28 miles from Philadelphia (40 minutes by car)
When innkeepers Ashley and Glenn Mon purchased Hamanassett in 2001, it was, they say, “in shambles.” But thanks to their loving restoration, the winsome country inn embodies all the grandeur of the 19th-century estate it once was. While you may find yourself spending most of your time in one of the romantic bedrooms (we much prefer the aristocratic Tudor and Windsor rooms to the more countrified ambience in some of the others), the seven-acre sweep of grounds and the amenities of the common areas (the piano, the port and the book collection in the living room; the posh pool table, sherry and antique board games in the billiard room), not to mention the inn’s location in the idyllic Brandywine Valley, provide no shortage of ways for you to laze away the day. Which is all you’ll want to do after the lavish three-course affair known here as breakfast.
Book it: 725 Darlington Road, 610-459-3000, hamanassett.com.
Rooms: 7, plus a 2-bedroom carriage house separate from the main house.
Rate per night: $160 to $450; generally, a 2-night minimum on weekends from April to December.
Snacks: Cookies and fresh lemonade throughout the day, plus sherry, port, and a guest pantry stocked with sodas, chips and various snacks.
Meals on-site: Breakfast. Insider tip: You could be tempted to take breakfast at local favorite Hank’s down the road in Chadds Ford, but then you’d miss out on Ashley’s lavish morning meals, which even the New York Times has heaped praise on — and rightly.
Don’t forget: Your sheet music: The piano in the living room is well cared for, so plan to play. The innkeepers will love you for it.
While away the hours: In the heart of the Brandywine Valley, there’s no shortage of day trips, from the du Ponts’ stunning Longwood Gardens and Winterthur antiques collection to the links at the handful of nearby golf courses to peaceful canoe trips on the Brandywine River, even if it is actually a creek.