Jazz, Bread And A Very Cozy Bed
Lake Arbor Jazz Duo Kevin and Lisa Alexander Open Wellspring Manor & Spa, a Wondrous New Luxury Destination
Story And Photography By Raoul Dennis
The place has all the right touches: romantic, cozy, historic, cultured, storied and just a little rustic. Add the trimmings of a creative master chef, an on-site resident art curator, a cozy wine tasting room and live jazz.
Oh, and rain-styled shower heads that you want to spend the rest of your life under.
The Wellspring Manor and Spa is nestled on a 7.35 acre estate in Upper Marlboro, MD. “It’s an oasis of peace, quiet, and renewal created for guests seeking a luxurious, relaxing, wellness-infused experience.”
But it’s so much more than that.
Besides formerly being a property owned by the family of Gov. Larry Hogan, the five suite Georgian-styled manor is a complete get-away haven for the distant traveler seeking a unique lodging experience or for the local couple who thirst for a local-yet-hidden escape from the pressures of life.
For ten years, Kevin and Lisa Alexander led and managed the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival. LAJF was founded as a dream idea by Kevin Alexander to bring a first class, day-long jazz experience to a regional audience in a local setting. LAJF has since grown to become a four-day jazz influenced weekend attracting national headline talent. Now at a decade of growth, LAJF has become a new cultural institution in Prince George’s.
“We plan some special things for the 10th anniversary,” Alexander says. “Watch us closely and you will get some early hints,” he explained with a smile at the 2018 festival in June.
So, after such success with LAJF, why buy and launch Wellspring Manor and Spa? Says Alexander, “Lisa and I travel and we stayed and dined in some really nice intimate properties. Lisa loves spa treatments and we both love to entertain…we believe that diverse, luxury travelers are yearning for travel and lodging options other than your typical hotel experience. Our vision for Wellspring Manor and Spa is that it will be an intimate luxury retreat destination right here in Prince George’s County.”
So the Alexanders set their sights on a new project to expand their love of culture by developing a luxury treat destination. “It was Lisa that found the house. We were searching for a suitable property in Prince George’s County and she located the house through a routine search using our search criteria. She called me immediately and I met her at the property. We both knew we had what we were looking for. Little did we know that this gem was located here in central Prince George’s County. It was the best thing that could have happened. “They had tried to make it into a funeral home,” Alexander says of the manor before his purchase.
After 7 ½ months of restoration and renovation, the manor opened Nov 1 and now consists of the Coltrane room (live music setting) that includes the painting, “John Coltrane” executed by the Alexanders’ son, artist Kevin Carter Alexander, The Baldwin Room (library), The Maya Angelou Room, The Alexander Suite, the Cesar Chavez Room, The Serenity Suite (no Wi-Fi), “The Barn” (a rotating art gallery and day meeting space), the outdoor pool, a spacious patio-courtyard that elevates the atmosphere that the Alexanders sought to create and a spa. With a maximum capacity of 12, the manor can comfortably support as many as 50 people for events and business retreats.
The Arts Are Alive At Wellspring Manor & Spa
Wellspring Manor and Spa’s Resident Art Curator Barry Blackman emanates joy in the work he does. Why? More than a curator and distributor of great art, Blackman loves the culture of great art. He appreciates the growth of young artists who develop into masters as they mature.
“Ernie Barnes didn’t start out selling at the highest price point, he started somewhere below that,” he says.
The entire manor is a rotating mobile gallery that Blackman oversees. He pulls together local, national and international artists whose stonework, quilts, paintings masks can be seen – and bought – from around the property. Local artists such as Jay Durad (Cheverly, MD), Luther Wright (Greenbelt) are in the company of artists from nations including Gabon, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Jamaica.
Food and music are among the creative offerings at the manor. Executive Chef Danielle Harris provides astonishing meals and caters for groups and events. The Alexander’s many musical connections make the Coltrane Room and occasions at the manor easy platforms for local musicians to step in and tinge the atmosphere with melodic sound.
Wellspring Manor and Spa is another contribution to the county’s growing destination power and cultural identity. It reflects the evolution of Prince George’s County toward its own place among those jurisdictions of refined character and unique spirit.