By Kim Cherevas | Published: October 2, 2023
Everything you’ll want to do for a long weekend:
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the historic Chimney Hill Estate Inn, and felt the magic of this special place the moment we arrived. It was quite obvious that this hidden gem in Lambertville, New Jersey was the perfect place for a much-needed retreat from the daily stresses and strains of living in New York City. Chimney Hill B&B is ideally situated for scenic drives along the Delaware River. Historic nearby towns, like Lambertville and New Hope, offer shopping, art galleries, river view vistas, wineries and casual eateries and fine dining. Our journey took just a little over two hours from the upper east side of Manhattan and as soon as we pulled into the driveway and caught our first glimpse of the main house set on a magnificent expanse of land, I knew we had made the escape from everyday life a reality.
My time at the inn was a mother-daughter retreat, but Chimney Hill Estate accommodates a wide range of guests from the tristate area and beyond. There’s everyone from couples who want to reconnect with each other on a romantic getaway, to individuals who just need to unwind as they “get back to nature” in a serene setting. The inn is available for private parties, such as intimate weddings, corporate retreats, or bachelorette weekends, to name but a few.
The Chimney Hill Estate Inn contains a range of beautifully appointed rooms, including a select number of suites with world-class amenities, all carefully designed to enable every guest the chance to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing stay. With 16 unique Guest Rooms in total, eight in the main house plus seven suites in the barn (the master suite has two bedrooms), and one in the Carriage House, there’s plenty of space to decompress for every guest. The features en suite include jetted tubs or Jacuzzis, cozy fireplaces, and convenient kitchen amenities. In two of the renovated Barn suites, there are spiral staircases leading to beds that are beyond comfortable. I was fortunate enough to secure one of those suites for our stay, and had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time, on a mattress that felt like a cloud.
The inn’s owners, Marek Wonka and Sylvester Kolakowski, are the very definition of hospitable and it’s apparent that they truly enjoy meeting new people, making real connections with the guests and the locals. What sets Chimney Hill Estate apart from other B&Bs is their pure dedication to making each guest’s experience unforgettable.
“As warm and caring innkeepers of previous centuries welcomed weary travelers at day’s end, we welcome today’s guests who seek a respite from their busy lives. Travelers wanting true Colonial-style hospitality will always find a home at Chimney Hill Estate. We create a bespoke experience for every guest…it’s important to us to ensure we reflect the generosity of spirit, helpfulness and goodwill of a bygone era. The hallmark of Chimney Hill Estate hospitality is the personalized service we provide. Our attention to even the smallest details reflects our desire to please, enabling guests to completely relax and recharge.” Says Marek Wonka.
Owner Sylvester resides at the B&B and is eager to extend a helping hand, along with the thoughtful staff, who genuinely enjoy guests’ company and cater to their needs. As first-time guests, my daughter and I felt comfortable in the knowledge that we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing throughout our stay, given the ability to reach out directly to the owners.
There are gatherings to which guests are invited to meet one another if they wish, sometimes organized but often spontaneous. Sylvester, who lives on the estate, frequently builds a roaring fire where everyone is welcome to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of good conversation around the firepit, while sharing a few bottles of wine from the excellent local wineries.
There is another part of the inn which is conducive to gathering. The old stone room located in the main house off the entranceway has been described by the owners and guests alike as magical, and with good reason. As we stepped into the room one evening after dinner, the logs were crackling softly in the old stone fireplace, there was a record on the turntable playing some forgotten, yet familiar, tune and an open bottle of one of the local Cabernets, just waiting to be poured into the lovely, stemmed glasses that were sparkling in the firelight.
Once you sink into one of the incredibly comfortable armchairs with a glass of wine in hand, the spell is cast…relaxation sets in, along with a sublime sense of belonging.
From Sylvester’s perspective, this is the alchemy that happens naturally at Chimney Hill Estate. “You’d be surprised how people open up here, come here and sit in the stone room, meet random strangers…and a couple of hours later, after a bottle or two of good wine, they’re no longer strangers…and they don’t want to leave. What was initially planned to be a one-hour gathering in this remarkable room often turns into two or three hours, or more.” -Sylvester Kolakowski,
The recently built spa amenities include a beautiful new sauna with Jacuzzis, a cold plunge, and indoor showers. The deck is a great place to relax and have a drink – whether you choose a bar stool or a lounge chair, there’s a calming overall ambiance created by the lighting.
Breakfast is one of the highlights each morning at Chimney Hill Estate. Marek and Sylvester have free-range chickens living on the estate, who produce organic fresh eggs with extremely bright orange yolks, which are both visually appealing and incredibly tasty. Breakfast is served in the pristine dining area with large windows overlooking the grounds. We loved the fresh blueberries with yogurt, followed by those delectable eggs atop sautéed spinach, cooked to perfection. There’s no hurry here, just a relaxing time sitting with a coffee enjoying the view.
For a “Sip and Stay” getaway, Marek and Sylvester have partnered with two nearby wineries, Old York Cellars in Ringoes and Angelico Winery in Lambertville, both of which offer premier treatment to guests referred by the Chimney Hill Estate. We visited Old York Cellars during our stay, and despite a bit of uncooperative weather, the chill was dispersed with a warm greeting from the manager, who showed us to the owner’s table, who we subsequently had the pleasure of meeting afterwards. For our flights, we chose some of the Favorites as well as several from the Reserve Selection. They offer tapas, cheeses, and more, along with options for two-, three-, or six-course pairings.
Marek and Sylvester shared the news that they will be hosting a transformative Quantum Playground Wellness Retreat in the spring of 2024. This exclusive level-one retreat is said to provide an immersive wellness experience, and guests will unlock their potential for holistic wellness through food, recreation, music, art, and social interaction that will revive their spirit amidst the serene beauty and stunning surroundings of Chimney Hill Estate.
They are offering new or returning guests an all-inclusive package which covers food, lodging, and thoughtfully curated wellness exercises led by industry professionals. Designed to enable attendees to connect with nature, explore wellness practices, and engage with like-minded people, Marek and Sylvester knew Quantum Playground would be an excellent fit for Chimney Hill Estate and its guests. The expertly-crafted vegan menu for this retreat will ignite the taste buds while nourishing the body. Inspiring meditation sessions will encourage mindfulness and self-realization, and those who are planning to participate are told to “Prepare to rediscover the joy within yourself.” I’d venture to say that this statement is universally applicable to everyone’s bespoke experience at the Chimney Hill Estate Inn, as it certainly was to our stay.
About Chimney Hill Estate Inn:
In 2021, Marek Wonka and Sylvester Kolakowski took ownership of the Chimney Hill Estate Inn, located in historic Lambertville, New Jersey, and the 8.5 acres of land which surrounds the historic buildings on the property. Guests can roam and explore to their heart’s content.
The original Fieldstone House and Barn were built in 1820. In 1927, Margaret Fulton Spencer, a famous architect and artist, was hired by the previous owner, a local attorney. She designed the estate home, which is where guests can still feel the enchantment of the beautiful Old Stone Room, which remains completely intact. For 43 years, (1985-2018), the property was used as an inn, though it lay dormant upon its closure – until Marek and Sylvester acquired it in 2021.
The Banquet Room at the Carriage House is available for private parties, corporate retreats, or local business networking events. To book an event, for a tour of the property, to select rooms in the main house or the barn suites, or to purchase tickets to the Quantum Wellness Retreat: Chimney Hill Estate or @bnbchimneyhill or call 609-397-1516. IG: chimneyhillestateinn