Staying at truly unique hotels can transport you to a different time and place, allowing you to forget the real world for a bit. Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills in Plymouth Massachusetts is a great coastal escape 45 minutes south of Boston without the hassle of battling Cape Cod traffic.
Ensconced by thick pine forest and buffeted by salty ocean breezes, Plymouth's Pine Hills are a unique topographical feature as well as the name of an ever-growing planned community. Stunningly rural despite steady development, Mirbeau Inn & Spa at the Pinehills is situated on the crest of a hill overlooking Pine Hills' village green. Its stately exterior suggests that it was built centuries ago, yet the property just opened in June 2014 after a mere 14 months of construction.
Inspired by artist Claude Monet's homestead and gardens in Giverny, France, Mirbeau's elaborate landscaping and water features invite introspection and relaxation. Architectural details like exposed rough hewn beams and an extensive system of waterfalls, streams, and ponds based on water power technology used throughout the 18th and 19th centuries in nearby cranberry bogs clearly evoke Mirbeau’s "reflected beauty".
Fireplaces, spacious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, exclusive custom-made bedding, and either a private balcony or patio are standard in all of the property’s 50 opulently-appointed guestrooms. Chances are very good that upon check-in you'll be offered fresh baked Madeleine’s and have a welcome bedside treat thanks to Pastry Chef Patrick Ford.
The inn has two distinct onsite dining options both helmed by Executive Chef Stephen Coe. “Stephen's more than 20 years of culinary experience has made an impact on New England's culinary scene not only through the kitchen, but also through agricultural advocacy and charitable works,” says General Manager Natalie Ward. Coe's freshly prepared dishes make it obvious that he's a strong advocate of sustainable agriculture. Locally seasonal produce as well as his own personally-made honey and prosciutto are featured in dishes ranging from cheese plates to signature desserts. Coe's culinary artistry has taken him to more than 100 worldwide culinary competitions, most recently landing him a top spot in A&E's World Food Competitions in Las Vegas.
Henri-Marie, Mirbeau's premier dining venue, replicates a 19th century family chapel built on the grounds of a private estate outside Paris. Physically connected to the rest of the property yet worlds apart in ambiance, Henri-Marie takes on the hushed tones of an actual chapel even in the restaurant foyer where a classic Art Deco painting, Portrait of Mrs. Allan Bott by Tamara de Lempicka sets the tone for artful culinary preparations ahead.
Under the striking simplicity of exposed beams, grand alabaster light fixtures, and Gothic windows, Coe's multi-course tasting menu at the moment is inspired by France's La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Years) that revolutionized French cuisine. Coe takes full creative license with fresh seasonal ingredients in preparing treats ranging from a gazpacho made from Parmesan foam and cucumber relish to a strawberry shortcake comprised of fennel shortbread and balsamic glazed tomatoes. Look for the menu to evolve over time to pre fixe along with a growing roster of classic entrées.
If you're not up for a multi-course extravaganza, head next door to the Bistro & Wine Bar for some more casual classics like a Bistro Steak with cream of spinach, local mushrooms and Bordeaux lacquer or spa-oriented fare like a tuna crudo made with spicy crème fraiche and pickled local seaweed. Fresh handcrafted cocktails and a wine list meticulously cultivated from small batch French and American wineries rule the beverage lineup. Morning beignets and fresh baked croissants are among the breakfast offerings of choice.
Consisting of The Manor, Guest House and the interconnected Family Chapel housing Henri-Marie Restaurant, Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills evokes the warmth, elegance and comfort modeled after an actual private countryside estate near Paris.