March 13th, 2012
Covered bridges. Rolling hills. Tiny white steeples. Grazing cows. The picturesque two-hour drive to Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont, is almost as enjoyable as the time you’ll spend on the slopes. Almost.
There is no hotel per se at Smuggler’s Notch. Instead: A network of ultra-cozy condominiums, all boasting fully stocked kitchens, access to heated pools and an on- demand shuttle service to take you to the slopes or village. Find rates here.
There are actually three mountains to ski at Smuggs, providing a wide variety of terrain. Beginners are spoiled with Morse Mountain and an awesome ski school program while intermediates and experts will adore Sterling and Madonna Mountains: Think long, winding cruisers (Chilcoot, Rumrummer and Drifters are dreamy) and gorgeous glades. Want an off-slope adventure? Try ziplining, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tube sliding, ice skating, airboarding… and the list goes on! Boredom? Not an option.
In the evening, grab your honey/bestie/kiddos and take a seat by the fireplace in Hearth & Candle’s dining room for a culinary trip through Vermont. Ingredients are fresh, delicious, and, best of all, local. Must-have dishes include the plate of cheeses from the Green State (from $10), the Wild Boar Gnocci ($28) and the Hearth and Candle Oscar ($36), a scrumptious take on surf and turf. Finish with the cheesecake of the day ($9) – if you’re lucky, it’ll be Red Velvet. —Christine Laroche
Smugglers' Notch Resort, 4323 Vermont Route 108 South, Smugglers' Notch, VT, 1-802-644-8851, www.smuggs.com
January 13th, 2012
Jay Peak in Vermont is already known for epic powder but thanks to the all-new Pump House Waterpark, it’s also about to be famed for its sweet surf.
The adrenaline junkies who rode black diamond glades all day long will want to keep the rush going by beelining for La Chute, a slide that drops 60 feet per second. (May we suggest a well-secured one-piece?)
More mellowed out intermediates, the blue squares of the bunch, will love to hang ten and do their very best Kassia Meador impression on The Double Barrel Surf Wave.
Green circle gal? It’s all about the Activity (read: lazy) river.
Finally, something with a retractable roof that we can love! —Christine Laroche
Pump House Waterpark, 830 Jay Peak Rd., Jay, Vermont, 802-988-2611, www.jaypeakresort.com
November 17th, 2011
We knew we were in for a romantic weekend when we saw the website for the Windham Hill Inn in West Townsend Vermont, but when we arrived we fell head over heels in love. Here’s why:
The Rooms: Our lovely loft featured a king-sized four poster bed covered with luxurious linens, a gigantic Jacuzzi tub, and a warm fireplace. What it didn’t have? A television. So nobody got distracted by Sunday afternoon football.
The Grounds: Perched hillside with 10 miles of wooded trails, we roamed through lush greenery to find the stunningly secluded waterfall and pool.
The Food: We began the day with a 3-course breakfast complete with fresh muffins, hearty eggs, and healthy oatmeal and ended it with a 6-course tasting menu created by executive chef Graham Gill. Don’t leave without tasting the pumpkin bread pudding…divine!
The Spa: Book a 60- or 90-minute massage or request a butler-drawn bath complete with candles and fragrant essential oils. Or just use the luxurious Molton Brown bath and body products in your room to create a private spa experience.
The Common Areas: Read and relax amid walls of books and games lining cozy fireplace rooms, offering afternoon tea featuring fresh scones, whipped cream, cookies and hot cider. Stop in at the bar before dinner to chat with fellow travellers over a glass of spicy red wine and an array of delicious Vermont cheeses.
The Personalized Service: Innkeeper, Katja, welcomes every guest personally and ensures that every need is met, including booking activities (we went horseback riding at nearby Mountain View Ranch) and surprising guests with special treats, like the bottle of champagne that welcomed the couple celebrating their first anniversary.
Rooms from $255 per night, Windham Hill Inn, 311 Lawrence Drive, West Townshend, VT, 1-800-944-4080, www.windhamhillinn.com
See more photos of Windham Hill Inn on our Editors' Diary.