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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’.
Yesterday was the first official day of fall...still plenty of time to book a leaf-peeper getaway. The US Hotels Group just announced two getaways at their upscale New England resorts, The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine (where the Bush parents call home), and The Windham Hill Inn in West Townshend, Vermont.
Between September 22nd and October 18, and starting at rates of $1100 per person, you get two nights accommodations, dinner for two each night, breakfast and afternoon tea, and er, driving maps of the area.
Rooms at the The Windham Hill come with fireplaces, jacuzzis, and decks -- while The White Barn Inn, built in the 1860s, has an on-site spa and its White White Barn Inn Restaurant has won a Mobil 5-Star, AAA Five-Diamond rating.
Fortunately, the hotels don't charge you extra if you stay mid-week or weekend. And your fee includes, well, driving maps, which you could probably get for free from the state tourism board or local visitor centers, anyway. Or the internet. But you get the point.
[Photo: The Notorious Meg]
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.
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same region (or this time, around the same activity) and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quoted here were captured on January 22, 2008 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
Skiing is hard enough without having to sort through math problems ahead of time. That's why we like this one-page rundown of Northeast ski deals from Travelocity. Most are simple "ski and stay" packages at quality hotels and resorts around Stowe, Lake Placid, and Stratton.
To see how many restrictions we would run into, we ran a few searches from different cities in the southern U.S. and scored more often than not. We found a sub-$600 deal for four nights around Valentine's Day from both Nashville and Atlanta for the Green Mountain Inn at Stowe. We were getting prices around $900 for packages to New Hampshire's White Mountains from Dulles Airport and Charlotte, but the package did include a one-day lift ticket.
Naturally there is going to be a lot of fluctuation on these deals depending on flight prices from your airport, but you don't have to read any fine print or call a reservation agent to check the bottom line pricing.