a room other than the Conservatory. It was gorgeous, but I lucked out with cloudy weather. In direct sunlight it would have been unbearable. And it was noisy and I didn't sleep much. They try to accommodate vegan diets, but maybe bring a jar of peanut butter with you to round things out. 3.5/5


  1. That's great that you were able to make your vacation work for you! The room looks beautiful, but yeah, that would definitely be way too bright in full sun, haha! Too bad they didn't have a better variety for breakfast, but everything looks good, especially the hash browns!

  2. I'm so glad that you were able to get away to celebrate your birthday! That room is STUNNING and I doubt I'd want to leave when I got there! It's a shame they were not more accommodating to a vegan diet but I guess it's better than a banana and dry toast? Those peanut/almond butter packets would be perfect to have on hand when going on a trip like this to round out some lackluster meals!

    1. See, now, you're a smart vegan who would plan ahead for this scenario!

  3. That room looks so beautiful, though my fair skinned self would need something a lot more undercover. But it just looks so lovely. I am glad you got away for a bit! I am currently on 10 days of staycation holidays at the moment. But I don't want to leave Dim Sim, so travel is not on the cards at the moment.


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