Boutique Birthday Getaway

It’s always fun to surprise someone and have it work out.

Last year this time, my husband and I were in Panama for a planned trip for his 50th birthday. I was just looking at those photos the other day on my new S-digital frame. (There are about 5 years of unedited photos to add and this way I can finally enjoy looking at them without the angst and time-I-don’t-have to edit them yet I can organize them in folders on the frame and play just what I want to see. Best Christmas present ever!) We were lucky to take this trip via Jetsetter’s fabulous package deal. Low and behold, Jetsetter strikes again!

I was reviewing yet another never-gonna-buy-from-Gilt email and thinking I really need to unsubscribe from this, when I saw the Jetsetter deal for the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, VA. We’ve been wanting to stay at this hotel (and I’ve posted about it previously on Slipcovers for your Walls, casartblog) but the rates and busy schedules have prevented us from doing so, and it just happens to be right down the street from us. We frequent their restaurants and their gourmet deli all the time, however. I couldn’t resist; I purchased the deal, sent them a message explaining we were their neighbors and this was a surprise getaway for Peter for his birthday. We arrived and they obviously had not read the “special instructions” comment box. “Oh well, the stay will be luxurious enough,” I thought. The interior design is done by Vincent Wolf and it has a very calming-contemporary, zen-like, spa feel.

I love the open surface, barn-type-track, glass doors for the bathroom and shower and the mirror is exactly what I’ve been looking for with a low profile for our own bathroom. Fortunately, I can purchase some of the Kimpton Style décor items through their website, where I will definitely be shopping soon…

Art Is Everywhere_Lorien Hotel



I’ve been wishing for this desk chair to replace the one in my office for years….


We started out our evening not at the hotel because their bar wasn’t open at check in time. We have recently discovered the Odd Bar in Clarendon and headed there — great vieux carré drinks, food and music, where we aren’t necessarily the oldest ones in the establishment.

Odd-bar_via thrillist on AIE

Upon returning this is what we experienced. We decided to cap off our night in the Lorien’s courtyard with hot mint juleps around their cozy firepit. This just makes me want to get a permanent firepit but we can always go to our neighbors anytime, the front desk assured us.
Don’t you just love the clever use of mirrors to enlarge the space? This is an idea I’ve always wanted to do in my own garden but don’t have the space to even try.


When we got back to the room, there was a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries waiting for us! I guess someone did read the memo…

We like their restaurant Brabo but haven’t eaten breakfast here, so we decided to give it a go. It was delicious but I am literally intrigued with their menu — at least the backside of it — metallic and cork. What a gorgeous combo of attractive opposites. I’d like to try to do this as a Casart wallcovering….gets me thinking.


Art Is Everywhere_Lorien Hotel

Finally, since we didn’t get to relax in their library, I thought I’d take a picture for its design aspect, all wrapped up in white. The only thing is, how do you remember where the book is that you want to read? 😉


What a great birthday getaway practically in our backyard.

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