Memory Lane Inn Craft Retreat – Tyler Texas
The number one reason people give for not getting their projects (scrapbooking, craft, etc.) completed is not having enough time with all of their daily commitments. You have to really force yourself to make that time. And the increasing trend in craft retreats makes that a possibility with a side of pampering.
I have done many retreats in my 19+ years of scrapbooking and crafting. What began as a day in a hotel conference room has changed. You now have entire bed and breakfasts devoted to craft retreats.
Not so long ago I had the change to stay at Memory Lane Inn in Tyler, TX. For me this has become my new standard for craft retreats. No more making do.. time to expect it all.
***To be fully transparent there are affiliate links within this post. The opinions stated below are completely my own based on my experience. Your results and opinions may vary.***
Why Would You Want to Go on a Retreat
Before I get into the tour of the facility let’s step back and ask why would you want to do this anyway. It really comes down to time!
You have 3-ish days away from your home (and distractions) to fully devote to any projects you have had on the back burner. Anything from scrapbooking to card making to sewing. Anything goes at a retreat.
And what if you don’t want to craft? That is ok too! Anything goes at these things. I once saw a woman show up with just a book. She just wanted time away to sit in a chair and read all weekend.
Retreats are a perfect way to just get away from the hustle and bustle of regular life for a time. Enjoy time with friends and just do what you want to do. No commitments.
So now that you are looking forward to relaxation, come with me as I show you around.
Memory Lane Inn located in Tyler, TX (90 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth or 3.5 hours from Houston, TX) is a circa 1904 grand estate located in the historic and upscale Brick Street District.
This house as a bit of a history. It has been lived in by US Senator Earle B Mayfield (1923-1929) and Miss America Jo-Carrol Dennison (1942).
Heading out into the back yard you will find a koi pond and multiple gazebos to relax in when you need a break from the craft rooms.
Inside you will find a full kitchen includes a stove, ovens, two refrigerators, microwave, coffee & tea machines, cookware, plates, glasses, utensils… everything you need to cook, mingle, and have fun!
The Craft Rooms
At Memory Lane there are 2 craft rooms separated by a sliding door so you can keep them opened or closed as you see fit.
The front room has 12 tables and the smaller room has 8 tables. Each table is 5 foot long and includes:
- Electrical strip – Perfect for those that need a computer, cutting machine, etc. (also good if you are streaming Hulu to your phone over the weekend)
- Ott-Light – This is a big perk not offered by other places. It allows you to work on detailed items or just have a bit more light at night.
- Shevling – Nice for stacking your projects or storing tools.
- Self Healing Cutting Mats – Going to be honest here, the mats were not in great condition and not quite flat. Bring your own!
- Cup holders and trash bins – This should be a staple of any retreat your go to. Must haves!
- Executive chairs – So many places only give you folding chairs. Have to say this was a huge plus. You are always comfortable.
Available Tools & Technology
Going to have to say this is where Memory Lane Inn put left of their competitors in the dust. It’s like they went and asked everyone’s pet peeves and solved them all. This is why I will be coming back.
There is an entire craft room off the kitchen that has just about anything you need to use free of charge.
- 13″ x 19″ page full color Canon Pro 9000 Mark II printer
- Cricut Expression & Expression 2 with new mat & blade. Includes use of the extensive cartridge library.
- PC with Cricut Design Studio, Cricut Craft Room, Sure Cuts A Lot & Memory Mixer Software
- Cuttlebug with cutting dies
- Light box
- Iron & ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Embossing pad and heat gun
And just in case you forgot something there is a small store with basic crafting necessities like paper, glue, adhesive, etc in the tool area. There is also a larger area in the upstairs media room. It is on an honor system so you leave a note and money as you use what you need.
Now for the best part.. the technology! I have never been at a retreat with more to offer that makes staying there enjoyable but also makes it easy for me to do any digital project.
- High Speed Internet with Wi-Fi – I have always had to struggle getting online at a retreat. Not at Memory Lane Inn! We had 14 people on at all time with many streaming video. There were no issues at all. We could all access whatever we wanted. It was awesome.
- Three Networked HDTVs – There were 3 tvs (2 in the large room and one in the small). We could all choose to watch the same thing or turn each off individually.
- Streaming Video – They had Netflix and Hulu Plus available in addition to a HUGE video library. We were not at a loss on what to watch the entire weekend.
- Streaming Music – In the main room there was an iPad mounted to the wall that allowed you to stream Pandora through the craft rooms. Again, you were allowed to choose which rooms it played in. So one room could have music while the other watched a movie.
Note for those that have never gone on a retreat weekend. Typically the TV’s will running chick flicks all weekend. Be prepared! What was nice here is that you could stream to your phone if you did not want to watch what was on the TV.
Let’s move on to sleeping arrangements. Typically retreats have dorm style rooms. Anywhere from 2 to 8 in a room.
Memory Lane Inn provide all toiletries and linens. (I also like the touch of complimentary ear plugs just in case your roommate snores).
First Ladies Quarters
Private Bath with Separate Walk-In Shower & Jacuzzi Tub
Private Patio Access
This is the smallest room at Memory Lane Inn. It is really nice for those that want to share (like me). It is located on the first floor and is located off of the main dining room.
It also has the best bathroom. It is the only one with a jacuzzi tub.
There are two issues with this room. Being next to a dining room it could get loud if people congregate outside it. Also, the door is very squeaky. And I don’t mean just a bit. It is VERY VERY LOUD. You will wake up your roommate coming and going. We tried to fix it while we were there and had no luck.
Hopefully they will fix that soon.
Private Bath with Shower/Tub
The ceiling in this room is decorated with a hand painted mural of angels among soft clouds.
The private bath is decorated in a neoclassical style with a tub and shower.
Private Bath with Shower/Tub
This suite is named in honor of Senator & Mrs. Earle B. Mayfield who purchased the home in 1942.
The private has the original ‘square’ bathtub with shower. I did hear that this shower lacked water pressure. In fact those in that room came down to use the First Ladies shower everyday (which had awesome water pressure).
Miss America’s Boudoir
Private Bath with Shower/Tub
This suite is named in honor of Miss Jo-Carroll Dennison who lived in the house prior to becoming Miss America in 1942.
The focal point of the luxurious private bath is a lilac period pedestal tub with a European hand-held shower.
Other Service Options
If spending a weekend with the girls relaxing and crafting in a beautiful turn of the century house if not enough, you can take the luxury a step further.
- Why bother cooking when you can have someone else do it?
For an additional fee you can get 5 home cooked meals served to you with no prep and no clean up! It includes dinner on Friday, breakfast, lunch, & dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday.
Massage & Spa Services
Still stressed? Why not pamper yourself with a private massage, facial, or mani/pedi in your room or outside on one of our covered patios.
With a little planning (and an additional fee) you can have a spa created right on site for you and your friends. Does it get better than that?
If I can work in 1-2 retreats per year I seem to make enough progress to stop me from throwing in the towel. Each weekend runs about $200 so it is not cheap but is worth every penny.
As for Memory Lane Inn, yes there are places closer to home but the amenities they offer (specifically with the technology) make it worth the drive and I will definitely be back.
They also have a way I could join in with another group if they have a spot open. Not bad if I want to get some work done and meet soem new people.
We are already planning our next trip!