Travel

This Vermont Hotel Was Just Dubbed the Best in the World

According to Forbes Travel Guide.


fall mini-moon

Photo courtesy of Twin Farms

You might think you’d have to jet off to Dubai or Paris to experience the globe’s most luxurious accommodations. As it turns out though, the world’s top escape actually lies right in our backyard, at least according to Forbes Travel Guide. Twin Farms, an adults-only resort set on 300 acres in Barnard, Vermont, just received the site’s “Hotel of the Year” distinction as part of its 62nd annual 2020 Star Awards. “When most of us city folk say we need a getaway, a location as quaint as Twin Farms comes to mind. If you’re looking for fresh mountain air, beautiful scenery and that get-away-from-it-all feeling, this cozy hotel should be on your hotel bucket list,” the guide reads. “The friendly and unobtrusive staff make sure that the services offered are personalized down to each individual’s needs.”

The distinction, which CEO Filip Boyen awarded at the Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit in Las Vegas last week, is based on percentage scores calculated by “incognito inspectors” who anonymously check into hotels around the globe for a minimum of two nights. These experts evaluate their experience by taking into account up to 900 standards, centered on service and the quality of the facilities, and tallying up an overall percentage based on their findings. The highest scorers worldwide receive a Five-Star designation. While 107 properties worldwide were given the Five-Star title this year, Twin Farms earned the highest score of them all—a nearly flawless 98.24 percent—beating out stays in Bali, St. Barts, and beyond. It also edged out all seven of the other Five-Star awardees in New England, which include the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, the Mandarin Oriental Boston, the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Weekapaug Inn, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Wheatleigh, and Ocean House.

The seeds for Twin Farms were planted in 1928, when Sinclair Lewis bought his new wife an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by acres of fields and forest. These days, the farmhouse and 10 freestanding cottages offer lavish amenities such as fireplaces, screen porches, and private hot tubs. The hotel, which was dubbed the best in the Northeast in 2018 by Travel + Leisure, also boasts a range of top-notch complementary perks including unpacking services and same-day laundry.

While views of Twin Farms’ enchanting landscape can be enjoyed from all of its suites and cottages, the accommodations themselves are as striking as the scenery. Dreamed up by local interior designers and architects, these include the Studio, a two-story, 2,215-square-foot cottage featuring artwork by Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, and Jim Dine, as well as the oh-so-Zen Orchard cottage, with Japanese-inspired décor, two hand-carved granite fireplaces, and a platform king bed.

As for the culinary experience? While fresh and locally sourced ingredients are guaranteed, the hotel doesn’t have menus. Instead, its chefs tailor all meals—whether enjoyed in the main dining room, on the terrace, or in suite—to each guest’s own tastes and dietary needs. Twin Farms also maintains its own private wine cellar stocked with 15,000 bottles.

While the hotel truly shines in the fall, when the landscape becomes awash with color, there’s no shortage of diversions to enjoy in every season. Guests can partake in a range of activities, from skiing on a private six-trail slope and ice skating in winter to apiary tours and canoeing in warmer months. Year-round relaxation also comes in the form of a serene Japanese bathhouse and the Bridge House Spa, where cozy steam rooms and rejuvenating treatments (including customized aromatherapy massages and reiki work) await. All this, and no plane ticket required—seems more than adequate indeed.

Photo courtesy of Twin Farms

Photo courtesy of Twin Farms

452 Royalton Tpke., Barnard, VT, 802-234-9999, twinfarms.com