Recommend a Winter Getaway Hotel/B&B?
December 20, 2010 6:40 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a good winter getaway hotel or B&B in Northern New England? Hoped-for criteria inside.

So my sweetie and I would like to go away for a midwinter weekend in January or February. We are not downhill ski people, so ski areas are not necessarily what we're looking for, though we would enjoy walking or hiking or fun, recreational snow activities and maybe some XC ski if it were available. Something cozy, romantic, and remote-feeling would be just the ticket.

So I think the best way to do this is to describe what this place would be like in my sparkly fantasy of such a trip, and then see how close we can get based on recommendations.

-located anywhere in Northern New England (not CT or RI). We would also consider Cape Cod, though, but not the North or South Shore of MA.
-an old Victorian or farmhouse-style building that has that sort of rambling character surrounded by scenery that's nice to look at (woods, fields, ocean, doesn't really matter as long as it's pretty)
-serves breakfast and maybe some other meals
-has nice touches like cocoa and cookies or cider or an evening port to suprise you
-has really comfy rooms with really comfy beds, rooms that you want to spend time in
-fireplaces in the rooms, or even just in other parts of the building that you can feel comfortable lounging in
-good parlor or reading room, maybe some puzzles and games around, for really quiet pastimes
-offers some kind of winter outdoor recreation like hiking, snowshoeing, ice skating, maybe sledding, dare I say sleighride...
-friendly but hands-off hosts who know how to give guests space
posted by Miko to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Swift House Inn in Middlebury, VT.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:07 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

My wife and I enjoy Bradnt House in Greenfield, MA, but that may be because of its proximity to The People's Pint. Good food, nice owners (I mentioned we were staying for our anniversary one year and lo, there was champers in our room upon arrival), and not too far from Poet's Seat, Shelburne Falls, and other vistas.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:34 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

NereLedge Inn in North Conway, NH (right by Mt. Washing ton.

I stayed there last New Years (did some winter mountaineering courses on Mt. Washington) and it was an absolutedly wonderful place to stay. Lovely breakfast, comfy beds, plenty of boardgames/fireplaces/books.

North Conway is also a nice little town. Moat Mt. Brewery and Smoke house has really good beer+meat.
posted by larthegreat at 7:59 AM on December 20, 2010

I stayed at this place in Waitsfield, VT many years ago. It had a different name but it looks the same based on the website. I liked that it was not right near the ski areas and is on a farm. It is also next door to the original Flatbread Pizza restaurant. They have a huge brick oven in the middle of restaurant and cook everything in there. Apple pie mmmmmm.....

More recently I have been to the Norwich Inn, in Norwich Vermont. . Decent pub attached to the Inn, looks like some of the rooms have fireplaces. Surprisingly some of the best nacho's I have ever had (pulled pork w/local cheddar) and they brew their own small batches of beer which is really good. Not sure how the actual restaurant is, or what the town itself is like.

Lastly for a more modern take on a traditional BnB, meaning not so much lace and frilly bed spreads check out the Woodstocker Inn. Run by a cool couple the rooms are pretty damn awesome. And the town itself is great.
posted by WickedPissah at 9:00 AM on December 20, 2010

You might consider the Trapp Family Lodge, outside Stowe. Cross-country ski/hiking trails on site. Also a delicious brewery and deli on sight. Great breakfast, other meals available. They are known for their amazing baked goods. Lots of reading rooms, rooms with fireplaces, cozy areas with beautiful views etc. Also has a gym/spa with beautiful views and a giant hot tub. And you're just outside Stowe which is a nice little town to look around.
posted by cushie at 9:32 AM on December 20, 2010

Willoughvale is nice- can't beat the scenery (seriously) and they have a pretty thorough winter recreation page on the site. Kind of a haul from where you are, but almost all Interstate at least. Almost guaranteed good snow.

Also way up north, Rabbit Hill Inn is considered one of the better B&B's in VT. I find the website squicky but I've heard great things. Pretty pricey though.

If you're a foodie, there's The Inn at Weathersfield.

Swift House (mentioned above) is definitely nice (and a block from my office!) and is more in town than those above if you're looking to be able to walk to...anything, really. I've never been in the Lareau Farm place that WickedPissah mentions, but I can vouch for the American Flatbread there. It'll likely be overrun with skiers on any weekend though because the place is just downhill from Sugarbush. And Norwich (the town WickedPissah visited) is pretty nice and has one of the great general stores you'll find anywhere. It's right across the river from Hanover, so you have all the Dartmouth cultural stuff there too.
posted by GodricVT at 12:34 PM on December 20, 2010

How would you feel about The Samoset?


How about The Captain Daniel Stone Inn?

The White Barn Inn (Kennebunkport) is "the only combined AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star dining experience north of New York City".

I really love The Black Friar Inn in Bar Harbor, but I'm not sure if they're open in the winter.

Friends spent their wedding night at The Captain Lord Mansion and raved about it.
posted by anastasiav at 6:56 PM on December 20, 2010

Can't believe I forgot Blueberry Hill Inn yesterday. This place has everything on your list, I think, including an on-site XC ski center and super friendly hosts/owners. It's way up in the mountains and will definitely be wintry. It's pretty remote, but reasonably close to the town of Brandon, which has a couple of good restaurants, a nice independent bookstore, and a bunch of art galleries.
posted by GodricVT at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2010

The Bethel Inn (Bethel, Maine) has lots of easy XC skiing trails and yes, sleigh rides. Perhaps not as small & cozy as you are thinking of though.
posted by mikepop at 6:26 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks to all - will be happily checking out these suggestions as we plan a trip! I appreciate your recommendations.
posted by Miko at 7:14 AM on January 3, 2011

"friendly but hands-off hosts who know how to give guests space"

I guess that counts out our house.

If you're in the area, please visit.
posted by terrapin at 11:13 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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