- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
Just down the hill from the Bennington Battle Monument, the Knotty Pine Motel (130 Northside Dr., Bennington, 802/442-5487, www.knottypinemotel.com, $63–77) offers exceptional value for a motel, with refrigerators, coffee-makers and cable television in each of its spotless rooms.
Located in Manchester Center, the Four Winds Country Motel (7379 Rte. 7A, Manchester, 802/362-1105, www.fourwindscountrymotel.com, $66–120) is a cut above the usual motel, with country furniture and antiques in the rooms.
The Colonial House Inn & Motel (287 Rte. 100, Weston, 802/824-6286 or 800/639-5033, www.cohoinn.com, $70–175) combines the hospitality of a bed-and-breakfast with the prices of a motel. A rustic living room has a warm stove and plenty of comfy chairs, along with wireless Internet access for your laptop. The proprietors’ baked pies were so popular that they created a separate business; pies are available for takeaway with advance notice.
Four chimneys really do project from the roof of The Four Chimneys Inn (21 West Rd./Rte. 9, Bennington, 802/447-3500, www.fourchimneys.com, rooms $125–295, entrées $19–36), a sprawling Revolutionary-era parsonage that has been converted to an upscale bed-and-breakfast. As might be expected, many of the rooms have fireplaces, including one with a real wood-burning hearth. The white-cloth dining room has French doors looking out on the grounds, and serves a menu of refined New England cuisine, with specialties such as grilled apple cider salmon and mushroom and leek risotto.
The current owner of the Barnstead Inn (Bonnet St., Manchester, 800/331-1619, www.barnsteadinn.com, $85–300) used to sled down the hill beside the hay barn that has been converted into a bed-and-breakfast. The 14 individual rooms feature romantic touches like exposed beams and original antiques.
For a great deal, head into the Salt Ash Inn (4758 Rte. 100A/Jct. Rte. 100, Plymouth, 800/725-8274, www.saltashinn.com, $130–210). Just up the hill from Calvin Coolidge’s birthplace, new owners Karla and Naz Jenulevich have renovated this budget B&B with gas fireplaces and four-poster beds. The pair serve up local travel tips at an on-site bar.
The Reluctant Panther (17–39 West Rd., Manchester, 802/362-2568, www.reluctantpanther.com, $179–759), was gutted by fire several years back. Owners Liz and Jerry Lavalley took the occasion to renovate with even more upscale amenities. Each room in the antique-filled home now has at least one fireplace (some have two) and a Jacuzzi-style tub (most large enough to fit two people). In addition, a carriage house and a pair of older buildings on the grounds feature wood-burning fireplaces and private porches. Despite the heavy emphasis on couples, some rooms do allow small dogs or small children. A restaurant on premises offers a mix of upscale continental and American regional cuisine with a view of Mount Equinox. Panther or no, you’ll be reluctant to leave.
Right on the Weston town green, the Inn at Weston (620 Rte. 100, Weston, 802/824-6789, www.innweston.com, rooms $185–325, entrées $26–34) offers romance in the form of queen featherbeds covered in country quilts, two-person whirlpool tubs, and in-room wood stoves. The innkeeper tends orchids in a greenhouse open for tours. The inn also features a dining room serving unusual contemporary cuisine such as seared diver scallops with vanilla infused butternut squash sauce and warm terrine of roasted eggplant, with chai crème brûlée for dessert.
$250 and Up
Much has changed at the Equinox Resort & Spa (3567 Main St./Rte. 7A, Manchester, 800/362-4747, www.equinoxresort.com, $239–439) since Orvis’s day. What hasn’t changed is that this is still where those with money to burn receive the ultimate in luxury. The sprawling resort contains almost 200 rooms outfitted with plush furnishings, along with wooded grounds that stretch for 1300 acres and include a luxury spa, a golf course, and a falconry school.
More intimate, but no less luxurious, is The Inn at Ormsby Hill (1842 Main St./Rte. 7A, Manchester, 802/362-1163, www.ormsbyhill.com, $205–535), a Revolutionary-era mansion named after a captain of the Green Mountain Boys. The inn, which underwent a renovation in 2008, prides itself on individual attention to guests, and a lavish decor calling to mind an English drawing room (complete with carved mantelpieces and wood-beaded ceilings). Innkeeper Chris Sprague is an imaginative breakfast cook, along the lines of bacon-and-egg risotto and eggs Benedict bread pudding.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition