This Galena-area bed-and-breakfast, long beloved for its vistas, now extends the invitation to far more than Goldmoor’s diners and overnight guests.
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Galena, Ill., the enchanting Goldmoor Inn offers award-winning hospitality for weddings, banquets, business meetings and romantic getaways.
With large, luxurious suites, log cabins, cottages, a spa, fine dining, bed-and-breakfast service and well-maintained grounds to explore, Goldmoor Inn, 9001 W. Sand Hill Road, presents a castle-like fairytale setting in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
To add to the guest experience, owners Birgit and Slobo Radin recently put the finishing touches on a new outdoor patio that invites visitors to linger and take in some of the best sights on this picturesque 21-acre property.
“It will definitely be a whole new experience for our visitors, giving them another way to take in the breathtakingly beautiful views of the wide-open spaces and the gorgeous sunsets, no two being alike,” Birgit says.
The recently completed patio – the largest one in Jo Daviess County, she adds – comes with a fire pit surrounded by comfortable sofas and chairs as well as umbrella tables. The west-facing patio is decorated with flowers, seasonal accents and heat lamps to keep it open for as long as possible into the winter.
Through the rest of this year, it serves as a place to relax and enjoy a drink and/or appetizers before or after a meal at Goldmoor’s on-site restaurant, which is open to the public whether or not they spend the night. Future plans for the patio include special events with more food offerings, Birgit says.
The idea for the patio began with some necessary maintenance. A 33-foot support wall was needed to correct broken concrete on a smaller patio. That support wall is now 110 feet long and includes a glass railing around the enlarged 3,400-square-foot patio.
The addition of the patio comes on the heels of a two-year effort to update and renovate every guest room inside. The furniture, themes, names and feel are still the same, Birgit says, but the 18 guest rooms now boast new upholstery, carpeting, window treatments, hardwood flooring and fresh paint.
Adding to the experience, Goldmoor’s restaurant continues to elevate its game. Chef Brandon Veitch, who was hired two years ago, brings more than 12 years of culinary experience, including his most recent role as chef de cuisine for The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago. Veitch draws upon classical French cooking techniques to create simple but elegant dishes featuring Mediterranean spices.
“Mediterranean cuisine is influenced by 22 countries that all touch the sea, so our options for creativity and deliciously fresh recipes are endless,” he says.
Veitch researches ingredients and recipes, follows inspirational chefs, takes workshops and classes, and keeps a pad of paper and pen with him to note ideas that pop into his head.
Birgit’s husband, Goldmoor co-owner Slobo Radin, says Veitch is exceptional.
“His food is so delicious and so outstanding; everyone agrees he could be a chef at the best restaurants anywhere,” Slobo says. “But we are glad he is here because no one does it better than he does. He is very different and does things like I have never seen done before. He is so precise and organized.”
Every April, July and October, Veitch releases a new menu. The only item that doesn’t change is the signature Beef Wellington. However, the sides accompanying the dish do change with the season, Veitch says.
Each menu has 16 items representing starters, salads and entrees. This fall, a new item in the starter category is Butternut Squash Toast, made from house-made sourdough, herbed ricotta, caramelized butternut squash, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and maple brown butter glaze. The Autumn Salad is made with Boston lettuce, roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, dried cranberries, apples, walnuts, goat cheese and persimmon vinaigrette. In addition to Beef Wellington, the main entrees this season include Burgundy Truffle Pot Pie, Australian Wagyu Striploin, White Pekin Duck, Short Rib Pasta, Chilean Sea Bass, Maine Diver Scallop and Icelandic Cod.
A bone-in Short Rib to share features 12-hour braised short rib glazed with a red wine reduction and chives. It comes with confit heirloom carrots with an apple ginger butter and pomegranate seeds; brown butter garlic whipped potatoes; an autumn salad tossed in a persimmon vinaigrette; and a short rib jus and house-made kimchi.
The restaurant is open to the public as well as guests every Thursday through Monday from 5 to 9 p.m.. Reservations are encouraged by calling (815) 777-3925.
Built as a privately owned estate, Goldmoor Inn was transformed into an elegant country inn just 6 miles outside of Galena in what is known as the Driftless Area of northwest Illinois, where the topography is characterized by rolling hills, bluffs, valleys, streams and waterfalls. These features provide stunning views from every angle during every season.
The views are particularly appealing from the new patio or from the inn’s 13 uniquely decorated luxury suites. Each has been personally decorated by the Radins, from the two-story Turret Suite to the one-of-a-kind Chef’s Quarters. Elegant bedding, hand-carved furniture, luxurious whirlpool tubs and cozy fireplaces are standard features.
The Deluxe cabins near the inn strike a balance between luxuriousness and coziness. Each cabin has a spacious modern bath, fireplace, whirlpool tub, kitchen, nearby parking and convenient location near the main building.
Three cottages feature private entrances, galley kitchens and exclusive access to outdoor areas, including a private porch. Each cottage is uniquely decorated in an English, French or Irish country style.
For the ultimate stress-relieving experience, the spa inside the Inn offers 60- and 90-minute Swedish, Deep Tissue and Hot Stone massages for individuals and couples.
Originally from Germany, the Radins share a lifelong love of travel, gourmet cuisine and meeting people from different cultures. Their careers span more than 25 years in the global hospitality industry. They trained under the exacting methods of European schools and perfected their individual skills across Europe, Africa and North America. Since acquiring Goldmoor Inn in 2015, Birgit has focused her energy and talents on leading guest services and hotel management, while her husband manages food and beverage operations.
Today, the couple actively supports local businesses and efforts to keep Galena a top destination for travelers.
The Goldmoor Inn has a proud place in history. In the early 1800s, the riverboat captains rounding the bend on the Mississippi River near Galena would look toward “Signal Point” – the present site of the main inn – as a place to stop for firewood or fuel for their steamboats.
Many years later, a large country home originally built for one of the heirs to the Firestone fortune was purchased by the founder of the Goldmoor estate. The original home has been extensively renovated, enlarged and improved.
Goldmoor Inn is recognized by travel experts not only as the best bed-and-breakfast in Galena but also as one of the premier inns in the United States. Yahoo Travel, American Bed and Breakfast Association, Trip Advisor, Midwest Living, Open Table and bedandbreakfast.com have all given the Goldmoor top marks, and so do the inn’s recurring customers.
“We want people to come here and feel refreshed, relaxed, rejuvenated, and renewed as they let go of all the stressors of daily living and immerse themselves in the quiet beauty of nature and enjoy impeccable service,” says Birgit.