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Reviewed 17 October 2014

My wife and I had a wonderful experience with Bruce and Helen at their Bed and Breakfast. Such a beautiful old house, immaculately clean, many antiques, and clocks! I love clocks! The reason we visited Bruce and Helen was to pick up a Grandfather clock we had purchased from Bruce for our 5th Anniversary. I joked with Bruce about trying to sleep without hearing clocks chime, but he silences them for other guests to get a good night's sleep. I, of course, sleep better when I hear those beautiful chimes.

The hospitality they gave us was above and beyond! An elegant room with a mix of old and modern. Four poster bed with a daybed beside, antique clawfoot tub large enough for me to soak the travel time away, beautiful painted mural on one wall, star-lit ceiling with twinkle lights, balcony overlooking the side yard, and a homemade breakfast and service that would outshine any 5-star. Hanover is a very historic town with lots of quaint shops downtown, several fine restaurants, and many shopping areas within 10 minutes of Shining Dawn B&B.

Gettysburg is less than 30 minutes away. We spent a wonderful afternoon there complete with horseback tour of the battlefields. The guide taught me more in 90 minutes than I ever learned in High School.

I strongly recommend Shing Dawn B&B for anyone visiting Gettysburg, or just getting away from the City for a couple days. If you're interested in purchasing a grandfather clock, Bruce is your man!

Charles and Loraine Bell
Bronson, Michigan

Room Tip: All rooms are wonderful, but there is no elevator. Negotiating stairs to the rooms is a must. Parking is on the street, but we had no trouble, even with a trailer behind our car.
  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Charles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BASA78, Owner at Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2014

Dear Charles and Loraine,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and some of your observations with other potential guests. We're always very pleased to know that our guests have enjoyed their stay here at Shining Dawn. We fully appreciate how valuable times like these are to guests who come to us celebrating special occasions. We think you two make a lovely couple. We truly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to meet and host you. We hope that your new vintage Tall Case gives you much joy and stands witness to many happy gatherings of your family and friends for generations to come. Once again, "Thank you"!

Bruce & Helen, Owners/Innkeepers

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Reviewed 13 October 2014

Old houses that are made into inns or bed-and-breakfast accommodations have certain limitations: fewer outlets, odd room layouts, the occasional squeaky floorboard, vintage furniture that may not be the most comfortable. Their charm and unique characteristics make up for less modern amenities. Shining Dawn Bed-and-Breakfast has no serious flaws, and we had no major problems.

THE PROS: certainly the hosts, Helen and Bruce, are nice people to talk to. They put you at ease and make you feel you are guests invited to their home. The house itself is unique in style, built in the early 1900s and with some outstanding features (tiled floor in the entryway, carved woodwork, parquet floors).

The rooms are nicely furnished, and many of the pieces are vintage, if not antique, originals. Linens and toiletries are quality items, clearly chosen with care. "Thoughtful" would be a good definition for the tone the owners have set in the house.

The dining room has been set up with small tables - the day we were there, each was laid out to accommodate up to four guests. You may find you've made some new friends by the time breakfast is over!

THE CONS: there is no off-street parking. If you are lucky enough to have a space in front of the house, it's not too bad, even with the steps. But if you can't find a space nearby - as we could not - you may have a block-long hike from your car to the house.

Sound carries - it's an old house, and old wooden floors are noisy. If you have a squawky bedspring, if the door creaks, you may inadvertently disturb your neighbors. Equally, their coming and going may disturb you.

Recharging electronic devices can be tricky - there are not very many outlets, and the ones in our room were in use.

We had "The MidSummer Night's Dream Room," which has a queen-size bed plus a roomy daybed. There is a window air-conditioner (not needed by us, as we stayed in October); a small TV (which we didn't watch); and a second-story porch overlooking part of the garden (which we didn't use, again mostly due to the cooler fall weather).

The room was chilly, even though we opened the valve on the room's radiator. The bed was noisy - even turning over resulted in some squawks - but perhaps that's to be expected in an antique. The linens were very soft and comfortable, the mattress not so much. The nicest surprise in the room was the ceiling - it has been decorated with luminescent paint, which glowed softly until the following morning. Truly lovely!

This room has a private bathroom which was furnished with top-of-the-range toiletries and clean, fluffy towels. It has no shower (which we knew when we booked it, but it was the only room available), but has a bathtub, which appears to be original to the house. I grew up with a clawfoot tub, so their quaint charm is lost on me. Old rust stains may be expected, but - I don't want quirky. I prefer pristine. I don't know how well it worked, if the hot water was plentiful, if the water pressure was adequate, because I decided to forgo a bath for one day.

Breakfast was good - not too skimpy, not too heavy, just about right. We had a fresh-fruit 'sundae' with a creamy topping (perhaps a yogurt blend?), an orange-juice based drink, and quiche, bacon, and croissants. Breakfast usually starts at 8:30, with coffee available a half-hour or so before. You may want to check with Helen if you need an early start. The coffee ("Thor's Hammer") was superb.

Would I recommend Shining Dawn to a friend? Probably, though I would tell them to talk with Helen and Bruce to make sure the room they were given would meet their needs. Would I stay there again? Probably, given the circumstances that led us there this time. It isn't nearly as expensive as some of the other B&Bs in the Hanover / Gettysburg area, and I believe you get your money's worth.

The time of year you visit... the room in which you stay... perhaps even your reason for being in Hanover will have a bearing on your experience at Shining Dawn. If you're looking for an interesting building, congenial hosts, a relatively comfortable room, a homecooked breakfast, and a modest price, Shining Dawn will work just fine for you.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank KCoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BASA78, Owner at Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2014

Dear KCoff,

Thank you for taking the time to share your views. As we told you, as we tell ALL of our guests, if you need something to make your stay more enjoyable, please ask for it. We are not mind-readers. We'd much rather know about something that is not to your liking WHILE you are staying here as opposed to reading about it in a written review after the fact.

Judging from the over all "tone" of your review it would seem as though you may have been happier at a modern facility with concrete walls and floors. That's certainly NOT the type of experience you'll find at most B&Bs. As I recall, you were unable to find other accommodations for one night in our area. October is a very busy time in the Hanover/Gettysburg area.

We were extremely busy this past weekend and perhaps were unable to provide you with the individualized attention you required but again, had you asked, we would have tried to meet any reasonable request for special consideration.

In reference to the "Cons" listed in this review, if you are considering a stay at Shining Dawn please note the following:

If you need off-street parking, ask for it. We have a limited number of covered, secure parking spots available in our Carriage House. There is also off-street parking available in back of the property but it doesn't adjoin a walkway to our doors so you'll need a half a block or so to reach your car.

As the reviewer has stated, Shining Dawn is located in an old, single-family house. It was completed in 1902. It's well constructed and well maintained but it's not made of prefabricated concrete. If that's the kind of experience you're looking for, you won't be happy here. Please keep looking.

In reference to the electrical outlets: We do have multi-outlet adapters in all of our rooms and have been told by other guests that they were very useful. Even modern facilities may not have
many "extra" outlets either as we are quickly becoming a nation of people who need to plug in multiple adapters for all of our indispensable toys. Again, if you need more outlets, ask and we'll provide you with a multi-outlet extension cord. That's all that will be needed to take care of it.

In reference to the window A/C, Bed and Room Temp:

Even though it is (or was) early October, we still do get fairly warm, and humid days in this part of the Country. We will be removing the Window Air-Conditioners in due time, but we don't want to remove them too early and then have our guests uncomfortable due to a warm spell. It's much easier to keep warm than it is to stay cool. It just so happens that this couple did visit during a very sudden cold snap.

The mattresses in all of our rooms are high-quality Serta products. They are not too hard, nor too soft but one mattress type can not suit everyone's individual preferences. We have received many compliments and very few complaints about our bedding.

I really don't know how to respond to the comments regarding the antique claw-foot tub. As stated, that is something clearly outlined in the room's description. That's all we had available, and that's what was knowingly reserved. We're not hiding anything. If you want a shower, this is not the room for you. You won't be happy and so you should not make a reservation. If our guests are not happy, we won't be happy.

We serve high quality Orange Juice (not frozen, or nor reconstituted). We do NOT serve an "Orange Juice Based" drink. It is served very cold in chilled juice glasses so perhaps that was part of the confusion. If you prefer warm orange juice, let us know ahead of time.

In summary, if you have experience staying in a Bed and Breakfast, you should know what to expect and I thoroughly believe that we can offer you a fine experience with genuine hospitality. We don't have a soundproof structure to offer you if you are respectfully quiet, there's no reason why you can not enjoy your privacy without intruding on the privacy of your neighbors. We are a Bed and Breakfast, we are not a Motel/Hotel. Please keep that fact firmly in mind if you are thinking of making a reservation with us.

All of our rooms are well described and pictured on our website.
We can not anticipate the individual needs and preferences of everyone. If you have special needs let us know. Also, once again, as we always tell all of our guests when they first check-in, if you need anything, please let us know DURING your stay. Someone is always onsite and available when we are hosting guests. All you have to do is ring our door bell and we're more than happy to try and accommodate your requests as quickly as possible.

Bruce,
Innkeeper and Owner

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Reviewed 18 September 2014

A lovely B&B, best of several we've stayed at in the area. The hosts Helen and Bruce were particularly gracious and attentive. The home is in excellent shape with lovely wood inlays, stained glass window and an intriguing collection of timepieces arrayed throughout. My wife and I will definitely stay here again if the opportunity arises.

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BASA78, Owner at Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2014

Dear JS,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us. You two were the Perfect Guests. It was truly our pleasure to meet and host you and we look forward to seeing you again.

Best,

Bruce & Helen, Owners/Innkeepers

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Reviewed 2 September 2014

Upon my arrival at The Shining Dawn Bed and breakfast retreat I was taken aback by the beautiful historic Victorian style brick home. I called it home because I was warmly greeted by Bruce and Helen, the inn keepers, as though I arrived home after a long vacation. I was immediately given a tour of the home which had very intricate detailing, down to the tiling on the floor. I was completely surrounded by history. Even the rooms were themed. My stay involved the Phoenix themed room symbolic of "from the ashes I rise!" This theme was quite prophetic for me. The bonus of my stay, aside from the wonderful talks and history lessons I received from Bruce and Helen were the exquisite, meticulously thought out breakfasts each morning served in courses. This stay taught me how to apprecate "quiet". I will definitely return. I highly recommend this special place to anyone looking to treat themselves to a retreat from the average. A million thank you's to the Shining Dawn. A place I'll never forget.

One love!
Sunshyne P!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sunshynep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BASA78, Owner at Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2014

Dear Sunshynep,

What a treat to have such a talented, gracious guest like you stay with us. It was a lot of fun chatting with you and your family and getting to know you a little better. Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay at Shining Dawn. We loved meeting and hosting you and look forward to your next visit.

Wishing you all the best!

Bruce & Helen, Owners/Innkeepers

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Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

We've been guests at Shining Dawn so many times we've lost count. It's at least ten now. We've always thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and we've stayed in every room but one. Each is fabulous in its own way, and Helen and Bruce are unfailingly gracious and welcoming hosts. They've gone out of their way to help us with some special requests, and the breakfasts are truly first class. Since we've been there so many times, Helen and Bruce have made a special effort to see that we don't get the same menu each time, too!

You can't do better in Hanover. We highly recommend Shining Dawn.

Stayed: August 2014
Thank Jim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BASA78, Owner at Shining Dawn Bed and Breakfast Retreat Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2014

Dear Jim R,

We feel privileged every time you and "E" choose to stay with us.

Thank you for taking the time to write another wonderful review.

Best regards,

Bruce & Helen, Owners/Innkeepers

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