Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse is Authentic Grayton Beach

September 21, 2017 by Manny Chavez

Walking onto the grounds of the Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse in Grayton Beach is like taking a step back in time.

A time before traffic, rampant construction, and other such irritants to peace of mind. STAYING at one of the Guesthouse rooms is even more timeless and will slow down even the most active of runaway mindsets. My wife Kris and I were fortunate enough to stay there recently and, although we were familiar with the Hibiscus Café, we had not really paid that much attention to the Guesthouse rooms.

We were greeted by the ever-cheerful General Manger Warren Tape and Events Coordinator Steph Vantassell who have been running the place for many years now.  Warren’s Father Kurt opened the family-run business back in 1994 with a one-room rental, the Turner Room. Now, 23 years later, the Guesthouse offers 13 rooms with summer weekday rates ranging in price from $145 to $245/day. Patrons booking a week stay will be discounted two free nights.

Walking upstairs to our Guesthouse lodging (The Romance Room), we stepped through a full kitchen which is shared with The Tropical Bird Room. From there, we entered the sunlit, wrap-around enclosed porch which immediately became the “chill” room. With a large couch and chair with adjoining tables, the porch proved to be the perfect spot to read, write, or just do nothing.

The feel of the porch, aided by the natural filtered sunlight (magnolia, scrub oak and pine trees abound), kept the calming vibes going and somehow triggered the urge to take a little nap. This is a place that will remind you of the simple value of QUIET. However, if reading, relaxing, or napping isn’t your cup of tea, all rooms are equipped with TV, DVD players and WiFi. Also provided are a mini or full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee pot, iron and ironing board, and private bath. Our room (Romance Room) also came with jacuzzi-style tub and shower.

Since the Romance Room and Tropical Bird Room share a full kitchen (the kitchen is located between them with the rooms having separate entrances), they are often rented together and a 10% discount is offered when they are.

The 13 available guestrooms are contained within three main buildings on the Hibiscus grounds. Some are pet-friendly and some are built to accommodate wheelchair-using patrons. The Hibiscus Flats are the one-bedroom luxury suites with full kitchens, washer/dryer, private balcony, king-size bed and fold-out sofa. Breakfast (for two) at the Hibiscus Café is included with each reservation.

The Woodpecker Cottage, a stand-alone cozy little place, has its own screened-in porch and is perfect for couples (or singles) needing a private getaway.

The Hibiscus Café is open from 7:30-noon daily with Sunday Brunch now in full swing from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Grayton Beach Catering, under the tutelage of “Super Hugger” Cheri Peebles, will provide you with a scrumptious meal served in a most relaxing environment.  Whether dining inside or out, your experience will have you coming back for more. Your meal will be prepared by Kevin Posey and Michele Pitre who will put you at ease if you weren’t already.

The breakfast menu is quite varied and selections include a Quiche of The Day, Biscuits and Gravy, Old Fashioned Oatmeal, French Toast, Hibiscus Wonder Cookie, Cinnamon Roll, Croissants, Bagels and Scones. Our favorites were the Frittata of The Day (an Italian-style baked omelet) and the Multi-Grain Pancakes (VERY substantial pancakes with your choice of blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips and bananas). Smoothies are also on the menu along with a choice of coffees, hot or cold tea, and milk.

The famous Backyard of Love, an incredibly peaceful setting with tables and chairs situated beneath no-telling-how-old oak trees, is the setting for the Sunday Brunches and will feature local and visiting musicians. The Brunch menu will include specials such as French Quarter Benedict, Scooter’s Crab Cakes, Grayt Spinach Salad, Hibiscus BLT, and the regular café menu items. A selection of mimosas, beer and wine will be available for the events.

Grayton Beach Catering is busy hosting special events at The Backyard of Love. Weddings, receptions, special events, you name it…the Backyard setting is the perfect place to have your celebration or ceremony. The Backyard of Love…. THE place to “Hug in…Hug out!”

Visitors to the Hibiscus Coffee and Guesthouse have no doubt been fascinated by the “Be” sign that fronts the property along DeFuniak Street. Both Warren and Steph take turns providing the daily inspiration on their chalkboard renderings.  During our stay, “Be Satisfied” was the “Be” of the day and “more than satisfied” we were!

The rooms at the Guesthouse are kept immaculate by Steph and Jean Hill. Steph is a cousin of Warren and Jean is considered “family.” Now, the family includes a floppy-eared “greeter” named “Astro” who rounds out the family-run enterprise.  He’s as calm as they come and fits right in with the turf. To “Be Like Astro” is too many words for the chalkboard, but it would sure fit the bill!

For more information, please call 850-231-2733 (Guest House) or 850-231-1734 (Café). Address: 85 Defuniak Street (just south of AJ’s in Grayton). Web: or on Facebook.


Manny Chavez's picture

Manny has been a working photojournalist his entire career and is now writing stories/taking pix for He and his wife Kris live in Seagrove and have “seen a lot come and go.” Lots of stories have been told, with lots more to come!

Add comment