A Chic Country House Hotel on Maryland’s Charming Chesapeake Bay – Hotels Above Par

Credit: Maya Oren

The Wildset, envisioned by a pair of sisters and their brother-in-law who vacationed on the Eastern Shore as children, touts itself as “the Eastern Shore reimagined.” Indeed, there’s no other accommodation in the area like it.

Credit: Maya Oren

This 34-room boutique property opened in 2021 in the heart of St. Michaels, a historic town on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Each individualized space is spread across four buildings, including a two-story main house that was converted from a 19th-century schoolhouse.

Credit: Maya Oren

Rooms have a modern cabin vibe complete with shiplap panels and free-standing gas fireplaces. Deep peacock-colored walls that mimic the native marsh complement wide plank light oak floors, hand-crafted tiles, brass accents, and neutral Parachute linens. The emphasis is on relaxation as reflected by the Dohm sound machine and curated selection of books that you’ll find on your bedside table. Mine featured To Kill A Mockingbird and a collection of essays penned by Mary Oliver.

Credit: Maya Oren

The lobby doubles as a sundry shop and espresso bar serving Ceremony Coffee Roasters. It’s so exquisitely styled that you’ll find it hard to lure yourself away from shelves bearing goodies ranging from CBD gummies and organic sheet masks to fancy olive oil and cult Uncle Jerry’s pretzels.

Credit: Cecile Storm

The hotel itself takes up much of the property, but there’s a large garden lined with tall trees and sunny black-eyed Susans out back where a pool will eventually be built. It’s a lovely spot to lounge with a cup of coffee or play lawn games like cornhole. There are also complimentary bicycles to explore St. Michaels or nearby Tilghman Island.

Book a reservation for dinner at Ruse, conceptualized by part of the acclaimed team behind Henrietta Red in Nashville. The seasonally driven menu emphasizes local ingredients, an extensive oyster bar, and small production of biodynamic wines. Along with seafood-centric dishes, vegetable-forward plates like Persian cucumbers slathered with tahini mayo and garlic chili oil grace the menu alongside an epic double cheeseburger served with a pile of house-made potato chips.

Credit: Maya Oren

Cap off your evening with s’mores by the firepit. You can pick up your complimentary kit in the lobby anytime between 7:30 and 10 pm.

Top Takeaways

Location: St. Michaels, Maryland

Rating: Four-Star

The Vibe: A chic country house hotel with thoughtful amenities and gracious staff that will make you feel right at home.

Food + Drink: The lobby-level restaurant, Ruse, serves complimentary continental breakfast as well as dinner daily in addition to brunch on Sundays. The sundry shop features a coffee bar, a fridge stocked with drinks and snacks, and complimentary s’more kits.

Amenities: Restaurant; coffee bar; sundry shop; garden; fire pit with s’more kits; complimentary in-room snacks and water; Grown Alchemist amenities; bicycles; lawn games.

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The entire hotel is like a breath of fresh air in one of America’s most historic small towns.

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? St. Michaels is small enough to explore by bike or foot. Browse the boutiques along Talbot Street, stop by Eastern Shore Brewing and Lyon Rum Distillery for tastings, and take your time strolling the historic cobblestone side streets that lead to the water. A visit to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a must as is a sail along the Miles River, which you can book via a group charter at the neighboring Inn at Perry Cabin. Nearby Easton is also worth a stop; specifically, lunch at Sunflowers & Greens and a visit to Flying Cloud Booksellers.

Rooms: 34 rooms and suites

Pricing: Rates start at $249/night.

Closest Airport: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

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