OPENED IN JANUARY 2022, Andiamo Lodge grew from owners and newlyweds Colleen Duffley and Steve Carpenter’s new love for each other—and for a spot they discovered as a personal escape during the pandemic: Mentone, Alabama. They bought a vacant church retreat, renovated it, and renamed it. Andiamo means “let’s go,” in Italian, but once you check in to this quaint, truly tiny property, thanks to its relaxed, welcoming vibe it’s doubtful you’ll want to go anywhere—except maybe the main lodge, where pop-up dinners and culinary classes await, part of the calendar of experience getaways offered all year at Andiamo Lodge.
Tucked into the northeast corner of Alabama atop the Lookout Mountain plateau, the little town of Mentone hides treasures beneath an unassuming attitude: charming shops, historic sites, and examples of Alabama’s scenic splendor, like the glittering, 104-foot DeSoto Falls just a few miles south.
The wooden, tin-roofed lodge fits neatly into the surrounding forest. Mirroring the natural beauty outside, the den features exposed wood beams overhead and wide-planked floors underfoot, and is warmed by a massive stacked-stone fireplace.
Neutral tones are enlivened by pops of color; more modern touches and furnishings blend with antiques and flea market finds. Six tranquil guest rooms, each with a working fireplace, reflect the same theme.
THE FOOD SCENE
Mornings mean cappuccinos and lattes made with the lodge’s signature coffee produced by a small-batch roaster in nearby Georgia. Room rates also include a bountiful breakfast. Selections change but might be bacon-cheddar scones and grapefruit brûlée, avocado toasts cozied up to creamy parmesan grits, or an airy, veggie-studded egg soufflé.
Afternoons often bring cocktails, light bites, and housemade limoncello by the fire. And on culinary event weekends, enticing aromas mix with infectious laughter in the chef’s-dream kitchen. Duffley also enjoys personalizing stays for her guests whenever possible, from honoring the smallest food preference to creating a special dinner. “We are much more than a place to rest your head,” she says.
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- by TLP Editors
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Amber Chase
- by Hannah Lee Leidy