Meet The Innkeeper


Welcome to LaPolena.

Our story starts when Suzanne and Holly met in a Michigan grade school. Best friends throughout their school days, they parted ways after graduation to pursue college and careers. Remaining close through the years, having daughters within a week of each other, who are like cousins, Suzanne and Holly ended up on opposite coasts. The four planned summertime trips together somewhere in the middle and as the two daughters grew up, the moms decided they wanted to be together once their girls went off to college. Suzanne, always having the dream of opening a Bed & Breakfast near the water, decided it would be economically easier to accomplish her dream in North Carolina where Holly lived rather than Oregon where she had spent the last 35 years. 

With the two daughters approaching college, Suzanne decided to look for property in North Carolina during a visit to see Holly, who was living in Raleigh.  The first home she toured was the perfect fit.  She fell in love with the small town of Southport and the grand residence overlooking the Cape Fear River.  Her offer was accepted, but it would still be two years before she called Southport home.

The Inn opened its doors just weeks after Hurricane Florence in 2018, with contractors as the first guests.  Besides running the Inn, Suzanne became involved with their new community giving back through fundraising, celebrations and events.  She also bought a Carver 3807 and started a river cruising business here in Southport, calling it Nautical Hosting LLC.

Suzanne, a retired Realtor of over 27 years is a natural at welcoming others and entertaining, and has always had a passion for cooking. She even published a cookbook, Bountiful Blessings, and most recently published a cookbook for the Inn called, The Flavors of LaPolena. You can buy it on this site on the Purchase page, or ask Suzy for a copy. 

You may not see her every day, but Holly is pivotal to LaPolena’s success. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work and has been helping people make positive changes in their lives for 27 years. Holly enjoys volunteering at the animal shelter, machine embroidering, reading, sewing (she made the window valances here at LaPolena), and visiting the beach. She too has moved to Southport and now calls it her home.

The past year has brought growth to the Inn. In May, Suzy brought on the help of Kathy, a native of North Carolina and retired school teacher. You will see her beautiful smile often here at the Inn cleaning rooms, welcoming guests, and serving breakfast.

During your breakfast you may also see Casey.  She is a Philadelphia native who decided she no longer wanted to work the corporate life at Duke Energy and now lives her passion caring for the beautiful exterior of LaPolena including the flower pots and grounds.

We look forward to hearing your story…. 

Here is a quick video featuring Suzanne being interviewed: