Shakespeare Chateau Hotel Review: Where to Stay in St. Joseph, Missouri

Last updated on August 8th, 2023 at 12:27 pm.

When it comes to a unique and memorable stay, the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast in St. Joseph truly stands out.

Originally built in 1885, this Victorian-era mansion has been lovingly transformed into a charming inn by its current Innkeeper, Isobel McGowan. The inn offers a selection of themed suites, each named after a William Shakespeare play and a gourmet breakfast ensuring a comfortable and enchanting experience for every guest.

Shakespeare Chateau Inn

A great bed and breakfast in St Joseph, MO

Shakespeare Chateau Inn is a History and Architect Lover’s Dream

Shakespeare Chateau national register of historic places plaque

The Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast holds a rich history with Chateauesque architecture that makes it a unique and fascinating destination.

Originally constructed in 1885 by Nathan P. and Elmarine Ogden, the mansion is a fine example of Victorian-era architecture that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Throughout the first floor, you’ll find exquisite woodwork fashioned into mantels, pillars, and colonnades of cherry wood, mahogany, walnut, and oak. These elegant details pay tribute to the craftsmanship of the past.

The mansion’s architecture features a complex, steeply pitched roof line, elaborate ridge and finials, and elaborately decorated attic dormers and gable ends. Most windows are divided by a transom bar with stained glass.

The mansion features an astounding 47 original stained glass windows, with each piece serving as a work of art. As you explore the inn, you’ll be captivated by the grandeur and elegance of the Gilded Age, making it a haven for history and architecture enthusiasts alike, not to mention couples looking for a romantic getaway.

The Foyer and Main Floor

Front door of the Shakespeare Chateau

As you step through the ornately carved front doors of the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast, you are greeted by the grandeur of the foyer, the most original part of the house dating back to its construction in 1885. This exquisite space sets the tone for the entire mansion, with all elements carefully preserved to retain its historical charm.

bust of Shakespeare

The focal point of the foyer is the stunning cherry wood mantle, adorned with a bust of Shakespeare himself, paying homage to the chateau’s namesake and adding a touch of literary flair to the ambiance.

ornate cast plaster ceiling

In this space, it’s important to look up at the ornate cast plaster ceiling with an original gas light chandelier (now converted to electric).

But what truly steals the show is the breathtaking original stained glass windows that grace this space. With 47 exquisite pieces of stained glass throughout the mansion, the foyer serves as a magnificent introduction to the treasure trove of art you’ll find within.

Carved Dragon

Take a moment to admire the intricate mosaic floor made of encaustic tiles, a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship of the late 1800’s. As you ascend the staircase, you’ll be flanked by a pair of carved dragons, a striking detail that further highlights the Victorian-era charm of the chateau.

Wander into the front parlor, and you’ll be enchanted by the elegance of the space. The walls are covered with historically significant scenic wallpaper, crafted by the renowned French company Zuber in the 1920s.

art at Shakespeare Chateau Inn

The art, furniture, and decorations in conjunction with the stained glass, crown moldings, rich woods, pocket doors all merge to create a truly beautiful B&B experience.

Athena stained glass window

As you explore the common areas, you’ll find the back parlor, that serve as two breakfast rooms. Here, a magnificent stained glass display featuring the Greek Goddess Athena graces the room.

The Stained Glass

As you ascend to the second floor, you’ll encounter a pair of tall figurative stained glass panels that represent night and day. These striking artworks greet you on the stairwell, capturing the essence of the passage of time and the eternal allure of the mansion’s storied history.

Stained Glass at Shakespeare Chateau Inn

A true highlight of the Shakespeare Chateau Inn is its stunning collection of stained glass windows. These vibrant windows, carefully preserved since the 1880s, create a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the mansion that are museum-quality pieces of art.

What makes them so unique is the multi-layered painting and staining application. With opaque, translucent, and multi-layered stained glass; it would almost impossible to create this type of glass art today.

The Shakespeare Chateau has one of the largest private collections of original stained glass windows from the Gilded Age.

Shakespeare Chateau stained glass
Shakespeare Chateau stained glass

These windows feature intricate designs of flowers, fruits, geometrics, and kaleidoscope patterns. Each window is a testament to the craftsmanship and artistic brilliance of a bygone era, providing a glimpse into the opulence and splendor of the Victorian times.

Spacious, Well-Appointed Rooms

Shakespeare Chateau Inn romeo and juliet suite

Each guest suite at the Shakespeare Chateau Inn is a combination of comfort, elegance and Victorian-era charm. We had the pleasure of staying in the “Romeo & Juliet” suite, which was thoughtfully designed with a cozy sitting area, a Jacuzzi tub, and modern amenities such as an Amazon Alexa device for music.

We were lucky to be able to peek into a few of the rooms that weren’t occupied during our stay and below is the Verona Suite; a gorgeous room with a walk-in dressing room with original built-in cabinets, king bed with pillow-top mattress, and a full bath with a jetted jacuzzi bathtub.

Shakespeare Chateau guest room

Breakfast at the Shakespeare Chateau Inn

Breakfast at the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast is a delightful start to the day. Guests are treated to a complimentary gourmet breakfast served in the elegant dining room. For guests with dietary preferences or restrictions, Isobel is very accommodating and provides gluten-free, dairy-free and other options.

breakfast at the Shakespeare Chateau

On our first morning, Todd was served a croissant breakfast sandwich and a bowl of fresh fruit, juice and coffee. As I am gluten-free, I was served scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, and a homemade gluten-free scone with lemon curd and a cup of tea. The second morning brought scrumptious waffles and fruit, and, yes, the waffles were also gluten-free.

Beyond the delicious food, breakfast at the inn offers a chance to connect with fellow guests. Sharing the dining room, you might strike up conversations with others from various places, exchanging travel stories and tips.

The Common Areas

front porch at the Shakespeare Chateau

Beyond its stunning architecture and history, the Shakespeare Chateau Inn offers a range of amenities and areas for guests to enjoy. The beautiful gardens as well as the front and back porch provide tranquil spaces to unwind and soak in the charming surroundings.

The indoor common areas welcome guests into a world of Victorian splendor. The first floor parlor is a big room with plenty of seating. It’s a great spot to read or share a nightcap. The 2nd floor lounge has a couch, chairs, TV and the 3rd floor has a space with a couch, rocking chairs and puzzle table.

Additionally, the third floor features a common kitchen with refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, bags of ice, plates, utensils as well as a table and chairs ensure convenience and comfort during your stay. This room also has a washer and dryer.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

The Shakespeare Chateau is the #1 guest house in Saint Joseph with over 403 reviews on TripAdvisor. It also has a 5/5 rating of excellent!

Shakespeare Chateau review
TripAdvisor Review of Shakespeare Chateau

Book Your Stay at Shakespeare Chateau Inn

Shakespeare Chateau Inn Bed & Breakfast is located at 809 Hall St, St Joseph, MO 64501. Check out their website and enjoy your stay!

What’s Nearby

Located just steps away from the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast, the Hall Street Historic District walking tour is a must-visit St. Joseph attraction.

Simply venture out the front door of the Inn and follow the comprehensive guide booklet provided by Isobel. It’s a treasure trove of information about the historic homes, their intriguing histories, and the distinct architectural styles they showcase.

Hall Street Historic Homes

On this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to admire a remarkable collection of post-Civil War mansions dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. The architectural styles are diverse and awe-inspiring, ranging from Italianate and Second Empire to Chateauesque, Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Neo-classical revival.

Whether you have a keen interest in history and architecture or simply crave a pleasant stroll, this tour is a perfect choice.

We also have a list of 42 amazing things to do in St. Joseph including the Jesse James Home Museum, Glore Psychiatric Museum, Pony Express Museum, our favorite restaurants, where to catch live music and where to find the oldest continuously operated saloon west of the Mississippi River. 

Wrapping it Up

A stay at the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens Bed & Breakfast is a journey back in time, where elegance and history come together to create an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a delightful getaway, this inn is sure to captivate your heart and leave you with cherished memories.

Disclaimer: We were guests of the Shakespeare Chateau. However, all opinions and views are mine in this review.

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