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Inn at Perry Cabin: Bliss By the Chesapeake Bay

Inn at Perry Cabin

Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

From St. Michaels’ main drag, Talbot Street, the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond is mostly obscured by tree cover. On my first trip to the historic town of St. Michaels I didn’t dare drive down the long tree-lined lane to the front of the stately property. It seemed almost too exclusive to sneak a peek. But when the time came to jump in and stay at the historic hotel, my wife and I were excited to see what delights were concealed behind the guardian trees.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Just after arrival, your first stop should be the hotel’s Linden Spa for pampering. Named after the Linden trees that grace the long driveway, the spa will bring you fully into resort mode. The Relaxation Room has dozens of botanical pressings adorning the walls, indicating the depth of local and on-property herbs and botanicals used in spa treatments. I was to indulge in the “Prosperity” body treatment. I gladly succumbed to the organic cardamom sugar scrub with bamboo essence. Any lingering stress flaked away like the unneeded skin I was shedding. Next up was the bamboo-charcoal clay smear over most of my body, with fragrant rosemary, lavender and peppermint coaxing my nose to enjoy the moment. After a few minutes to let the charcoal coating do its magic, I was invited to shower off and prepare for a 50-minute massage. Sleep was hard to avoid, so deep was my level of relaxation—just what I look for in a massage. When it was over, I would have lingered were it not for the grumbling in my stomach.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Those feeling famished after a day of relaxation should head to Stars, the on-site fine dining restaurant. Stars is in the early stages of progressing from farm-to-table, upgrading to something more like on-site farm-to-restaurant. The inn has hired an energetic, young farm manager, Phal Mantha, who is ready to take the restaurant’s produce to the highest level. Mantha and Chef Ken MacDonald have some two acres of prime bottom land on-site and have grand designs to produce a number of seasonal crops. Also on-site is a green house where Mantha is turning out a myriad of micro-greens to grace the menu at Stars. These mini-salads decorate plates at breakfast, lunch and dinner to the delight of true gourmands. Stars is committed to sourcing produce, meats and fruit from within 150 miles as much as possible. This is part of the property’s sustainability program. As the on-site farm progresses, Chef McDonald will be able to provide the freshest veggies possible.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Inn at Perry Cabin

Those staying overnight will enjoy one of the most memorable luxury stays ever. A one-bedroom suite gives you ample room to stretch out and read about the local area before exploring. We relaxed in a partial water view suite with views of the expansive gardens around the patio area and the boat harbor. The suite came with a spacious bathroom including separate tub and shower. The closet would be big enough for a bride’s wardrobe and even had a window looking out on the bay. The pillow-top king bed with fine linens was the ultimate in comfort, enhanced by fluffy, down pillows. Unfortunately, sleep would be hours away, as we wanted to explore the grounds before heading into St. Michaels.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Walking the grounds, you will see some of the stunning outdoor venues both big and small. The Inn at Perry Cabin is popular for weddings and special events. The diminutive boxwood gardens look like something out of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. The charm of this tiny space is so great that some couples choose to be married here, packing their wedding party into a labyrinth of green hedgerows. Other outdoor event areas look out on the Miles River or are nestled in the front of the property’s manicured grounds. Indoor event space, such as the Commodore Ballroom, holds up to 180 guests in an elegant hall highlighted by a stone hearth fireplace and exposed-beam cathedral ceilings.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Along the waterfront, you may notice a stack of blue kayaks on the dock. These are available to the guests who want to paddle the quiet waters near the property. Tied alongside them are a fleet of sailboats, a replica French canal boat, and a 55-foot-long Hinckley yacht. The Hinkley (named Five Star) is used for their Skip the Bridge package, where guests are picked up in Annapolis on Friday, stay in a luxury room for the weekend, and are taken back on Sunday, bypassing the traffic jams on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge both ways. Additionally, the inn operates a sailing school and also has a menu of excursions in their immaculate Alerion sailboats for guests who love the water.

We proceeded to the core of St. Michaels (known as the town that fooled the British in the War of 1812) to explore the shops and historic neighborhoods. Some of the homes date to the mid-1700s and set imaginations spinning back in time to when the British ruled the land. It’s easy to spend two hours walking this historic town.

Inn at Perry Cabin
Photo Credit: Kurt Jacobson

Back at the inn we relaxed before dinner at Stars. With the sun low in the sky we were seated by the windows offering maximum views of the water. A lone sailboat drifted lazily towards town as we gazed upon a scene far from our city lives. The wine list was perused and two perfect wines were chosen; the Talbot Kali Hart Pinot Noir was one of the best ever. For dinner, start with the Jumbo Lump J. M. Clayton Crab Chowder. The crab was plentiful and the local corn set the flavors dancing together in delight making this a must-have starter for crab lovers. It’s easy to spend over two hours enjoying an excellent meal enhanced by a sunset view to remember.

After a restful night’s sleep and breakfast, it was time to say farewell. I envied the guests who bought a Skip the Bridge package and would be staying another day. This is a getaway that bears repeating and most guests do return for more bliss by the bay.

Kurt Jacobson

Kurt Jacobson is a semi-retired trained chef living in Baltimore who travels the world searching for great food, wine and adventure. As a semi-retired chef with over twenty years experience he is qualified to contribute on the culinary side. One of the restaurants he cooked for was Le Canyon a five diamond French restaurant in Durango, Colorado. As a full-time travel writer Kurt has been published...(Read More)

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