Meg McKinney / Styling Rose Nguyen
The crackle of a sparkling fire alongside a basket filled with warm muffins and fresh juice. Gulf breezes rustling your room's curtains with sea air. A morning of songbirds and golden light on a long porch that smells of cedar and strong coffee. How do you want to wake up this season? The three inns we've picked are the perfect spots to avoid winter's blast. One is a splurge that's worth it in western Maryland, another offers two meals a day with its price tag, and a third provides an affordable break from the busy life. So give in to the nesting instinct, and make reservations at one of these great getaways.
As night settles on the Savage River Lodge near Frostburg, Maryland, a storm rages outside. Yet the weather doesn't bother the guests at all.
Safely ensconced in the warmth of the resort's great Western-style lodge, lively compatriots gather around the fieldstone hearth with its roaring fire, toast new friendships with heartwarming S'moretinis, or linger over a fine meal and glass of wine in the restaurant. There's simply no better way to spend a winter evening.
Located in western Maryland, just 2 1/2 hours from Baltimore and D.C., Savage River Lodge is the brainchild of Mike Dreisbach and Jan Russell. They shared a dream to build a nature retreat with exemplary amenities and service. They've succeeded masterfully with their Maryland hideaway.
The lodge itself sits at the heart of the Savage River experience. A mile and a half off the main road, it's constructed of rough-hewn logs and boasts a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. A rustic fieldstone path leads to a wide wraparound porch with rocking chairs and a spectacular mountain view.
As guests arrive, Bodhi the lodge dog often bounds out to greet them. The yellow Labrador stars in Savage River Lodge's calendar, oversees the production of a line of dog biscuits, and has his own brand of beer.
Guests occupy 18 cabins that sit just up the hill and away from the lodge. Each features a gas fireplace, plush bedding, and simple furnishings.
Truly, there's much to recommend Savage River Lodge in any season, but winter can be the best time to visit. The lodge saw 192 inches of snow last year with 102 days suitable for skiing.
All that outdoor activity makes for ravenous appetites, but again, it seems the folks here have thought of everything. People come from miles around to sample chef Stephen Brown's Appalachian Plateau cuisine. While the menu changes seasonally, comfort foods dominate this time of year.
Guests always depart with a renewed sense of well-being. As visitors leave, Bodhi flops on the floor. His brown eyes are puddles of sadness. "He loves it when people arrive, but he doesn't like goodbyes," says Jan.