Hike our trails, and explore local restaurants, wineries, & breweries.
Michael and Heather Penny
About Michael and Heather Penny
Heather and Michael met in a yoga ashram in 1976 and were married in 1982. We have always had an interest in what makes everything work, particularly human nature. Although we have both started successful businesses, we are teachers at heart. We love meeting like minded people and sharing the beauty and serenity of our property. It has been transformative for us and many friends. We have two wonderful adult children--one a hydrologist and one self-employed in IT.
Michael and Heather Penny purchased this Cottage in 2010
Why Michael and Heather Penny chose Afton
We had been looking at property for years. Heather was on retreat in Brazil when this property came on the market; but once we had both seen it, we gave up looking anywhere else. Nelson County is so beautiful, and being in the George Washington National Forest is like Eden. It's so easy to calm the mind and relieve emotional stresses here.
What makes this Cottage unique
2 Miles well maintained walking trails, 1/2 mile along a bubbling creek. Serenity beyond words. Breweries and Wineries galore. Nice restaurants nearby. 4.5 mile walk to Humpback Rocks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 2.5 miles to Shenandoah National Park. Ekornes Stressless chairs from Norway. Savvy Rest organic bedding throughout, although the main mattress on the Murphy bed could not tolerate the weight of an organic mattress. The bedding on top is all certified organic. Low EMF Environment: Cell phones don't work in the cottage, and you can unplug the wireless router. Environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. Real china dishware & mugs. Stainless steel pots and pans.
Max guests: 3
Minimum age of primary renter: 25
100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
Damage and incidentals
You will be responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by you or your party during your stay.
Thank you for your review, Cyndi. I appreciate it.
This is a wonderful getaway location and the accommodations are very comfortable!
This cottage is very comfortable and super clean. There is a full kitchen should you decide to eat in and the cottage is nestled within the woods making for a quiet, restful getaway. We love hiking and there is a nice trail from the backdoor to a popular overlook of the valley. Michael was kind enough to help us as we ended up with a flat tire as we were leaving.
I look forward to returning.
Thank you for your kind review. I hope that you made it back without any issues. Thank you for staying with us.
Michael & Heather
Beautiful Setting - Beautiful Property
This location is convenient to anything one would want to do in the area. The hosts are exceptional and made us feel extremely welcome. I highly recommend booking this property!
I'm happy that you and your mom enjoyed staying here, the walk up to Humpback Rocks, and the wineries. It feels like a wonderland, with so much nature and space around. We would be happy to have you back anytime.
Autumn in the Mountains
Beautiful area. The tree colors were at their peak and it was awesome to be here at this time. The Cottage is located next to the woods and a short distance to a wonderful stream. Cottage very nice. Everything looks new. Owners very nice and helpful. Beds very comfortable. I highly recommend this place.
Thank you, Edie, for staying with us. We're happy you and Kristie enjoyed your stay.
We did replace the corkscrew and the outside light. Thank you for letting us know about them.
Fall 2019 VA trip
The cottage was emaculate. Very nice place. It did lack the coziness that we look for in a place to stay in the mountains. The no TV was a drawback - we like to watch the news. The ad did not indicate the bed was a Murphy Bed and that affected our sleeping comfort. We like to unpack our clothing and there were no drawers to do so except a night stand type piece. They had lots of built ins in the bedroom but they were full of blankets. Nice but I wish I had counted. Shelves and cabinets filled with them and others with books. Really... I think we’re using the cottage to store their blankets?? Other than our hanging clothes we lived out of a suitcase for three nights. Also a full size coffee maker would be a plus. We had to make 2 - 3 pots each morning. Toaster wouldn’t stay pushed down so we just used the oven, but they probably need to check that. Overall we really enjoyed the area and the cottage was clean and well stocked.
Thank you, Sherri, for the input. I’m sorry that you missed television and didn’t find the cottage cozy. We say in the description on VRBO that there is no television, and that the cottage is a retreat from everyday life
The thick yoga blankets are used during meditation retreats (which we also say), and the books are almost exclusively books on meditation and yoga.
We wish you had told us about the toaster while you were here. We would have given you ours or gone out and gotten a new one. Today we bought a new toaster and a 12 cup coffee maker. It’s the first time anyone said that a 5 cup coffee maker was not big enough. Thank you for that information.
Although no one has mentioned anything about the lack of pullout drawers, we will address that situation.
As the founder of a company that makes mattresses and bed frames in central Virginia, I can safely say that most Murphy beds (including ours) support a mattress exactly the way a platform bed does. So long as the slats are well supported and flat--which our Murphy bed slats are--the comfort of the bedding is independent. Having worked with thousands of customers over many years, I understand that people have different preferences and needs in bedding.
The mattress in the cottage is an excellent firm mattress on the bottom with a soft, organic wool topper on top of that. Although you are the first person to complain about it from over 150 guests who have slept on it, I regret that it wasn’t comfortable for you.
I also regret that--out of the two days you were here--it rained one whole day and also that--on the only other day--I couldn’t pick you up when your car broke down. I did offer to do so.
We hope you enjoyed the rest of your vacation. We go out of our way to ensure that all our guests have a happy experience at Gracewood.
Many Wineries & Breweries within 15 minutes.
Cidery 12 minutes.
Wintergreen 25 minutes
Blue Ridge Kombucha 25 minutes.
Humpback Rocks 1 hour hike.