In a world suffused with pervasive digital technologies, constant competition, and relentless chase of success, serenity and relaxation were what I was looking for when it came to finding a hotel for my brief summer vacation. When I came across the website of the Joseph Ambler Inn, a historic hotel with a rustic cottage style and a leisurely ambiance, I knew it was the place where I would like stay for the wealth of inner peace.
It was a 3-hour drive from where I live, Montgomery County in Maryland, to Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, where the Joseph Ambler Inn is located. The shared county name did not play a role in choosing my getaway but kept me amused.
Knowing the Inn retains the 18th century design, my daughter was little concerned whether there were TV and Internet at the hotel. While I assured her that she could still hang out with friends online and watch her favorite Food channel, I was secretly wishing we could be unplugged from electronic devices distractions and relish the family time.
The Joseph Ambler Inn was nestled at heart of North Wales borough in the suburb of Philadelphia. In contrast to the surrounding urban commercial and residential setting, the Inn was a charming retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Evolving from a farmhouse B&B in 1983, the hotel now includes five exquisite historical buildings with 52 rooms in total.
The inn was surrounded by spacious lawn with casual ornamental accessories, such as a copper cart wheel centered at perennial flowering plants, for visual interest. A split-rail fence stretched along the border of the lawn and a dirt driveway leading to cottage-like house with large multi-pane windows and doors, the front office of the inn.
Our room was in a three-story brick building named Farmhouse, which reflected the traditional B&B flavor. The building was light brown with bright crimson shutters, trim, and doors.
The first floor was a cozy hotel-owned restaurant serving complimentary breakfast and hearty lunch and dinner. Its dining area also includes a columned porch lined with red vinca rosea and an inviting pavilion extended out from the building.
The narrow greeting desk of the restaurant was next to the staircase leading to the second floor—five rooms and a lounge area adorned with couches, chairs, and console tables.. Our room was in the far right corner.
Old-fashioned stairs, along with an elegant console table and a framed antique painting in the square landing, and miniature furniture displayed on the wooden ledge, delivered a quaint sentiment and a subtle expression of reminiscence.
The room design was simple and understated, with two queen beds, a TV set, a red floral accent chair, and a chestnut pedestal desk for those who cannot completely get away from their laptops.
Photo credit：Joseph Ambler Website
We decided to take a little tour outside the hotel. The evening was gorgeous. We sauntered along the red brick path sprawling in a variety of well-trimmed landscapes and potted flowers, basking in mild sunshine and savoring fresh breeze.
A somnolent gray cat lounged on a cushioned metal bench, eyes half-closed, remaining composed as we ambled past it.
We chose to have dinner in the hotel restaurant. Sitting at a rustic table in the pavilion, we enjoyed a lovely view of the yard with an arch wood trellis at the far end. Gentle breeze chimed in the tree and sent the aroma of freshly baked bread and roasted meat our way.
The menu boasted a wide selection of dishes. We ordered Caesar Salad with Roast Chicken, Lobster Roll, and Prime Pork Flat Iron, all served in a generous portion. My favorite is Prime Pork Flat Iron, tender juicy pork tenderloin with lip-smacking apricot glaze,.garnished with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. It served with a heap of french fries and a mini tin bowl of sliced carrot and onion pickled slaw.
After dinner, we visited Doylestown, a historic town a 15-minute drive away from the Joseph Ambler Inn. The town was an eclectic blend of an old-world charm with contemporary amenities, from old-fashioned storefronts, funky boutiques and a small local movie theater, to renowned chain stores like GAP, CVS and Starbucks, and recently-built memorial to honor those who had given their lives in the Global War on Terror.
It was a short but memorable getaway, nothing exotic or adventurous, but more of a soothing experience. That was exactly what I needed.