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Stained Glass Windows in the Bathroom at this Ligonier, PA Hotel!

Thistledown Hotel in Ligonier, PA
Thistledown Hotel in Ligonier, PA

A Unique, Historic PA Hotel Near Idlewild:

One of the most surprising and interesting hotels we’ve stayed in recently is found in the sweet little town of Ligonier, in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania: just nine minutes from Idlewild amusement park, 45 minutes from Fallingwater, and an hour from Pittsburgh.

The hotel's downstairs sitting room for guests.
The hotel’s downstairs sitting room for guests.

The History of Thistledown at Seger House

Thistledown is a small, locally-owned boutique hotel housed in a restored 1914 mansion which used to belong to a coal baron named John Seger. The best part? Seger had a lust for colorful stained glass windows, ornate woodwork, and chandeliers, and all of them have been restored and polished to a vibrant gleam.

When the Laurel Highlands Visitor’s Bureau revealed they would be putting me up at Thistledown while I researched and photographed the region for an article feature, I knew I’d be in for some historic mansion surprises; however, I didn’t expect to find

Tissue dispenser and stained glass in our hotel room bathroom!
Tissue dispenser and stained glass in our hotel room bathroom!

The First Stained Glass BATHROOM I’ve Seen!

The photo above shows the brilliant stained glass window… in the bathroom of our hotel room at Thistledown! I’ve never before seen the juxtaposition of a tissue box with 100-year-old glasswork, but I like it.

As several commenters on this article pointed out, after it was a mansion but before it was a hotel, Thistledown at Seger House used to be a hospital! Many local residents were even born there — a delightful entry to the world, surrounded by stained glass and history.

Our room sure looked historic!
Our room sure looked historic!

A Mix of Fancy and Homey

Thistledown at Seger House has a very different feel than a sterile ultra-luxury hotel. It has real character and quirks. Yes, as you can see above, our hotel room did have a fireplace, two chandeliers (including one in our bathroom, pictured below), and luscious dark wood detail.

However, none of those traditionally “luxury” details were done in a soul-less, cookie-cutter manner. For example, each chandelier is different, and each clearly has a story behind it. This hotel has the energy of a hundred years of history and real humans.

Stained glass and chandelier... in our hotel bathroom!
Stained glass and chandelier… in our hotel bathroom!

Myriam’s Table: The Restaurant at the Hotel

Crystal chandeliers making you hungry? Of course they are. Let’s trot downstairs, then, to the farm-to-table restaurant on the first floor of Thistledown: Myriam’s Table. We had breakfast at this spot both mornings of our stay, because the crepes and the egg bowls were so good.

Egg breakfast at Myriam's Table restaurant.
Egg breakfast at Myriam’s Table restaurant.

Two Important Notes About the Restaurant:

There are two key things to know about Myriam’s Table — besides the fact that it’s highly yummy. First, it is not affiliated with the hotel beyond sharing a building. This means that it is sometimes not open even though Thistledown is, so check the restaurant’s hours and days of operation carefully.

The cozy side room of Myriam's Table restaurant.
The cozy side room of Myriam’s Table restaurant.

Breakfast is Not Included, But is Worth It!

This non-affiliation is connected to the second clarification: While it is super convenient to have breakfast right downstairs from your room, the meal is not included with the price of a night’s stay, as it is in some hotels. Is it still worth eating at Myriam’s Table, though? YES!

The famous crepes of Myriam's Table. Yum!
The famous crepes of Myriam’s Table. Yum!

Unique Hotel Decoration Details

Heading back to the hotel itself, let’s take a moment to browse it’s delightful and different decor decisions, many of which feature local craftspeople or restored historic mansion elements. First up: This glass artichoke candle holder in the sitting room!

An artichoke decoration in the lobby.
An artichoke decoration in the lobby.

A Magical Gate with Iron Ivy

Next: the curling metal vines that wrap around the front entryway gate. The art gallery down the street from Thistledown, Main Exhibit, is a remarkable store of American crafts which boasts knives made by the same artist in a genius manner. (Love ironwork? Check out the blacksmithing classes in nearby Farmington, PA!)

Ironwork detail of the front gate at Thistledown.
Ironwork detail of the front gate at Thistledown.

The Stunningly Artistic Entry Portal

Here is a zoomed-out view of that fabulous gate, through which you enter both the hotel and Myriam’s Table restaurant. I wonder how long it took for the artist to craft all the vines!

Thistledown Hotel in Ligonier, PA
The grand entrance of Thistledown Hotel in Ligonier, PA.

Stained Glass Ceiling Lights

Moving from iron flowers to glass ones, here is a detailed shot of the stained glass lamp in the back room of Myriam’s Table. Note: If you enjoy glass art, do not miss the phenomenal collection of glass paperweights at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art down the road in Ligonier!

A close-up of the stained glass chandelier at Myriam's Table.
A close-up of the stained glass chandelier at Myriam’s Table.

A Claw Foot Bathtub in Our Hotel Room

I’ve always wanted to stay in a hotel room with a claw foot tub, and this one was fun! These two photos show both the tub and the vibe of the hotel well: It is a luxury item, presented with a uniquely quirky, homey, and historic feel.

Our claw foot bathtub.
Our claw foot bathtub.

The Claw Foot Close-Up Analysis

Looking more closely at the claw foot, I’m struck by how subtle it is. What animal is it? A chicken foot? A baby lion with trimmed fingernails? Unclear, but very cute.

A close up of the claw foot bathtub.
A close-up of the claw foot bathtub.

A Central Location in Ligonier

Thistledown is a particularly convenient hotel to stay in for a getaway because you won’t need your car to explore the town. Shops, restaurants, and even a bowling alley are just steps away.

A close up of the stained glass window in the stairway landing.
The remarkable stained glass window in the stairway landing.

Parking at Thistledown

We did appreciate the easy parking lot in the back of the hotel, since we needed our car for the short drive to Linn Run State Park and Forbes State Forest.

A sheep doll in the lobby.
A sheep doll in the lobby.

Things to Do in the Laurel Highlands

Ligonier, PA is an excellent base from which to explore the wide region of southwestern Pennsylvania known as the Laurel Highlands. But where to start? Let’s explore.

The Laurel Highlands sky looking dramatic above Thistledown.
The Laurel Highlands sky looking dramatic above Thistledown.

The Fred Rogers Trail is Nearby in Latrobe

Less than 20 minutes northwest of Ligonier is Latrobe, PA: the birthplace of Fred Rogers (the ACTUAL Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) and the heart of the Fred Rogers Trail: a series of sites from Pittsburgh through the Laurel Highlands which help visitors understand this remarkable man better.

Love the detail in our hotel room chandelier.
Love the detail in our hotel room chandelier.

See the Mister Rogers Trolley, Puppets, and Cardigan

I particularly loved seeing the real Land of Make-Believe trolley and puppets at the museum in Latrobe! Ligonier is an excellent base to stay while following the trail.

The stained glass in our hotel room bathroom!
Another view of the stained glass in our hotel room bathroom.

Fallingwater: What Makes the House So Famous?

Let’s move on to the most famous attraction of the area! Though not everyone is familiar with the name “Laurel Highlands,” most people know this region for its famed Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater house. I can confirm from our visit that it’s worth every ounce of its high reputation, and is a must see.

Looking down at the Thistledown lobby from the stairs.
Looking down at the Thistledown lobby from the stairs.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg

Half an hour from Thistledown sits the Westmoreland Museum: a delightfully welcoming — and FREE — museum that is a hit for all ages. Their activities for children are absolutely engrossing, and I confess that I got sucked into the bridge building station.

A magical looking piece of furniture in the central sitting room.
A magical looking piece of furniture in the central sitting room.

Fun in the City of Pittsburgh, PA

If you’re reading this, it’s possible you’re from Pittsburgh and thus don’t need this tip, but if you’re only in Pennsylvania for the Laurel Highlands and Fallingwater, don’t miss out on the city of Pittsburgh.

Visiting Pittsburgh has proven so enjoyable that I’ve now made a point to spend at least a night there every single year. Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands have become one of my favorite regions in the country!

The entryway of Thistledown.
The entryway of Thistledown.

Do Thistledown and Ligonier Interest You?

So what about you? Have you visited Ligonier before, or this unique historic hotel? If not, do either hold appeal for you? Feel free to use this affiliate link to see TripAdvisor reviews and availability for Thistledown. What are your thoughts about stained glass windows and chandeliers in hotel bathrooms? Do share!

Stained glass and chandelier... in our hotel bathroom!
Stained glass and chandelier… in our hotel bathroom!

We were guests of the Laurel Highlands Visitor’s Bureau, but all opinions and bathroom stained glass fixations are my own.

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