The notion of Vermont, tucked within the Green Mountains and brimming with beautiful landscapes and fresh air, is so magical that it seems a world away. Those looking to erase the chaos of the week with a quick getaway can rest assured that such magic is in fact, well within their reach.
Just two-and-a-half hours from Boston, three hours from Connecticut and four-and-a-half hours from New York City, nestled within central Vermont is a resort tailor-made for a quick and easy getaway. Offering stellar service, a variety of activities and unrivaled ambiance, consider the stress of the week conquered with a quick trip to the Woodstock Inn & Resort.
Once the home of Laurance and Mary Rockefeller, the charming and historic retreat infuses historical elements in every nook and cranny down to the carefully hung artwork, part of Laurance Rockefeller’s personal collection. The inspiration for the hotel’s décor was derived by designer Paul Deusing who researched the town and its history. “Paul wanted the design to represent the town of Woodstock. He wanted the hotel décor to feel like you were walking into someone’s living room,” says Courtney Lowe, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Woodstock Inn.
The guest rooms include a subset of dog-friendly rooms, 19 grand fireplace rooms, themed “collection” rooms such as the “Hiking Room,” and six legacy suites. While the Inn is steeped in history, modern conveniences haven’t been overlooked. Electric car parking spots, Google Chromecast, tea and cookies served daily in the Conservatory, and a cozy library wired with Bose speakers are a few of the highlights.
If you’re in the mood to splurge, open the door to the meticulously designed chambers of Laurance and Mary Rockefeller. Mary’s suite is dripping in feminine elegance, and Laurence’s three-suite quarters display antiques bought at auction and hand-painted walls. If you’re a sucker for this old school charm but looking for something more modest, no detail is overlooked in other rooms, down to the silk “do not disturb” tassel on your door. The beds are so dreamy that you’ll want to bring one home—and you can—with a quick stop at the gift shop.
Those able to tear themselves away from the comfort of their room can grab a bite at the Red Rooster restaurant and bar. The bartenders are decked out in pinstriped vests and crimson red bow ties, a delightful throwback to the days when Rockefeller himself enjoyed a libation. Richardson’s Tavern also provides a charming and relaxed vibe for a pint of a local brew and a hearty meal (try the Shepherd’s pie), all within cozy quarters.
Things to Do
When the weather turns cool and crisp, the bright colors of the leaves transition to winter skiing, and before you know it, it’s summer again. The Woodstock Inn offers a variety of year-round activities from a meandering bike ride to curated barn dinners with spectacular sunset views.
Suicide Six Ski Area
In sharp contrast to many resorts, skiers and snowboarders seem to live in perfect harmony at the charming Suicide Six Ski Resort. Highlights of the Inn’s ski area are its new quad chairlift, downhill racing programs, outdoor patio and fireplace, and new mountain biking program. The annual Face Race has also become a popular event, where entrants run up the resort’s “Face” Black Diamond trail in their snowshoes. “As Vermonters like to say, don’t let the resort’s name fool you,” Lowe says, “it’s one of the most family-friendly ski areas in VT.”
While golf and tennis are popular pursuits at the Inn, multiple activities are a companion for every taste and ability. When we asked a friendly bartender at the Red Rooster why he liked working at the Inn, he said, “There is always something to do. Fly fishing, biking at Suicide Six, relaxing at the spa, and even falconry. That’s what we like about working here. The staff can partake in these activities and be a part of it alongside the visitors.”
The resort’s full-service spa has locally-sourced products, 10 treatment rooms, 2 steam rooms, cozy shearling blankets, house made granola, room service options, and a delectable gluten free macaroon post massage. Steps to the outdoor hot tub are heated, ensuring toasty warm toes no matter the season.
A great way to celebrate the arrival of Spring in the state known for maple syrup is through sugaring on snow activities, maple themed delights and more. An Orvis©-endorsed Fly Fishing program provides guests with the opportunity to fish on picturesque streams, a Falconry program sets birds of prey on your fist and the Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center offers more than 40 km of groomed trails for cross-country skiing.
Those not wanting to wander far can visit the warmly decorated game room, complete with soft flannel window treatments constructed from the nearby Vermont Flannel Company. Retro video games, a life-size Scrabble wall, and multiple TVs to watch the big game (the only TVs in the hotel main areas) maintain the rustic and relaxing feel of the town.
Barns at Kelly Way Gardens
The Red Barns at Kelly Way Gardens is the new home to culinary events, housed in a renovated but raw historic barn showcasing the rustic appeal of its surroundings. Executive Chef Rhys Lewis takes pride in the farm-to-table program, and his eyes light up when talking about the heirloom varietals (including 4 different kinds of raspberries) that provide savory meals to visitors. The resort stages a farm-to-table experience unrivaled by any resort in the area, including a Red Barn Dinner Series, tea in the garden, wine tasting, or the ability to book your own special event.
The Town of Woodstock
This quaint and stunning town is a walking village surrounded by lush rolling hills and the Ottauquechee River which winds itself through town.
A town this small should be proud to boast an array of mouth-watering dining options. Mountain Creamery is the town’s friendly diner, known for its hearty breakfast and to-go pies and jams. Mon Vert Café is a popular organic café with outdoor seating when the temps rise, and Bentley’s down the block makes a mean Bloody Mary. Take a trip down Rte. 4 toward Quechee for a taste of Worthy Kitchen, specializing in high-end comfort food like poutine, fried chicken and a killer beer selection.
A leisurely hike to the top of nearby Mount Tom, accessed by Faulkner Park is a great way to work off Woodstock’s plentiful food options. Those wanting more of a challenge can easily access the Appalachian Trail, Long Trail and Quechee Gorge (known as Vermont’s little Grand Canyon) just minutes away by car.
Must-stop local favorites include the Woodstock Farmer’s Market, known for amazing sandwiches, fresh produce and seasonal selection of pumpkins, Christmas trees, and more. F.H. Gillingham & Sons is the General Store you might have seen in a movie, offering games, old-school candy, and tourist trinkets since 1886. Steps away is the Yankee Bookshop, Vermont’s longest-running independent bookstore with a great selection.
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