You Can Stay Overnight in Your Own Private Helicopter
At Connecticut resort Winvian, let your imagination take flight from somewhere close to home.
If there’s anything in the world that might make a curmudgeonly old New Englander love winter again, it’s a stay at Winvian, a Relais & Chateaux resort tucked away on 113 acres in the Litchfield Hills area of Connecticut. Entering through the white gates is whimsical enough; your freestanding room, though, has even more magic in store.
The entire property is dotted with private themed cottages full of whimsy. There’s the two-level Treehouse, situated 35 feet off the forest floor, as well as several newly updated cottages, including Camping, Greenhouse, and Music, which, true to their names, come chock full of fanciful surprises. (Fireplaces, either gas or wood-burning, are a feature in most rooms.)
But the Helicopter Cottage is exceptionally fantastic. From the outside, it looks like a quaint little house; open the door to the 890-square-foot space, however, and visitors will find a fully restored 1968 Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican Helicopter at the center.
Yes, you read that right: There’s an entire helicopter in the center of the room, with its rotor blades embedded in the ceiling. On one side of the aircraft is a cozy gas fireplace and modern leather chairs; on the other, a king-size bed, Jacuzzi tub, and steam shower. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a strip of multi-colored lights frame the view outside, which when the flakes are really flying can make it feel like you’re looking out into a snow globe.
If you think the helicopter is just for show, though, think again. Wannabe pilots can climb the stairs to the aircraft into another world entirely: Pour a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz from the mini fridge or make a cup of espresso, then sit back, relax and watch a movie in the fuselage. Outfitted with all of the original switches and levers, the cockpit is especially fun if you’re traveling with kids, who are limited only by their imagination.
At mealtime, guests don’t have to go far. The 1775 manor house at the front of the property is home to a AAA Five Diamond dining room led by executive chef Chris Eddy. Tuck into hand-rolled cavatelli with cabbage and smoked mozzarella, or grilled octopus with chimichurri in front of the oldest working fireplace in New England. Breakfast is served in the same dining area, or brought straight to your cottage in heavy cast-iron pans.
Feel like bundling up and getting some fresh air? The Litchfield Hills area is a winter wonderland this time of year: You can snowshoe right on property, or let the concierge plan an off-site adventure for you—think axe-throwing, horseback riding, or Olympic fencing lessons. The region is also home to the Mohawk Mountain Ski Area for winter sports aficionados; if you’re more of the watch-the-snow type, try booking a Victorian sleigh ride at nearby Wood Acres Farm. Or, of course, you could simply check into Winvian’s sprawling spa and enjoy winter the way it was meant to be enjoyed: with a massage followed by a cup of hot tea in the light, airy lounge. It’s feeling warmer outside already.
Nightly rates start at $899, winvian.com.