Tag Archives: New England

White Barn Inn & Spa, Kennebunkport, Maine

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Location Kennebunk’s more visited neighbour, Kennebunkport, lies across the Kennebunk River on Maine’s beautiful rocky coastline, just a couple of hours drive north from Boston. It is famously the ancestral home of the political Bush family, who still own an ocean side property at Walker’s Point. The Kennebunks, as the twin villages are known, also includes the Lower Village, and once away from the beaches and coastline, art galleries, restaurants, and craft shops are set in old Colonial buildings, immersing visitors in a traditional New England townscape. All of which is close to the White Barn Inn, which is set on tall tree-lined Beach Road, just a few minutes from the sea.

Lodging Originally, the White Barn Inn’s main building was a farmhouse and its storied restaurant is made up of two barns, which were moved to adjoin the farmhouse. Reputedly the farmhouse has been an inn since the Civil War era, when it was the Boothby Guest House. In 1937, by which time it was known the Forest Hill House, an annex was built, and shortly after more guest rooms were added via the bungalow “Garden Cottages,” and May’s Cottage, a cute standalone suite, which overlooks the outdoor heated pool. The are also two riverside cottages nearby. But in total, there are just 26 rooms. Being Maine, the pool is seasonal, but the inn is year-round, basically, and only closes for a couple of weeks in January. That’s good news because it means the fireplace in the cozy living room can be throughly enjoyed during the colder months. The living room has several couches and a decanter of port and one of brandy are thoughtfully provided for guests to help themselves to. Afternoon “High Tea” is also provided there, as are coffee and teas. White Barn Inn is a Relais et Chateaux member, a luxury hotel collection with a strong culinary focus.

View of a Room: 19 Room 19 is on the second floor of the annex, just across the driveway from the main inn. The large airy room is understated classic, with a fireplace and two wonderfully comfortable armchairs. The king size bed is positioned in front of the TV and a French style dresser. The only other furniture is a desk and chair — giving the room all the necessary comforts while maintaining its spaciousness. The  en suite bathroom is equally grand in size, with a double vanity, a large shower with twin shower heads, separate loo, and an enormous tub. Its marbled floor has radiant heat and, like the bedroom, there is lots of natural light.

Restaurants and Bars The White Barn Inn’s restaurant is widely acclaimed, both for its food and the setting in this subtle, low lit old barn — or rather barns. Created in 1973, it is quite unique. The menu is prix fixe with a choice of a lengthy multi course tasting menu, or a more standard three courses. But with the chef’s wonderful tidbits, including an array of after dinner petit fours, even that option is a full tasting experience. Everything is made in-house and local produce is highlighted — even butter comes from a local dairy. Needless to say, the wine list holds treasures, and cocktails are superbly crafted — enjoy a drink at the cocktail bar, where a pianist plays standards. The expert staff deliver a classic dining experience in an evocative atmosphere. Adjacent to the dining room is the bistro, a more casual a la carte experience, where breakfast is served. In the summer, tables are set up on its porch. There is also a wine cellar where private dining can be arranged.

Info The White Barn Inn & Spa, 37 Beach Rd., Kennebunkport, Maine 04046. 207-967-2321. http://www.whitebarninn.com

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

Kimpton opens its first international hotel

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Kimpton Hotel Group will open its first international property and it’s the first new luxury property on Grand Cayman in more than 10 years!

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the American hotel brand’s first Caribbean hotel, is located on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. Set to open in November, 2016, the property will feature a distinct local Caymanian influence.

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The resort has 266 rooms and a signature restaurant, Ave and Avecita, and a beach bar, Coccoloba. There are two pools, a spa, and extensive event and meeting space.

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There are a number of opening specials available – such as the Grand Opening offer, which includes a $100 dining credit and $100 spa credit on any two night (minimum) stay, or the Fourth Night Free package. More info: www.seafireresortandspa.com

Charles Hotel offers Pi Day flash sale

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Cambridge, MA — It’s not exactly a national holiday, but Pi Day, if there be such a day, occurs on March 14. Math types get it already, but for the rest of us, pi is approximately 3.14, which is why March 14 — 3-14 — is Pi Day.

Suitably, given it’s proximity to Harvard University, and being a favorite haunt with local and visiting academics, the Charles Hotel, whose punning motto is ‘the smart place to stay’,  has a flash sale taking place the day before, March 13. The hotel website will take 31.4% off the best available rates across all rooms categories. The sale will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m and is available for travel dates: March 14th 2015 (Pi Day) – May 1st 2015.
For more info: Charles Hotel

Head to New Hampshire for a Thanksgiving break

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New Hampshire — Take advantage of special hotel packages and promotions for a Thanksgiving break in the Granite State.

Wentworth By the Sea Hotel- New Castle, New Hampshire

Thanksgiving Celebration in New Hampshire Package

Visitors can experience a Historic Thanksgiving Celebration in New Hampshire with Dinner at Wentworth by the Sea. On Thursday, November 27th, guests will be given two options for a Thanksgiving dinner.  A traditional dinner at SALT, the hotel’s reimagined dining room, served 11:00am – 10:00pm, or the festive Thanksgiving Day Buffet in the Wentworth Ballroom, served 11:00am – 5:00pm. Pricing is as follows: adults $49.95, and children under 12 $19.95 each. Guests can also extend the Thanksgiving holiday with a Thanksgiving Package (online booking code TD1), rates starting at $439 which will include deluxe accommodations for two, Thanksgiving Day dinner and buffet breakfast.

Contact: Call 603-373-6566 or visit www.wentworth.com for more information.

 

The Inn at East Hill Farm- Troy, New Hampshire

Farm stays for Thanksgiving

Guests will experience a true Thanksgiving on the farm at The Inn at East Hill Farm. The itinerary includes collecting eggs for breakfast, milking cows and goats, and enjoying a morning guided hike on Gap Mountain along with pony rides for the kids. The complimentary Thanksgiving meal at the inn includes post-dinner folk music and seasonal entertainment by Shamus and Eileen, The Musicmakers. Rates start at $128 for this experience and all meals/activities are included.

Contact: Call 603-242-6495 or visit www.east-hill-farm.com for more information.

 

Appalachian Mountain Club- Gorham, New Hampshire

AMC Highland Center Thanksgiving Weekend    

The AMC Highland Center is offering a Thanksgiving Buffet and lodging accommodations – AMC Highland Center has a full weekend of Thanksgiving celebrations. The Thanksgiving Buffet is offered from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Pricing is as follows: $23 (members) and $28 (non-members) for adults and $20 (member) and $24 (non-member) for children. The Joe Dodge Lodge is offering a three-night lodging special, including dinners, breakfasts, and programming, starting at $194 for member adults and $231 for non-members adult for those interested in a full weekend of celebrations.

Contact: Call 603-278-4453 or visit www.outdoors.org for more information.

 

Purity Spring Resort- East Madison, New Hampshire

Purity Spring Resort Thanksgiving Day 5K 

On Thanksgiving Day at 9:00 a.m. starting at the Main Lodge, the Purity Spring Resort will hold their annual resort sponsored 5K run. Guests are offered the opportunity to give back while getting a good run in before a full Thanksgiving meal. Registration begins between 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and race proceeds benefit the Kennett High School Cross Country and Track and Field programs.

Contact: Call (603) 367-8896 or visit www.purityspring.com for more information. Guests can register for the link online athttps://www.runreg.com/purity-spring-thanksgiving-day-5k.

 

Coppertoppe Inn & Retreat Center- Hebron, New Hampshire

Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner Package

Guests can share a fully catered five-course gourmet Thanksgiving dinner with a family-style experience.  A minimum of eight adults is required and an HD football viewing room is an option with dinner or a separate viewing space is available on request. This wine and dinner pairing package start at $65 per adult for dinner and an additional discounted price of $189 per room per night. Each room sleeps up to six adults. Vegan, gluten-free or allergy-free menus available and pets are welcome.

Contact: Call 603-744-3636 or visit www.coppertoppe.com for more information.

 

The Bernerhof Inn Bed & Breakfast– Glen, New Hampshire

Inn Made Pilgrim Feast Package

This boutique bed and breakfast is offering a two-night stay for the holiday of feasting with a complimentary homemade Thanksgiving dinner. This package also includes a history of Thanksgiving novel, complimentary cooked to order gourmet breakfast for two each morning, and post Black Friday shopping gift wrapping is offered on site. The Bernerhof Inn Bed & Breakfast also offers amenities such as the Serenity Wellness Studio, The Black Bear Pub & Martini Bar, and The Taste of the Mountains Cooking School to compliment your stay. Room rates start at $149 per night.

Contact: Call 603-383-4200 or visit www.bernerhofinn.com for more information.

 

Rosewood Country Inn- Bradford, New Hampshire

Harvest Home Thanksgiving Package

Guests can indulge in a full country breakfast each morning during their four night stay at the Rosewood Country Inn. Thanksgiving Dinner will be at the nearby Millstone at 74 Main Restaurant where guests will have a $75 gift certificate for a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Post black Friday shopping, wrapping supplies will be provided along with hot mulled cider and light hors d’oeuvres. Rates are starting at $556 for this package.

Contact: Call (603) 938-5253 or visit www.rosewoodcountryinn.com for more information.

 

Photo credit: Inn at East Hill Farms.

jetBlue gives Boston a non-stop ticket to paradise

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Boston, MA — A musician tapping out Don’t Worry Be Happy on a steel drum soon swung into Everything’s Going to be Alright. He was an usual sight and sound at Logan airport, this musician dressed in island wear of panama hat and loose, short-sleeved boldly patterned shirt. Certainly, he seemed at odds with a dull first day of November. But this was Gate 34, where jetBlue’s inaugural weekly direct flight from Boston Logan to Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International was launched with a breakfast spread and celebration. Less incongruously, on touchdown in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean band was in full swing. Perhaps, as temperatures were predicted to drop to freezing in New England, the lone musical messenger in Boston was spot-on: jetBlue’s new route offers a non-stop ticket to Paradise and here was the man with the soundtrack for it.

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The Red Lion Inn has a delicious summer menu

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Stockbridge, MA — Red Lion Inn Chef Brian Alberg has long-touted sustainability and Berkshire farm produce, and co-founded Berkshire Farm and Table. Still, he’s a chef first, which means he can’t be obsessive. For the arugula and fennel salad he chooses Vermont’s Bailey Hazen creamy raw milk blue cheese, and tops it all with peeled orange segments and bitter Spanish olive oil. Organic Scottish salmon (sustainability is judged by many factors, not just distance) is served in a stew of chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, and Swiss chard. The resulting piquant broth, elevated by the indispensable onion, is heavenly.

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Red Lion Inn Chef Brian Alberg, credit Red Lion Inn

 

One item not to miss is pastry chef William Hostetter’s pink grapefruit tart, which is a genius riff on Key lime pie. Tangy-sweet grapefruit juiced custard is offset by tart unsweetened raspberry sauce, and finished with a dollop of whipped High Lawn Farms cream, skimmed a day or so before in neighboring Lee. If that’s whipped cream, what the hell is that canned stuff?

 

For more info: The Red Lion Inn

 

Omni Mount Washington Resort makes use of nearby ski lifts

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Bretton Woods, NH — Why hike uphill when you can ride? The Omni Mount Washington Resort is offering free lift rides at nearby Bretton Woods ski are. Better still room rates at this beautiful resort’s newly renovated Lodge start at $99 per night (including free scenic lift rides and free golf for kids 12 & under on the Mount Pleasant Course.) Many rooms feature private decks or patios. The fresh new look offers updated furnishings, carpeting, and bathroom amenities, as well as a refreshed indoor pool area. A new fitness center and “grab and go” marketplace have also been introduced, as well as the return of a daily continental breakfast service.

For more info:  www.omnihotels.com/BrettonWoodsMountWashington

Loews Boston Hotel is the place for a city clambake

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Boston, MA – One essential element of enjoying summer for most coastal New Englanders is a clambake. Visitors to Boston who can’t get to the beach for the traditional seaside picnic can head to the Loews Boston Hotel and enjoy a crockpot of Wellfleet dug clams, PEI Mussels, shrimp, corn, red potato, local kielbasa, and, if you want to add it, lobster.

The Loews Boston Hotel is set in the former Boston Police Headquarters, which was built in 1925. The hotel just finished a massive refurbishment, including its restaurant, Precinct Kitchen + Bar,  whose new menu is full of treats, including that clambake.

For more info: http://www.precinctkitchenandbar.com

 

Photo credit: Loews Boston Hotel

Provincetown’s Sage Inn holds Spring Food Boutique

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Provincetown, MA – Food lovers mark your calendar: Sage Inn & Lounge’s Spring Food Boutique is coming up. The twice yearly includes a specially selected group of New England’s best gourmet, small batch food producers.  In all, 15 vendors from throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont showcase sauces, dressings, glazes, condiments and preserves, non-alcoholic cordials, gourmet olive oil, flavored vinegars, granola, butter, homemade pickle spears and chips, and fruit and flower infused water. Also, there’s a variety of traditional and non-traditional sweets, such as French-made caramels, specialty chocolates, cookies and fudge sauce.

The featured food producers include Blissful Olive Trading Company, Blossom Water, Caramels de Bouchard, Chefy Bainier, Doves and Figs, Fudge Everything, Golden Girl Granola, Kayak Cookies, KRM Chocolates, Lark Fine Foods, Ooma Tesoro’s, Ruuska Pickles, and Wozz! Kitchen Creations.

In addition, Sage Head Chef, Lucio Garnica, and his team of chefs and mixologists will showcase Sage’s new spring menu.

The Food Boutique takes place Sunday, May 18, noon till 5 pm. For more info: www.sageinnptown.com.

 

Stockbridge’s Red Lion Inn highlights local culture for Memorial Day Weekend

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Stockbridge, MA –  The Red Lion Inn‘s two-night Memorial Day Special includes passes to two local attractions listed below, a relaxing round of drinks on the Front Porch — a must-do!, and a $50 dining voucher to use in one of the on-site dining rooms. The cultural attractions to choose from are:

Chesterwood: Summer estate of sculptor Daniel Chester French, creator of the seated Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial and many other American public monuments. Chesterwood is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Naumkeag: Designed by Stanford White, this magnificent 19th century cottage from the Berkshires’ Gilded Age and formal gardens is also maintained by the Trustees of Reservations.

Norman Rockwell Museum: Explore the world’s largest and most significant collection of original art by America’s favorite illustrator, Norman Rockwell. The site also includes his Stockbridge studio and changing exhibitions of other contemporary and past artists.

Berkshire Botanical Garden: One of the earliest non-profit nursery/gardens in the United States, this 15 acre garden offers beauty, relaxation and a first-hand look at the variety of plants and trees that grow in the Berkshires.

Rates start at $575 (plus taxes) for two nights in a deluxe room. This special is only available May 23-25. To reserve, call 413.298.1690, or email reservations@redlioninn.com.

For more info: www.redlioninn.com.

 

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

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Location Hilton Head Island sits off South Carolina’s coast, just north of southeastern Georgia. Savannah is the nearest city. Hilton Head Island was once a remote collection of working plantations, whose main crop was cotton — Sea Island Cotton. In the 1950s, it was developed as a retreat rather than a tourist destination, and became known for its planned, neat communities, and for its golf courses. The discreet gated communities still dominate. Fortunately, much of its natural flora and fauna was left in tact, and forest and salt marshes maintain much native wildlife. Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Plantation is the closest thing the island has to a real “downtown” scene. The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is situated 45 miles from Savannah-Hilton Head International airport and seven miles from Hilton Head Island airport.

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Lodging  Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, located in It is located in the Shipyard area, is an AAA Four Diamond resort with 340 guest rooms and suites. There is an expansive pool and recreation area and, beyond that, a lovely, natural beach.  The tropical vegetation and lagoon are dotted with cabanas and hammocks, allowing for private relaxation (crowds willing). 

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The hotel’s interior, however, is quite the opposite: it’s urbane and fresh, with a mid-century to third-quarter modernist design. A soaring atrium sets off the lobby and many of the furnishings are inspired by early 1970s post-psychedelic chic.  

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View of a Room: 4009 Guest rooms are spacious and echo the resort’s general design with a Mod orange and white backdrop, warmed by ochre carpeting and deep beige upholstery. There’s a couch in the sitting area, and a huge desk and workspace. The bedside tables have light and motion sensitive sensors that turn on floor lights at night. (Very useful for middle of the night trips to the ‘loo.) A small balcony overlooks the pool and palmetto trees, with the ocean visible in the distance.

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Restaurants and Bars The resort features several dining options, including a lobby bar. Breakfast is recommended in the restaurant adjacent to the lobby.

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Spa and Sports The resort’s renovation in 2012 added a full-service spa.

Info 130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 USA. 843-842-2400. www.sonesta.com/HiltonHeadIsland

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

The Snowvillage Inn, New Hampshire, USA

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Location New Hampshire’s Snowvillage Inn is situated in woodland at the foot of Foss Mountain, just outside the village of Eaton. The inn’s location was formerly known as Snowville, which was eventually incorporated into Eaton. Set in the eastern White Mountains, Eaton isn’t far from the Maine border, and Portsmouth is less than an hour’s drive on Route 16. Because of its accessibility to Maine and New Hampshire, and to the mountains and the coast, the Snowvillage Inn is a perfect base for extensive New England explorations.

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Lodging Built as a summer home in 1916 by Frank Simonds, a Pulitzer Prize winning author known primarily for his five-volume history of World War I, Snowvillage Inn has operated as an inn since 1948. Despite its name, the inn is open year-round and has access to a nearby private beach. Still, the huge old fireplace in the lobby and the in-room fireplaces make it particularly cozy in winter, when guests are more likely to make use of the snowshoeing trails than anything that calls for a swimsuit. The lobby is a highly social spot to relax. There are couches, books, and games for guests’ use.

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View of a Room: 16 Room 16 is in the Chimney House, just across the driveway from the main inn. The Chimney House has a large lobby with a fireplace and couch, and coffee maker. Room 16 is spacious and has its own gas fireplace and a grand queen bed fir for the princess and her pea. There are chairs and an en suite bathroom.

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 Restaurants and Bars A full country breakfast is served each morning in the lobby area from 8-9:30 a.m., and is included in the room rate. Max’s restaurant, the main dining room, is open from 5:30-9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Hotel Junkie recommends trying Max’s. Chef Brian Anderson’s recent winter menu  included spicy “drunken” green lipped mussels steamed in a curry broth with chili and ale; giant ravioli stuffed with ricotta and porcinis, and tossed with sautéed veggies; and Moroccan spiced lamb chops accompanied by falafel. The bar, which is in the lobby, is a wonderful perch for drinks or a casual meal.

Tech WiFi is easily accessed throughout for a fee. To the horror of some guests, there are no televisions in the public spaces or rooms. It’s so refreshing to get away from the tube; get over it.

Info The Snowvillage Inn. 136 Stewart Rd., Eaton, NH. 603-447-2818. http://www.snowvillageinn-whitemountains.com

 

Photo credit: Hotel Junkie

The Essex Resort & Spa offers romantic, spa-focused Winter Special

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East Lawn SnowBurlington, VT —  The Essex Resort & Spa has a romantic, spa-focused Winter Special package that includes

  • Three night’s accommodations in a cozy fireplace room for 2 people
  • Two 50-minute Swedish massages
  • Full spa access daily

Rates start at $449 per couple, based on double occupancy. Reservations must be booked by February 7, 2014 for travel through May 15, 2014. Some blackout dates apply. For more info: 800.727.4295, www.essexresortspa.com

Photo credit: The Essex Resort & Spa

Celebrate Presidents Day at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH

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Omni Mount Washington Hotel

Omni Mount Washington Hotel

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire — The Omni Mount Washington Resort has many stories. Built in 1902, the resort has hosted countless celebrities and political figures, including three U.S. Presidents, including George Bush, Warren G. Harding, and Woodrow Wilson. Omni Mount Washington is offering the “Stay Here. Ski Free” package, which includes accommodations and complimentary ski lift tickets for $99 per person per night.  

What’s more, the Mount Washington Resort is set in the in the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s peaceful White Mountains.

Omni Mount Washington

Omni Mount Washington

 

The Bretton Arms at Omni Mount Washington, New Hampshire

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Bretton Arms Inn

Location When it comes to uninterrupted rural mountain views, the Omni Mount Washington Resort is, as they say, blessed. Nestled in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, which is capped by Mount Washington, this grand old New England resort hotel has an impressive backdrop. The Mount Washington Cog Railway is one of America’s oldest attractions. The Appalachian Trail hooks in nearby and offers hiking clear up to Canada. A mile down the road, and part of the the Omni Mount Washington Resort property, there’s Bretton Woods, New Hampshire’s largest ski area, which is also home to an impressive zipline canopy tour.

Omni Mount Washington Hotel

Omni Mount Washington Hotel

Lodging  The original Mount Washington Hotel opened in 1902 after a two-year construction project that heralded it as the area’s premiere resort. Given that there were around 22 such palatial playgrounds in the area at the time, it was a grandiose testament to owner Joseph Stickney’s dreams, wealth, or vanity. Originally, the Spanish Revivial building  was a three-season resort, then, finally, for the new Millennium it began opening year-round. In September 2009, Omni Hotels began management of the property, which includes The Lodge and The Bretton Arms. The Bretton Arms, which sits at the foot of the larger (much larger!) Mount Washington Hotel, was built in 1896 and was extensively renovated this century. It’s a small boutique alternative to the big old grand dame up the hill. It isn’t boutique in the genric design sense, just small and intimate with 34 guest rooms and suites. The cozy fireplace in the parlor is idyllic in winter.

Omni Mount Washington

Omni Mount Washington

View of a Room: Room 23  For a small inn type facility, the Bretton Arms has impressively spacious rooms, including room 23. Two queen beds, closet , and a  sitting area with a table and two arm chairs do not overcrowd the room. Set at the back of the inn, the windows give views of evergreen woodland, which includes a trail up to the main hotel. In winter, if you’re lucky, the one-horse driven sleigh goes tinkling by right outside. The bathroom is spacious, too, and has a rain shower  and elegantly packaged, bespoke Omni toiletries.

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Restaurants and Bars The Bretton Arms dining room has risen to become one of Omni properties highly regarded restaurants. Certainly, many prefer its boutique coziness to the main hotel’s grand main dining room. At weekends, during high season, it is also open for breakfast. The adjacent bar is lined with cushioned couches and has a fireplace, too.

Omni Mount Washington

Omni Mount Washington

Fitness, sports, and spas It’s hard to imagine anyone needing a gym or fitness room when there’s so much outdoor activity on hand. Most of it a mere walk away at the main hotel. But, yes, there is a well-equipped fitness room. Recent renovations restored the championship rated Mount Washington Golf Course, there’s an outdoor pool complex, and winter sports include top-rated Alpine and Nordic skiing at Bretton Woods. The spa is a 25,000-square-foot full-service facility.

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Tech WiFi is jump-on accessible and complimentary.

Info: 310 Mount Washington Hotel Rd., Bretton Woods, New Hampshire 03575.

603-278-1000/1-800-The-Omni. omnihotels.com/mountwashington

Photo credit: Omni Mount Washington/Hotel Junkie

Everyone loves fall at the Bristol Harbor Inn

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Bristol, RI — Who doesn’t love fall, especially in New England? The coastal town of Bristol might not be top of everyone’s fall travel list, but it just happens to be charming anytime of the year. It also happens to be a town full of really great restaurants — Persimmon, Hourglass Brasserie, and the DeWolf Tavern are steps away from each other and unmissable. And, the  Bristol Harbor Inn’s Fall Romance Package is the perfect place to start. Running now through October 24, Sunday-Thursday only, rates start at $245 per night, based on double occupancy. It includes:

  • Overnight accommodations
  • One bottle of sparkling wine in-room upon arrival
  • $100 gift card the award-winning DeWolf Tavern

Reservations, 866-245-1444; www.bristolharborinn.com

Photo credit: Bristol Harbor Inn

Chebeague Island Inn Celebrates July Fifth

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Casco Bay, Maine — On Friday, July 5, Chebeague Island Inn will host the third-annual Chebeague Chebang, a benefit for The Chebeague Recreation Center.  The all-day party shifts the inn’s Fourth of July festivities one day and will include live music, food, lawn gamesand a fireworks display.

Chebeague Island Inn

For more info: chebeagueislandinn.com

Photo credit: Chebeague Island Inn

 

Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown, MA

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Location The Harbor View Hotel occupies one of the prettiest spots on Martha’s Vineyard, a small island that lies off the southern part of Cape Cod. This fabled Massachusetts holiday destination draws presidents and artists, musicians and actors, and generations of New England holidaymakers looking for a summer escape. Still, that means summer brings crowds to the tiny roads, leaving spring and fall, particularly fall, when the ocean is warmed, to the wise traveler. Winter is delightfully tranquil, too, but a lot of businesses are seasonal and the remoteness from consumer culture isn’t for everyone. But, generally, somehow Martha’s Vineyard hasn’t subscribed to 21st century hyperactivity. That is its appeal: an escape to wild dunes and remote farm communities; small towns with inns, boutiques, and individual restaurants, not chains; and beaches where people contemplate more than achieving a tan. Chappaquiddick is a separate, even smaller island, mostly given over to nature reserves, and without any commercial businesses, apart from farms. Martha’s Vineyard’s main towns include Vineyard Haven, which is where ferries from Wood’s Hole and Hyannis dock. There’s Oak Bluffs, a once popular Victorian seaside retreat, which is famous for its “gingerbread cottages,” an array of ornate, colorful summer homes, and its stately bigger Victorian gothic homes. The town is boisterous and oversubscribed these days, though. A place for bar hopping and nightlife, perhaps. Then there’s the gentler Edgartown, where the aptly named Harbor View Hotel is situated, an easy stroll from the main part of the town, overlooking Edgartown harbor.

Harbor View Lobby

Lodging Earlier this century, this 121-year old Victorian hotel, which is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, acquired new owners and, then, a complete renovation. The design was kept simple, but elegant, echoing the breezy, relaxed island ethic; an upscale island lifestyle, that is. Accommodations are spread over three adjacent venues: the main hotel, the Governor Mayhew Building, which includes guest rooms with either a pool or garden view, each with a balcony, and the Captain’s Cottages.  These eight cottages are named for Edgartown sea captains and form a little village community at the back of the property. They are for sale as private residences.  Until then, these one, two, and three-bedroom condos are available to guests. Each includes a living area and fully equipped kitchenette, and porch.

The hotel is pet-friendly and very welcoming to dogs of all sizes. Dog parents should be aware of ticks that are plentiful among the grassy dunes.

Harbor View Guestroom with View

Throughout the hotel, small details such as plush robes and on-island made petrochemical-free toiletries in guest rooms, and complimentary morning tea or coffee, and milk and cookies in the evening in the lobby, add welcoming touches.

Water Street- The Harbor View Hotel-2

Restaurants and Bars Harbor View’s main restaurant, Water Street, is becoming a destination, an accolade that is warranted for the graceful views of the Edgartown Lighthouse and harbor, just across the road, alone. But the food is equally inspiring; it’s seasonal New England cooking with a nouvelle cuisine twist, and utilizing as much local island produce as possible, including the freshest seafood. This is the place for Katama oysters, pulled from the water just a few miles away in Katama Bay; the freshness means a more delicate flavor. Recently, Water Street experimented with opening for dinner year-round and found considerable success.  The Sunday buffet brunch is superb and changes each week at the chef’s whim. Don’t miss out on a visit to Henry’s Hotel Bar, either. It’s a quiet little spot and a great place for a tipple or two. Henry’s menu is on the lighter, more casual side. It’s perfect for lunch or a cozy relaxing evening. Henry’s is open daily, year-round.

Fitness and Fun There is an outdoor pool and the hotel’s waterfront concierge arranges fishing and sailing trips on the hotel’s own boats.  There are many pet-friendly hiking trails, but beach access for dogs is seasonal. Check the posted regulations. Golf, biking, bird watching and lighthouse exploration are other nearby activities.

Hotel Junkie’s Favorite Thing To Do Summer weather: sip a cocktail on the porch and take in the view of the sea and Chappaquiddick. Winter weather: grab a Sidecar fireside in the lobby.

Harbor View Hotel

Tech There’s High-speed wireless Internet access throughout the property

Getting there Direct air service to Martha’s Vineyard runs from Boston, New York City, and Hyannis, Mass.  Year-round ferry service departs from Woods Hole, Mass., and seasonally from New York City, Hyannis, Falmouth and New Bedford, Mass., as well as Quonset, R.I.

Info 131 North Water St., Edgartown, Mass. 800-225-6005, 508-627-7000. http://www.harbor-view.com

Photo credit: Harbor View Hotel

 

 

Boston Harbor Hotel Celebrates Christmas Day

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Boston, Mass. — Families, couples, friends, and, of course, Santa gathered at the elegant Boston Harbor Hotel where the annual Christmas Day brunch buffet formed a colorful, not to mention mouthwatering, display. The hotel’s Atlantic Room was trimmed out for the holidays in rich traditional style. Santa did indeed jingle around the room saying hello. You’d think he’d be ready for a break, what with working all night. The smartly uniformed staff did most of the work, though, helping guests to Mimosas, spicy Bloody Marys, and bottles of Champagne. ALso on the wine list was a local New England sparkling white wine: A gorgeous dry, oaky Westport Rivers RIR 2005 from just south of the city. It’s a tasty wine that gives the French stuff a run for its money.

The food was the main attraction of course. This is one hotel kitchen that does mass catering as finely as it crafts individual dishes in its two restaurants, the casual Rowes Wharf Sea Grille and Meritage. The latter is the hotel’s executive chef Daniel Bruce’s specialist wine and food pairing restaurant, inspired by the wine festival Bruce has been putting on for over 20 years. The 23rd Boston Wine Festival starts Jan. 6.

But, back to the Christmas Day brunch: Roast beef, chicken, lamb chops, salmon, antipasti, nicely ripened cheeses, and several breakfast combinations filled tables around a room. The potato salad with purple Peruvian potatoes and  small sweet shrimp was a standout. This being Boston, where babies are weaned on seafood, there was plenty of lobster tail, crab claw, shrimp, and mussels on hand.

Of the dessert selection, each side of a lovely gingerbread house — which smelled gorgeously spicy! — was flanked by chocolate creme choux buns, chocolate tortes, lemon and raspberry tarts, panna cotta, espresso creme brulee, banana and coconut cheesecake, and a lavish Buche Noel. But one item topped all: an addictive creamy milk chocolate pot de creme with a dollop of whipped cream a sprinkling of crunchy chocolate nibs and, whether by accident or design, a thicker chocolate “crust.” It was just perfect.

It wasn’t a white christmas in Boston this year, but a few flurries floated by the Atlantic Room’s windows overlooking the quiet but freezing cold harbor. How’s the song go? “Baby it’s cold outside…”

For more info: bhh.com

Photos: Hotel Junkie