Buy Black Friday is a MadameNoire series that highlights the products and services of Black women-owned businesses.
Living in New York City will wear you out. And if you’re not born and bred here, you find yourself yearning for peace, quiet and tranquility, aspects which are hard to find in the hustle and bustle of this particular metropolis. So I’m always looking for a getaway, particularly one that’s not too far outside of the city.
And most good getaways are going to cost you some money. And if I’m going to spend money on a luxury, escape, I want to try my hardest to make sure that money goes into the hands of Black people. Enter Wellspring Manor and Spa in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
This bed and breakfast, owned and operated by a Black husband and wife duo Kevin Alexander and Lisa Brown Alexander, has a theme of surprising serenity, surpassing luxury. And they live up to the motto.
This spacious property, located in Prince George’s county is surrounded by 7.35 acres of lush greenery.
The property has five suites named the Alexander, Angelou (after Dr. Maya Angelou), Serenity, Lin, and Chavez. The last two are meant to reflect Latino and Asian communities to suggest that the manor is a place where all people of color are welcome.
There’s a library called the Baldwin room, a living room where guests are received and can enjoy snacks in the afternoon.
My husband and I visited last month and pulled up to a beautiful tented pool space, where you can enjoy outdoor massages. The outdoor massages are in addition to the entire spa sanctuary space, which for now, only accommodates one guest at a time. Spa services include reflexology, massage and facials. The space is fragranted by the manor’s custom Spa Day candle which was heavenly.
In addition to the spa space, there is also an entire art gallery featuring works from Black artists throughout the diaspora. I was particularly struck by the work of Jamaican artist, Nakazzi Hutchinson.
One of the best parts of our stay was the food. The manor boasts African American or Black chefs from all over the world who specialize in crafting traditional cuisine with more modern culinary twists.
For breakfast, we had avocado toast, French toast that looked like a muffin, green juice, fresh fruit, turkey sausage (Wellspring is a pork-free facility) tea, and fruit juices. Even the pictures, which are pretty impressive don’t do it justice.
You know we proudly feature Black businesses here on MadameNoire. But working with Black entrepreneurs, I’ve heard more than a few of them being scared to market and target a specifically Black clientele. Thankfully and refreshingly, Blackness is on full display at Wellspring Manor. When I asked co-founder Lisa Brown Alexander about this, she shared that all of it was very intentional and for good reason.
“I don’t subscribe to the theory that if it’s Black, it’s bad. I don’t feel compelled to hang that on everything I think excellence is excellence is excellence. And for us, the value proposition for Wellspring was deliberate. Excellent experience for whoever comes through here. But we also wanted to reflect the culinary, music, entertainment and general relaxation preferences of people of color because it’s an underserved market in the luxury market.”
Thankfully, Wellspring aims to fulfill that need for people of color. Because if anyone needs additional time to relax and unplug, it’s Black folk and other people of color.
“It was about creating something that wasn’t here, meeting a demand that was going unmet or where people had to go elsewhere. We’ve lived in this county for 25 years and any time we wanted something luxurious, we had to go somewhere else. We kept hearing from our friends, wouldn’t it be nice if we had something really elegant close to home? So we went about finding a property that would support that. And when we found this place we knew that it was absolutely the right one. And when people leave they feel taken care of. They feel beautiful. They feel relaxed and that’s what we wanted.”
To learn more about Wellspring, visit their site, here.
Take a look at images from the space on the following pages.