Indulgence can be an offshoot of the skiing life. Or, heck, it could envelop the whole darned thing.
No matter if you’re a day-tripper, weekend warrior or resident powder hound, we all deserve a little pampering moment here or there during the skiing and riding season, whether that consists of a pedicure after a day ripping up the bumps, fine dining after navigating the groomers, or a quaint overnight at a classically romantic New England Inn.
Whatever your definition of luxury might be, you’ll find it at these New England resorts, inns and bed and breakfasts, generally regarded as some of the best destinations for indulgence in the region, but ranked in no particular order. Of course, before booking, make sure that you check out each state’s current COVID-19 protocols before traveling.
The Pitcher Inn | Warren, Vt.
Intimacy comes wrapped in individual packages at the Pitcher Inn, particularly when it comes to the accommodations. There are nine guest rooms in all at the property, each one designed in a particularly comforting way that gives it its own theme. Skiers will revel in the ski-themed room, “romantically rustic” and decorated with vintage trail maps and other ski memorabilia. The School suite re-imagines what a one-room schoolhouse would have looked like in Warren way back when, while the Trout room features a wooden-carved bed, with a private porch over the trout-filled brook. These are luxuries that will keep you coming back for more, not to mention an original visit each time. www.pitcherinn.com
Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa Whitefield, N.H.
The sheer enormity of the Mountain View Grand is only part of its distinctive nature. Originated in 1865, the resort sits atop a hill with direct views to the slopes at Cannon Mountain and all of its surroundings in the White Mountains. And what the place already boasts in natural beauty, it also shares in its rooted history, a pride of the resort with so many stories to tell. (For starters, how many other hotels in the area can say they have an elevator operator?) There’s a fascinating historical tour to take around the buildings, as well as other family-friendly activities at the onsite farm, during campfires with s’mores, and enough surprise activities for the kids that might give you a chance to hit the Tower Spa for a little bit of pampering with stunning panoramic views. www.mountainviewgrand.com
Tram Haus Lodge | Jay, Vt.
Located a stone’s throw (or, at least a quick walk) from the splashing and cavorting at the Pump House, Jay Peak Resort’s unparalleled indoor water park at Hotel Jay, the Tram Haus Lodge ups the ante just a bit at Jay Peak, delivering guests easy access to the lifts in addition to its spa, dining and other offerings. There’s a mix of bedrooms and studios here, available for all sorts of parties, all equipped with a kitchenette that is perfect for families on an extended weekend. The property prides itself on having everything within it locally made. Made the Jay Way, if you will, to steal a slogan. jaypeakresort.com/trip-planning/lodging/tram-haus-lodge
Trapp Family Lodge | Stowe, Vt.
Nowhere in Stowe are the hills more alive than at the Trapp Family Lodge, the Austrian-inspired resort that brings a wealth of European flavor to the Green Mountain State. The alpine lodge is like stepping into the history of the Von Trapp family, featuring a variety of activities including a cross-country course onsite.
Kick back with some yoga, snowshoeing or in one of the lodge’s signature food and beverages options. Since 2010, it has been the site of Johannes von Trapp’s venture into the adventurous world of lagers at Von Trapp Brewing, and the Austrian Tea and Tap Room is prime for a light snack or lunch while overlooking the majestic valleys that surround. www.trappfamily.com
Omni Mount Washington Hotel Resort Bretton Woods, N.H.
Is there a more celebrated image of a mountain resort in all of New England than the massive landscape of Spanish Renaissance, white and red architecture that suddenly appears out of the woods along Route 302? The majesty of the resort itself is only topped by the awesome sight of Mount Washington hovering overhead, almost like a protective mother guarding its nest. If that’s the case, this is one premium nesting spot. Since 1902, the Mount Washington Hotel has been greeting guests with an opulence that has never gone out of style. After a day of skiing at Bretton Woods across the street, there’s no shortage of relaxing activities to conquer at the hotel, including nightlife at the “Cave,” a former speakeasy, sleigh rides, a zipline tour that’s open year-round, or just relax in the grand, historic lobby with a drink. www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mountwashington
Topnotch Resort | Stowe, Vt.
Maybe I’m biased considering my wife and I celebrated our wedding here some 15 years ago, but there always has been a familiar comfort among the settings at Topnotch, long-considered one of Stowe’s top-ranked spas and resorts. Even postrenovation, the modern touch levied upon the buildings conveys a luxurious sense of style, without ever really losing the sense of its place. With Mount Mansfield looming in the background of the heavens, that’s quite impossible to do, but Topnotch manages to take guests away to a world of relaxation without ever leaving its longingrained elements of providing hospitality and exhilaration that are, well, top notch. www.topnotchresort.com
Woodstock Inn and Resort | Woodstock, Vt.
With Killington Mountain Resort, one of the East’s largest ski resorts, all but on the horizon during a drive through the quaint town of Woodstock, little Suicide Six can be overlooked. But this ski area, one of the oldest in all of Vermont, still offers 23 trails of less-hectic skiing and riding as part of the Woodstock Inn, one of New England’s most celebrated stays. For a real treat, the 10,000-squarefoot day spa boasts calming treatment rooms that utilize the environment as a means to relax. The peaceful ambiance helps achieve “total mind and body” relaxation, in a setting that is probably a tad more peaceful than the late-night happenings along Killington Mountain Road. www.woodstockinn.com
Christmas Farm Inn | Jackson, N.H.
Quintessential ski towns don’t get much more Rockwellian than the New Hampshire town of Jackson, where winter comes to life almost as if diving into the brush strokes of an artist. So, too, is life at the Christmas Farm Inn, a spot that celebrates its simplicity and serenity dating back to 1778. The family-managed inn features a full-service spa with seven treatment rooms, highly rated pub and restaurant, and rooms that boast a certain colonial atmosphere. If the unpretentious vibe at nearby Black Mountain is your preference, it’s an aura that only continues at Christmas Farm Inn, during the holidays or whenever, really. www.christmasfarminn.com
Blantyre | Lenox, Mass.
The history that calls out at this Lenox estate goes back to the Gilded Age, when the gardens were all the rage for parties and lavish dinner dances. Decades later, Blantyre holds on to that spectacular reputation with a regal setting and an appreciation for its highlight in history. Cross-country skiers will especially appreciate the 110 acres of lawns and woodlands set out for them, with equipment complimentary for guests. Skates and snowshoes also are complimentary, creating the perfect agenda before enjoying the incomparable prix fixe dinner menu, while serenaded by pianist Karèn Tchougourian. Maybe this is how the other half lives, and it’s pretty darned good. www.blantyre.com
Ski Esta | Newry, Maine
Jackson Gore Inn | Ludlow, Vt.How’s a private estate for luxury? With the slopes of Sunday River Resort providing a dramatic backdrop, Ski Esta is a palatial, 10-bedroom, 12-bath resort of its own, complete with an indoor pool, home theater room, a 50-foot rooftop deck, 4,000 square feet of decks, 2,500 square feet of additional patio, and a recreational room featuring a custom-built log pool table. It’s big enough to fit you and 36 more of your friends or family comfortably. It is the property of owner Sophia Bilinsky and husband Walter Shevchuk, who also own a home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (the eight-bedroom “Sea Esta”). Guests can book the Ski Esta for $2,000 per weekday night, $2,400 per weekend night, and $11,550 per week (plus taxes and fees). There is a three-night minimum. www.skiesta.us
Jackson Gore Inn | Ludlow, Vt.
If slopeside accommodations aren’t enough for your luxury bone, then how about Okemo’s high-speed bubble chairlifts to protect you from the elements? There’s more at the Jackson Gore Inn, located in Okemo’s Jackson Gore Village, which features indoor and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, snow tubing, complimentary ski check and views of the Okemo surroundings that will make you hopping out of the comfortable accommodations ever so quickly for first tracks in the morning. There’s character, charm and activities for the whole family here that make Jackson Gore Inn a destination perfect for the gamut of everyone’s luxurious desires. www.okemo.com/lodging
RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain | Lincoln, N.H.
Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center | Burke, Vt.There’s a certain luxury in reminiscence, a particularly strong pull during the winter months of skiing, caroling, hot cocoa and lacing up the skates for a spin on the backyard pond. The RiverWalk Resort takes all of this into consideration in its offerings, allowing guests to relive their memories of winter sports, whether it be on the slopes of Loon or on the resort’s 167,000-gallon frozen lagoon turned skating rink. There’s plenty to do indoors, of course, as well, including a day at the Solstice North Day Spa, taking a tour of the onsite Seven Birches Winery, and settling down for some Italian cuisine at La Vista. Steak and wine after a day on the hill doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend the evening. www.riverwalkresortatloon.com
Burke Mountain Hotel and Conference Center | Burke, Vt.
I was able to tour this hotel while under construction in 2015, and the one thing that struck me throughout the building was the majestic view of the Willoughby Gap, surmising that the hotel would one day offer a uniqueness unlike any other in the Northeast Kingdom. This natural beauty eventually translated to the interior of the Burke hotel as well, delivering 116 suites at the base of the ski resort. The view is the call at The View Pub, perfect for family dining, which also is celebrated at Willoughby’s Restaurant. With a gap worth celebrating, it’s no wonder Burke has woven it into the invitation of its hotel. skiburke.com/visit-burke/accommodations/burkemountainhotel
The Equinox Golf Resort and Spa Manchester Village, Vt.
With Bromley and Stratton just a quick jaunt from its front doors, the Equinox can be considered a skier’s destination, even if its luxurious welcome mat greets guests every other month of the calendar. There are more than 200 years of history here, dating back to the Revolution, serving as a hotbed of presidential accommodations. The serenity of the rooms is added to with the exceptional dining options at the Equinox, including the historic Marsh Tavern, the Chop House (one of Vermont’s most renowned steak houses), and the elegant morning beginnings at the Colonnade. www.equinoxresort.com
Sugar Hill Inn | Sugar Hill, N.H.
If romance is on the docket in addition to hitting the slopes at nearby Cannon, Bretton Woods or Loon, then the Sugar Hill Inn is certain to set the tone. The boutique country inn is the sort of hideaway where you and yours can cuddle in front of a fireplace after an afternoon in the elements on the mountain. Catering to adults (not recommended for anyone under the age of 14), the inn is a quiet respite with a plush atmosphere that speaks of its comfort for couples of all sorts. Alas, couple massages aren’t part of the bill with only one massage therapist on campus, but you can find something else to do, I’m sure, with him or her in the hours following. www.sugarhillinn.com
The Lodge at Spruce Peak | Stowe, Vt.
There is a feel when you stay at the base of Stowe Mountain Resort, one of quality surroundings that go far beyond the inescapable beauty of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. It’s an authentic vibe that hits you upon first entry of the high-end rustic lobby, a place that looks and feels as it intends to because that’s its reality. The Lodge at Spruce Peak isn’t a place that gained its luxurious reputation by simply having a nice carpet and a massive window to the slopes, but with its quality of product, evident from the level of service to the fine dining at Solstice Restaurant to the elegant landscape to the feeling of ending a day on the Front Four by sitting in the year-round, outdoor hot tub and winking at the infamous slopes with a hint of appreciative recognition. The Stowe reputation, the one so many try to copy, is, of course, evident here, with an authenticity that makes The Lodge at Spruce Peak one of New England’s most pleasurable resorts. www.sprucepeak.com
Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel | Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Situated in the heart of Sugarloaf Village, a mere 100 yards from the SuperQuad chairlift, the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel is a full-service option that evokes the comfort of home. Even then, it’s hard to imagine your home has a 30-person hot tub, the recently renovated 45 North restaurant, and a luxurious sleeping experience in the signature “Boyne Bed.” Three-bedroom multilevel penthouses come complete with private sauna and hot tub if company isn’t your sort of thing. You’ll get plenty the following morning anyway with the lifts so close by. sugarloaf.com/vacationplanning/lodging-options/sugarloaf-mountain-hotel
Clay Brook at Sugarbush | Warren, Vt.
Since its inception at the base of Sugarbush less than two decades ago, Clay Brook has become as much of an identity of the ski area as Paradise and CastleRock have above. The 61 luxurious residences at Clay Brook are housed in a building designed to look like your classic Vermont barn, blending in perfectly with the slopeside amenities. From studios to five-bedroom suites, Clay Brook gives options for a multitude of guests, right outside the playgrounds of Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen. A boot valet will take care of your skiing and snowboarding boots for the evening, and if you need to charge your Tesla for the ride home the following day, well there are two of those stations set up in the garage, free of charge for guests. There’s a care to detail at every step of the property, creating a relaxing experience that can even feel like home. Or, so you might wish. www.sugarbush.com/plan/clay-brookhotel-residences
Sunday River Grand Summit Hotel | Newry, Maine
“The world is your backyard” isn’t just a saying at Sunday River’s Grand Summit, it’s actuality with the resort’s offerings right at your fingertips with a stay at the base. Select units sleep up to eight guests, while the outdoor heated pool and hot tub will soothe more muscles than that after a day on Oz and Jordan Bowl. This is a full-service hotel, slopeside at one of New England’s largest and most popular destinations for skiing and riding. There’s luxury in the simplicity of location, something the Grand Summit has going for it big-time. www.sundayriver.com/lodging/grand-summit