There’s something almost magically restorative about trading business casual for a cozy robe and slippers, hanging a Do Not Disturb sign and settling into a beautifully appointed suite that’s free from the everyday messiness of your own life. And if the hospitality is top-notch, you don’t even have to travel far to feel transported. Such is the case at Lexington’s Inn at Hastings Park, a new boutique hotel a half-hour from Boston that may as well be a world away for the staycationer, especially once you curl up in front of your fireplace, perhaps after an in-room massage or a call to room service for a split of Schramsberg blanc de blancs—a favorite at the White House.
“I like to say, if it’s good enough for our guests, it’s good enough for the White House,” jokes owner Trisha Pérez Kennealy, a Harvard Business School grad who left a career in investment banking to attend Le Cordon Bleu and launch her catering company, Artistry. Then, last February, she opened the inn, aiming to offer “revolutionary hospitality” just a stone’s throw from the Lexington Battle Green, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. So it’s fitting that a subtle, sleek take on Americana runs through the decor, from the cheery wallpaper that greets you in the entrance—a modern spin on 19th-century silhouette portraiture—to the red-white-and-blue color scheme seen in some of the 22 guest rooms and suites. But the effect is far from shticky or old-fashioned: One expansive suite decked out in tufted leather, mirrored surfaces and black wallpaper studded with silver stars feels like a better fit for a (tasteful) rock star than a founding father.
Decorated by Lexington interior designer Robin Gannon, the accommodations start at $275 nightly and stretch through three restored buildings: the Main House, built in 1888; the Isaac Mulliken House, named for the 19th-century politician who called it home; and the Barn, said to have once housed a casket factory. Each room is a bit different, but all are bright, airy and furnished with regional finds—blankets woven in Maine, colorful candelabras from Connecticut’s Dunes and Duchess—along with modern comforts like swiveling flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and showers equipped with both rainfall and handheld showerheads. It’s the sort of setting where you’re not surprised to see the toilet paper twirled into an artful rosette. (No mere triangle fold here!)
Tempting as it may be to hole up in your room, a visit to the inn’s 54-seat restaurant, Artistry on the Green, is a must. Pull up one of the Windsor chairs and start with a locally brewed beer from Nightshift, Battle Road or Cambridge Brewing Company, or perhaps a cocktail like the Apothecary’s Remedy, made with Rebellion bourbon, rhubarb syrup, ginger beer, orange blossom water and bitters. Try not to fill up on the toothsome carbs from tiny Lexington bakery Bread Obsession, as you’ll want room for the farm-to-fork fare of chef Mathew Molloy. An alum of Lumière and Beacon Hill Bistro, he makes a mean clam chowder with New England quahogs and salt pork, turns out tender wine-braised short ribs with piquant horseradish mashed potatoes, and serves a hearty poached-egg-topped polenta with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms that will leave vegetarians as satisfied as the omnivores across the table. The restaurant also offers a complimentary a la carte breakfast, with offerings like vanilla pancakes with orange butter and Massachusetts maple syrup.
Before or after your meal, you may opt to lounge in the neighboring first-floor library, where you can tickle the ivories on the piano or dip into classics ranging from Dr. Seuss to Walden. Speaking of Thoreau’s tome, Walden Pond is just a 10-minute drive away, and there are plenty of other sights in the area. Cyclists, joggers and cross-country skiers can avail themselves of the Minuteman Bikeway, a scenic 11-mile trail along a former railway that cuts through Lexington, Arlington, Bedford and Cambridge; just ask the front desk if you care to borrow a bicycle. And within walking distance of the inn are Buckman Tavern, where the militia gathered (and presumably found some liquid courage) on April 19, 1775, and Munroe Tavern, the Redcoats’ respective HQ, both of which are open for audio tours from April through November.
There’s more history to be had at the nearby Concord Museum, home to a collection that includes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study and the signal light from Paul Revere’s famed midnight ride, along with special exhibitions like Behind Closed Doors: Asleep in New England. On view through spring, it’s a look at the varied ways we’ve gotten shut-eye over the centuries, featuring all manner of nightclothes, coverlets and cradles (for adults as well as infants). After perusing those artifacts, you may be all the more appreciative when you snuggle back into the plush bedding at the inn, where Kennealy, true to form, tested more than 20 mattresses, Goldilocks-style, to find just the right one.
-The in-laws are coming, the in-laws are coming! Have no fear: The inn is offering an “Outlaws” package with a fourth night free and an automatic room upgrade for your holiday visitors.
The Inn at Hastings Park 2027 Mass. Ave., Lexington (781-301-6660) innathastingspark.com