Thursday, February 22, 2024

Romantic Retreat: Maryland's Antrim 1844 Is a Luxe Getaway You Won't Soon Forget

Gentlemen: If you want to knock it out of the park on Valentine’s Day, you can do what my husband did and take your wives to Antrim 1844 in Taneytown, Maryland for a romantic getaway.

I don't usually dedicate an entire blog to one place, but am making an exception for an exceptional property.

The Main House at Antrim 1844

Antrim 1844 is listed as a “Country House Hotel,” but it’s so much more than that in terms of beauty.

The historic destination is listed in the Select Registry for Excellence in Craft Lodging. It’s also listed in the National Register of Historic Places and among the Historic Hotels of America.

A Brief History

The property dates to 1834 when, at the age of 22, Col. Andrew Ege married Margaret Ann McKaleb, daughter of Maj. John McKaleb, who was one of Taneytown’s successful merchants. After the death of Margaret’s only brother and also her father, Margaret and Andrew inherited the 420-acre estate. Margaret hired Baltimore builder Benjamin Forrester and sculptor William Henry Rinehart to commence work on the sprawling estate, then naming the main building after her family’s ancestral home in County Antrim, Ireland.

Ege operated a plantation on the property, raising horses and cows and cultivating wheat, rye, corn, potatoes and other crops, before going bankrupt. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find additional information on the “why” of the bankruptcy. Because of these financial circumstances, Ege was forced to sell the sprawling property to another local farmer, who continued to operate it as such through the 1940s. By the time Dorothy and Richard Mollett came around in 1987, the property had seen better days, having been neglected for approximately 50 years. The couple had a vision of what "could be" and set to work, transforming it into what it is today--a luxurious getaway to relax and unplug.

A shot taken directly outside the Boucher suite.

The Mansion Rooms

My husband and I stayed in the only suite in the mansion, which is known as The Boucher Suite. The well-appointed room was equipped with a king-sized four-poster featherbed that ranks up there with one of the most comfortable beds I've ever experienced. The suite contained not just one, but two roomy bathrooms. The main bathroom, as you can see in the picture is not only large, but beautiful as well and the Jacuzzi is just one more feature that guilds the lily. One item that was missing turned out to be a television set. In the end, we didn't miss it. A balcony overlooking the well-tended grounds and the town were also a feature of our suite and something we may take advantage of in the future if we decide to return when the weather is warmer. One of the things that surprised us is how quiet our room was, even though it was located close to the second-floor landing. We saw that people would be taking the steps to their rooms and passing right by our door, but it was perfectly quiet and peaceful.

The Boucher Suite with a bed that rivals most others when it comes to comfort.

An over-the-top bathroom.

A balcony off the Boucher Suite overlooks the grounds

I would love to see this view in June.

I learned later that that unbelievably comfortable feather bed is a feature in most of the rooms, as are Jacuzzis.

Additional structures on the property where guests can also opt to stay are the Cottage, which touts some of the same amenities and the Barn, which contains two separate rooms, one with a deck that overlooks a wooded stream complete with a private hammock.

Other houses where guests can stay include the Carriage House, The Annan House, The Smith House, The Witherow House, The Zepp House, The Slonaker House and the Birnie House, all with similar amenities like the ones I mentioned before. And if you're a person who would miss television on a vacation, many rooms also feature flatscreens.

Award-Winning Restaurant

Many visit the property to dine at the award-winning Smokehouse Restaurant, which has racked up its share of awards. In 2020 it was named among nine other restaurants in USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice. In 2017, it won OpenTable Diners' Choice award and in 2020 it was also awarded the Best Historic Restaurant from Historic Hotels of America.

Photos of the award-winning Smokehouse Restaurant

The staff at Antrim were very nice and another added Valentine's Day touch was when guests were served drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the parlor prior to dinner.  On each day, we could also take advantage of afternoon tea that was served along with scones in the "veranda" room.  

These are just some of the reasons why Antrim 1844 is a lovely way to spend a Valentine's Day. If you're a man reading this, perhaps you should start planning for next year. If you're a woman, you might just want to share the link to this blog.

To learn more about the history of the hotel, or the many rooms that are available, along with amenities, rates, events and more, visit their website at