VT Travel Guide
Last week we gave you the lowdown on Valentine's Day deals that we'd actually book. This week, it's time to show you the strange, outrageous and plain cray-cray packages that are out there.
Tucked inside a friendly looking, sunny-yellow house, the Woodstocker Inn looks like an unlikely place for some naughty Valentine's Day ruckus. But the small Vermont inn is asking all the freaks in the sheets to come out for its Duvets and Dildos package.
Historical Hotels / Fall Hotels / Fall Foliage Hotels / Vermont Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts / Montpelier Hotels / → All Tags
As one of friends said to us when we pulled up at the vintage Inn at Montpelier on Main Street, "Montpelier's got charm coming out of its butt." Never were truer words spoken. The charm that oozes from Montpelier is especially apparent during autumn, its top tourist season, when leaf peepers from around the world descend on the state to pretty much watch grass grow, or rather, leaves die.
Said friend is a native of Montpelier, and according to him, The Inn is the place to stay as a base for forays into the foliage. Maybe it's the expansive front porch or maybe it's the fiery red trees already around the property, but we get why it's so popular. Hint: it's both. The main house and its ten fireplaces were built early in the 1800s and it remains independently owned.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Services / Doughnuts / Luxury Collection Hotels / Vermont Hotels / → All Tags
Time to make the donuts...
It's a fact. Doughnuts are the new cupcakes and it was only a matter of time before hotels began incorporating the yummy fried dough into their menus.
At The Equinox Resort & Spa in Manchester Village, Vermont, you can rest assured that their doughnuts are the freshest they can be as the hotel has its very own doughnut machine. And Chef Jeffrey Russell put the machine to good use immediately, concocting Vermont apple cider doughnuts which he's been giving out to guests.
We’ve always heard wonderful things about Vermont’s loveliness in the spring, summer and fall, but anytime anyone said "Vermont" and "Winter" in the same sentence, we covered up our ears. Not all of us love
shaving ice er...skiing and many of us refuse to vacation somewhere below 40 degrees.
But if there’s anything to sway us up to Vermont for a weekend, it’s a cozy-looking, colonial inn promising a third-night free.
Of course, said inn would have to have some crazy appealing amenities to make us pack snowboots and parkas and trip it up to Vermont at this time of the year. Fortunately, The Pitcher Inn delivers on that with its in-room Jacuzzi tubs, heated floors and wood-burning fireplaces.
And right now, they are offering guests who pay for two nights, a third night free. The $850 price tag includes three night’s of accommodations, full breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner (though the dining room is closed on Tuesdays). Not bad, considering this is a Relais & Chateaux property.
The offer is good through December 18, so if anyone wants to expose themselves to Vermont’s winter elements, you better get crackin’.
But those rolling green hills won't stay that way for long. According to the Vermont Vacation's Foliage Report, the wet weather New England has been having will translate to a spectacular palette of autumn hues.
This website's pretty cool, too - they even tell you what regions of the state are most likely to have available lodging. (Hint: The weekend of October 10-12 is nearly a statewide blackout of rooms.)
So where to spend some time leaf-gazing? Ironically, a good stop is at Mount Snow, at the sprawling Grand Summit Hotel. Predominantly known for skiing, it's got all the seasonal benefits of slope life without the snow plows -- outdoor pool, sauna, hot tubs...
When you get tired of all that natural beauty, there are nearby wineries, mountain biking, working farm and dairies...not to mention a local Oktoberfest right at the mountain base, October 11 & 12. Room rates for a room with two queen beds start at $138 a night.
During today's lesson you may get a bit choked up, find your body temperature rising and a shiver shooting down your spine. If you haven't guessed already, we're talking about Legionnaires disease, symptoms of which include coughing, high fever and chills.
Similar to pneumonia, Legionnaires was first identified in 1976 and got its name after a spate of guests at what is now the Park Hyatt Philadelphia--who happened to be attending an American Legion convention--contracted the disease. It was later discovered the bacteria spawned from the hotel's cooling tower.
Why should you care? Because Vermont's Cortina Inn & Resort was closed yesterday after water tests showed evidence of the bacteria, confirming it as a source of recent cases. It is not yet known when the hotel will reopen, thereby squashing any hopes hotel guests may have had of catching the last ski runs of the season.
Hotels without climate control systems are known breeding grounds for the disease, but lest you think quaint country inns like the Cortina are only susceptible (we're unawares if the hotel has climate control), the last reported outbreak of Legionnaires occurred as recently as last month, at a Quality Inn in Orlando.
Perhaps climate control could be the hot new amenity hotels can start touting?
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
This sounds like a perfect weekend getaway: heading up into the Green Mountain National Forest, near Romance Mountain, to a place with "the luxury of open lands, spectacular panoramic views, privacy, fresh air, freedom from noise and a less hurried pace". And that's exactly how it looks if you see this killer view from the Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen, Vermont.
The inn has four original rooms in the upstairs of the main building, all quaintly decorated to give you the charm of a time past. There are also three rooms off the Conservatory with lofts, a cottage and four pond-side rooms, each with slightly different features--choose the room that suits you best.
Double rooms start at $130 per person, while a single is just $160 for the room; prices are higher on weekends, holidays and during the foliage season. And you can run around on this great lawn free of charge.
Looks like the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel isn't the only hotel on our Best U.S. Green Hotels list to offer green educational items. A tipster dropped this tidbit into our inboxes about the Woodstocker Inn which we labeled as a Best East Coast Green Hotel.
The Woodstocker Inn located in Woodstock Vermont, encourages all guests to view the DVD of Who Killed the Electric Car? rather than one of their action packed feature movies.
The Inn had their attention brought to this enlightening film by a guest who stayed with them. Her partner had worked on the film and kindly sent them a complimentary copy. Now the DVD is placed in all bedrooms for guests to view.
Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth will be offered soon to compliment it.
Way to go, Woodstocker. Who knew Al Gore and the electric car would become hotel sensations?
And just FYI, when we stayed at the Orchard Garden Hotel in San Francisco, we didn't look too hard at the DVD offerings but we did see a copy of an eco-magazine. But we're guessing this and other Green Hotels better step up.
We know that finding fresh powder in the mountains of Vermont is hard to do compared to skiing out west but a trip to Sugarbush Resort in Warren might be worth a stop for North Easterners looking for a weekend ski getaway.
The NY Times recently reported on the lodging makeover that Sugarbush has undergone to make the resort--which had its heyday in the 1960s--an attractive resort to visit again.
The Pitcher Inn has 11 rooms and suites, a first-floor restaurant and a welcoming pub, lounge and game room in the basement. The restaurant is a must visit with a menu of brilliantly prepared delights, from an intriguing roasted squab appetizer to the luscious Wellfleet oyster stew to the juicy braised lamb shank.
As for the rooms in this Relais & Chateaux hotel, each one has a different theme and if you're a big fan on New England history, you're in luck as the themes range from colonial, school (a recreation of an old Vermont schoolhouse), Calvin Coolidge and trout. TripAdvisor reviews are fairly good although some quite old. One from last February called the Inn "amazing" and another said "absolutely fantastic."
But while Sugarbush is about a five hour drive from New York, it still has New York prices with the colonial room (pictured above) starting at $375 a night.
Normally we think of Vermont as a nice place to visit during the ski season but not any time else mainly because its too darn cold. However, you troublesome leaf-peepers can head up to the Equinox Hotel in Manchester Village for more of your fall foliage hijinks.
The hotel is now a huge modern resort but still contains the historic Marsh Tavern, built in 1769, as part of its complex. There's no specific Fall Foliage package offered here but you are essentially surrounded by it as the resort is situated on 2,300 acres. There's lots of outdoorsy activities to partake in such as canoeing, off-road driving and golfing or else you can hit up the award-winning Avanyu Spa.
If you really have your heart set on some foliage, then visit the hotel during October 28 when a naturalist from the VT Institute of Natural Science will offer a tour around the Equinox Preservation Trust to search for wildflowers.
Rooms start at around $220.
Those hip city boutique hotels may be fun, but with the thermometer hitting 100F and the urban sidewalks being egg-frying temperature, it's a good time to get away to the mountains of Vermont.
The 99-room Inn at the Six Mountains, in Killington, Vermont, is offering an enticing Golf & Spa package through September 14. Rates start at $598 double for two nights, which includes two rounds of golf per person, a one-hour massage each, and breakfast both days (maple syrup anyone?). The golf is at two different courses even: Killington Golf Course and Green Mountain National.
You may look up longingly at those green ski runs and wish for snow as you hit your chip shot, but compared to sweating profusely after just a five-minute walk in the big city, the mountain air will still hit you like a cool breeze. And hey, there's an outdoor pool, which you don't see very often in these parts. To book, visit the "Hot Deals" section of the hotel's web site.
· Inn of the Six Mountains reviews [TripAdvisor]
Everyone's been inspired by the Olympic Games to hit the slopes and tear up some powder or try out some McTwists and Fakeys on the half-pipe.
Hitting the slopes can be tiring so when you return to your hotel room, you'd like to be able to relax in the tub and park your tired butt on the couch.
The room smelled like a combination of feet and sweat-laden long underwear. The couch (futon) was so soiled that we chose to sit on the coffee tables...[T]he room didn't include ammenities such as a flushable toilet or a sink that drained. The advertised sauna was inoperative and the "gym" consisted of couple of rusty old pieces of equipment.
God, it's bad enough smelling our own long underwear and sweaty feet after a day in ski boots, let alone stranger's feet and underwear! We suggest you bring along aromatherapy candles and plug-in room fresheners if you plan on staying here.
· Mountain Sports Inn reviews [TripAdvisor]