Raspberry Hill. What do those two words bring to mind? If you want a relaxing place to spend a get-away night or need a place to hold a meeting or a special occasion function, this would be the place. You can reserve one room or the entire home.
Raspberry Hill Bed & Breakfast is much more than your typical B & B. Located just outside of Ames in the countryside, it offers all-inclusive accommodations, ranging from a master suite to a 300-person event venue.
Innkeepers Brad and Gina Perkins are both Iowa born and raised. Gina works as the head innkeeper, while Brad is an associate teaching professor in the college of Construction Engineering at Iowa State University. Five children round out the Perkins family — Cole who is 19, Cade 16, Chase 14 and 4-year-old twins, Carrie and Caitlin. It’s a busy household, but most help out with the old-world Tutor-style home, where they host many different activities along with the overnight guests.
“Raspberry Hill is not your local hotel board room,” explains Gina. “A family warmth gives your employees a relaxing retreat on our manicured 74-acre estate, with a 7,800 square foot English Tudor manor.”
Gina explained that they had always dreamed of having a family business. She said that they both grew up on farms and always have enjoyed travel and camping as a family.
“When the opportunity in the Ames area came up with this beautiful 40 acres of land that has a pond, a stream and lots of trees, we jumped on it, “commented Gina. “It had this beautiful home, perfect for anything from rehearsal dinners to honeymoons — we knew we had to do it. Not only did it provide us with this opportunity to host events and overnight guests, it also fit into our long-term goals as a family.”
That long-term family goal is what they call “Cultivating Hope Farms,” now a project in the making.
One of the Perkins’ twin daughters is autistic. Gina, having been a teacher for 22 years, found that more needs to be done to help autistic children and their families.
“We are working on a master plan to have a section of our property designated and turned into a therapy, growing and learning experience for autistic children and their families,” Gina explained. “What we want to do is to help with bridging the gap to adulthood. We will offer a learning environment of taking care of animals, and learning skills that would progress into working at a job that they have been trained in.”
Gina said that by having experience for a lifetime of success, those attending the Hope Farm can build a resume and thus make an easier transition into a working world.
“We can’t fix everything,” she said. “But if we can get a community on board, we can look beyond the wall and into a bright future for those individuals with disabilities — the opportunity to learn, grow and build the life skills through a range of hands-on farming activities and therapy. Interventions will be individualized family-centered, strength-focused and goal-directed, all while harnessing the calming and healing power of animal and nature exploration and exposure.”
Back to the old-world Tutor bed and breakfast.
“Raspberry Hill can give your business year-round team-building activities — cross country skiing, farmyard fun, extreme bonfires, private disc golf, a real lazy river, fishing, on-site live music and business picnic are just a few examples of what others have enjoyed here,” she commented.
If you have a wedding or family reunion to plan, be sure to check out Raspberry Hill on their Facebook page. You will not be disappointed.