Dauphine Hotel Bed and Breakfast
Table Of Contents
Step back in time... and experience the ambiance of a bygone era at this historic inn. Nestled between the bluffs along the Osage River just above where it joins the Missouri in the picturesque town of Bonnots Mill, the Dauphine Hotel has been welcoming travelers along the Lewis & Clark trail since 1875. The Dauphine is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Bonnots Mill National Historic District.
The Dauphine Hotel offers seven guest rooms; each furnished with antique dressers and iron beds which are original to the hotel. All of the guest rooms have private baths and central air conditioning.
A full country breakfast is served in the large family-style kitchen as well as the adjacent dining room. Innkeepers Sandra and Scott Holder pride themselves on offering a comfortable and casual atmosphere in one of the most authentic old hotels west of the Mississippi.
The Dauphine is the only hotel in the tiny town of Bonnots Mill. Originally servicing river travelers and then the railroad traffic. If you are a history buff, you'll enjoy talking to Scott and Sandra about the Dauphine and the town in general.
Relax... in the lobby or common dining areas with one of our books on the local history or wildlife, crafts, antiques, or historic preservation. Better yet, discover the allure of the upper porch which looks out over the town and the Osage River. From that vantage point, you'll learn that sunsets are one of the best kept secrets in town or just watching who goes by in an hour. Everyone agrees that the upper porch of the Dauphine is one the best ways to decompress.
Nature awaits... either from the porch, the gardens, or along the river. Come in late April to greet the large influx of hummingbirds--the entire town feeds the migratory hummers who are very active from their arrival until July, then again in late August until they depart in October. Bird watching is usually rewarded in the spring and summer with views of orioles and warblers while in the winter, you can see bald eagles flying over the Osage in the early mornings and late afternoons. Fall colors are some of the best in Missouri. Or you can simply make friends with one of the many Dauphine cats that Scott and Sandra have adopted since they've owned the Hotel.
Wander through town... and discover only one of two French towns left in Missouri that preserve much of their French heritage. The first French settlers were in present day Bonnots Mill by 1805 and until the 1910s, the town was an overwhelmingly French island surrounded by a sea of Germans. That "frenchness" is still visible in the town's design and some buildings. For a spectacular view of the Osage and Missouri Rivers, hike to the overlook behind the Catholic Church, perched on the edge of a 200 foot bluff. Or, come during the second weekend in June for the annual Home and Garden Tour when many private homes are open.
Hiking or cycling...through the "Little German Rhineland" of America. We boast over 100 miles of gravel roads that take you off the beaten track into some of the prettiest countryside in the Midwest. Better yet, take the best short hike in Missouri at nearby Painted Rock State Park. This 1.6-mile loop is easy and provides spectacular views of the Osage River valley. To quote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "few places in Missouri are prettier than this." Or, drive to Jefferson City and hook up with the Katy Trail if you want something a bit flatter!
Dining...is less than 100 feet away from your room. Sit in front of the great windows at the Old Voss Saloon (which in fact was one of the town's many taverns in the 19th century and sold moonshine during Prohibition) and watch the trains go by or amble down to Krautman's Korner, site of the "other" hotel in town during the 19th Century and is stuffed with antiques, old photos, and warped floors resulting from 100 years of flooding. Then stroll back to the Hotel, all of one minute away.
Motorcycle...your way through some of the best roads anywhere for cruising, tight winding roadwork, or simply getting lost. Scott and Sandra each own motorcycles and can tell you some of the best places to see, roads, and nice stopping points. Even reaching the Dauphine on motorcycle is half the fun and worth the trip in itself. So spend a night and have fun cruising during the day.
Boating or fishing...on the Osage River is great anytime of year. Fish for walleye in the winter, catfish and bass in the summer. Or join in the annual Bonnots Mill Carp Out and see how many pounds of big goldfish you can pull in during half a day. Bonnots Mill has its own free, public boat ramp and in the summer you can put in your boat or jet ski, have a great day on the river, and relax in the evening.
The Dauphine Hotel is one of the oldest lodging establishments in Missouri. It began as a two room farm house which was built by an early settler in the 1840s. A few years later the land around the building was divided up into lots and the town of Dauphine was established. By the mid 1850s Felix Bonnot, the town's founder, had built a saw mill in town which supplied wooden ties for the first railroad line through the area. With the coming of the railroad, the town grew rapidly and by 1875 the farm house had been enlarged and was being operated as a hotel.