Get Away: Swanendele Inn

Worldly furnishings make this St. Mary’s County, Maryland property one-of-a-kind.

Photo by Ron Bailey

Set amid towering pines alongside a wide creek that spills into the Chesapeake Bay, Swanendele Inn offers water views from several porches and rooms. Opened last June in Ridge, Maryland, in St. Mary’s County, the inn’s seven guest rooms and suites each have a gas fireplace, books (including many on Maryland history) and art collected by two of the owners during their travels. Dutch-born Gerald Meyerman, formerly a senior official at the World Bank, and his wife, Victoria O’Hara, a longtime journalist and former NPR correspondent and senior editor, are happy to give guests a tour and share the stories behind the inn’s art collection and furnishings, which include a 1700s Catholic church bench from Quebec province, lovely embroidered cushions from Afghanistan, and numerous paintings and pieces from Ecuador, Russia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and other countries. Meyerman and O’Hara run the inn along with Miguel Gavilanez.

The property’s shared spaces include a great room with a two-story stone fireplace in the center, and an oversize upper porch overlooking the water. The Margaret Brent Suite has comfortable butter-yellow chairs, a stone-surround gas fireplace, a luxurious bathroom with a two-person hydrotherapy massage tub, and a private deck where you can watch the sun rise over the bay while listening to a symphony of caws and chirps.

Winter rates begin at $210, full breakfast included.

Swanendele Inn, 49946 Airedele Road, Ridge, Maryland; 301-576-9910;

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Categories: Travel