BOOK HISTORY | A Writer’s Escape featuring Devi from Chicago, Illinois

Devi is a writer and needed a place to escape. To be inspired.  

A short drive down I-55 from Chicago resulted in not one, but two stays at Vrooman Mansion. The Rose Suite was just the beginning.

Upon returning, a stay in the Carl Vrooman Suite on the 2nd floor provided the ideal writing space and inspiration with a large antique desk, window bench overlooking the garden, and vintage clawfoot tub.

The antiquities inspired, and the modern amenities kept this writer fueled. (Have you discovered the endlessly available free coffee, tea, and snacks in the Keurig closet just down the hall?) 

Read more about Devi’s experience below and see the spaces that stirred creativity. Then book a few days for yourself to be focused and inspired. Or if you know of a creator that has been talking about needing time away, consider a gift certificate to give them the gentle nudge to keep writing.    

Embrace our history.  As you write your own. Choose to stay in a mansion. 


Guest Review from Chicago, Illinois

March 9, 2022

The first time I stayed at the mansion, I was in town on business. I spent the night in the Rose Room. My room and the rest of the house were so beautiful.

The level of detail in the architectural finishes and on the antiquities throughout the mansion was astounding. Not one corner of the house lacked a sense of history.

The staff was so warm & lovely. I woke the next morning to find a crystal goblet of cut fruit and a gourmet breakfast waiting for me downstairs!

What a perfect place for a writing retreat, I thought.

Well I did come back to write, armed with a bottle of wine and two types of bubble bath!

I just adore the Carl Vrooman Suite. When I return, I hope to bring my writing friends.

Thank you Vrooman Mansion!

Devi, Chicago, IL


handwritten journal sits open on a vintage bedspread

The Carl Vrooman Suite

Located on the 2nd floor of the mansion, at the end of the hallway, you’ll find the Carl Vrooman Suite. Our largest suite in the mansion has two rooms and an attached private bath.

The bedroom features a queen-sized bed with a vibrant gold and green comforter and the most comfortable luxurious bedding. The high back burl-wood-posted antique bed frame is a stand out piece of furniture, complemented by the marble top dresser, and the high back chair nestled between the window and decorative fireplace.

There is a door that leads directly to the hallway from the bedroom, and a closet with two comfy robes waiting for you to borrow. (View more photos from this amazing suite.)



A Writers Retreat

What makes the Carl Vrooman Suite perfect for a writer’s retreat? 

The largest writing desk in the mansion can be found in this suite.  And it belonged to and was used by Carl Vrooman himself. For those who don’t know, Carl Vrooman was the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture to President Woodrow Wilson. Did he write to the president from this very space?


The sitting room is spacious and filled with natural light from the tall windows overlooking the grounds. Carl and Julia used to enjoy tea in this room no doubt talking about their travels, and possibly even the book they wrote together in 1914… The Lure and Lore of Travel.

The large window bench is ready for you to curl up with a cup of coffee and experience the morning, while the scent of breakfast wafts up the stairs beckoning you to come down. And the flowered sofa is a queen sized pull out bed, so if you’d prefer to come with other writers, this suite can accommodate you both with separate spaces to sleep.

sitting room with flowered sofa bed, antique rocking chair, window bench and tall windows

And the endless free coffee, tea and snacks we talked about? That’s right outside the door in our not-so-hidden quaint coffee closet. You’ll find a keurig, a small fridge with water and soda pop, and little bags of snacks to keep you fueled no matter the time of day.

Private Bathroom with a Vintage Tub 

The Carl Vrooman Suite, like all 7 rooms at Vrooman Mansion, has its own private bathroom for overnight guests. This private attached bathroom has the best of old-world luxury: a late vintage clawfoot slipper tub with a hand-held showerhead, and also features a pull-chain toilet.

Devi brought wine and bath bubbles from home, but you can also let us do the work and consider our Bath Package as the ideal add-on, as well as wine and charcuterie to keep you fueled for any late night writing inspiration.



Many potential guests wonder what types of amenities are available when they stay overnight. In addition to two  luxurious bathrobes you can borrow during your stay and plush towels, each bathroom suite includes a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and locally made organic hand soap and lip balm from Wright Family Products.


shampoo, conditioner, soap, washcloth and 2 glasses on a gold shelf


Inspiration in Every Corner

There are 7 overnight suites throughout the mansion and carriage house. But there are also common areas for you to explore. There is a library at the top of the foyer stairs, a music room, a parlor, and a favorite of many… the safe room.

Why the safe room? Original to the home is an in-wall safe, that is filled with old photos, stories from previous guests, newspapers and articles…. a plethora of historic inspiration waiting for you to sift through and spark your next creative idea. 


doors to an antique safe are open and inside are vintage letters, books, magazines and photos organized to be discovered


Pick a few pieces and wrap up in a blanket on the blue tufted couch. Stare at the typewriter across the room and wonder who used it and what they might have written.

Explore the history of Vrooman Mansion before your stay and look for specific artifacts while you’re here. Brush up on the Scotts and the Vroomans through articles from the McLean County Museum of History.


vintage typewriter sits on a marble top table with blue and gold wallpaper in the background


Gourmet Bed and Breakfast

You won’t find a continental breakfast here. As the only true bed and breakfast in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, a gourmet multi-course breakfast is included for every overnight guest. Creative seasonal dishes are the hallmark of our breakfast, and we’re happy to accommodate any special requests or dietary needs. Whether you are vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free or have an allergy, please let us know so we can craft an amazing breakfast you deserve to enjoy.



Book Your Overnight Stay

Vrooman Mansion is a bed, breakfast, and special events venue in Bloomington, IL roughly 2 hours south of the city Chicago, Illinois and most suburbs.

Built in 1869, we blend vintage elements with modern amenities to give you a vibrant backdrop to write the next chapter in your novel, memoir, blog, poetry or work project.

Check our availability and book your stay.

Make history.

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