Highland Haven Creekside Inn

4395 Independence Trail, Evergreen, Colorado 80439
Innkeeper(s): Gail and Tom Statzell

The Steps to Fern Gulch 14 Dec 2011, 6:44 pm

This time of year we try our darnest to get the people we love the gifts that will make them happy, feel appreciated and are thoughtful. My steps are my most favorite present ever.

Wednesdays are my day with sweet 2 1/2 year old Maizy, my first grandchild. They are my best days and I am left with these remembrances of the day that I want to pinch my eyes and seal forever in my memory.
She is my hiker. Neither of my kids were or are nature driven. I had to beg for a Mothers Day hike.
But my Maizy, she is my outdoor girl, and almost every week we head down the steps to walk in the creek, collect pine cones, look for wildlife. It is heaven.
The steps from our house to the woods were a gift from my husband; a 3 man job of stones and mortar that make the steep trek easy and safe. I appreciate more than ever as I hold Maizy's hand and we make our way to and from Fern Gulch. No piece of jewelry, trip or luxury item can compare to my steps.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding 13 Dec 2011, 4:52 pm

For breakfast at the Inn I am baking every week and often on Wednesdays, when I get my sweet grand baby, Maizy, who really loves to have me tie on her antique apron and get in there and help. She seriously can break an egg as good as me or anyone. When my mom in Indiana watched her on a recent trip she could not believe and is still telling anyone who will listen.
Last Wednesday we tried a new bread pudding and added along with a bag of sweetened cranberries, a generous amount of white chocolate. One guest digging in on Sundays breakfast declared it"ridiculous!" in a good way...
Look in my first book if you have it for the basic recipe for bread pudding. If you don't have and would like, just email me at info@highlandhaven.com and I will get you the recipe. Perfect for dessert or a decadent brunch.

Intentional Acts of Kindness 4 Nov 2011, 8:09 am

As a business owner of now 32 years there are some lessons, some elements of my job that become more and more important to impart on my staff and for me to stay on top of. I would put right there at the of top being pointedly appreciative to my guests and being sure to say "Thank you, you are appreiciated."
This is true now than ever with the recession. Our guests are usually splurging in celebration of an anniversary, birthday, wedding or just tending to their relationship. Those who have to make so many arrangements with babysitters, schedules earn a great deal of my gratitude.
Our supreme goal at the Highland Haven is ensure that there is value here. That lasting important memories have been made and that we plant the seed for them to return- by offering kindness, elaborate breakfasts, charmed natural environment, beautiful rooms, Evergreen activites but surely to be appreciative and sincere. We are.

Mr and Mrs 24 Oct 2011, 7:00 pm

The guests in our romantic Gardener's Cottage last night were "Just Married."
He is young, handsome, happy and came in to get a breakfast-in-bed tray to spoil his new wife. Roxy had put out a special breakfast spread; egg strata, blintzes, rosemary potatoes, fruit salad...I added piping hot waffles with fresh strawberries- a small bouquet of flowers for his tray. Later in the morning, she-stunning blond, glowing- descended the stairs with her wedding gown in a huge puffy bag.They met the driver of the limo to take them home. First, tho', they toured the Tree House, and vowed to return. Music to our ears.
There is romance at every turn.

Enslaved Innkeepers? 20 Oct 2011, 3:01 pm

Perhaps the most asked question in all my years here is "Do you ever get away?"  The average small innkeeper probably has difficulty, but our Inn has always had a staff, managers and allowed us the freedom to take an assortment of trips. I do explain though that if we are gone too long something is bound to happen. Murphy's Law.

We returned 2 weeks ago from 10 fabulous days and nights in Paris. It was to celebrate my 60th birthday and it was an unforgettable trip start to finish. Statz and I have always loved all things French, and having met in French class at Purdue it was "in the stars." We have been a few times and will surely return. The romance is irresistable.

Another observation by all to this line of work is how hard we, and innkeepers in general, must work.
That is plain and simple truth. And admittedly it was a challenge raising young children and my husband working outside the business -but the advantage of being there always for our kids was priceless. But hard work is our friend. We feed our creativity with it and I believe it keeps us healthier and younger in ways. I look forward every day to go to the beautiful Highland Haven. And now that our daughter and son in law manage the Inn there is no better place to be. Speaking for myself, I get to be marketer, web designer, graphic artist, author, baker, interior designer, assist in architecture and last but not least, hostess and ambassador to Evergreen. It is all good.
Even while in Paris we planned the remodel of the entryway (now done and so impressive), the placement of a new garden home to the bronze "She Loves Me" by Sutton Betti. Next are remodels of the Blue Spruce Cottages. We will not and do not stop. It is a business and personal philosophy.
The ongoing improvements inspire us both and we get great satisfaction making our guests...happy.

Fall or Winter? 8 Oct 2011, 3:06 pm

The sun is now shining brightly, the trees are dripping like crazy from this mornings snow. I know we should not be surprised, but we were when we awoke to a white scene everywhere.

The Inn was full; mostly families here for a fall wedding and they all took it in stride; loved the baby deer grazing about, the red fox zipping by and breakfast was very merry-one of our usual best. Egg Stratas of cookbook fame, crispy roast potatoes, Allison's Banana Bread with streusel topping, strawberry turnovers and heaps of hot coffee and a few guests taking in cocoa to match the out of doors.
The honeymooners in the Tree House had an unbelievably magical view from the windows of their high perch. If you have not seen this on our website, have a look and save up to come celebrate. Big  birthday, anniversary, just in love? Come and we will do the rest to make it unforgettable.

 Even after a long trip to magical Paris with my Statz last month celebrating my 60th seemed unbeatable for romance, food, culture. But I tell you, coming home to Evergreen and the Highland Haven is amazing.

It's a happy place. Come play with us in Evergreen.

Leaving Paris, headed home to Evergreen 29 Sep 2011, 9:10 am

Our last night in Paris. We don't think we have missed anything on our French wish list. Our third time here, we can hop the metro, order food and wine,and land where we want.
We have hard habits to break; rising late in the morning, stopping for cafes mid morning and again in the afternoon with chocolate croissants or fabulous crepes.
Tonite our farewell meal of mussels and pomme frits will signal the end.
But returning to Colorado, Evergreen and our Highland Haven inspires us.

We have planned a new garden with landscaping for a wonderful sculpture "She Loves Me"-a whimsical, special bronze of an engaging elf-like boy reaching out his hand with the last daisy petal...She Loves Me, by artist Sutton Betti, of Loveland, Co.
Romance and whimsy are key elements of our Inn.

Rooms will get some loving upgrades, the main building will have complete remodel of entry and all buildings will sport snappy new black and tan awnings.
New TVs in some rooms and bathroom upgrades as well.

Corporate retreats are being booked for the peaceful fall too. I will return with some simple French adaptations for my breakfast baking and some check in touches to please.

Blake and Roxy are adept with all elements of inn keeping in our absence. We hope they need us when we return!

Autumn In Evergreen, Paris and a baby on the way! and monster elk! 18 Sep 2011, 2:59 pm

The Inn was full last night. We are always grateful and really ramp up our efforts. At breakfast, with guests on honeymoons, here for a wedding, a longer vacation, a terribly need getaway, we put out our best. Maizy, my 2 year old grand baby, "helped" make the Chocolate Bread Pudding we served. I went around to tables to serve one of my specialties, Ebelskivers, a Danish pancake puff that I filled with butterscotch as they baked. Really yum. It was a happy atmosphere; full of love.
The most love-ly of all was and is my daughter, Roxy. She is pregnant with her and Blake's second baby and we are so very happy. If you come for a stay after April, you will meet the latest addition to the Highland Haven.  Gramma "GG' will be so proud to show him/her off.

This is time to think of paying attention to the one you love with a quick get away. It is jaw-dropping beautiful here with trees the shades of gold and orange. The lake and our creek just sparkle. It is so peaceful and nourishing.

Try our cool new neighborhood restaurant The Kitchen. Crazy good martinis-imagine blueberry, grapefruit or raspberry and a wonderful fare favoring french food.
And speaking of French things...Tom and I leave Tuesday for Paris to celebrate our love and my 60th birthday. We are pinching ourselves.

Our corporate special is now offered. Look at our website and get up here and do business, one way or another!

This blog was just interrupted by a call from Tom to come see the MONSTER elk at the inn, The biggest, to the point of scary, and there were cows and babies too. We were all stunned by the size and the speed in which he destroyed the trees and plants in his path. Yikes.

Au Revoir!

Corporate Retreats continue at Highland Haven 8 Sep 2011, 5:15 pm

We are ever attempting to "woo" the business traveler to meet at our Highland Haven. We do not know sometimes where these groups-corporations, businesses, church groups, small businesses-find us but we are ever grateful for the opportunity to impress. This week we hosted a small government group (they do they need a pretty place to do their work!) on a controlled budget. We make it work to come in on their financial restrictions and limitations. They rent them our Junior Suites and Guest Rooms, which are very comfortable for 1- 2, with space enough for each clients privacy.
Our next group this week is a corporation not as limited budget-wise and they will enjoy cottages with fireplaces, (chilly here these mornings!) hot tubs, more space and a bit more lavish.
We strive to make all content by accommodating with early breakfasts, wine tasting check-ins, catered meals to please. Our wireless is great, our views are spectacular, we offer the best in hospitality and today at check in there was a group of deer, followed by elk to welcome at our bridge...
Come, do business in an inspired setting where high quality elements prevail.

Colorado Romance 1 Sep 2011, 8:12 pm

My latest book is in launch mode. It will be the ideal gift, Highland Haven-style, for those in love, engaged, wanting inspiration and already inspired. Check it our on our website.

Eliza Cross (elizacross.com) has been my mentor and inspiration on writing. Her latest book, 101 Things to do with Bacon (Gibbs Smith) is just out and dedicated to me. I am honored.
She will help me with the launch of my book...