Heart of the Village Inn Bed & Breakfast

5347 Shelburne Road , Shelburne, Vermont 05482
Innkeeper(s): Shona Lothrop & Zoe Bishop/Owner
  • Welcome to Heart of the Village Inn Bed & Breakfast

    Welcome to Heart of the Village Inn Bed & Breakfast

  • Van Vliet Room in the main house

    Van Vliet Room in the main house

  • Harrington Room in the main house

    Harrington Room in the main house

  • Marsett Room in the main house

    Marsett Room in the main house

  • Introduction

    Located in the historic village of Shelburne, the Heart of the Village Inn is the perfect place to stay in the Burlington area. We are conveniently located across the road from the Shelburne Museum, and surrounded by several great restaurants and art galleries, along with a quintessential Vermont country store and a local wine & coffee shop. We are a short bike ride away from Shelburne Farms, Shelburne Vineyards, Vermont Teddy Bear, and the beaches of Lake Champlain. A ten-minute drive will get you to downtown Burlington and the airport, and we are less than an hour from some of the best hiking & skiing in New England.

    The freshly-redecorated Heart of the Village Inn features nine guest rooms, all with private baths, phones, WiFi, A/C, flatscreen televisions, and complimentary Lake Champlain chocolates. From our exquisite wine selection and home-baked afternoon treats, to our delicious Vermont breakfasts and beautiful gardens, Owner/Innkeeper Shona Mossey Lothrop looks forward to helping you create wonderful memories of your visit to the Champlain Valley.

    Built in 1886, this handsome Victorian home was converted to a cozy Inn in 1996 and has retained its place as one of the centerpieces of the Village as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the Heart of the Village Inn you'll find a welcoming environment that is perfect for leisure and business travel, for hosting your special event, meeting, or family gathering, and the perfect home base as you explore all the best of the Champlain Valley.

    A Historic Inn

    In the heart of the historic village of Shelburne, our casually elegant Vermont bed and breakfast welcomes you. Built in 1886 by a prosperous merchant, Cyrus Van Vliet, this handsome Queen Anne Victorian has retained its prominence as one of the centerpieces of the Village, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We have free off-street parking, and a large bicycle rack for guest use.


    Guest Rooms

    Five Inn rooms and four Carriage Barn rooms are each elegantly decorated with a mix of period furnishings and armoires, comfortable beds, plush linens, and sunny views of Shelburne Village. All rooms have private baths, air conditioning, HD flatscreen TVs, and free wireless internet access. Most rooms also have a comfortable chair for reading or relaxing, two plush robes, hair dryer, alarm clock-iHome, as well as a telephone with free local calls. Irons and ironing boards are available on request. Uniquely furnished and designed, each room is named after an important historic Shelburne figure and has its own special character.

    Room rates are listed for each room. The first rate is the regular room rate, while the rate in parentheses is the fall foliage rate (in effect from Friday, September 13, 2012 through Sunday, October 21, 2012). The room rate includes fresh-baked treats upon your arrival, and a deluxe Vermont Breakfast featuring baked goods, fresh fruit, as well as a featured item.


    During your stay we will offer you all the comforts of home, and so much more. If you wish to have a bouquet of flowers waiting for you in your room, or some chilled wine perhaps, please contact us beforehand and we can make it happen. During your stay we will be pleased to help you with restaurant reservations, and more than happy to provide you with suggestions for local attractions and special events.

    Included in your stay is a deluxe breakfast each morning featuring Vermont products and fresh local ingredients. Please let us know if you have any special dietary needs, and we will cater to them. Our Butler’s Pantry features a small refrigerator for guest use. We provide early morning coffee and tea service, and an afternoon baked treats upon arrival. The Heart of the Village Inn also provides quality bath amenities throughout your stay.

    Gathering Space

    The Inn’s living room and library provide a comfortable couch and chairs to relax in and enjoy morning coffee, afternoon tea or a bottle of wine from our list. There is always a selection of Vermont books and magazines, information about local attractions and dining spots, as well as a friendly Innkeeper available to help with dinner reservations, directions and local information.

    In the warmer months, the wrap around porch invites you to read the morning paper in an old fashioned rocking chair while sipping coffee and enjoying the Inn’s perennial garden. And in the afternoon, the porch and lawn chairs are perfect spots for relaxing with a book, visiting with friends, or basking in the sun.

    Heart of the Village Inn Bed & Breakfast is a member of the following associations:
       Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII)
       Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America

  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Zoe Bishop for sharing her own secrets with BBOnline.com!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    Many of our guests stay here because they are visiting family in the area. We also get vacationers that come for sightseeing in Vermont.

    What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?

    We are unique in that we have a casual, yet elegant inn. Our staff does a fabulous job making our guests feel welcome, and we serve a full breakfast.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    The main reason people come to Shelburne is to visit the Shelburne Museum which is across the street. People also visit the Shelburne Farm.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    Our guests say they feel at home when they stay here.

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    One of the best kept secrets is Vermont's great hospitality.

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    There is plenty to do depending on the season. They should visit the Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farm, and some local wineries & breweries. There are several hiking and nature trails, visit the town of Burlington, 8 miles away, or take a drive to Grand Isle. Take a ferry to Lake Placid, NY for a day trip, 1 1/2 hours away.

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    The Shelburn Museum is across the street. Shelburne is a small town and we are within walking distance to a local grocery store, a country store, antique shops, and 4 restaurants.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    The Bearded Frog, Barkeaters, and Café Shelburne

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Farm and Visitvermont.com

    How many rooms does your inn have?

    We have 9 guest rooms.

    Do you accept pets?

    We do not accept pets. There are a couple of local boarding facilities that we can refer guest to if they need boarding for their pets.


  • Custom Events Meetings & Celebrations

    Consider an atmosphere of intimate country elegance and warmth steeped in history to host your family reunion, special celebration or just a getaway with good friends. Our nine comfortable rooms with private baths will allow your guests to wake up refreshed and ready to see the spectacular sites of Northern Vermont. But don't forget our delicious Vermont Breakfast before you head out.

    The Heart of the Village Inn is a convenient home base for any number of great Vermont excursions. You can walk to the Shelburne Museum or take a short drive to the Green Mountains or the Champlain Islands. Then meet back here to regroup and plan your evening. We're here to make it all happen with as little effort on your part as possible.

    As a member of the Vermont Convention Bureau, the Heart of the Village Inn will be pleased to host your next small business meeting or retreat. A full Vermont breakfast is included with your room, and other meals are available on request. We are close to golf, tennis, boating, and skiing. Within walking distance of the Inn you will find many fine restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and the Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms.  

    Special events - Including small weddings and civil union ceremonies, showers, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special family celebrations. We can help you make all of the arrangements, from flowers to catering to transportation.

    Special event services include:

    • Event space—a spacious living room/ library area, and a dining room with flexible seating for up to 20.
    • Gourmet catering—breakfast, lunch and dinner; morning coffee and afternoon tea; hors d’oeuvres; special event cakes and desserts.
    • Elegant country lodging in a unique and historic locale.
    • Personalized and exceptional service.
  • Gardens, Grounds and Neighborhood

    Although Shelburne's Heart of the Village Inn is located in a village setting, there are beautiful perennial gardens with comfortable lawn chairs from which to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Rocking chairs on the wrap-around porch overlook the incredible Hydrangeas as well as the historic Shelburne village shops and old town hall. We have recently been hard at work perfecting these gardens for the summer 2012 season!!

    The footprint of the perennial garden is original and appears to have been planted so that it could be enjoyed from the dining room windows. The new perennial garden, planted in 2000, reuses several older plants. The phlox, which was taking over the garden, was given to various Shelburne neighbors. The beautiful hydrangeas around the porch are very old, probably planted by Helen Gadue 30 or 40 years ago.

    Surrounding the main house and in front of the Carriage Barn are abundant dafodils, tulips and lilacs in the spring. Come early summer, the 1/2 barrel planting containers overflow with annuals and ivy. Hanging baskets of colorful petunias highlight every porch. Don't miss the spring bloom of peonies in our main garden, and be sure to visit the 24 gardens of the nearby Shelburne Museum.

    The Inn, as well as the entire original Shelburne village, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Within  a short walk of the Inn are a number of interesting buildings as well as shopping, art and wonderful restaurants. One of the most beautiful renovations are to the residence just to our South with a well photographed "fire hydrant" sculpture out front.

     When you visit the Heart of the Village Inn, we hope you will take the time to relax and enjoy a morning cup of coffee on the veranda while watching our historic village wake up. At the end of the day, you and your guests can relax and recap your day with a glass of wine and get ready to enjoy one of the fine restaurants within walking distance of the Inn.

  • History of the Inn

    The house is an 1886 Queen Anne Victorian built by the prosperous Shelburne Vermont merchant Cyrus Van Vliet in 1886.

    Mr. Van Vliet purchased the land for the house from the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1885. The house was built in the Queen Anne style and includes 16 rooms and the typical piazza wrapping around the front of the house.

    Elaborate for its day, the house included gum wood wainscoting, a paneled staircase, and a cistern to collect rainwater. A pump and gravity system was also installed and brought water to the ground-floor bathroom and hall sink. Some say the house had the first flush-toilet in town – located in the cellar!

    Other features considered extravagant for the time included the English tiles around the fire grate in the library and locally manufactured wooden blinds. These beautiful features remain well preserved in the library of the Inn today.

    Mr. Van Vliet also constructed a large barn, stable, carriage house, icehouse and workshop on the property. In 1915, the Van Vliets sold the property to Dr. Walter H. Ranks, who later deeded the property to his daughter and her husband, Helen and Rene Gadue. The Gadues lived in the house until their deaths within ten days of each other in the mid 1990s. The Gadue’s children decided to split the property into three parcels – the house and carriage barn which comprise the Heart of the Village Inn, and the two houses to the South and East of the Inn. The first owners and creators of Heart of the Village Inn, Bobbe Maynes and Pam Pierce, bought the property from the Gadue’s children in 1996.

    Bobbe and Pam renovated the property into a nine room inn – adding private baths, a full sprinkler system and various other upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems. The house is nearly in its original footprint and much effort was made to maintain the house and Barn with as much historic integrity as possible. Bathrooms were created out of small rooms between other bedrooms or from closets, and the owner’s quarters were made from a wonderful old attic with interesting nooks and crannies.

    The Carriage Barn was built a year later than the house in 1887. It was built on a pile of stones for a foundation, as many barns were in those days. As part of the renovation, the building was raised 30 inches off its original foundation so a slab foundation could be poured. During that very careful raising, only a few of the original slates on the roof were lost and many of the people in town watched all day as the barn was lifted. The design of the rooms was purposefully created to show the unique two “v” trusses which support the barn. The original barn door was insulated and retrofitted with windows. The secondary barn door on the ell of the barn was sold, and when the Historic Preservation folks found out about the sale, they suggested the owners repurchase and install it in the Shelburne Room in order to continue preservation of the inn’s unique heritage.

    The footprint of the perennial garden is the original one and appears to have been planted so that it could be enjoyed from the dining room windows. A new garden was planted in 2000. Several older plants were found that could be reused and the phlox, which was taking over the garden, was given to various Shelburne neighbors. The beautiful hydrangeas around the porch are very old, probably planted by Helen Gadue in the 1950's.  The small annual garden, gazing ball and bench were added in 2007.

    Pam Pierce sold her partnership in the Inn to Bobbe Maynes in 1999 and Stevie Spaulding, then assistant innkeeper, joined Bobbe in the business as an Innkeeper. Pat Button acquired Heart of the Village Inn from Bobbe and Stevie and their business partners in July of 2003.

    Geoff and Maureen Conrad purchased the Inn on May 17, 2007. For them, owning the Heart of the Village was a dream come true. Alas, they eventually returned to New Jersey and the Inn remained vacant for an extended period of time.

    In early 2011 the property was purchased by Bill & Lucy Helstowski and Shelburne residents Chris Lothrop & Shona Mossey Lothrop. After undertaking extensive renovations -- both inside and out -- they re-opened the Inn in May 2011.

  • Area Attractions & Events

    Shelburne Farms
    A 1,400-acre working farm, historic site, and non-profit education center on the shores of Lake Champlain. Concerts, weddings, cheese production, and a variety of educational events each year.

    Shelburne Museum
    One of the nation's finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of art, design, and Americana. 39 buildings covering 45 acres. Their 2011 exhibits include: In Fashion: High Style, 1690-2011; Paperwork in 3D; A Passion for Quilts; and the Circus Photography of Elliot Fenander. 

    Shelburne Country Store
    Located just around the corner is an original 1859 Vermont country store where you'll find all your favorites and lots of wonderful gift ideas including the world's best fudge, penny candy, toys, jewelry and more.

    Inn at Shelburne Farms
    The Bearded Frog*
    Café Shelburne Francais*

    Cucina Antica*

    * These restaurants are within easy walking distance of the Inn.

    Outdoor Activities:

    Hiking, Biking, and Boating
    Vermont Fly Fishing 
    Local Golf Courses
    Pick-your-own Apples & Berries

    Other Useful Resources:

    Vermont Crafts Council
    Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
    Vermont Lodging & Restaurant Assoc.

    Other Nearby Attractions:

    Furchgott Sourdiffe Art Gallery 
    Flying Pig Bookstore
    Shelburne Vineyards
    Jamie Two Coats' Toy Store
    Shelburne Farmers Market (Saturday mornings)
    Village Wine & Coffee
    Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

    HIking, Biking & Boating

    The Heart of the Village Inn is the perfect place to start enjoying the great outdoors in the Lake Champlain region. We will be happy to provide you with recommendations, directions, trail maps, and snacks for your chosen adventure. So what are you waiting for... book your room at our Inn and start your adventure now!


    From a leisurely stroll at Shelburne Farms to an invigorating hike up Mount Philo, the Shelburne area offers a selection of walks & hikes to suit all tastes and levels of ability.

    We can provide you with maps and directions. For hikes in the nearby towns of Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, and Hinesburg, please consult this excellent article.

    Shelburne Bay Park: This 93-acre park offers a variety of hiking choices (see your Innkeeper for a trail map). Located just 0.7 miles away from the Inn is the beginning of the Ti-Haul Trail.  Its summit hosts early spring wildflowers and the chestnut oak, an uncommon tree in Vermont.

    Shelburne Farms: Located 1.6 miles from our Inn, Shelburne Farms offers several year-round countryside footpaths totalling 8 miles. All walkers must first check in at the Welcome Center for trail conditions and to pay the $8 general admission fee. See your Innkeepers for a copy of the trail map (at right).

    Shelburne LaPlatte Natural Area: A mowed trail loops through the meadows adjacent to the Shelburne Post Office. Please park on LaPlatte Circle, not at the post office. See your Innkeeper for a trail map.

    Mt. Philo State Park: Located eight miles from the Inn, this invigorating hike allows you to explore the 168-acre park located atop Mt. Philo (968' elevation). With breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and New York's Adirondack Mountains beyond, this park is a favorite of hikers, picknickers, and nature lovers. This hike takes about two hours, out and back. See your Innkeeper for a trail map.

    Shelburne Pond: A one-mile marked trail is home to many varieties of spring wildflowers. So close to the bustle of Burlington, the 1,046 conserved acres of pond, wetland and upland host an impressive diversity of habitats.


    The Heart of the Village Inn is the perfect place to start your bike ride.  Bring your own bike or rent one in Burlington (we'll tell you how). We have loop rides heading off in all directions, with enough choices to last you a week or two!

    Bicycling Magazine recently rated Burlington as one of the top six cycling cities in the nation... quite an accolade. Come and see for yourself what the buzz is all about. What's more, last month the U.S. Triathlon championships were held in this region, and the Shelburne area was chosen for the cycling leg (so to speak) of the competition. But it doesn't all have to be so hard core... let us direct you to a few mellow bike trails in the region, or to the most excellent 12-mile bike path along the waterfront in Burlington.    


    Lake Champlain is the largest lake in the United States after the five Great Lakes. Separating New York from Vermont, this 120-mile-long lake provides ample opportunities for enjoying activities on the water (through the end of October). If you have your own boat--even better. We'll send you down to the public boat ramp (2.3 miles from the Inn) where you can enjoy the protected waters of Shelburne Bay or head out into Lake Champlain proper. If you wish to stay in the calmer Shelburne Bay, we'll loan you our laminated guide on the "interpretive water trail." Alternatively we'll send you for a flatwater paddle up the LaPlatte River in the direction of the falls.

    If you didn't bring your own boat, no worries, we have compiled a list of activities just for you... see all the details below. 

    Canoe & Kayak Rental on Lake Champlain

    Waterfront Boat Rentals (canoes, kayaks, double kayaks, 17-foot motorboats). 7 days a week, 10 am to dusk. Located at Perkins Pier, Maple St. in downtown Burlington. Tel. 802-864-4858.

    Cruises on Lake Champlain

    Northern Lights, 115-ft-long cruise boat seating 149 passengers. Scenic & dinner cruises. Tel. 802-864-9669. June 10 through October 10, 2011.

    Spirit of Ethan Allen, 140-ft-long cruise ship and floating restaurant seating 424 passengers. Tel. 802-862-8300.

    Sailboat Rides on Lake Champlain

    Sailing Vessel Friend Ship (41 ft. sailing sloop) departs three times a day for a two-hour sail. Up to 12 people. Whistling Man Schooner Co. Tel. 802-598-6504. Mid May through October 15.

    www.vermontsailing.com (Hunter 29.5), day-sails,sunset cruises, and bareboat charters (two hours, $35/person ($25/ child), with captain). Boat holds 8 people. Departs from the Burlington Boathouse. Operated by Let’s Go Sailing. Tel. 802-735-4165.

    Community Sailing Center on the Burlington waterfront. Rental of sailboats, kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. Hourly rates. Tel. 802-864-2499. July 4 through October 10.

  • Guest Comments

    “Perfect weekend / Great owners and staff”
    Reviewed May 28, 2012 NEW

    "You made our daughter's UVM graduation weekend/family gathering so perfect. We used all the beautifully decorated rooms in the house and the carriage barn. The warm hospitality extended to friends and family throughout our four day stay was fantastic; service was exceptional. You made us feel so comfortable and welcome that we were calling it "home". Breakfast and afternoon cookies were scrumptious. Conversation and help from owners and staff-OUTSTANDING ! Highly recommended." -Nancy Kinsman

    "The newly-reopened Inn has beautifully furnished, rustic yet luxurious rooms; several generously comfortable common spaces for socializing; an abundance of food at all hours of the day and night; exceptional, cheerful service that went way beyond anything we could have imagined, anticipating our every need before we even thought of it. We were a very large group and could easily have overwhelmed the staff, but they were unfailingly cheerful, generous, friendly, efficient. I would recommend this place to anyone!"
    "Several weeks ago my husband and I spent two nights at Heart of the Village. We hadn't been to a B&B for a long time. We were tired of the cookie cutter rooms of even the best hotels. Your Inn is so charming, so welcoming, so comfortable, and convenient to all the sites in Shelburne and Burlington, we couldn't have been more pleased! Often beds in B&Bs are not that comfortable for couples whose weight differences are really different. The bed in our room was perfect, (no rolling toward the middle or the heavier person's side.) I really appriciated that. The breakfasts included the freshest fruits, home made muffins, eggs one day and French toast the next. Coffee was available as early as 7:00 AM along with delicious munchies to tide us over till we were ready to sit down to the full breakfast. Fruit, cookies, and chocolates were set out in the parlor during the day. One day we visited the Shelburne Museum across the street from the Inn. I had been there before and was delighted to find a number of new exhibits. We get to the Burlington area several times a year and will definately return to the Heart of the Village in the future."

    "Just a quick note to tell you how wonderful our 2 night stay was!  Everything was top notch and fabulous... from the beautiful room to the fantastic breakfast each morning.  Without a doubt it was out best B&B experience (and we've been to many).  Thanks for making our Valentine's celebration great...!"

    "It was a spontaneous trip to Vermont for a long weekend. We are so happy to have found a room at your Inn. It's been quiet and cozy during out stay. It's just what we wanted. Thank you so much for your hospitality."

    "Thank you so much for the wonderful getaway for our 20th Anniversary. We received a warm welcome, wonderful cookies, and a cozy room. The Starry Night Cafe was a really good experience with great food. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful home."

    "The love of my life proposed to me in this suite (Webb Suite). Cheers to a wonderful stay and for us, a place where our new life together started."

    "We had a lovely time here. The room was cozy and comfortable and the breakfasts were delicious! This is a very special place with gracious hosts and we're glad somebody recommended it to us!"

    "Thank you for your warm hospitality... felt just like coming home... loved the room; it was beautiful and perfect. Just what I thought it would be."

    "Really enjoyed our stay. Beautiful rooms, decor, making you feel like home (or at least the one you would like to have!). We come here for our first Anniversary, and got to say that this is the best place we could ever be at. We are very impressed with the people. Warm and real...!"

    "Thank you so much for your hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and look forward to being able to return. The bed was unbelievably comfortable and we very much enjoyed the delicious breakfasts."

    "I've stayed at many New England B&B's but I've never had a better breakfast. Delicious and not too fussy. Great waffles!"

    "In our travels to five other Inn on this trip, we found not a one that was better than Heart of the Village. Your combination of location, lodging, food and innkeeper conversation is right at the top. Thank you both (and your staff) for a wonderful visit to Vermont!"

    "The blueberry waffles were wonderful, equaled only by chocolate chip delights while zooming home."

    "Excellent Stay!"

  • Directions

    From Burlington International Airport:
    Turn left/south onto Airport Drive; at stoplight, go straight onto Kennedy Drive. Continue to follow as Kennedy Drive becomes I-189. At the intersection of I-189 and Route 7, turn left and follow Route 7 south for approx. 4.6 miles. Heart of the Village is on the left, across from the town hall.

    From Boston:
    I93 North to Concord, NH; I-89 north to exit 13 (I-189); south on Route 7, approx. 4.6 miles; Heart of the Village is on the left, across from the town hall.

    From New York:
    I-87 north to Exit 20, Lake George; Route 9N to Route149E from Lake George to Route 4 at Fort Ann; Route 4 north to Route 22A; Route 22A north to Vergennes; Route 7 north from Vergennes to Shelburne; Heart of the Village Inn is on your right, across from the town hall.

    From Montreal:
    Route 10 for 12 miles (19 km) to Route 133 south for 28 miles (45 km); Cross the border at Highgate Springs; I-89 for 43 miles (69 km) to Exit 13; south on Route 7, approx. 4.6 miles (7.6 km). Heart of the Village is on the left, across from the town hall.