Cabin near Brown County rated ‘most hospitable’
When Barbara and Brian Jager opened their cabin as Airbnb in May 2016, they thought long and hard about what name they were going to give it. It’s a quiet, secluded lot between Bloomington and Nashville where people can reconnect spiritually and with each other. Years after initially wanting to buy the property, the couple’s prayers were answered when they were finally able to buy it.
After some thought, they came up with “Simple Blessings Cabin”. Barb and Brian feel like they have been blessed with the cabin, so their goal is to make visitors feel the same way and to ‘delight’ them with a great experience. They also didn’t want to sell too much which is a simple place.
It was recently announced that Barb and Brian are the most hospitable hosts in Indiana, based on reviews from the vacation rental market website Airbnb, where after nearly 300 reviews they have not received less than five stars in the hospitality or security categories.
âWe just tried to give a good product that people will enjoy, to keep it as clean as possible and not to disappoint them in any way,â Brian said.
The cabin has two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms on 16 acres of wooded land. Its finishes include a hammered copper sink, a large and comfortable “cow” chair, log beds and chandeliers with dimmers.
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Brian said that although the couple did their best to give people a great experience, the distinction was “shocking” because between their daily work and raising four children, they did not have time to check their grades. .
The experience of their guests is something Barb and Brian focused on when they rebuilt and decorated the cabin. It took them over six months to fix it, and the decorations and details inside were from their own vacation.
âI guess the goal was to make it some kind of experience, because you’re worried that people are spending their hard earned money and limited time getting to places, so we wanted to make it a place that they would really appreciate it, âBrian said.
They said the quiet neighborhood and single cabin cater for adults looking to get away from it all and reconnect, and the site offers a spiritual component with places to pray along nearby trails. Barb will also leave fresh bread and flowers from the garden for their guests.
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âWe wanted it to be totally different from your own home,â Barb said. “You know, I don’t want to stay in my own house on vacation, I want it to be special.”
Barb and Brian said they get a lot of IU alumni who come for a variety of reasons: to see their kids at IU on Parents’ Weekend, to shop in Bloomington, or even to attend a football match. The couple said returning people are important to them, and they estimate that nearly 80% of their guests return after their first stay.
The couple said buying the cabin and having it repaired was a blessing in itself, but so was what it gave them. âIt has really been a blessing for us – it has helped us get our kids to college,â Barb said.