The Inn at Perry Cabin: Casual Luxury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Imagine waking up to the pristine waters of the Chesapeake Bay, with shorebirds announcing the start of the day as oystermen head out to ply the water. Small towns with centuries of history and timeless charm dot the inlets of the bay and with a slower pace of life it’s easy to see why the Eastern Shore of Maryland has an enduring appeal. Home to watermen and artists, farmers and transplants looking for a more relaxed pace; life here is tied to the water and no place embodies the best of the Chesapeake Bay like the Inn at Perry Cabin.
The Inn at Perry Cabin, a Belmond property, offers understated luxury in one of the most beautiful areas of the east coast. Located less than 2 hours from Washington DC in St. Michaels, MD the Inn has long been a popular getaway for polticos escaping the hectic pace of the beltway. Driving down the long tree-lined driveway I was instantly relaxed, the pressures of work and deadlines were immediately replaced with an overwhelming sense of ease and contentment the moment I set foot on the resort.
Steve and I were delighted to find that we had been upgraded to a One Bedroom Suite. We walked into a cozy sitting room with a gas fireplace as well as a bottle of wine welcoming us to the Inn. A small terrace offered views of the water and the neighboring Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The spacious bathroom (bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve had) was accented with marble and featured a soaking tub and walk-in shower. The bedroom was anchored by a supremely comfortable king bed, the entire space decorated in calming shades of white and blue.
Eschewing a grand lobby in favor of intimate nooks and hideaways, thoughtful design marries the Eastern Shore’s nautical heritage with modern touches throughout the resort. Stepping outside I had just one word….
We were greeted with serene views of the Chesapeake Bay, accented by Perry Cabin’s 200 year old gardens that are best enjoyed in one of the Adirondack chairs sprinkled throughout the resort. Sitting with Steve, with a glass of wine in hand as we watched the lavender sunset, there was no other place in the world I wanted to be.
The Inn at Perry Cabin takes it’s food seriously with a focus on using local ingredients. I started my evening at Purser’s Pub for some expertly crafted cocktails and fresh-from-the-Cheapeake oysters. Sinking into a plush leather sofa near the roaring fireplace I found my cider cocktail was the perfect foil for the local Choptank oysters.
Dinner at Stars, Perry Cabin’s fine dining restaurant, was refined and elegant. Steve opted for the crab cakes (a must when in Maryland), bursting with sweet crab set atop succotash and a bright heirloom tomato sauce. On recommendation of my waiter I went for the hanger steak, meltingly tender and served with an all-too-addictive corn spelt risotto.
The next morning, in the spirit of relaxation, I ordered breakfast to be delivered to my room. I fully expected to get a tray with a plate and a cup of coffee, so imagine my surprise when room service came in, set up a table a prepared the most lavish breakfast spread for two I have ever seen.
I could get used to this.
The Inn at Perry Cabin offers a changing roster of seasonal activities for guests. Waterfront yoga, kayaking, and sailing lessons on the resort’s fleet of Alerion yachts are a great way to enjoy the waters of Chesapeake while educational lectures, nighttime smores and whiskey tastings are some of the more terrestrial activities on offer. I was able to take part in the Judgement of Saint Michaels, a blind wine tasting based on the Judgement of Paris (a seminal 1976 tasting that turned the wine world upside down and put California wines on the map). This tasting was informative, fun and changed the way I look at wine.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the intrinsic relationship between the resort and the town of St. Michaels. I could have easily spent the entire weekend without leaving the Inn and had an amazing time but I was encouraged by multiple staff members (many who have happily called this nook of the Chesapeake home for years) to head out and experience St. Michaels. Hopping on one of the complimentary bikes that Perry Cabin provides we spent a leisurely afternoon exploring this charming bayside town that was home to independent boutiques and galleries, a handful of amazing restaurants as well as a winery, brewery and a rum distillery. Chatting with shop owners it became clear that they were as enamored with the Inn at Perry Cabin as the resort was with the town. It was refreshing to see that this five star resort was an integral part of the community rather than an island from it.
I didn’t think it was possible to be more relaxed than I had been spending time at the Inn, but that was before I stepped foot inside the Linden Spa. I was again greeted with a gracious welcome, changed into a supremely cozy robe and was led into the relaxation room where I sipped on mint tea while gazing at the first buds of spring in the spa’s garden. I chose the Linden Radiant Facial from the spa’s extensive menu of treatments and it was one of the best spa experiences I’ve had. Under the expert care of my esthetician and the indulgent products used at the spa I felt complete pampered and rejuvenated.
Where the Inn at Perry Cabin really excels is it’s people. As a Belmond property the Inn has mastered the art of understated elegance and unparalleled service. Never ostentatious or stuffy, the staff anticipated and met my every need with a smile. It’s this service combined with the timeless appeal of the Chesapeake Bay that makes the Inn at Perry Cabin a truly luxurious getaway that I will return to time and again.
I was graciously hosted by the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond but as always all opinions remain my own,