The Archeologist's Digs: Your Adventure Awaits

Roxbury — “She” was the guest of honor at The Roxbury Motel’s lavish and fun-loving gala benefit for Kirkside Home last Tuesday evening. Like the Mummy in the movies, this guest didn’t even have to say a word, yet she was both sought after and mysterious. “She” would be the newest three-bedroom suite, “The Archeologist’s Digs,” soon to be open for bookings and available to view beforehand by arrangement with The Roxbury staff. In the meantime, step this way for the “literary” tour . . .

From the moment you enter, (hey, watch out for that huge boulder right overhead, it’s coming this way!), grave and Mayan stone gods dare you to find the lever that opens the doorway to a cozy, ancient tomb-like chamber, with an intricate sculpture charting the Mayan heavens, alphabet and numeric system covering one whole wall. It was created with a seven-step faux finishing process to create the look of weathered stone carving. Pull the nose-ring of the Mayan God on the other wall and you’re rewarded as a full-size Murphy bed descends to reveal a dazzling painted backdrop of Mayan jungle pyramids at sunset.

Step through the foyer, with its swirling snakes wallpaper and into the main living area, with surround sound 60-inch flat screen TV, generous leather couches (one is a queen-size sleeper sofa), a “fire art” functioning fireplace, cathedral ceiling with rustic wood beams and an iron three-tiered King Arthur chandelier, mirrored glass cabinets featuring the Archeologist’s artifacts from 15 different cultures, gold-flecked Black Persia granite countertops and dining counter topped with a stone archway, gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and access to an outdoor stone patio with “umbrella dining” for eight.

400-gallon aquarium
Pretend you are a Sultan beneath the Arabian-style dining canopy or marvel at the 400-gallon saltwater aquarium with its life-size golden sarcophagus signaling that this is indeed the long lost underwater tomb of Cleopatra. To keep her majesty company, there are colorful fish and other sea life from the waters of her hometown port, Alexandria, Egypt — some, like that fateful asp, are quite venomous. Just beside the tank on the wall is an ancient scroll telling you the entire mysterious history of The Digs and how Cleopatra came to her watery rest in this Roxbury hideaway.

The aquarium leads you into the Cleopatra’s Tomb bathroom, where floor-to-ceiling stonework gives the illusion of being inside the treasure chamber of an ancient pyramid, complete with hieroglyphics, faucets shaped like golden trumpet swans, sculptures of various Egyptian deities for protection, and the crystal clear acrylic aquarium, enabling you to swim with the fishes as you shower. To ensure privacy for you and your lionfish, just flip a switch and the aquarium's living room glass will instantly “fog” up. If you thought the bathroom was something, wait til you find your way to . . .

Going for Baroque
The Cleopatra Tomb Bedroom is hidden behind a secret doorway in the Digs’ “library.” The entire library hallway is lined with bookshelf wallpaper, but some books have been pulled out of their shelves halfway, to give you an “entree” to push your way through the stacks and into the bedrooms.

And what queen would not rest easy on a king-size bed featuring a gold-leafed mahogany head- and baseboard, handmade in Indonesia by “Fabulous and Baroque.” The freighter that shipped the bed was lost at sea during a typhoon, making the bed’s arrival two months late; no problemo, except the bed arrived the very day crews came to install the aquarium and film an episode for one of Discovery’s popular Animal Planet programs. The screws to assemble the bed were literally being turned as the film trucks pulled into the motel parking lot. Stay tuned, and the Roxbury will announce the episode’s national air date as soon as it’s set (until then, pictures of the fish tank are not allowed). So, please remember to surrender your secret shoe cameras at the door.

Cleo’s pad also features 18-carat gold leaf crown molding and door frames, a gold leaf Pharaoh “throne” chair, and a glass doorway leading to a private outdoor stone-walled shower, with hand-hammered oil-rubbed copper flooring and matching copper chairs. The area is “guarded” by busts (illuminated at night) of Cleopatra and her lover, Marc Antony. Or is that her other lover, Julius Caesar? Only Cleo knows for sure.

Whipping up a study in contrasts
Now, who was that adventurer who always wore a bomber jacket, a floppy fedora and carried a bull whip? His name eludes me, but this is surely his boudoir, nestled deep within The Digs, with walls and ceiling of distressed brown leather and a bed canopy made from 40 draped bull whips. The furniture too is distressed, reclaimed bits of this and that, screwed together with steel rivets, while the moldings and framing are faux finished to also “dissemble” steel riveting. Best of all, our absent-minded adventurer forgot to take his broken-in brown fedora, so you can wear it around The

Digs during your stay. Or wear it while you bathe in the adventurer’s matching Italian leather-tiled master bathroom boudoir with its super-deep soaking tub and crocodile skin flooring.

Finally, tucked away in the library is a secret mine shaft (you’ll have to find it for yourself.) Once inside you can pull levers that will reveal the inside of Mayan face masks with the eyeholes carved out. Once you put your face into the masks and peer through the eyes, you’ll realize you're spying on the living room, where the masks are hanging in plain sight along one wall. Bring your invisible ink for taking notes!

Need some air?
The beautifully landscaped Digs property lies right alongside the babbling stream of the Delaware’s East Branch, with stone pathways to guide you along the streambank. The trees and path are illuminated at night in soothing colors of your choice. The entire property, with rustic outbuildings and fencing, provides a feeling of total privacy and seclusion.

The Roxbury’s proprietors, Greg Henderson and Joseph Massa, have taken the “thank you” ad below to properly showcase all the artists, builders, craftsmen and staff that have helped bring “The Archeologist’s Digs” to life. Everyone on the list who is “asterisked” either lives in or has a connection with our area.

Rates for renting The Digs will range from $590 to $850, depending on the day of the week and season, but you can arrange a tour for free! Just contact The Roxbury at 607 326-7200 or e-mail And don't forget your magic decoder ring!