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Volume 16, Issue 51 - December 18 - December 24, 2008
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Room at the Inn

Bay Weekly’s guide to bed — and often breakfast — for shepherds and inaugural visitors

 by Margaret Tearman


Wandering shepherds and other visitors will need local knowledge to find a place to stay for Barack Obama’s inauguration as the nation’s 44th president.

            Don’t bother looking for hotels within a 60-mile radius of the nation’s capital.

            Not even in Calvert County.

            The nice man at the Prince Frederick Holiday Inn was in the holiday spirit. He gave a hearty ho ho ho when asked if there was any room at the inn January 20.

            In Solomon’s Island, the Holiday Inn has been booked “for months,” said the clerk at the reservation desk. “No m’am,” the woman said. “No rooms. Not for any price.”

            I figured the national chain hotels were too obvious: Everyone would know about them. Maybe not our local secrets: the Inn at Herrington Harbour, The Inn at Pirates Cove and Chesapeake Resort and Spa.

            Sold out.

            Moving north toward Annapolis, I hoped for better luck.

            The Historic Inns of Annapolis were full — all of ’em.

            The Annapolis Marriott web site advertises a special inauguration package: three nights at $699 per night. Yes, that is per night.

            So much for the recession. Those rooms are sold out.

            Amos at Westin Annapolis gave me the same line: Sold out. But I saw a glimmer of hope when he asked if I was flexible.

            How flexible, I wondered? If he meant would I sleep in the laundry room, no, not so flexible.

            No, Amos laughed, their laundry room was already booked. But, he thought he might be able to find me a room in Wilmington, Delaware.

            I thanked him for his time.

            The lady working the reservation line for Doubletree and Hilton Inns confirmed what the news has been saying for weeks: No vacancy from Baltimore south to Richmond.

            Then she paused. She found one room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Baltimore at the bargain price of $489 per night. The two-night minimum would be charged to my credit card immediately with no refund for any reason. With taxes and surcharges, the cost would top $1,000 for two nights.

            This got me thinking. We have a nice new barn, still fairly clean. We could rent some foldaway beds, gather sleeping bags, extra blankets and, voila! We have room at our inn. For a price, I’d even throw in hot coffee and orange juice.

            Inaugural visitors can still book bed and breakfast with more amenities than at Margaret’s Barn B&B.

            In Annapolis, there are a few beds to be found at Chez Amis B&B, where they’ll top my offer of coffee and OJ with complimentary beer and wine.

            There’s room for the family in Port Republic, 45 miles south of the Capitol Mall: Bay Cottages still have two-bedroom cottages, with kitchens, to rent.

            In Solomon’s Island, the Blue Heron, Back Creek Inn and Victorian Inn all have rooms available, with a three-night minimum stay for the inauguration.

            So there’s still room at the inn — at least for the shepherds. Their sheep will have to rough it.


© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.