Destination Local: The Inn at Herrington Harbour #MD #hotel #review | Mommy 2K

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Destination Local: The Inn at Herrington Harbour #MD #hotel #review



As I stared out the window yesterday, providing only a view of shrubbery and towering trees, I was reminded of just how much I miss the beach. The scene was far from picturesque— cloudy skies, dampness, lack of sunlight, dehydrated plants...gloom. It was a far cry from last Wednesday when my family and I stayed at The Inn at Herrington Harbour, an Eco-Lifestyle Marina Resort. If my memory serves me correctly, the views at The Inn were far more pleasant.

As luck would have it, or the beach gods, this family-friendly destination happens to be extremely close to home. I'm talking just-around-the-corner, guaranteed-to-see-someone-I-know, I-can-drive-back-home-if-I-forget-something local. So, more than likely I could solve my "beach blues" with a short drive and an impromptu visit. I just wanted to pretend my paradise was more than fifteen minutes away (bare with me as I attempt to catch up with my imagination— it tends to run wild!)

ARRIVAL
Check-in was early, after 2 pm, which I loved. In Keont√©-fashion, I arrived a little before 3 pm— not too late, not exactly on time. The office was located right along the beachfront. The front desk agents welcomed us with a smile and were pleasant. I gave my name, they gave me a key, explained a few minor details, like what NOT to do in the hot tub, and we were headed on our merrily way.

The Inn is set-up like a motel more so than a hotel. Room and suites are separate, not housed in one, main building. The newly-renovated inn no longer has parking in front of each room. Instead, asphalt has been replaced by a neatly landscaped walkway with soothing waterfalls. benches, and gorgeous plants. The addition of a rocking chair in front of each room was a nice touch as well.

photo courtesy of The Inn at Herrington Harbour
LODGING
Rooms & Suites
Our Inn was built in the 1940's, during the Big Band Swing Era in a cottage style. It accommodated guests from steamships arriving from Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. The historic architecture has been carefully retained to offer you a relaxing rejuvenating experience on the Chesapeake Bay.
photo courtesy of The Inn at Herrington Harbour
Standard Rooms
Cozy rooms with one queen or two double beds and walk-in shower.
Deluxe Rooms
Restful rooms with one queen or two double beds, shower and tub.
Hot Tub Rooms
These rooms come with one queen or two double beds, adjoining private patio with hot tub, shower and tub.
Horizon Suite
Spacious two bedroom, one king and one queen bed, full kitchen and queen futon.
Garden Suite
Along with the beautiful garden view, this suite has one bedroom with a queen bed, screened porch, full kitchen and queen futon.
Bay Breeze Suite
A roomy suite with 2 bedrooms, patio deck, hot tub, full kitchen and queen futon.
Blue Heron Suite
First floor, one bedroom with queen bed, queen sleeper sofa, full kitchen, washer/dryer, maid service provided.
Osprey Suite
Second floor, one bedroom with king bed, one bedroom with queen bed, full kitchen, washer/dryer, maid service provided.
Our accommodations for the night included a room with a hot tub and  two double beds. At first glance, the room was nice. I felt it could have used a bit of a facelift. The carpet and furniture fixtures looked a bit outdated. There was a microwave on a tiny table housed beside the ironing board, along with an area to hang your clothes. There was also a ceiling fan and self-controlled a/c and heating unit. All the necessities were there, just not up to as modern as the other hotels I have stayed in. Then I remembered that when you stay at the beach you should spend the least amount of time in your room. Besides, The Inn at Herrington Harbour has come a long way.

There was also a 2-seat table situated under a flat-screen television. A personal note rested pleasantly on a stack of activities including coloring books, an eco-trail BINGO game, and a book showcasing the features of the Chesapeake Bay. There was also a coffee maker on the table as well (we never used it...not huge coffee drinkers).

The bathroom was clean. A standard-size tub with a shower, a vanity, toilet (of course), and a hair dryer were the main features. There was a frosted glass window with a view of the private patio. I did notice an abundance of towels and wash clothes. I normally have to call and ask for more when I stay in other hotels. Not here! Made a world of difference (towels even provided at the pool).

A door opened to the private patio. This required a separate key to gain entrance. On the patio was a hot  tub and table/umbrella combo. The surrounding walls were decorated with colorful a scene of sea creatures. The patio's high walls made it private from other guests, but it is recommended that you keep the noise level down as a courtesy to others. That's kind of self-explanatory.

FEATURES & AMENITIES
There is a restaurant called, Mango's Bar & Grill, on-site. There's an option to dine inside or outside by the pool. Choose from a wonderful selection of hearty appetizers, as well as specialty drinks such as the Orange Crush. Don't forget the seafood—it's Maryland after all! We happened to visit on a Wednesday, half-priced appetizer day. We feasted on our favorite appetizer— the Herrington Sampler (coco Bongo shrimp, mini crab dip, fried calamari and shrimp wontons, served with raspberry coulis, marinara, and a sweet Asian chili sauce). We also order Chesapeake wings. It was extremely filling and enough to hold us over for dinner.

photo courtesy of The Inn at Herrington Harbour 
From the moment we arrived, Kaden was anxious to get in the water. After a quick bite at Mango's, we settled by the pool. Anyone can dine by the pool, but only inn guests can swim in the pool. Guests are given a pool pass good until their checkout time at 11 am. For families with smaller children, a separate kiddie pool sits just behind the main pool. This is a great alternative during "adult swim" time where only adults are allowed to swim the last fifteen minutes of each hour.

If you're looking to catch a tan, there are ample lounge chairs to soak up the sun. If you're looking to cool down, there are thatched huts to shield you from the rays. There is also a fitness center and a sauna (for guests 18+). All of these amenities have a closing time of 8 or 9 pm, depending on the day. But the party doesn't stop there. A few nights out of the week are dedicated to after-hour events including a DJ and drink/food specials. Who knows, you may run into a good friend while you're lounging around the pool. We did!

This next feature is major: The Inn at Herrington Harbour has free Wi-Fi. That is the first thing I look for when visiting a hotel. As a blogger, I like to upload pictures, write posts, and go online if I get the chance (usually at night when things have settled). You have to register for an account before using the free Wi-Fi and there are a few weak spots as you walk about the resort, but overall I had no problem accessing the internet.

There is also a continental breakfast served in the morning provided by the resort's pastry chef. And if you need to keep busy from dawn to dusk, there is also "volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, picnic areas with grills, playground, restaurant, Gift Shop, Deli and Convenience Store." 


We stayed at the pool until it closed. We planned to walk the eco-trial that evening, but our stomachs had a different idea. The rooms didn't have much literature on where to eat or local delivery menus. I would update this to maybe include the area's directory and local restaurants (there's always Mango's). Because I'm from the area, I knew that there were not a lot of options. We ordered pizza. 

While waiting for pizza, we kept busy— Kaden and his dad played cards and I got in the hot tub. It was the perfect cool down after a non-stop day. And to top it all off, I received a call from the innkeeper, Ann. She wanted to stop by and introduce herself. 

HOSPITALITY
Ann was wonderful. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was a treat to spend one-on-one time with her. The conversation flowed effortlessly. She suggested we go watch the beautiful sunset, recommended where to eat, and answered all my questions. She expressed how thrilled she was to have us stay at The Inn.

Ann told me how The Inn at Herrington Harbour was an eco-lifestyle marina resort. Each room contains a handy card for reference. An eco-lifestyle includes short showers, opting to keep the same bed linens during your stay, not letting the water run, turning electronics off when not in use, etc. She even said that they reused materials from the teardown to re-create the area during renovation.

Of course I asked about their social media efforts. The Inn's presence online is not as consistent as Ann would like. With such a hectic schedule, it is sometimes hard to keep up with her over-flowing email box and participate in social media. The Inn at Herrington Harbour is on Facebook (I plan on maybe working with Ann on some things). She's the reason why I was able to experience The Inn. Ann was very refreshing and easy-going.  


I had planned a schedule for us so that we could maximize the time before check-out the next day. Ian had to head to work early that morning (bummer), while Kaden and I hit the pool...again. After the pool, we walked the eco-trial. This is a 2-mile or so walk around the marina. An accompanying BINGO game allows walkers to discover animals, plants, and other elements as you stroll along. Don't forget all the boats. Herrington Harbour is one of the largest privately owned marina yacht yards on the Chesapeake Bay. We had a blast reading some of the boat names (our favorite was Bay Bay's Kid). 

 

Our final stop was the beach. While I wouldn't recommend full-on swimming in the water, it's great for relaxation. Kaden skipped a few rocks. I soaked my feet in the sand. We collected tons of shells and made a mess with the clay (it's a great for your skin...I think). And what's a day at the bay without spotting a Maryland blue crab?


I know it seems a bit silly to get excited over a destination that is literally in our backyard. People come from all over to visit the resort, but I think it's important that locals show their support as well.  I understand not wanting to rent a room to spend the night, but being there made us feel like we weren't even in the state. It was  great to get away, have a change of scenery, and be in the moment. I knew the mini-vacation was a success when Kaden turned to me on the beach and said, "Mom. I like this day." Look for a video in the days to come, proving this statement. 

Herrington on the Bay is also the perfect place for weddings (and parties, corporate events). The views serve as the perfect backdrop for any occasion and guests can stay right at the resort. If you're looking to grab a piece of paradise in a serene, family-friendly, and picturesque location, consider The Inn at Herrington Harbour to fulfill this need.

The Inn at Herrington Harbour is located at 7161 Lake Shore Drive in Rose Haven, MD 20714. For reservations, please visit the website for more information or call 800-213-9438, ext. 100

Disclosure: My family was provided a complimentary one-night stay/accommodations. The views and opinions are my own. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and plan on visiting again.


*Part of my DESTINATION LOCAL experiment.  

 
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