This Bed and Breakfast was absolutely charming and adorable! I surprised my wife with a 10th anniversary present of a trip to Chincoteague for several days and decided on the 1848 Island Manor House Bed and Breakfast.
First off, let me explain why I chose Chincoteague. My wife has always talked about her favorite book as a child: Misty of Chincoteague. What this book helped to make famous she told me was the wild ponies which roam the bordering island of Assateague. She also mentioned that once a year Chincoteague holds an annual pony swim where these wild ponies swim across from Assateague to Chincoteague. Anyway, the best thing that I discovered when planning this trip was that Assateague is actually a protected National Wildlife Refuge. So what does this mean you may be thinking? It means that the island has no developments, boardwalks, restaurants, etc. As both my wife and I seek to avoid the huge tourist scene that many oceanside towns bring, Chincoteague and Assateague is not one of those. I also knew she would like this location because we both love riding our bicycles and both Chincoteague and Assateague have plenty of trails and roads to do this on with lots to see!
So as I was planning this trip for her, I soon discovered for the reasons stated above that all accommodations are on the island of Chincoteague. Generally we choose Bed and Breakfasts when we travel because of the quiet and romantic feeling that many have as well as the expectation that you'll be served a really great meal in the morning! I chose the 1848 Island Manor House because of the pictures we saw on their website but also because of their legend. This B&B was built back in the mid 1800's by two men, one who was the only doctor in town, Nathaniel Smith, and the other who was the postmaster, Joseph Kenny. Joseph met a woman named Sarah and fell in love and soon married her and ironically, Nathaniel having met Sarah's sister, Juliet, also fell in love and married in time. The four lived in the original Maryland "T" House until the sisters started fighting and to save their marriages they split the house in half and moved half of it over on the same property. The two homes were rejoined back in the 1980's and made into a bed and breakfast.
Wow is all I can say about this place. When you arrive, the front of the house was adorned with many beautiful flowers. You drive up and can unload your luggage under a portico which is really nice because it was raining the day we arrived and we didn't end up getting wet for this reason! Parking is in the back and our personal favorite was the courtyard which you walk through to enter the house. This courtyard has a 3-tier fountain and is surrounded by tables where you can have breakfast in the morning as well as the largest rose bushes we've ever seen.
We were greeted and given a really nice tour by one of the innkeepers, Jerry. This place is really big. Besides the dining room and a separate sun porch for places to eat in the morning, there is a parlor which has the latest newspapers and a great selection of books, as well as a nice area which shows all the things to do in town including menus for restaurants. The next room is the garden room which is the part of the house that rejoined the two homes together. This room has an open-hearth fireplace, a really nice piano, a chess and backgammon table, and a large chest to play games which is how we ended up meeting Andrew, the other owner, but more on that in a moment. Lastly, we were brought into what Jerry called the Lighthouse Living Room. We quickly learned why. This room is completely themed to the owner's lighthouse and nautical fascination. It also was home to a large television where I was able to catch up on my sports news!
It was then we were brought to our room. Choosing the room, I of course opted for the Misty Mare room! The B&B has 7 other rooms each individually decorated some of which we caught a glimpse of when going up the stairs. I could see my wife's excitement growing. She loved the room I chose immediately. The room was a pony themed room with the headboard of the bed resembling that of what a horse might jump over in a show. The bed itself was very comfortable and one of the nicest things about the room is that you can see the sun setting over the Chincoteague Channel when you lay in bed and look out the window that it faces.
After we had dinner at a great local restaurant called Bill's on our first of three nights, we returned to the inn and met Andrew who was entertaining other guests with a group game called Catch Phrase. He asked if we wanted to join in and we decided that would be a lot of fun. Almost 2 hours later, we realized how much time had flown by and we decided to head to bed so that we didn't miss breakfast. Breakfast was incredible...every day. So as not to spoil the excitement your breakfast may bring, let's just say that Jerry has some pretty incredible talents in the kitchen. We were also treated in the afternoons to some of his sweet treats as he liked to call them which were just as yummy.
Well, three days later, baring sun burns and several shopping bags, it was time to go. It was hard to leave. Staying here was so relaxing and Jerry and Andrew really have created an environment perfect for this. We're talking about making Chincoteague and the Island Manor House a regular vacation for us each year. We have no complaints and while I didn't get into everything we did in Chincoteague or list every one of the Island Manor's amenities, let's just say we'll have many fond memories from this trip and hopefully many more in our next visit here!
Thanks for making our 10th anniversary so special Island Manor House!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A beautiful Bed & Breakfast Inn located in the historic downtown of Chincoteague. Enjoy the charming inn with brick courtyard surrounded by roses, fountain and fireplace. Rate includes full breakfast for two each morning! In walking distance to several seafood restaurants, shops, antique stores and artist galleries. Only a short drive, walk or bicycle ride to Assateague Island, the wild ponies, lighthouse and miles of pristine beach. Some rooms with water view. ... more less