A Dreamy Must-Visit Hideaway on the Chesapeake Bay

Thanks to a renovation and new programming, the Inn at Perry Cabin is the perfect place for a pampered weekend escape.

inn at perry cabin dock
Photography by BELMOND

The Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond is the kind of tucked-away place that feels like a well-kept secret.

For starters, it’s located in St. Michaels, a tiny town (population 1,000) on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that looks like a quaint 19th century seaport. The 200-year-old hotel is a beloved, and storied, institution in the town, but it’s unlikely to be familiar to anyone outside of a 100-mile radius (however, it may look familiar: part of Wedding Crashers was filmed here).

Unspoiled by crowds—there are only 78 guest rooms—it’s truly idyllic in every sense of the word. “Magical” may seem like embellishment, but just try to spend a weekend in the sun-dappled landscape nestled along a private slice of the Chesapeake Bay, with nightly fresh-baked cookies, and avoid falling under a spell.


inn at perry cabin sunset
Photography by BELMOND

The property was built as a private house in 1816 by retired Navy veteran Samuel Hambleton, who designed part of the home to look like the private quarters occupied by his friend and commander, Hazard Perry, on the Niagara during the War of 1812. The original building retains much of its historic character. It was used as a plantation and a riding academy before becoming a small inn in 1980. The road to the current iteration began in 1999 when Orient-Express, now Belmond, bought the property from Sir Bernard Ashley and Laura Ashley.

Photography by JESSICA DAILEY

Today, the hotel features four buildings of guest rooms, a spa and fitness center, a swimming pool, and landscaped gardens, as well as meeting rooms, two restaurants, and a private dining room. Not to mention the fleet of seven boats, as well as kayaks and paddleboards. It’s a quiet hideaway with just the right mix of activities and downtime, meaning it’s perfect for families, a girls’ weekend away, or a romantic escape.

If that’s not enough to book your trip, here are seven reasons why the Inn at Perry Cabin needs to be on your must-visit list.

inn at perry cabin office suite
Photography by BELMOND

1. It was recently renovated.

The hotel’s 78 guest rooms and all common spaces recently received a makeover by by Alexandra Champalimaud’s eponymous interiors firm. Rather than thinking of the property as a hotel, the design team envisioned it as a “personal extension of a grand estate.”

“We kept the bones of the architecture and updated the finishes, materials, and furnishings to be of this era,” says Elisabeth Rogoff, Principal at Champalimaud. “While our stylistic approach nods to the past, we wanted the renovation to feel light, bright, welcoming, comfortable, and crisp.”

[Desk chair from Vanguard; custom-made sofa are Royal Customs; area rug by Texstyle.]

inn at perry cabin private dining
Photography by BELMOND

To do this, they used a calm, quiet, and monochromatic color scheme, adding interest with different textures and subtle patterns, like a neutral plaid. “The design is just enough to keep your eyes moving across the room and hold interest without distracting from the views,” says Rogoff, who adds that a main goal was to accentuate the Chesapeake views.

The vibe is similar in the common spaces, like the restaurant, bar, lounge, and library. “We looked at the public spaces as if they were a part of a guests’ homes,” says Rogoff. “We imagined these as spaces for guests to entertain.”


inn at perry cabin bedroom
Photography by BELMOND

2. The rooms are luxurious.

To be clear: The guest rooms at the Inn are enormous. The most sumptuous are the luxury water view luxury suites, which start at 850 square feet and feature a separate living room with a working fireplace, powder room, and a balcony that overlooks the water. The bedroom has a king-size bed with a sitting area, and a marble bathroom bigger than many New York living rooms. There’s a walk-in shower, soaking tub, and a wooden built-in storage unit.

[Bedroom walls are painted Benjamin Moore OC-59 Vanilla Milkshake; bedding is from Bellino Fine Linens; end tables are custom made by Vaughan Benz.]

inn at perry cabin suite bath tub
Photography by BELMOND

“We approached the suites with the end goal of crafting luxurious arrangement for families,  divvying up the space into zones such as living room zones, dining room zones, and bedroom zones within a single unit,” says Rogoff. “Smaller rooms are cozier but just like the suites, there’s a place to eat, sleep, and curl up with a book.”

inn at perry cabin terrace
Photography by BELMOND

The rooms vary in style depending on the building—those in the historic building feature shaker-style furniture and antique decor—and the location—some ground-floor rooms near the garden have private terraces (pictured above). All rooms come with plush robes, fresh fruit, and a nightly turndown service that includes the most delicious chocolate chip cookies. You’ll wake up to a Washington Post hanging on the door.

During high season weekends, rates start around $625 per night, while they can drop to around $350 during the week.

 inn at perry cabin pool
Photography by BELMOND

3. You’ll be able to truly relax.

Whether your idea of relaxation is lounging by the pool, pampering yourself at the spa, or taking a leisurely bike ride, you’ll have no problem finding your zen. Let’s start with the Linden Spa, where you’ll find the whole slate of treatments, from massages and facials to manicures and scrubs. The spa has a private garden (ideal for post-massage naps), and it’s right beside the horizon-edge pool, where you can lounge under flowering trees with a drink in hand.


Photography by JESSICA DAILEY

The Inn tucks beautiful gardens just about everywhere (gorgeous hydrangeas greet you at every turn), so don’t be surprised when you stumble upon a formal boxwood tea garden or a lush woodland canopy with magnolia, cypress, and holly trees.

If you’re looking for more active downtime, take one of the free bikes and head into St. Michaels to browse the antique shops and art galleries and stop for a scoop at Justine’s Ice Cream Parlour. The Inn also has a fitness center where private lessons are offered.


inn at perry cabin vegetables
Photography by BELMOND

4. You’ll eat well.

Every ingredient used at the Inn’s two restaurants, Stars and Purser’s Pub, is sourced within a 150-mile radius of St. Michaels thanks to Chef Ken MacDonald, who joined the team last year, bringing with him a passion for farm-to-table cooking—think fresh oysters and Maryland Blue Crabs paired with herbs and vegetables grown in the on-site farm.


inn at perry cabin farm
Photography by BELMOND

Soon, the farm will expand to grow more of the Inn’s produce, and alliances with various sustainable seafood groups allow the property to support Chesapeake Bay fishermen. All of these changes aren’t going unnoticed: Stars is a recent a winner of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America’s Award of Excellence.

inn at perry cabin food
Photography by JESSICA DAILEY
 inn at perry cabin yacht
Photography by BELMOND

5. You don’t need a car to get here.

St. Michaels may be remote, but you don’t need to drive to get there. Find your way to BWI Airport—East Coasters can take Amtrak—which is just a 30-minute taxi ride to the marina in Edgewater, where Five Star, the Inn’s grand 55’ Hinckley Yacht, will pick you up as part of the “skip the bridge” package that ensures you won’t sit in traffic on the Bay Bridge. Enjoy a 90-minute cruise, complete with drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and sail up to the Inn at sunset with champagne in hand. There’s really no other way to arrive.

The package is good through the last weekend of October, and currently, there is still some availability through October, with rates starting at $920 per night.

inn at perry cabin sailing
Photography by JESSICA DAILEY

6. You can get out on the water.

While the Hinckley is the most elegant, it’s not the only vessel the Inn owns. Book a sailing expedition with Captain Jason Pinter on one of the exquisite Alerion yachts—Star Light and Star Bright—or Harbor Star, a gleaming French Canal Commuter. Daily excursions depart at 10 am and 1pm for $90 per person, or you can book a private charter starting at $400 for two hours. If you ask nicely, Captain Pinter will even let you steer the ship.

Closer to shore, kayaks and paddleboards are available for leisure use, just watch out for the jellyfish.


 inn at perry cabin belmond
Photography by JESSICA DAILEY

7. There’s still more to come.

By next summer, there will be tennis courts, as well as waterside dining with fire pits. The Inn is also planning a full renovation of the restaurant, which could include a cocktail lounge, according to General Manager Klaus Kabelitz. They’ll also be partnering with Moet and Hennessy for a top-of-the-line mini bar experience in the guest rooms.

Published on August 29, 2017 - 7:00am EDT

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