She’s a decorator, a chef, a hostess and an entrepreneur. As co-owner and operator, along with her husband Bill, of Jacob Hill Inn in Seekonk, Mass., Eleonora Rezek ’74 fills those roles and more. The couple's inn has gained national acclaim, including praise from ZAGAT's 2008 "Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts & Spas"; American Historic Inns’ "Top 10 Most Romantic Inns 2007"; Forbes.com’s "Ten Best Urban Inns" and a mention in Travel + Leisure.
The Rezeks met in New York in 1986 when Eleonora was working for NCR/AT&T. In 1991, the couple bought the rambling Colonial farmhouse and stables. With her creativity and crafts savvy, and his skills in plumbing and carpentry, the renovation project was a natural fit for their respective talents. After renovating for three years while commuting from Long Island on the weekends, they opened their luxury bed and breakfast to guests in 1994.
Once a hunt club for members with names like Vanderbilt, Chafee and Firestone, the inn is set on 50 lush acres. Its most recent incarnation has grown from three to 12 rooms and suites, with the Rezeks doing 99 percent of the work themselves. Elegantly appointed rooms are hued in rich colors and outlined in wainscoting. Fireplaces, jacuzzis and canopied beds keep company with oriental rugs, fine china, family heirlooms and antiques. Each room throughout the main inn and converted barn has its own character, lending refined charm to country comfort.
Eleonora’s retail background comes into play in the gift shop. In collaboration with her alma mater, the inn posts a full menu of Chef ’s Choice classes offered at JWU’s College of Culinary Arts for guests and public alike. Although running an inn is a 24/7 job, Rezek wouldn’t change a thing. “I feel so good about what we chose to do. Not only did we save a historic property, but we opened it up to anyone who wants to stay here,” she says. “We’re happy doing what we do, and after all these years, to be able to say that is something in itself.”