March/April 2000

Minnesota Islands

by Alice M. Vollmar

Sunset on the lake
A day ends on Xanadu Island,
home to a bed and breakfast
that caters to nature lovers.

THERE IS A PLACE WHERE LATE SUMMER breezes whisper in the old maples and the setting sun casts a magical golden light. That place is Xanadu Island Bed and Breakfast and Resort - right here on Elbow Lake in west-central Minnesota.


Near the town of Battle Lake, the resort was built in 1922 as a summer retreat by millionaire, J.C. Jones of St. Louis. Today, the renovated lodge-style home with stone fireplaces continues to welcome guests. Original furnishings include a truck bearing J.C. Jone's initials: When Mrs. Jones died, her distraught spouse locked the buildings and left everything behind.

Accessible by road via a causeway, this quiet, wooded, five-acre island bed-and-breakfast and resort invites repose, reflection, reading and romance. Marriage proposals are tendered and anniversaries celebrated here, along with the quiet pursuit of solitude and blissful time to walk, talk, swim, boat or just be. Families stay in three housekeeping cottages, originally servants's quarters.

Bed-and-breakfast guests awaken to apple-pecan cake and souffle omelettes prepared and served by hosts Bryan and Janet Lonski, a retired college financial aid administrator and retired family therapist, restectively. The Lonski's brought the island resort in 1996:"We drove up and parked by the icehouse and I said, "This is my bed-and-breakfast," laughed Janet.

Bryan nodded and added, "Fortunately, I like fix up work." He had to dismantle and number the wooden wall boards to rewire the bed and breakfast.

The Lonski's love of what they do translates into a delightful island hideaway with books, quilts, comfortable chairs and windows opened wide to bird songs and fresh country air.

Reprinted verbatim from the Home&Away the AAA Magazine of Minnesota and Iowa.

As featured in Midwest Living, Resorts of Minnesota, Mpls/St.Paul Magazine, and others...

More About Xanadu

Thoughts from our Guests

Thank you for sharing your generous table - and oh so generous hearts. From serenity to spiritual --- very special guests --- even a visit from the loons. God's Blessings and Love, Val P.