Tag Archives: The Snowvillage Inn

White Barn Inn & Spa, Kennebunkport, Maine



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

The Snowvillage Inn, New Hampshire, USA


Snowvillage ext

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.

Snowvillage Chimney House lounge

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.

Snowvillage Bedroom

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.

Snowvillage Bar

 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