The Tides Inn
We're looking at our calendar to schedule our return trip to The Tides Inn!
Poshbrood's party of five roadtripped for what’s usually a 3.5 hour drive from DC to Irvington, VA for our maiden visit to a Leading Hotel of the World, The Tides Inn, in mid-June. Not even random car trouble and a 2:30 am arrival would dampen the fun. The midnight shift staff members were upbeat and welcoming, a kind of laid back Chesapeake charm. They showed us to the Lancaster Suite with efficient courtesy, fold-out couches all ready for our girls.
The Tides manages to balance a friendly, truly relaxing atmosphere on an enviable waterfront property with upscale amenities, while maintaining a campy feel (ie you won’t find yourself overly concerned that your children are going to break poolside crystal vases or be paranoid that you’ll receive “additional charges” every time you step foot out of your room).
The driveway from the main entrance winds through a wide open and well maintained 9-hole family friendly golf course, with Frisbee golf targets also at each hole. Grab Frisbees or a set of (very nice) golf clubs by the main lobby and go. No paperwork, no extra charge, no fuss.
Help yourself to a bike while you’re at it (a wide selection from training wheels to adult). Explore the grounds and sweet little Irvington, an artsy town. Spot the 30’ corkscrews that mark the nearby winery, the owners’ creative response to Irvington’s strict ordinance pertaining to commercial signage.
The onsite “Crab Net Kids” (for ages 4-12) entertained our three children from 12-3:30pm, allowing mama a massage at the spa, and dad some nap time after the early am arrival. The staff actually taught our kids how to go crabbing. They loved it! Plenty of other fun activities abound. Tennis courts (2 clay, 2 hard surface), basketball court, hidden swings in the grand trees off the golf course. And the POOL.
The waterside pool has surrounding lounge chairs and The Pool Grille, a casual restaurant with open water views. Don’t miss The Tides signature lemonade (adult or child versions). The pier and small beach are a nice spot for strolls, lounging, and s’mores each night at 8pm at the fire pit. There are movie nights and bingo games with milk and cookies in the evning. Hop the shuttle boat for a quick ride across the creek to explore the old Tides restaurant property and the saltwater pool. The friendly captain will teach your children “always to ask permission to come aboard a boat,” and he’ll tour you around a little until he sees more passengers dockside looking for a ride.
The Tides marina offers complimentary canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. It’s not far to the mouth of the Chesapeake. For a fee, try the 2 pm guided motor boat tour of the creek. Next to the marina there are also several boat tour offerings, customizable to meet your needs. There’s even a top notch sailing school on site, offering lessons for children and adults, and sailboat rental. We met several families who were there to relax and enjoy the area and resort while the children went to sailing school. Rave reviews all around!
If you are super Posh and have your own boat, you can sail or yacht to The Tides Inn and rent a slip at the Marina while enjoying the resorts' amenities. We had a wonderful time admiring the beautiful boats that were moored in the marina.
Cute boutiques are by the main restaurant, The Chesapeake Club. It offers fine dining inside or on the terrace by the well manicured croquet course, all overlooking the expansive creek out to the Bay. For a 5-star resort, the prices are extremely reasonable and they have a great kid's menu.
The nearby spa and fitness center are also well equipped. The massages at The Spa were absolutely excellent.
The General Manager, Gordon Slatford, kindly gave us a ride 40 miles away to where our car had been towed and repaired. What a Poshbrood perk! Originally from Britain, Gordon's crusade is to make the term “tickety boo” ubiquitous. As we enjoyed breakfast on the terrace, his staff unfolded the white chairs for an afternoon wedding on the hilltop. He ensured the chairs were lined up perfectly, all “tickety boo.”
The Tides Inn has felt the pinch of the economic downturn, as have so many resorts, especially ones that are off the beaten track. You’ll notice parts of the resort that need some sprucing up. But it’s got “good bones," the perfect location and a fabulous attitude. The relaxed atmosphere and wide variety of activities have me checking my calendar for our soonest possible return.
No fuss, just right. The Tides Inn for families! Tickety boo!
Room rates begin at $170/night for double room. $23 resort fee per day. Some pets accepted in specific rooms. Check website for special offers and money saving family packages.