May 05, 2009

Tina Musico and Robert Eagle weren't looking for an inn—let alone a building so shabby it was about to be flattened into a parking lot. Yet a few years ago, when the retail marketer and computer consultant saw the 1902 wood-frame vernacular house amid the mansions in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida, they rushed to its rescue. The recently renovated Inn at Oak Street is now flush with muted-gold and deep-red walls and amethyst and crystal chandeliers; the original heart-pine floors were kept intact. The six rooms combine comfort with couture: down duvets, silk dupioni shades and curtains, wine refrigerators, four-poster beds. Wireless Internet is a draw for business travelers, but those leaving the office behind can lounge in a whirlpool bath or on the 70-foot wraparound porch. Or, hit the pavement and stroll a few blocks to the ateliers, galleries, and vintage-clothing boutiques of the artsy Five Points district. The Inn at Oak Street, 2114 Oak St., Jacksonville, Florida; 904/379-5525; www.innatoakstreet.com; doubles from $145, including breakfast.
—Catherine O'Neal

Inn at Oak Street

Just two blocks from the St. Johns River, this three-story home has been carefully restored since it was built in 1902 as the home of a well-to-do entrepreneur. A pitched gable roof shelters the 600-square-foot main house, which has six uniquely decorated rooms. The look is a bit old-fashioned (floral blankets, ruffled bed skirts, patterned rugs) but all are comfortable and come with flat-screen TVs, WiFi access, a wine refrigerator, and daily breakfast, which is best taken on the 70-foot wraparound porch.

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