By Hope S. Philbrick
“We can’t be all things to all people,” says Wendy Gibson, who owns and operates Sandaway Suites & Beach in Oxford, Maryland, along with her husband Ken. “So we’re no dogs, no kids.”
To that we say, “21 Plus Salute!” Our highest honors are reserved for places that are truly adults-oriented. This heavenly retreat meets that baseline criteria and exceeds expectations in other ways that suggest some thoughtful considerations go into how this place is run.
By focusing on adults, the Gibsons meet needs others too often miss. Come here for peace and quiet, thoughtful amenities, and considerate services.
Here you’ll find space to sprawl out, indoors and out. There are shared rooms like the Library if you want to mingle with other guests plus plenty of hideaways if you don’t, including even a natural secluded space under a tree with branches that touch the grass in the backyard (which you may occasionally have to share with a bunny). The beach is small but sandy if you’d like to recline on a towel plus there are plenty of Adirondack chairs and sun loungers scattered across the Bay-facing lawn, too. The folks who work here rank among the world’s nicest. And they seem to have thought of everything a guest might need or want, from Wi-Fi that really works to bubble bath for long soaks in the tub.
Admittedly, I’m not always a fan of bed-and-breakfast-style accommodations. Too often they’re overloaded with knickknacks and seem to emphasize breakfast at the cost of, well, bed. “What time do you want breakfast?” is a common check-in question. How should I know? While on vacation isn’t priority No. 1 getting some better-than-usual sleep? Why would I want to set an alarm?
Sandaway Suites & Beach is a glorious exception. At check-in the breakfast conversation went something like this:
She: Do you prefer breakfast at 8:30 or 9?
Me. Let’s say 9.
She: OK. You’ll hear a knock on your exterior door and the basket will be left inside the entryway just outside your interior door.
Me: Oh, wait? I don’t have to be dressed and ready for public presentation?
She: No. We deliver breakfast to your room so that you can enjoy it in privacy at your leisure.
Me: In that case I can get it at 8:30.
She: No problem!
As promised, breakfast was delivered at 8:30, I never had to face anyone or change out of my pajamas to get it, and what a glorious healthy assortment of goodies it was! I sipped coffee and nibbled on muffins, granola, fruit and yogurt while sitting on my private screened porch, gazing out across the Bay.
Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Sandaway Suites & Beach is situated on a waterfront peninsula with views of the Tred Avon River, Choptank River, and Chesapeake Bay. The accommodations are a short stroll away from Salter’s Tap Room & Tavern which, trust us, is where you’ll want to eat lunch and dinner, perhaps for the rest of your life.
Oxford is a sleepy town where after you visit the one museum and one market, there’s not a whole lot to do…which is the point. You can sit on the shore watching sailboats, waiting for the sunset (even if it’s several hours away), and truly relax.
“A lovely place to celebrate life, love, and connect with nature.”
— Guestbook comment
1. Adults Only/Odds of Encountering Children—Strictly adults only: 21 Plus Salute! Zero kids, guaranteed.
2. Parking—Free self-parking; often your assigned space will be located just outside the door to your guestroom.
3. Clean—Clean, non-smoking property.
4. Space—Full-size closet, suitcase rack, and sufficient table-/counter-top space for your personal belongings.
5. Kitchen(ette)—A mini ‘frig is in the guestroom. A microwave is available in the Office. Guests have access to snacks and beverages at more than one location across the property.
6. Coffee/Tea—24/hour access. Specialty hot teas, cold beverages, and snacks are available in the Beach House. Hot beverages, bottled water, and snacks are offered in the Library. Breakfast baskets feature Pfefferkorn’s coffee, a Maryland roaster since 1900. Fresh-brewed Pfefferkorn’s coffee is also available each morning in the Library, along with an assortment of Keurig coffees, teas, and hot cocoa.
7. Glassware/Ice—Wine glasses and openers are available in the Library. An ice machine is located in the Lodge.
8. Tub/Shower—The private bathroom in my suite offered a clawfoot bathtub plus a separate shower. The water pressure was good.
9. Temperature—It’s possible to adjust the room temperature to suit personal preferences.
10. Linens/Mattress—Linens were in good condition and the bed was comfortable.
11. Hooks—Between the closet and towel bars, I was able to find a place for everything that I needed to hang.
12. Hair Dryer—A functional blow dryer is provided.
13. Window Treatments—Pull-down shades help darken the room and offer privacy.
14. Seating—My guestroom had a sitting area in the main room plus another sitting area on a screened porch.
15. Work-Friendly—A coffee table served as a desk and the Wi-Fi worked well. Note that I was staying at Sandaway on a work trip, but this isn’t the sort of place most people would visit to work; this is ideal for a solo retreat, girlfriends’ getaway, romantic escape…and, frankly, when romance is on the agenda, it’s best to leave the laptops at home. A full-service business center is available if needed, by appointment.
16. Outlets—Recharge with ease. In fact, the property even has charging stations for electric cars!
17. Pet-Friendly—No pets allowed. (A-OK in our minds since for some people allergy flare-ups and/or the sound of a barking dog really kills the romantic mood.)
18. Service—Staff members are friendly and helpful.
19. Pool/Hut Tub—There’s a sandy beach, which is not something to take for granted on the Chesapeake Bay.
20. On-Site Amenities—Enjoy complimentary continental breakfast delivered to your guestroom each morning of your stay. Lounge on chairs at the private beach and in the backyard overlooking the Bay. Relax on screened porches. Borrow books and board games, kayaks and paddle boards, and crab nets. Charge electric cars at complimentary charging stations. Shop at the on-site gift shop. For an extra fee, you can also rent a bike or book an in-room massage.
21. Accessibility—Some guestrooms are on the main level; discuss options that can accommodate your specific needs when making a reservation.
Sandaway Suites & Beach
103 W. Strand Rd.
Oxford MD 21654
- Sandaway Suites & Beach is a member of Select Registry.
“What a wonderful place! The peace of looking out at the view iS so calming!”
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Sandaway Suites & Beach and Talbot County, Maryland for hosting my recent visit.