Best of New England: Vermont
Inn : Historical
THE DORSET INN
The oldest continuously operating inn in Vermont (it’s been in business since 1796), the Dorset has 25 rooms and suites boasting plenty of well-preserved details. But it’s also wonderfully up-to-date, with luxe amenities for discerning guests. Indulge in a body treatment at the Petite Day Spa, or cozy up with your pooch in one of the fireplace-equipped, pet-friendly suites. // 8 Church St., Dorset, 802-867-5500, dorsetinn.com.
Inn : Romantic
WINDHAM HILL INN
The most seductive retreats are never the ones that try desperately to orchestrate romance — no, they’re the quietly cosseting places where there’s nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company. For that, no spot tops Windham Hill, where a day goes like this: cozy breakfast; read by in-room fire; gourmet picnic lunch; walk on the 1.8-mile Green Trail; warm bath; six-course tasting dinner; champagne. Book the spacious Meadowlook loft suite, and you’ll be swooning like lovebirds in no time. // 311 Lawrence Dr., West Townshend, 802-874-4080, windhamhill.com.
Inn : General Excellence
It doesn’t get more iconic than the 200-year-old Vermont inn used in the opening credits of Bob Newhart’s TV show. But this is no mere set piece: Thirteen antiques-filled suites and an intimate restaurant create a comfortable atmosphere that’s accentuated by the attentive staff. Want an insider’s peek at the storied inn’s past? Request Room Nine, which harbors a romantic secret: a hidden desk drawer stuffed with letters from guests who’ve stayed there over the years. // 457 E. Main St., East Middlebury, 802-388-4015, wayburyinn.com.
Getaway : Group
THE WOODSTOCK INN AND RESORT
No wonder this sprawling inn on Woodstock’s town green is a local favorite for weddings and reunions: It’s large enough to hold several restaurants, a cross-country skiing center, an outdoor pool, golf facilities, and a brand-new 10,000-square-foot spa, but its solicitous staff leaves you feeling as if you’re the only guest in the place. And when you do want some privacy, the recently renovated rooms are a welcome retreat. // 14 The Green, Woodstock, 800-448-7900, woodstockinn.com.
Getaway : Gourmet
THE PITCHER INN
After a day on the slopes, a bare-bones lodge is hardly a dream come true — at least, not for everyone. If your idea of après-ski is more wine and dine than burgers and beers, opt for the Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Châteaux hideaway located near Sugarbush Resort, not far from Mad River Glen. In addition to world-class dining, the inn features in-room spa services, in-suite fireplaces, and steam showers. // 275 Main St., Warren, 802-496-6350, pitcherinn.com.
Resort : Family
STOWE MOUNTAIN LODGE
Opened in June 2008, this impressive slopeside getaway blends top-tier service, a spa, and year-round diversions — and is extraordinarily family-friendly to boot. Its location ensures quick access to the slopes (take advantage of the “ski valet”); a new performing-arts center provides entertainment; and a just-launched “KidSpa” offers pampering for the little luxury-seekers in your party. When it’s time to reconvene for dinner, treat everyone to organic fare by executive chef Cody Vasek at Solstice. // 7412 Mountain Rd., Stowe, 888-478-6938, stowemountainlodge.com.
Resort : Fairytale Fantasy
CASTLE HILL RESORT AND SPA
There’s an undeniable princess-in-a-castle feel to this imposing stone mansion, constructed by Governor Allen Miller Fletcher in 1905. The elegant gardens, four-poster beds, and chandelier-bedecked dining rooms transport guests back in time — or they can escape reality altogether at the Aveda Concept spa. The main inn is where couples will want to stay, but there are also more-modern “resort homes” on the property for group rentals. // 2910 Route 103, Cavendish, 802-226-7361, castlehillresortvt.com.
Resort : Luxury
As lavish a resort as you’ll find anywhere, Twin Farms wows the senses with pastoral views and painstakingly outfitted rooms (four-poster beds, fireplaces, Jacuzzis, museum-quality art). But the flawless service is what really seals the deal. Whether you want an on-property fly-fishing experience, a picnic after a hike on the inn’s 300 acres, or a wine from the 26,000-bottle cellar, resort staffers bend over backward to make it happen. // 452 Royalton Tpke., Barnard, 800-894-6327, twinfarms.com.
Farm Stay : Luxury
Cows, goats, sheep, lambs, pigs, donkeys, and even a llama romp around this farm/inn’s 1,400 acres in northwestern Vermont. Young visitors to the Children’s Farmyard can delight in hands-on tasks such as collecting fresh eggs, brushing rabbits, and milking cows. (The farm has a working dairy with 125 Brown Swiss cows, and their milk is used to make some of the tastiest cheddar in the state.) For parents, there are eight miles of walking trails through bucolic meadows and woodlands, as well as an on-site restaurant. // 1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne, 802-985-8686, shelburnefarms.org.
Spot for Low-Key Luxury
RABBIT HILL INN
This white-pillared property features 19 cozily appointed rooms, candlelit breakfasts, magnificent dinners, romantic packages, and perhaps the friendliest innkeepers in the state. The rooms come equipped with canopy beds and double spa tubs, but the vibe is blissfully understated. // 48 Lower Waterford Rd., Lower Waterford, 802-748-5168, rabbithillinn.com.
THE INN AT THE ROUND BARN FARM
A circular barn is the centerpiece of this beautifully converted farmhouse, framed by a maze of delightful orchards and ponds. But never is it more charming than on a snowed-in weekend. Follow the inn’s resident black Lab on a guided tour of the snowshoeing trails — trust us, the pooch knows the way — then warm up by the fireplace in your plush room as you watch the flakes fall on the unspoiled woods outside. // 1661 E. Warren Rd., Waitsfield, 802-496-2276, theroundbarn.com.
Place for a Boys Weekend
Sure, there’s plenty for couples and families at this stylish resort. But something makes it distinctly conducive to male bonding. Is it the boisterous Falcon Bar? Or the beefy steakhouse menu at the Chop House? Maybe it’s the green gorgeousness of the par-71, 6,423-yard golf course, the off-roading fun of the Land Rover driving school, and the archery courses. Whatever it is, we bet you and your buddies will have a heck of a time finding out. // 3567 Main St., Manchester Village, 800-362-4747, equinoxresort.com.