The historic 1912 Royster building in Norfolk, Virginia, is now home to Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, which features elegant ironwork, intricate crown molding, and more than 100 works of glass art by prominent artists such as Dale Chihuly and Nancy Callan throughout the hotel and its adjacent gallery. Acclaimed Dutch sculptor Peter Bremers is the creator of the larger-than-life glass rabbits that reside on the hotel’s first floor, including a dapper pearl-colored bunny by the front desk, and a resplendent-in-pink bunny overlooking the restaurant and bar. Additional works on other floors include a chair made of bricks titled “Impossible Is Only an Opinion.”
The art is courtesy of arts patrons Doug and Pat Perry, whose son Chris Perry is the hotel’s developer and CEO. With the opening of Glass Light, Norfolk now boasts one of the world’s largest concentrations of free, public glass art when you also factor in works in the city’s Chrysler Museum of Art, Barry Art Museum and other galleries.
The hotel takes its inspiration from Pat Perry’s nickname, “Bunny”—a nod to the children’s book Pat the Bunny, which she loved to read to her kids, and to the name her grandchildren now call her. Each guest room includes a small glass carrot and a coffee-table-style book that details the Perrys’ art collection. The 113 guest rooms and suites also feature spun glass basin sinks, rocking chairs and vintage Frigidaire mini refrigerators.
The hotel’s restaurant, created with a Michelin-starred French chef, serves seasonal cuisine and small plates, including a winning dish of crispy octopus and beef carpaccio.
If you’re visiting during holiday season, plan to walk through Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Dominion Energy Garden of Lights (nbglights.org). This year’s 1-mile route, featuring more than a million lights, includes symbols from the four seasons, dancing winter bears, Santa and his reindeer, and more. The season runs from Nov. 12 to Jan. 2.
Hotel rates in November begin at $219 per night. Self-parking is $19. A “Will you accept this rose?” package includes a glass rose and a bottle of champagne.
Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, 201 Granby St., Norfolk, Virginia, 757-222-3033, glasslighthotel.com
The new Inn at Leonardtown, in historic St. Mary’s County, Maryland, opened in June, giving visitors a perfect home base from which to walk and explore sites such as the Leonardtown Wharf (a waterfront park with an impressive rose compass in brick), the Old Jail Museum and Leonardtown Square’s galleries, shops and restaurants. Check visitleonardtownmd.com/events for up-to-date information on First Friday art events, the holiday tree lighting and visits with Santa. Shepherd’s Old Field Market, a short walk away, is home to several unique shops, as well as the Brudergarten Beer Garden and delicious coffee drinks, sandwiches and salads at Botanic Cafe.
When it’s time to relax, enjoy one of the inn’s 41 contemporary-styled guest rooms, each with a mini-fridge, microwave, Keurig coffee maker and 55-inch TV. The large Executive Suite also includes a sofa bed and kitchenette. Breakfast—yogurt, waffles, bagels, muffins and breakfast sandwiches—is included. Rates begin at $119.
The Inn at Leonardtown, Ascend Hotel Collection, 41655 Park Ave., Leonardtown, Maryland, 301-475-0187, choicehotels.com/maryland/leonardtown/ascend-hotels/md248
Escape for a romantic retreat to River House at Odette’s, located along the Delaware River in artsy New Hope, Pennsylvania. Opened in September 2020, the boutique hotel takes its design cues from the building’s previous life as Chez Odette, a boisterous cabaret that was a hub of New Hope’s nightlife for decades and was owned by French-American actress and Ziegfield Follies dancer Odette Myrtil. Public spaces feature a mix of bold murals, plush fabrics, leather sofas and vintage lighting. The 36 guest rooms and suites include Frette sheets and robes, and a Keurig machine with coffee from Philadelphia’s Ellis Coffee roasters. Many rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to a private veranda.
Live music (ranging from electric violin to piano and acoustic guitar) is available nightly and during Saturday and Sunday brunch. Odette’s Restaurant has a beautiful stone fireplace, indoor and outdoor seating, and an eclectic menu of seasonally inspired cuisine, such as the popular blackberry glazed duck breast. Don’t miss the signature cocktail, “The Double Kiss,” made with sparkling Brut crémant, Aviation dry gin and a lemon twist.
Rates begin at $349, plus $20 valet parking. Registered hotel guests have complimentary access to Roof, the exclusive, members-only rooftop bar and lounge (reservations recommended as it tends to book up).
River House at Odette’s, 274 River Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 215-682-2022, riverhousenewhope.com