Hillbrook Inn and Spa: Where American History meets European style and Southern Charm

Hillbrook Inn and Spa: Where American History meets European style and Southern Charm

Hillbrook Inn and Spa is where American history, European architecture, and Southern charm meld into the perfect Bed and Breakfast for your next Romantic getaway.

Located less than 2 hours from Washington DC, Hillbrook Inn and Spa offers a picturesque getaway for those seeking privacy and low-key opulence. This European-style bed-and-breakfast features 11 uniquely-decorated rooms situated on 30 acres of historic estate grounds. The blend of intimate cottages mixed with expansive green-spaces provides the ideal setting for couples or for writers seeking creative inspiration.

A Brief History of Hillbrook Inn

Around 1748, a young George Washington came to Jefferson County as a surveyor for Lord Fairfax. He would later own some 2,000 acres along Bullskin Run, including the property of Hillbrook Inn. As a landowner, he leased his land in 200-acre parcels under very strict requirements: holders of a land patent were expected to build a home, barn, and in some cases an orchard or vineyard.

The property’s stone spring house and “patent house” date back to the 1700s. They are believed to be part of that original land grant. In the 1920s Brigadier General Frank E. Bamford extended the “patent house” into the larger inn as it is seen today. Modeling Hillbrook after an inn in Normandy, the property reflects classic romanticism blended with old European charm.

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Hillbrook Inn West Virginia Bed and Breakfast

The Main House 

Upon entering the property, visitors make their way along a tree-lined gravel path before the picturesque Hillbrook Inn finally comes into view. The main house is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the property. The charm of a fairytale exterior is matched by the unique beauty of the interior.

The house is built on a large slab of limestone. Rather than cutting into the stone to force the building’s design, the architecture follows the natural curves and slopes of the rock formation resulting in a truly unique layout.  The rooms are tiered sequentially down a hallway that runs the length of the building. Rooms are then separated by corridors that narrow and widen.

Original log beams, antique décor, and the unmistakable scent of a log-burning fireplace perfectly capture the history of the Inn and give it such a unique character; while the furnishings and attentive-staff maintain a sense of modern luxury.

The main building houses the concierge, tavern, Redbook Restaurant, and six guest suites.

Hillbrook Inn Bed and Breakfast West Virginia

The Rooms at Hillbrook Inn

Beside the main building are the adjacent Cottage and Gatehouse Suites. Down the road, approximately 2 miles from the Main House are two companion properties: the historic Hawthorn House and the Farmhouse. Suites range in size and style from dark-and-intimate to light-and-luxurious.

We stayed in the Winter Cottage, a newly-renovated suite located just a short walk from the Main house. Our suite was one of four that are located in the cottage, each with their own private entrance and enclosed patio. This particular suite faces the main house, providing a beautiful view of the grounds from the privacy of our own patio. We spent a significant amount of time sitting in the rocking chairs while listening to the songbirds and watching the butterflies flutter about the gardens.

The suite itself is both spacious and intimate. During the day, large windows flood the room with natural light.  At night, the dark wood and burgundy accents are illuminated by a soft glow from the fireplace.

In contrast to the old-European style of the bedroom, the attached bathroom reflects a more modern and spa-like design. With a large tiled shower and freestanding soaking tub, it is easy to pass a few hours soaking in complete rest and relaxation.

These four cottages are pet-friendly and come with a special welcome package for all four-legged guests. Our Goldendoodle Huckleberry enjoyed his complimentary treats, but probably not as much as he enjoyed the King size bed.

Hillbrook Inn West Virginia Bed and Breakfast Pet Policy

On-Site Amenities

Hillbrook Inn is an intimate setting ideal for a personal retreat or romantic getaway with your partner. A number of special packages can be arranged with the innkeepers. These include a wine-tasting experience at nearby vineyards or a hands-on cooking class with some of Hillbrook’s top chefs.

For those seeking a bit of romantic indulgence, the on-site Gatehouse Spa offers a selection of relaxing services. Guests can also arrange for roses and chocolate-covered strawberries to be delivered to the room.

Aside from a life-size chess board and shared bonfire area, you will not find an overabundance of on-site activities or opportunities for socializing with other guests.

According to Scott, “this is a place to have a conversation with a drink, not to drink and look for conversation.” In other words, come to Hillbrook Inn in order to be present, open your mind, and perhaps deepen your relationships. Do not look for distractions, but rather look for creative inspiration: a babbling brook flowing through peaceful woodlands, turtles bathing in sunlight by the pond, a wooden swing swaying below a canopy of green branches, the sounds of a crackling bonfire. 

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Dining

Dining at Redbook Inn is what sets this bed and breakfast apart from many others in the area. For more than 20 years, Redbook’s chefs have crafted innovative pre-fixe menus, recording each dish in a small red notebook. This collection, after which the restaurant is named, is on display inside the main dining room.

The original “patent house” has been transformed into the main dining room of Redbook Inn. Everything from the exposed wooden beams and antique window frames to the oil paintings and crystal stemware have been carefully selected to recreate the look of an elegant 1700’s dining room. The ambient glow of candles and a wood-burning fireplace adds to the air of romance and intimacy.

Hillbrook Inn West Virginia Bed and Breakfast
Photo Credit: Hillbrook Inn

Included in your stay is a homemade breakfast sourced from fresh seasonal ingredients. Guests have the option of having a continental spread delivered to their door, or visiting the main house where they can enjoy a warm plated meal in the charming sunroom.

Dinner at Redbook Inn is a bit pricey if you’re not used to splurging on dinners; but the “foodies” in us loved our meals. Each dish is a work of art – not only in the complexity of flavor, but also in the plating. Dishes like the Wiffletree Farm Chicken are paired with lightly seasoned asparagus and Parisian Gnocchi, served alongside a rich velouté; Fried Green Tomatoes are accompanied by thinly-sliced smoked salmon and served over a bed of radish herb salad with a fresh Remoulade.

Scott’s favorite was the Honey-Lavender Panna Cotta which “melts in your mouth, with subtle flowery notes and balanced with a velvety sweetness.”  All menus are seasonal in order to guarantee the sustainability and quality of ingredients.

Staying with Hillbrook in the wake of COVID-19

The new company policy is guided by a simple message: “Stay Small, Stay Safe”. The elevated hygiene program and modified dining options are in alignment with recommendations from the CDC, the local Health Department, as well as leaders in the industry.  Visitors can expect acute attention to detail in areas and items that are sanitized.  Staff interaction is dramatically reduced to accommodate social distancing preferences; therefore, the inn has temporarily adopted a self-check-in and remote concierge approach. Dining room options are supplemented by in-room dining options to respect social distancing preferences.

According to Manager Becky Corcoran, finding the appropriate balance between hospitality and safety remains both a challenge and a priority. From our experience staying with Hillbrook, our interaction with staff was minimal however members of staff could always be seen throughout the property sending a warm wave in our direction. (I’m sure they were smiling too, but they were just hidden beneath a face mask). We felt at ease with confidence in Hillbrook’s safety policies and in knowing that a helping hand was never far away.

Hillbrook Inn West Virginia Bed and Breakfast

Contact Tel: (304)725-4223
Address: 4490 Summit Point Rd. Charles Town, WV 25414
Hotel Website: https://www.hillbrookinn.com/
Classification: Bed & Breakfast

Rating (1 to 5 Scale):

Amenities: 3
Cleanliness: 5
Comfort: 5
Quietness: 5
Safety: 5
Service: 5
Internet Access: Complementary Wifi

Pros:

  • Family owned and operated
  • Extremely hospitable and knowledgeable staff
  • Incredibly talented culinary staff
  • Pet-friendly

Cons:

  • Limited on-site activities
  • On-site dining options are on the pricey side

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Cecilia is a bubbly Filipino-American with an affinity for constant change...that or a 10 second attention span. Refusing to sit still, she travels the world, in pursuit of adventure, excitement and meaningful experiences. She holds a Masters degree in International Development and Public Policy, and a BA in Business Management.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I love B&B vacations that offer a great getaway and a little historic charm too. The property certainly does look charming. I love that the old wood charm in the rooms is mixed with great modern features in the bathroom. I like the idea of a babbling brook and lots of quiet space. So different from big resort properties that blare noise all day and night. I love that this place has looked at the COVID-19 issues and created a balance of hospitality and safety. Good many places are using this as an excuse to drop all service!

    1. It really is a charming place. You would love it 🙂

  2. I hope that the travel restrictions around the world lift, so that small businesses like this can begin to flourish once again. It’s Inns like this, who have made a big effort to put customer service front and center, and have such an obvious eye for detail, that deserve success. Here’s hoping the season recovers for them.

    1. Agreed. I respect companies like Hillbrook that prioritize the safety of the patrons above the bottom line. It says alot about their culture and values, and that is the type of business we like to support!

  3. I love places where you go to be more present, get closer to nature, and closer to yourself. This place sounds idyllic! Turtles bathing in the sunlight, how peaceful! And those food options made me so hungry! I love gnocchi!

    1. It is so nice to escape somewhere without distractions. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good all-inclusive hotel with endless amenities; but at the end of the day, it is nice to disconnect from everything sometimes.

  4. Hillbrook sounds so charming! I loved reading that they are making a special effort for the COVID outbreak. Being that they are pet-friendly also with a talented culinary staff makes for a perfect stay! It is incredible that this dates back to 1700s. I would love to check this out. Thank you for sharing this amazing place!

    1. It is important to recognize hotels and businesses that are doing the right thing when it comes to COVID policy. Unfortunately, many companies are opening up without any precautions because profit is more important than the safety of their patrons.

  5. If you didn’t mention the location of Hillbrook Inn B&B in the beginning, I would think this is somewhere in Europe. I fall in love with the architecture right away, and the greenery surrounding the buildings are exceptional, too. The food look delicious, but I guess when you stay at a place like this you must be ready to splurge on it.

    1. Exactly and that was our thought process too. We typically are budget travelers, but we wanted to splurge a little bit for our anniversary. I’d say it was well worth it!

  6. This actually felt like Europe. Loved the serenity. So green and soothing, totally in the lap of nature. This makes for a lovely getaway. Who wouldn’t love to bask in the sun and indulge in some interesting photo-shoots. The cottages and the setting of the room looks very cozy.

    1. The rooms at Hillbrook Inn are so cozy, especially with the crackling fireplace! We visited during the summer, but I imagine it would be a popular winter destination too given how cozy it is.

  7. Looking at the photos of cottages feels like you are staying in Europe. But good to know about Hillbrook Inn and Spa is where American history, European architecture, and Southern charm combines together to form a lovely romantic get away. Also this stay is easily accessible from Washington DC as it is only 2 hours away. I loved the cozy interiors of rooms and also the wide natural space around the cottages. This stay is also perfect for weddings or private functions.

    1. They do have quite a few weddings there and I can see why. It is such a picturesque setting, almost right out of a fairy tale.

  8. That’s such a beautiful property! So intimate and cosy! I love the architecture and the interior decor. Pet friendly hotels are a rarity where I live. How I wish more hotels were like this. I love to travel with my dog.

    1. We can find pet-friendly hotels where we live, but most are not very nice. At Hillbrook you can still experience a bit of luxury with your four-legged friend right there at your side!

  9. Wow! This place looks amazing and it’s really cute that it seems to out of postcard. Love the style and it’s a refreshing change from the usual 4 to 5-star accommodation. The interiors are just lovely. Thank you for sharing this. We’d love to stay in this place someday. The best part — it’s pet-friendly.

    1. You’re right that this place does look straight off a postcard! We love that there is this European style cottage in the middle of West Virginia. Such a hidden gem!

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