Best New England Resorts and Inns (according to Yankee Magazine)
There is a lot to explore in New England, and an ever-longer list of views to admire, mountains to hike, and lobsters to eat. While some of us locals may be hardened from years of New England-itude, there is usually still a new discovery — an untried restaurant, a hidden waterfall — right around the corner from your home or New England hotel. That's just what the editors of Yankee Magazine hope to highlight with their 2014 Best of New England lists, sharing their editors' favorite local secrets in the hopes of helping you make your next big discovery. Says Mel Allen, Yankee's editor: "New England is where we live, and we all have our own personal 'best' places. We’re joined by our state experts whose sole task is to surprise us..." Many of our member inns and resorts are honored with a place on the list, and a personalized "Best" category, from the "Best View from an Inn" (1785 Inn & Restaurant) to the "Best Place to Make a Splash" (Jay Peak Resort). So whether you want to eat your way, walk your way or just relax your way across our six states, here are some choice places to visit and stay from the editors of Yankee (they come highly recommended by us as well).
On the Water
Best Waterside Escape: Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CT At the confluence of the Connecticut River and the Long Island Sound, Saybrook Point Inn offers panoramic water views from its rooms and the nearby marina boardwalks.
Best Ocean View: Ocean at Cape Arundel Inn, Kennebunkport, ME Snag the inn’s Ocean Suite for a private balcony with sweeping Atlantic views to feel a cut above the mansions of Kennebunkport’s "Gold Coast."
Best Place to Make a Splash: Jay Peak Resort, Jay, VT If your idea of a perfect day includes skiing, surfing and water slides, bee-line for Jay Peak’s Pump house Indoor Waterpark. Steps away, The Tram Haus Lodge (tramside, of course) features locally-made furnishings and re-imagined mountain hardware so all who enter feel like a part of the mountain.
Places with a Past: Best Historical Inns
Best 19th-Century Inn: Deerfield Inn, Deerfield, MA The Inn, with its unmistakable white columned porch, has welcomed visitors since 1884, and its bright rooms with historic charm are comfortable for guests (and a few lingering ghosts).
Best Historic Inn: Hancock Inn, Hancock, NH At New Hampshire’s oldest inn (in continuous operation since 1789), period-appropriate decor and hand-painted murals feel like a trip back in time, without the need to swelter in heavy wool clothing — central A/C is pumped throughout the Inn.
Best Baronial B&B: The Inn on Putney Road, Brattleboro French Provincial mansion on the outside; upscale hotel-meets-B&B on the inside. Tons of amenities — two-course breakfasts, a small pub, billiard table, a conservatory — are hidden behind the inn’s high privacy-ensuring hedges.
Best Farm-to-Table Dining: Pine Restaurant at the Hanover Inn, Hanover, NH True New England flavor is all about, well, flavor. The chefs of PINE create approachable, sophisticated dishes featuring local and sustainable ingredients from the region.
Best New Menu: Snowvillage Inn, Eaton Center, NH A new chef at the Inn’s Max’s Restaurant cooked up a menu dotted with creative combinations and local veggies, meats and cheese vying to please any gourmande.
Best Wine Cellar Dining: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, Whitefield, NH Candlelight glints off 6,500 wine bottles at this romantic enclave — but don’t worry, your bottle will be artfully chosen by your server to accompany an elegant meal.
Best Indoor Pool: John Carver Inn & Spa, Plymouth, MA Taking local history to heart, the inn’s Pilgrim Cove pool has an 80-foot waterslide through a life-size copy of the Mayflower II, a whirlpool set inside a replicated Plymouth Rock, and an attached pool large enough to swim laps.
Best Mountain Coaster: Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Hancock, MA Adrenaline junkies (and just about every pre-teen boy) will love speeding down the coaster’s rails at speeds of up to 23 mph. It’s possible to go slower, but would you want to? Jiminy’s adventure parks also offer ropes courses, rock climbing, ziplines and plenty of options for little ones.
Best Family Inn: Christmas Farm Inn & Spa, Jackson, NH Close to well-loved White Mountain attractions like Storyland & the Historic Cog Railroad, families can stay busy at the inn’s indoor and outdoor pools, playground & spa. The Inn’s historic barn has been converted into family-friendly suites; families can also opt for a private 2-bedroom cottage.
Best Environmental Inn: Hanover Inn, Hanover, NHThe hotel has all the class & luxuries expected of one overlooking an Ivy League college green, with the eco-consciousness of a true New Englander — green programs include a recycling program, water-saving initiatives, environmentally-safe cleaning products and composting.
Best Luxury Inn: Bedford Village Inn, Bedford, NH Time to treat yourself! Every room at Bedford Village Inn has a marble bath, whirlpool tub, turndown service with home-baked cookies, and the option of breakfast in bed.
Best View from an Inn: 1785 Inn, North Conway, NH The famous White Mountain view earns yet another accolade. Choose to enjoy it from your room or the Inn’s restaurant, gardens, or even the swimming pool.
Best New Indie Hotel: Hotel Vermont, Burlington, VT Oozing Vermont’s special style of earthy coolness, Hotel Vermont incorporates local details (think reclaimed building materials and the work of local artisans) into one vibrant, modern package in downtown Burlington.
Best Intimate Retreat: Jackson House Inn, Woodstock, VT Cozy rooms and fireplace suites are an irresistible hideaway, but the inn’s grounds steal the show: a lush, landscaped lawn with a walking maze, mountain brook and a freshwater pond make it easy to find a private enclave (and a perfect place to steal a kiss). Photos: Yankee Magzine; Cape Arundel Inn; Deerfield Inn; Mountain View Grand Inn & Spa; John Carver Inn; Hanover Inn; Jackson House Inn