Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Country Inns: Morrison House

The decade-old Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia, evokes the refined elegance of 18th-century America.

Before the first brick of the Morrison House was laid in 1985, innkeeper Robert Morrison consulted a historian at the Smithsonian to help him design a hotel that could proudly take its place alongside Alexandria's many late-18th-century town houses. The result is a comfortable 45-room inn constructed with ornate woodwork and molding, decorative fireplaces, and fanlight windows.

The innkeeper's attention to detail is also made evident in the establishment's amenities, which include butler service, formal dining, and furnishings modeled after antiques from the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

Stately Appeal

From the outside the Morrison House looks like any of the late-18th-century town houses that line the historic streets of Alexandria. Built in 1985, the 45-room house was constructed with strict attention to historical detailing, both inside and out.

The front entrance is enhanced by a brick courtyard, winding staircase, and stately portico. The yellow flag, emblazoned with a roaring lion, is symbolic of a Scottish clan and honors Alexandria's earliest settlers.

Old-fashioned Elegance

The Winterthur Museum in Delaware served as a historic resource for many of the furnishings and accessories incorporated into guest rooms and public areas alike.

In this room, a reed-carved four poster bed, spacious armoire, and comfortable upholstered seating clearly reflect the personal pampering that guests can expect while staying at the inn.

Two for Tea

Scones, petits fours, and other homemade delectables provide an irresistible enticement for guests attending afternoon tea, a daily ritual held in the parlor of the Morrison House.

Like the well-appointed guestrooms, the public areas of the inn continue to reflect the refined elegance of historic Virginia. Federal and Georgian-style furnishings, rich wood tones, and elegant fabrics add classic style to each of the rooms.

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