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Back in July, one of the east coast's best craft brewers, Dogfish Head, opened a beer-themed hotel halfway between its brewpub in Rehoboth Beach and production brewery in Milton, DE.
With 16-rooms and a modest, motel-like exterior, the property is not going to turn any heads on its first impression. In fact, you don't really even get a sense of the "beer theme" when looking at photos. The hotel's custom offerings of bottle openers and beer soap don't make a lot of noise.
But, as it goes with beer, you really don't know what you have until you dive in and taste it. Maybe the Dogfish Head Hotel isn't the loudest aesthetically speaking, but we love the way it has chosen to go about its business. And would you believe that the thing we love most is its lack of flair or, in this case, its lack of narcissism? Can you believe that what we respect most about the Dogfish Head Hotel is that it doesn't even serve its own beer?
While driving down the highway on the way to the popular Delaware weekend destination of Rehoboth Beach, you'll end up passing a stream of Comfort Inns, Rodeway Inns and various other "Inns," but it's this one that caught our eye.
First, it was the "Best Buy on the HWY" sign that made us turn our heads, but then the faux-White House structure set just back from the highway had us intrigued. It looked like some sort of dressed up old brick apartment building, and yet it was a Golf Club as well as a hotel?
This, the Heritage Inn and Golf Club, where nightly rates starts at $129 during the summer, is a perfect example of the type of accommodation that appears every so often along the East Coast highways.
Every so often, we showcase hotel tips from readers that we think deserve a little attention. Now it's important to note that in this case, the tip was from, uh, the actual hotel owner. But! After checking the hotel out on TripAdvisor and elsewhere, we deemed it worthy of our ever-precious time — and that’s even in spite of the owner’s self-praise, in which he described the hotel’s website as “the bomb!”
So without further ado, we present Delaware’s Hotel Blue, which professes to be the tiny state’s first boutique hotel, located in beachy Lewes on the Eastern Shore, near the livelier Rehobeth Beach. From its website description, which also calls itself “a simple palette of unpretentious luxury:”
“Hotel Blue is redefining luxury in historic Lewes. "Blue" is an inspired fusion of coastal Victorian, contemporary design and first class amenities. Sixteen suites and rooms offering lush surroundings with a modern twist.”
The hotel hangs art by local artists, and “whimsy and surprise abound” throughout the hotel, from a blue-glowing sink to an ice bucket that changes hue (think lime green, hot pink) when you fill it with ice cubes. The website says each room comes stocked with a “romantic” gas fireplace, private water-view balcony, access to rooftop pool and lounge, and the all-important free wireless access (!). Guests under the age of 18 aren’t allowed, so don’t fret that the rooftop pool will be clogged with kiddie floaties.
Hotel Blue’s TA reviews are really pretty impressive, with a whopping 49 “excellent” ratings, nabbing the No. 1 ranking of six hotels in Lewes. A few highlights: “Much more style than the usual beach place with lots of space in the rooms.” “The room was spacious and felt more like a nicely furnished condo of a friend than a hotel.” “In a town filled with Victorian Homes, Hotel Blue has a modern European feel. The owners pay attention to every detail.” As usual, a few bad eggs spoil its perfect rating, but honestly, the grousers mostly sound like the usual cranky culprits always whining on TA.
Summer rates start at $250 weekdays, $275 weekends, which admittedly seems a little spendy for a beach hotel in Delaware, but we could be wrong. Have you stayed at the Hotel Blue? We’d love to hear how it went.