Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard. Today we’re visiting Ravenwood Castle in Vinton County.
If you want to get away from your daily life, Ravenwood Castle offers a unique getaway to guests who seek solace and beauty close to home. Ravenwood is one of Ohio’s most talked about lodging places and is just a few miles outside of McArthur.
The design of Ravenwood was inspired by English castles of the twelfth century but only opened for business in 1995. Its location in the Hocking Hills region provides a beautiful wooded setting and sense of isolation that is craved by many who seek relaxation. Yet it’s close enough to other Hocking Hills attractions including state parks, shopping and dining to be convenient for those who wish to strike out for some adventure.
Owners Jim and Pam Reed purchased Ravenwood in 2012 after visiting many times since the mid- nineties. Jim’s twenty years of business experience are put to work managing operations while Pam’s knack for event planning and guest relations have brought new life to the facility.
“This is a great place to get away and to relax. The castle is all about putting the technology down and talking to each other. There’s no WIFI here and there are no tvs in most of the rooms. My kids actually play together and have a great time when we’re here and we hear often that guests like that they can relax and be themselves here. You don’t have to be dressed up. We just want you to feel at home,” she said.
Guests can choose from several lodging options including a Castle suite, a cottage in a medieval village or cabin in Huntsman’s Hollow. All are well appointed and designed with the privacy and comfort of the guest in mind. Guests are treated to breakfast in the Castle’s Great Hall every morning.
Pam noted that the public can enjoy a buffet dinner by reservation most Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, Raven’s Roost Pub provides great atmosphere with a menu of pub fare and selection of hand crafted beers, wines and mixed drinks. It is open most Friday and Saturday nights.
She also discussed the success Ravenwood has enjoyed with a variety of events. She said Murder Mystery Weekends are scripted specifically for Ravenwood and are held, not just for an evening, but for an entire weekend. The experience begins with an email prior to arrival and clues left in the rooms when guests check-in. Activities take place throughout the weekend until the identity of the murderer is learned on Sunday. “It’s written exclusively for us. You can’t get this experience anywhere else and I think that’s why we have so many repeat guests. People love it so much they come back time after time,” Pam said.
Ravenwood also hosts events throughout the year including beer and wine tastings, a Tudor Christmas and a celebration of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday. In recent years they have hosted gaming events including a summer gaming convention called Con in the Castle. This event features three days and two nights of gaming activities related to role playing and board games.
Their Hoop and Stick Con is a winter weekend of gaming fun and fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. This year, Ravenwood is on track to donate $10,000 to this charity which benefits Children’s Hospital. Pam said that she and her husband have been supporters of Children’s Hospital since their newborn child required some care at Children’s several years ago. “They were so wonderful, especially for first time parents. We’ve just always wanted to give back and realized that we could use this place to pay it forward,” she said.
Those planning weddings should note that Ravenwood also offers a number of wedding packages that range from a wedding of fifty inside the castle to a 150 person outdoor wedding.
Pam added that they see many repeat guests and that the staff works hard to make every guest want to come back. “Our goal always is to make sure our guests have the best experience they can. And we always ask ourselves how what we are doing will impact our guests. We have an amazing staff and wonderful innkeepers. They work like a team and it’s truly amazing how much they get done,” Pam said.
The Reeds are continually making improvements at Ravenwood and she indicated their work is not done. “We’ve been working to improve the property. Refurbishing the rooms has been an ongoing process and we plan to continue working on projects and investing in the property,” she noted. “This has been such an experience, truly a leap of faith, but it has been so rewarding to see it pay off.”
Ravenwood Castle operates every day of the year except for Wednesday and Thursday for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The public is welcome to visit the public areas of the Castle during the day. Ravenwood is located just off St. Rt. 93 at 65666 Bethel Rd., New Plymouth. Call 740.596.2606, click here to visit their website, or here to follow them on Facebook.