Turns out that the middle of October is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Wilmington, Delaware. My boyfriend, Johnny, and I recently spent a weekend there and were in awe at the accommodations, activities, and food that we enjoyed throughout the weekend. It’s located about a half an hour outside of Philadelphia so it made for the perfect weekend trip.
It was such a great mix of activity and relaxation. And we seriously couldn’t recommend it more. We’ve already raved about it to all of our friends and family, so it was only fair that I came on here and shared it with YOU as well! Keep scrolling and enjoy. ????
WHERE WE STAYED
This hotel is rich in history, tradition, and early 1900’s glamour. I was in awe as soon as I stepped into the lobby. It’s a 12-story Italian Renaissance-styled building that made it’s debut in 1913, after being built by French and Italian craftsmen for over two and a half years… which shows. There are multiple ballrooms, with unbelievably intricate molding and stunning ceilings. A few specialty dining options (hello afternoon tea and The Green Room Bar!), and plenty of room to sit and take it all in. After opening, Hotel Du Pont soon became the spot to BE for socialites and financiers, and hosted them with its grand yet warm appeal. Today, it’s elegance and sophistication remain very much present. And it welcomes you in with a taste of the nostalgic era that was so glamorous and full of life!
We were honored to be staying in one of their luxury suites, that had it’s own dining area, sitting area, bedroom, and one and a half baths. For instance, it would be the perfect space for a bride, and a romantic weekend. Or just an occasion when you really want to treat yourself. ???? We were blown away with how gorgeous the room was (especially the bathroom, OMG). Moreover, the service of the hotel employees throughout our stay was outstanding. From the people managing the front desk to our waiter in the Green Room, we were consistently blown away by how lovely and hospitable everyone was. It really was like stepping back in time, when chivalry and service was at the forefront of every interaction!
Aside from the history, the accommodations, and the service, we also enjoyed the hotel’s close proximity to a variety of fun things to see and do and the delicious dining options as well…
WHAT WE DID
We arrived at the HOTEL DU PONT on a Friday evening and woke up on Saturday morning to order some room service to eat while we got ready. Then, we headed out to tour the Nemours Mansion and gardens. I would especially recommend this as an activity when staying at the HOTEL DUPONT, because of the mansion’s tie to the DuPont family– Alfred I DuPont built the estate for his second wife in 1910.
It’s about a ten minute drive from the Hotel DuPont. And you park at the visitor’s center where you purchase a day pass (it’s $18 for an adult). Then, you walk along the corridor of the visitor’s center (along which is a timeline that shares the history of the family and the mansion), before getting on a shuttle that drives you for about five minutes through the gardens and up to the mansion.
That’s when it really gets good. The estate entails of a 77-room mansion and the largest formal French gardens in North America. I still cannot believe I didn’t know about it before this trip! It’s pristine. Impeccably cared for, and well worth the visit. We did a self-guided tour throughout the mansion (you can also opt to go on a free guided tour) and explored the gardens (those pink mums!), the elaborate living spaces (the sun room was my favorite!) and the vast basement (with an antique bowling alley!). It really is a magnificent place that makes you feel like you’re in the French Countryside. Such a beautiful spot for pictures too!
After we were finished touring the Nemours Mansion and gardens, I changed into my workout clothes the car (one of my best skills as a blogger ????) and drove about ten minutes to the Brandywine Creek State Park visitor’s center. There we popped inside and spoke to the kind woman who was at the front desk, who helped us decide which hiking trail we wanted to do, along with how exactly to read the map (Johnny had no problem with this of course, but there was one point in our conversation where I called the river a “lake” and it got awkward for a second… ????). So then we were off! This probably ended up being my favorite part of the day (besides our time at dinner that night!) because of how serene and gorgeous the scenery was.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, fall really is such a beautiful time to visit this area. Above all, we saw that firsthand during our walk. It was a very easy and manageable three mile walk. Further, with plenty of views of the *river* and fall foliage.
We got the recommendation to do the hike from Four Day Weekend, which curates destination guides and custom itineraries for long weekends or trips. I’ll be sharing a separate blog post all about them soon, but wanted to give credit where it was due now! I was so thankful for the recommendation, especially since it ended up being my favorite part of our daytime.
WHERE WE ATE
After we toured the Nemours Mansion and then hiked in Brandywine Creek State Park, we went back to the hotel (along with the hotel, there are a number of restaurants and office spaces also located within the DUPONT building) where we immediately went to DE.CO, which is a contemporary food hall that has eight mini restaurants (or “stalls”) in it, along with a big bar. Each stall serves a different type of food and it’s all made fresh and served there. Everything from sushi to tacos to chicken and waffles!
I couldn’t get enough of how vibrant and cute the whole place was. In addition, I heard it recently opened and the newness/cleanliness definitely showed! Johnny and I ended up splitting a tuna poke bowl and a wood fired pizza from Pizzeria Bardea, and ate both entirely. SO delicious and such a fun, fast, and casual spot to grab a bite, without even leaving the DUPONT building.
On Saturday evening we had reservations at The Green Room, and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into… in the best way possible. As soon as you step into the Green Room, your breath catches a little bit as you take it all in. There are elaborate chandeliers, rich (yes, green) carpet, and even a piano up on a balcony overlooking the room. Later on, we would learn that the Prince Rainier of Monaco proposed to Grace Kelly in the Green Room and that Amelia Earhart had dined there (among many other famous people throughout the years!).
We sat at a circular table, surrounded by two huge cushioned chairs. And we took in the view of the whole room throughout our dinner. Oh, the dinner. We had the sweetest waiter who had worked there for the past 31 years. He never found a restaurant that was worth leaving the Green Room for. As you can imagine, he was very knowledgeable about their dining offerings and guided us toward all of our culinary choices. Foie gras, crab cake, butternut squash risotto, ribeye, whipped potatoes, steamed local asparagus… heavenly.
The dessert, however, was the grand finale. We tried the bananas foster, which our waiter made for us tableside. I don’t even know if I’ve tried a more delicious dessert before. It’s called the “BFF” and entails bananas flambéd with brown sugar, butter, and rum and spices, served over vanilla ice cream. I’ll leave you with that!
On both Saturday and Sunday morning we ordered room service and thoroughly enjoyed it. On Saturday morning I got fresh fruit but on Sunday morning I really indulged. I got the french toast stuffed with cinnamon cream cheese. That’s right. Let me tell you– it was divine and is so worth ordering when you’re there! As everything is at the HOTEL DU PONT, the room service setup was elaborate and beautiful. Not a single detail missed!
If you find yourself craving an indulgent weekend getaway anytime soon, that’s full of elegance and relaxation, I couldn’t recommend our experience and stay at the HOTEL DU PONT more. To sum up, it’s officially on mine (and Johnny’s!) list of top places to stay, which is a prestigious list to make.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about our trip at all! I’m more than happy to help or provide any additional details. xx
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Much love to the Hotel DuPont for hosting us for the weekend. All opinions expressed are my own!