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Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, WI

Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield, WI


The Old Rittenhouse Inn is a gorgeous Wisconsin bed and breakfast offering elegant accommodations, fine dining, and wedding services in Bayfield, WI.


Established in 1975.

The Old Rittenhouse Inn is Wisconsin's first Bed and Breakfast and one of the great Country Inns of North America. Enjoy spectacular views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands from the large wraparound veranda filled with flower baskets, comfortable seating, and a porch swing.


Company Info:

Rating: 4.65

Address: 301 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI, 54814
  • Mon: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tue: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wed: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thu: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sun: Closed

Hotels in Bayfield, WI
Bed & Breakfast in Bayfield, WI
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Comments (20):

1. Judy I.
my husband and I just spent 4 lovely nights at the Rittenhouse Inn.  We rented the little cottage which was right down the street in a quiet neighborhood. It had all the victorian accents that the Inn had and we still had the continental breakfast included. The accommodations were just so lovely and the food was great. The staff was lively, professional and paid attention to every detail.  We hiked along the Meyers beach trail and at the ski area and also did the long cruise along the islands.  It was all so worth it and this will be an annual destination for us as well. We were so welcomed at the Rittenhouse and it is run with the professionalism, kindness one expects from a beautiful inn. Check out rooms 10 and 11 in the main inn .  THey are amazing and truly luxurious. All the rooms have their individual style and privacy, next time I think we'll pick room 11.  And we can't wait to get back there and we just arrived home today.
Thanks again to the Phillipe family and everyone of you at the Rittenhouse. There are so many things to do in Bayfield.  Just a wonderful community along Lake Superior.
Judy and Keith

11/10/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
2. Gary U.
I have been coming up to Bayfield's Applefest for 23 years and now have friends who live here. For many years our traditional Saturday night dinner is at the Rittenhouse Inn. A great dinner for me consists of three things: -Good food  -Comfortable/warm ambiance -Great service. I've eaten at every top rated restaurant in the area at least twice. The Rittenhouse was and continues to be the best place in the area to dine. Jerry and his friendly staff will make you want to come back again and again.

10/10/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
3. Joseph W.
This is in a beautiful, large old house that overlooks Lake Superior.  The menu varies, but it is always very good.  It is prix fix but you can choose five courses or two.  The food is always of a very high level and that combined with the nice house puts it in rare company as a fine dining establishment with just as much personality as your tasteful friend's house.

26/07/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
4. Rhonda G.
I feel like I'm taking off the Michelin star. We went back exactly one year from a wedding we attended last July. I have to wonder if that was the case with some of the reviewers. Because if you went last year, the food was perfect, now somethings not right. Had lunch and dinner both times. They had the most extraordinary wild rice salad, with the filler being wild rice, this year the filler was salad leafs. My husbands bison steak ordered mr, was rare, and we were basically told it was difficult to get it beyond rare. Then don't serve it. I got champagne chicken breast, sliced, and the sauce was very thin. Our waiter, Bill was super, but he knew we weren't thrilled with this experience. The desserts were as wonderful as always, especially the signature vanilla panna cotta. However it wasn't offered at lunch, thank God I could make a special request for it. For what you pay lunch was equally disappointing, carmelized onions made the quiche especially soggy, with an iced cold marinara sauce on top of it. Don't ask. We were comped our drinks, which is always the most delicious lemonade you could imagine. The owner told us they are  made from a special type of lemon they get. Getting to meet Mr. Phillips was so enjoyable.He and Basil are both history buffs and were discussing various topics relating to Bayfield and into other things. We had a last fling with dessert and lemonade on the porch and a carafe full of lemonade so we wouldn't run out. I found out that the reason for our imperfect meals, was they lost the fabulous chef from last year, who ventured out on his own. Please make him an offer he can't refuse. If you never knew what you missed it might be ok. Would we go back? Yes. Do we wish we could stay at the inn? Definitely.

03/08/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
5. Jeff K.
Here you go:  Three reviews for the price of one!
As a B&B:  5 stars.
As a place to go for breakfast:  5 stars.
As a restaurant for dinner:  4 stars.

Yelp Map Alert:  As of 12/3/07 the Yelp map is incorrect.  The ORI is on the main drag very close to 'downtown' Bayfield.

What a fabulous place to go for a vacation, honeymoon, weekend away!

They have 3 buildings where B&B guests can stay.  My wife and I stayed at the Chateau.  What a great place to relax.  And a very nice view of the Bay.  We stayed in a room with a hidden diary of guests comments.  Part of the fun is finding the diary.

The Chateau is a few blocks away from the Rittenhouse where breakfast is served.  But it is a nice walk including across a bridge over a little gorge.

The restaurant in the Old Rittenhouse Inn is a bit crowded but nicely appointed.  The view from some of the windows is pretty good.

The staff is very friendly and helpful.

The dinner menu is limited.  In addition I would characterize it as consisting mainly of entrees that sort of fit the Victorian inn theme.  Except their Lake Superior trout:  excellent.

Casual attire is probably OK at dinner but I would suggest dressy to fit the overall ambience of this delightful place.

The Rittenhouse puts on special events from time to time, e.g. a mystery dinner.

04/12/07 | Link | Rating: 5.0
6. Emily S.
Some of the best food in the state! I came a lot, when I was in high school, because they have gourmet food. We would go have a little French field trip day, eat here and speak nothing but French. It was always a lot of fun. Then We always got to go tour the upstairs, which is where rooms are rented out for the nights. The rooms are all gorgeous! I would love to stay they for the night, and recommend it to anyone visiting Bayfield. Bayfield is full of little bed and breakfasts, but you have to choose this one! I think it may be a bit more spendier than some, but when you step into your room, you will know why!

I've also come here for lunch with some friends since then, and the food is still remarkable. I love their salmon. It truly is delicious!

08/05/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
7. Lucia A.
My family and I spent Christmas Eve at the Rittenhouse Restaurant. It was absolutely lovely. The food was fabulous and Julie, our server, was so joyous! She really brought the spirit of the holiday to our evening at the restaurant. My favorite order from the evening was the "Santa Baby" cosmo (to accompany my wild mushroom soup and salad complete with goat cheese and chocolate shavings). It was delicious- and Julie's own creation! The peach, champagne, ginger sorbet to cleanse our palates was also fantastic. Great place. Looking forward to visiting again!

27/12/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
8. Alison C.
Dear Rittenhouse,

Something wasn't quite right. I don't want to complain, but I was really excited to check you out for dinner. Perhaps I was expecting too much. Maybe your new chef wasn't on his game. Or I could be a spoiled foodie. Regardless, I really wasn't impressed.

It was our celebratory honeymoon dinner--we got the 5 course meal--and I was so wanting a perfect evening out. One of our soups was good, the other, a tomato soup, was like a bowl of chunky sauce. Both salads were tasty, but not remarkable, as I can't remember what they were. The pre-entree sorbet was a wonderful idea, but extremely bland. Probably the worst of it all was your most celebrated dish, the pork roast. The apple chutney resembled a canned jam, the cider reduction was a flavorless mess of opaque gravy, and to top it off, the pork was DRY. Everyone said get the pork, get the pork! I say no. Get the fish.

See, I do have a few compliments: the local fish was delightful--flavorful and flaky in all the right places--your service impeccable, and the wine was excellent. The space was also nice, although the wallpaper was a little dizzying.

All in all, my guess is you were having a bad night. However, I won't go back for dinner, and I also heard your rooms are overpriced. Terribly sorry, but nobody gets five stars all the time.

Best of Luck.

28/06/10 | Link | Rating: 3.0
9. Joe T.
My wife and I stayed the the Rittenhouse (Chateau) this past week and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  We have stayed at both locations and have always had an amazing experience.  The grandness of the venue and the top notch service are hard to beat.  The food is the best in town and the service is the same.  We have been going to Bayfield for the past five years and stay at the Rittenhouse each year.  We couldn't be more enthusiastic about our recommend for the Rittenhouse or Chateau.

08/07/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
10. Shelly J.
I cannot say enough about the comfort, hospitality and the food!  Rittenhouse is by far the BEST bed and breakfast I have every stayed in.  Normally old mansions turned into such places need repair, try to hard to be eccentric, or otherwise fall short of expectation.  Not so at the Rittenhouse!  Modern conveniences for comfort without spoiling the décor of the period in which the house was built is what you will find.  Great bed, shower, spectacular view (from room X), whirlpool hot tub in room (much welcomed after walking around all day for hours on end, and there is so much within blocks of the Inn to see), fridge, and clean everything!  There is no TV, but you don't need it (and I would not have wanted it, I'd miss the views)!  There is plenty to do and even in the Inn itself, you can play board games, socialize, or spend a quiet moment swinging on the front porch swing reading.  The warmth and hospitality from the staff is overwhelming--so eager to help and make your stay memorable.  The FOOD.  Do not leave there without experiencing it.  The included breakfast is 2 courses, and absolutely delectable.  We are gluten-free, and if you let them know of diet restrictions ahead of time, they accommodate!  We didn't have to skip delectable breads and sides like we normally have to because they made special gluten-free alternatives to whatever they baked or put on the menu that day.  You feel important, cared for and the stay was worth every penny.  We will be back.  It is my new favorite place for rest.

11/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
11. Scott S.
Thoroughly enjoyed our 3-course lunch and the wonderful presentation on the house's history. We inadvertently "crashed" a tour group's lunch and the staff couldn't have been more accommodating and cordial. Highly recommended to Bayfield, WI.

18/08/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
12. Kim U.
Amazing food. Beautiful presentation.  Will definitely go back when we visit bayfield again.

21/07/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
13. Ray B.
My wife and I stayed for a long weekend over the 4th of July.

We stayed in the least expensive room in the Inn and were very satisfied, we weren't lacking for space or amenities.  The staff are very eager to serve.

Based upon the reviews I was looking forward to the restaurant.  At check-in, the manager asked us if we were interested in making dinner reservations.  I said yes, and explained that I'd heard the fish is really good.  A lady in a wheelchair sitting nearby replied "everything is good" in almost an arrogant manner.  I later learned that she was one of the owners of the hotel/restaurant and used to do the cooking.  And she was absolutely right, our meals were absolutely fantastic.  There aren't a lot of tables in the restaurant, and it was fun listening to the waitress recite (from memory) the complete menu along with the very flowery descriptions of each item.

Breakfasts too were great, and if we were to do it over again we would simply have stuck with the free offerings, as the morning pastries and the granola were both to die for.  Correction:  make sure you order the thick bacon, which may be the best you'll ever eat.

Will we go back?  Maybe.... the only thing holding us back is the long drive from Madison.  But if you're headed to Bayfield for a quiet weekend, the Old Rittenhouse Inn and restaurant are a treat.

28/09/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
14. Paul N.
The waitstaff is very friendly and the atmosphere is comfortable but elegant.   We both had the mixed green salad and the whitefish, which were great.  My wife said the fish had too much olive oil on the plate.  We had the 2 course dinner which plenty of food.  We topped it off with coffee on the porch.

22/07/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
15. Barbara A.
Loved the menu derived from local products with a fixed price.  There were still plenty of choices.  Portions are on the large side so you definitely don't walk away hungry.  The ambience is wonderful- candles, pretty lighting and nice decor, but you don't have to get all dressed up to enjoy it.  We dropped in after seeing the ice caves- wearing snow pants and all.  We felt welcome and the service was excellent.  Be sure to make a reservation on a weekend.

15/02/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
16. Jeff V.
What a beautiful place!  We came for dinner and were enthralled with the décor and feel of the place.  I had the chowder which I would highly recommend as a must have if you like white fish chowders.  Fantastic.  My wife had a shrimp appetizer special and, from the tiny morsel she shared, it was great. She obviously loved it and was sopping up the remnants with bread at the end.

The Steak Bercy was good, a bit past medium but well flavored and a solid dish.  The trout was also good but the pasta bed it was on would have been better suited for a wild rice instead.

If you are looking for fine dining in Bayfield, this looks to be the place.  It was a solid 4 stars with the chowder and appetizer special clearly 5 star quality.

09/07/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
17. Jim R.
Certainly one of the nicest B&Bs in the area.  We splurged and booked room X (10), the one pictured on their website and in their other marketing materials.  It was huge - part of the former ballroom on the third floor and featured a two-sided fireplace, a large whirlpool tub, king sized bed and nice window seat that looked out to the lake.

It also had a teeny tiny bathroom - which was curious give the 800 or so square feet of the room itself.

The Rittenhouse is in a great location that makes for a nice base to walk and explore the small town of Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The inn keepers are celebrating 25 years+ and know how to run a successful inn.  We love sitting on the porch with a glass of wine (we usually bring a bottle along) and just relaxing.

Meals at the Inn are also a treat - for dinner BE SURE to get the roasted pork loin which has been on the menu forever.  It cooks all day and literally falls apart.  My wife and I ended up splitting it and it was plenty for the two of us.  This is true of breakfast at the Inn as well.  The portions are quite large and even the breakfast entrees are enough to share.

Very limited cell service at the Inn.  AT&T coverage was spotty with only the super slow "E" network available - which isn't all bad.  You are supposed to be on vacation after all!

13/10/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
18. Ann G.
Best western meal I have ever had. Everything cooked so perfectly! Soup salad sorbet entree and dessert all of them are awesome! Service is really good as well.

I am really pick about food in the US since I am Asian and I am so used to eat Asian food.
Highly recommended! One of the must try in Wisconsin!

The hotel room looks so nice in the photo. We came late. Everything booked out already! So during summer time make sure book the room earlier~

05/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
19. Meghann F.
This place is beautiful, the food is amazing and the staff is so nice!

We stayed in the South room - with a fireplace and jacuzzi and the Chateau was amazingly decorated and done - you definitely felt like you were the lumber baron from days past living in luxury, besides it being a little drafty - but it is an old house!!!  

Breakfast is included and make sure you are hungry when you go - it's a fruit course - which for us one morning was a parfait and the next was an eggy custard with cherries, fresh pastries and then an entree - I got the eggs de la creme both days - stuffed with mushrooms - super tasty!

We had dinner here one night as well and decided to go big with the 5 course tasting menu and everything was excellent.  

Time to loosen my belt before heading home . .. .

10/02/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
20. Karin A.
We came here for a Valentine's Day getaway, and the Old Rittenhouse Inn did not disappoint.  The house and our room were exquisite (we stayed in the Ballroom).  We had breakfast at the inn on two mornings (included with our stay), and there were vegetarian options, which I appreciated.  Breakfast also came with warm baked goods and a fruit crisp before the entree.  We spoke briefly with the owner at check in, and he was both warm and accommodating as he showed us around the house and made sure we were comfortable.  Excited to stay here again when are back in Bayfield.

16/02/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0