Meet Robert & Douglas Mahan of Aldrich Guest House
We have been innkeepers for almost three years now, however this was not the beginning of our time working in hospitality. Between the two of us we have been working for nearly 45 years in many facets of the service and hospitality fields, most recently in large hotels in downtown Chicago. Over the past 10 years we have loved our stays in B&Bs when we would travel and decided we wanted to make it our life’s work! We began putting our business plan together in the summer of 2012, so we were ready to jump at the chance of a lifetime when we found Galena and Aldrich Guest House!
What is your favorite part about our community/Galena?
The community itself has to be one of our favorite parts of Galena. Being a same-sex couple coming from a metropolitan city to a small Midwestern town can raise some questions of inclusivity and acceptance, but from the very first day we set foot in Galena we felt so welcomed without question! The open and welcoming feeling is so strong here on 3rd Street that we tell everyone we have the best neighbors anywhere, not to mention the amazing community of innkeepers and small business owners that Best of Galena is!
We love to give back through be being involved with events that support the arts. We have hosted a concert in our parlor for the Juliani Ensemble to support their organization and to keep chamber music accessible to Galena residents and guests alike. One event that we love, and is growing bigger every year, is the Galena Sock Hop in February. We love it because it is a great winter event to get people out and dancing to amazing live music…and because Robert is one of the dance instructors! Any chance you get to hear live music and dance at Turner Hall will take you to a different place and time!
When we bought Aldrich Guest House, we knew we wanted to make a lot of changes to the house that were going to set it apart from most historic houses in the area. We really wanted to highlight the history and architecture of the house while creating a calm inviting environment for our guests to relax and enjoy. We pride ourselves on our attentive and intuitive yet unobtrusive service – being available without hovering and always anticipating guests needs. We love to cook and love to share that with our guests at breakfasts as well as sweet treats we make for them to enjoy during their stay. We have also been working hard to be as environmentally friendly as possible with the long term goal of becoming a carbon neutral operation. We’ve already started by reducing our footprint by replacing lightbulbs with LEDs, we’ve installed ultra-efficient heat pumps for HVAC, and we’ve eliminated plastic water bottles in the rooms and replaced them with stainless steel bottles and a water bottle filling station on the first floor.
All of these combine to create a truly luxurious experience for our guests and are how we continue to lead the next generation of bed and breakfasts.