Bed-and-Breakfast Guide: Lewes

Caribbean influences invade The Blue Water House.

The Blue Water House | 407 E. Market St., Lewes, 645-7832,

The Blue Water House is not a traditional bed-and-breakfast. With rooms named for Hemingway and Key West, wood carvings and fountains, Blue Water is modeled after a Caribbean inn.

Peace, pampering and comfort is the mantra at this retreat. Blue Water, just two blocks from Lewes Beach, is the anti-Victorian. It’s casual and fun, not formal, as demonstrated by its brightly colored walls and assortment of whimsical sculptures and paintings. “If you don’t like color and you don’t like art, you’re not going to like my place,” says owner Rick Quill.

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Each of the nine oversized rooms includes a private bath, a flat-screen TV with cable and wireless Internet access. Private terraces around upper-level rooms are ideal for reading the paper over breakfast, which is served daily. An open-air patio is a great spot for gatherings. The rooftop lookout is the perfect perch to catch a panoramic view of historic Lewes, including its lighthouses. The friendly staff is more than willing to help, but remains at a respectful distance. “The guests are what make us,” says Quill. “We get the best guests imaginable. But they’re not coming to see Rick. They’re coming to see Lewes.”

The John Penrose Virden House B&B | 217 Second St., Lewes, 644-0217, 644-4401,

Jim and Ruth Edwards’ 19th-century home offers authentic Victorian decor but also boasts modern amenities like private baths, a large TV room and air conditioning. In the 15 years since they purchased the house, the Edwardses have furnished it with antique furniture, some pieces three centuries old, and have also perfected the art of the gourmet breakfast. 

Their varied, multi-course breakfast is served daily on the covered porch, and guests sit on the only outdoor furniture permitted for a true period mansion—wicker chairs. “We bought the porch,” says Jim, jokingly. “The house was attached, and the B&B came with it.” After breakfast outside, guests can walk across the street to check out the oldest house in Delaware, and then wander the shops, boutiques and great restaurants found in historic Lewes.

The B&B also boasts a ballroom, parlor, patio and garden, all for the enjoyment of guests. Artists who come to town to perform for Coastal Concerts productions frequent the B&B’s three spacious rooms, which retain the original 10- and 11-foot-high ceilings. The Edwardses enjoy showing guests the historic beauty of their 126-year-old house. “We love sharing it,” says Jim.

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