Easy Escapes: Romantic Retreats

Want a quiet escape for two? Try one of these intimate inns.

By: Eleanor Berman, Andrea Poe

A Chef's Tasteful New Inn

Glen Gordon Manor, a new inn in Rappahannock County, has quite a past. It began life in 1833 as a stagecoach stop, then evolved into an aristocratic hunting retreat whose guests included members of the British royal family.

Dayn Smith and his family moved onto the 45-acre property in 2006, then opened it as an inn last year. An outdoor pool offers spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains--the inn is about eight miles from the Front Royal entrance to Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park and is close to wineries including Rappahannock Cellars.

The house still has its oak-paneled Hunt Room, but the feeling now is more home-like than baronial. Dayn, once a chef in New York, does delicious things in the big country kitchen, such as a four-course breakfast featuring lemon-ricotta pancakes, eggs Benedict, butter-poached lobster, and the like. He offers a lavish five-course dinner.

The two original guest rooms in the house are a bit small and dark, but two newly built cottages, with views of the mountains, are places you could happily settle in for a while. Glencroft Cottage houses two suites with spacious baths; Gordon Mews House is a two-bedroom, two-bath lair with its own full kitchen. Rooms start at $250, cottage suites at $300.

Glen Gordon Manor, Huntly, Va.; 540-636-6010.


Cozy Up in a Cottage

Looking for a romantic escape? Hole up in one of the five private cottages at Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn in Chestertown, Maryland. Set on 20 acres, the cottages have wood-burning fireplaces, and two have steam showers, screened porches, and Japanese soaking tubs.

For the ultimate in romance, book the Mulberry Cottage, which has a porch swing, an al fresco shower, and a yard with a tall fence ensuring total privacy.

Although cottage guests can have breakfast--yogurt parfaits, fruit, and omelets--in the antique-filled 19th-century brick plantation house, it can also be delivered to your cottage. And for $19, the pastry chef will have a cake for two awaiting your arrival. Cottage rates range from $239 to $419 a night.

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn, Chestertown, Md.; 866-305-1860.