"Gem in the Maryland countryside"
I recently returned from my visit to the Columbia Inn, and I can say without hesitation I was extremely happy – both with the staff and the accommodations. The inn itself is a little jewel inside, appointed with beautiful pictures, tapestries and eclectic pieces from travels all over the world. The pictures don’t do the rooms justice. Each room/suite is elegantly appointed, yet each has its own distinct personality (we were allowed to roam the inn and peek in rooms that weren’t booked at the time).
We stayed on the third floor during a VERY muggy and hot week, as I wanted the room with the “Romeo and Juliet” balcony in the front on the top of the inn, and I was concerned the heat might be brutal up there. Ironically, immediately upon our arrival, the first thing the innkeeper, Cynthia, said to us (after welcome, of course) was that she was concerned we might feel too warm up there, and explained that she had made sure the air conditioning was fully running and had provided a fan as well, just in case. She needn’t have worried – as soon as we walked into the suite, my friend and I looked at each other and smiled...the suite, including the temperature, was perfect.
I believe our suite was the “L Suite”, which was more spacious than the pictures were able to indicate on the website. The soaking bath was very clean (a lot of places claim soaking or hot tubs, but I am usually loathe to use them…they don’t always seem well kept), the robes were fresh and comfy, the bed was extremely comfortable, and we loved being a bit removed by being on the third floor. I also loved having a full ‘fridge, dishwasher and coffee amenities available in my room. Another cool feature of the L suite is that the wall in the living area with the couch and tv has a wall of windows onto the great room below. It was fun to peek down and see what was going on down there. We didn’t take advantage of the fireplace in the room, but I certainly hope to in the future. And, I kid you not, we woke to the smell of bacon cooking…which I love – and don’t worry, as soon as we returned to our room after breakfast, there was no “stale” bacon smell lingering!
The inn is split into almost two haves, connected on the second floor by the library. Personally, I liked being in the main house, but the advantage of the more removed rooms is that they do have their own entrances and sitting areas.
The main room where breakfast is served is very light and airy, and the breakfast is plentiful. There were choices of pancakes, French toast, eggs any way, sausage, bacon, homefries, etc., and all was cooked to order. Also included was a selection of hot and cold beverages, bagels, muffins (cooked fresh from the oven – we had lemon-poppyseed) and cereal. My friend and I took advantage every day to sit out on the spacious back deck. We didn’t need to eat until teatime, when beverages, cheese, crackers, fresh-baked cookies and, on one day, even chocolate torte was available.
As for location, I wanted something away from the bustle, but close enough to explore the offerings of Baltimore and Annapolis if we felt motivated. We wound up wandering around Annapolis one day (about a half-hour away) and enjoying a delicious, casual crab dinner at Mike’s on the water before coming home. The inn was so comfortable, on the second day we decided to just stay in and only went out to dinner. The third day we went to Ellicott City (maybe 20 minutes away) and explored the shops and had good German food at the Ellicott brewery.
One thing I do want to note is that the most expensive rooms are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The bathrooms are amazing (especially in the “bridal suite”), and the suites themselves are simply luxurious feeling. If I were a bride, I would absolutely want to get ready in (and retire to) the bridal suite on my big day. It is perfect for getting ready! I absolutely want to say in each of the best suites – and will return to do so.
Last, but far from least, the staff at the inn were great. They were casual and relaxed, yet responsive and helpful in every way.
I am relatively well traveled - I have stayed in many 5-star hotels all over the country, my family lived in Europe for a time, I have frequented many B&Bs of varying quality, and spend time every March in the Virgin Islands. I only say this so people reading my review will understand I have relatively high expectations, and I was very happy staying at The Columbia Inn. It is a B&B designed to be tucked away and enjoyed in the classic sense B& Bs should be enjoyed…like you are staying with gracious, interesting, unobtrusive hosts who love knowing you enjoy their home.
If you’re on the fence, make the reservation. You won’t regret it.
AlexBr from Philadelphia, PA