While they were living in New Orleans, Glenn and Ashley Mon owned a home adjacent to one of the city's many bed and breakfasts. Occasionally the couple would take overflow guests into their home and help out with hospitality. When Glenn's job took him to Philadelphia in 1997, Ashley thought it might be a good time to find their own inn to run. Four years later, they found Hamanassett.
"The property was absolutely marvelous," Glenn said. "It fit all of our criteria and we recognized that he manor house had – as my wife says – good bones."
Today, the couple runs the Hamanassett bed and breakfast, which is included on the Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America.
"It's Ashley's business. Ashley gets all the credit," Glenn said.
The Mons did significant work to upgrade the property after purchasing it in 2001. Mon estimates that they have spent more than half a million dollars in renovations.
"We've built upon those good bones consistently in the 14 years that we've owned Hamanassett," he said.
The property is licensed as a nine-unit bed and breakfast, including seven rooms with private, en-suite baths as well as the owners' quarters. There is also a two-bedroom carriage house elsewhere on the property as well as a two-bedroom cottage in one of the meadows.
Mon said the kitchen is his favorite room in the property. It was also the biggest renovation.
"It was a total gut job," he said. "We ripped everything out – took everything down to the bare walls and rebuilt a very spacious, professional-style kitchen and a butler's pantry."
Now that Glenn has retired and joined Ashley in the business, he spends most of his time in the kitchen helping to run cooking classes. The cooking school was conceived as a way to help defray some of the costs associated with the renovations. Among their most popular courses is April's "Last Dinner on the Titanic."
"Our participants actually prepare the meal from the first-class dining salon," Mon said.
While the couple has enjoyed running their own large-scale bed and breakfast (Mon estimates they can accommodate up to 24 guests at a time), they are ready for a change of pace.
"This is a large property," Mon said. "We could probably do just as well with a nice little property with three or four rooms and be very content."
The property is currently listed by Media Real Estate's Susan Deeb for $1.6 million. Buying the property turnkey – including furniture and equipment – will cost you $1,750,000.
Mon said the property could be run as a bed and breakfast, or it could be converted to a large single family home with the option to lease the cottage and carriage house to produce income.
"We've been doing this for 14 years," said Mon. "We're not getting any younger and we've just decided that it's time for us to move into a simpler life."