The Garden Bath

"There are few ills that being shampooed by moonlight can't cure" - National Geographic Traveler – commenting on an evening experience in our outdoor garden bath

We are the only hotel in the Mid Atlantic; and, possibly beyond, which offers a uniquely romantic experience – a garden bath experience for all guests to enjoy. A small, winding path leads to the most wonderful of outdoor shower, complete with claw foot tub and sink in a totally private setting. The elaborate showering apparatus came by way of The Breakers in Palm Beach, circa 1942.

The privately fenced garden bath at our Irvington hotel is tucked away among verdant shrubs to provide secluded privacy. The very meandering of the serpentine brick walk slows the pace and sets the first tone of relaxation. The air is filled with the sweet smell of colorful chameleon plant (Houttuynia) and lavender (prized by the French perfume industry for its heavy oil production). There’s even a moon garden which is in peak bloom and fragrance in the evening, just in time for late night picnic and assignations.

“Water cools the body and floating refreshes and calms the spirit in an almost primordial way.”

“Musing upon the Hope and Glory founder’s words “we’re on this earth about a minute and a half, and I want joy. I want to feel good about our collective lot in life," travel writer Michael McCarthy says. “Such thoughts are hard to resist as my wife and I soak in warm suds in a claw-foot outdoor bathtub, which is part of Hope and Glory’s open-air shower, cloistered by an eight foot fence and a huddle of old maples. We stare at a sweet crescent moon and listen to Ella Fitzgerald tunes that drift from the main house. The hideaway is about the size of a couple of tool sheds, with retro sinks, antique mirrors and a 1950s era shower that sports a head the size of a hubcap. Divine accents include candles, strings of white lights draped across the fences and the whiff of honeysuckle. Bathing under the stars is primal, a reminder to our bodies that they are, in fact, cousins of the chickweeds that climb from underneath the tub (okay, distant cousins). Just when I’m about to quote Whitman, I notice two yellow rubber ducks standing guard on a shelf to our left. Unblinking with painted grins, they’re begging to dive into our party. Only those without Hope and Glory could say no.”

Hope and Glory Tradition: "The night before their weddings, the brides are 'required' to enjoy a candlelit bubble bath under the stars with a bottle of champagne.” - Virginia Living magazine’s Velvet Touch at the Hope and Glory

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