Given the choice, I almost always opt for slopeside accommodations during ski trips. I put a premium on convenience, and the ability to ski out of and ski in to my lodging is, for me, the pinnacle of a ski outing. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. A perfect example is the Inn at Thorn Hill in Jackson, New Hampshire.
This elegant country manor, set atop a short hill overlooking one of New England’s quintessential ski villages with stunning views of the White Mountains, is a special treat any time of the year, and especially in winter. But the inn stands alone, separate from any ski area or resort. On the outskirts of town (straight up the hill on Route 16B), you can find the throwback ski hill of Black Mountain.
Farther north, in Pinkham Notch, is the venerable Wildcat Mountain, opposite Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine. A short drive southwest brings you to Attitash/Bear Peak in Bartlett, or Cranmore to the south in North Conway.
It’s that diversity that makes Jackson a wonderful hub for your northern New Hampshire adventures. My wife, daughters and I love being able to “sample” the different experiences — from conditions to atmosphere — that these four ski areas offer, without feeling like we’re obligated to one because we happen to be staying there. But there are plenty of lodging options, including the Wentworth Inn, the Jackson Inn (at the foot of Thorn Hill) and the Christmas Farm Inn. What sets the the Inn at Thorn Hill apart is a wonderful sense of casual luxury, top-notch dining options and a fabulous spa.