Several weekends ago, my sister Lindsey and I checked into Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel for an amazing winter retreat, and I am excited to share about our trip with you today. Located just an hour away from Washington, DC in Columbia, Maryland, the beautiful property overlooks Lake Kittamaqundi — Merriweather Lakehouse was kind enough to host us for a wonderful weekend, but as always, opinions are my own.
One thing that stands out about this hotel from the moment you check-in is that it is immersed in tranquility — there are floor-to-ceiling windows on the lobby level offering stunning views of the lake and our room had a wonderful balcony. We also spent a lot of time walking on the miles of Columbia Trails around the lake and beyond — it truly felt like we left the hustle and bustle of our daily lives behind. There is something about nature that is so restorative!
In addition to being a great destination for a staycation, it’s also a fantastic option if you want to check out a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion given it’s just a few blocks away, allowing you to avoid the post-show parking lot chaos and enjoy a short walk home. (Fun fact, I saw my first Taylor Swift concert there as a high school senior in 2009!) Plus, if you’re a foodie like me, you’re in for a treat — Merriweather Lakehouse has great on-site dining — more on that below! — and lots of great restaurants within walking distance.
THE ROOMS & AMENITIES —
Our room at Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel was so comfortable and very spacious. We had two queen beds, and unlike in some hotels, we both had enough room to spread out and unpack. The bathroom was also stunning, with beautiful blue tile from floor to ceiling, ample water pressure, and high-end bath products. But the best part of our room was actually right outside of it — the balcony! Overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi, it had two comfortable patio chairs and on our trip, we were lucky enough to enjoy milder weather so we were able to enjoy a glass of wine out there one evening. It was also so lovely to wake up to views of the light dancing so beautifully over the lake.
The property also boasts a beautiful lobby with ample seating, a seasonal pool on the roof — it would be a dream in the summer, a 24-hour fitness center complete with Peloton bikes, and direct access to all the amazing trails around the lake.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK —
On our first night at Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel, we grabbed two bar seats at Rookery Bar & Lounge just off the hotel lobby. It serves up locally crafted brews, specialty seasonal cocktails, and all your favorite bar classics. We both loved the fried chicken sandwich and fries! The other thing I’ll note about Rookery is that it was a really fun atmosphere — it was a Friday night and it was packed! I feel like sometimes you go to hotel bars and it’s a sad selection of food and drink with no character, and this was the opposite of that.
For your coffee fix each morning, the Osprey Cafe right off the main lobby serves up house-made pastries and Lavazza coffee, alongside some pre-packaged options like yogurt, sodas, and snacks you can grab for your day ahead.
The highlight of our trip, though, dinner at Lāk, which under the culinary direction of Zachary Dollak serves up classic American tastes emphasizing an upscale dining experience. Closely partnering with Columbia’s local farm culture, Lāk’s culinary team prepares dishes from-scratch, concocting fresh, seasonal creations to satisfy every palate. Overlooking the Lake, the dining experience is memorably distinctive for locals and hotel guests alike.
We ate at Lāk the weekend before Valentine’s Day and had an amazing five-course meal experience. Everything was delicious and I certainly did not leave hungry. We started out with a small bite of winter citrus and crab mousse with Old Bay Shrimp, followed by the crab martini and beef tenderloin shortcake as our shared appetizers. I then did the house salad and the filet and mashed potatoes — by the time the latter came around, I was already stuffed! We capped off our meal with the citrus almond cake and the warm apple crisp — both were great, but the later was heavenly.
WHAT TO DO —
In addition to being the perfect place to relax, Merriweather Lakehouse also offers so many great activities! One of the highlights of our trip was the evening we spent at The Pearl Spa, a 27,000 wellness retreat just steps away from Merriweather Lakehouse that features a day spa, modern meditation room, multiple mindful movement studios, and thermal Healing Waters. We were treated to the one-hour Healing Waters experience and it was unlike anything I’ve ever done before! There was an amazing therapeutic hot tub, a cold plunge, a eucalyptus steam room, a Vitamin C rainforest shower, a sauna, and a full-sized heated pool. Each experience was curated to receive pain, reduce stress, and restore the body. We loved it and felt so refreshed afterwards.
We also were treated to a private tour of Merriweather Post Pavilion, which was so cool! We learned so much about this legendary venue’s history, received a backstage tour of the artist dressing rooms (there’s an outdoor pool!), and were able to walk out onto the stage. If you’ve never been Merriweather Post Pavilion is one of my favorite places to catch a concert in the summer — and they have some amazing artists on the lineup for 2023 including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, The Chicks, Jason Aldean, and more.
Lastly, one of our favorite parts about our stay at Merriweather Lakehouse were all the beautiful walking trails located around the property. We walked 17,000 steps the Saturday during our stay, and had so much fun taking in the scenery — and saying hello to all the Geese that call this beautiful spot home.
Thanks so much to Merriweather Lakehouse Hotel for hosting me and Lindsey for the weekend! We loved our lakeside retreat, and hope to return this summer for a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. As always, opinions are my own.