As I sat in an Adirondack chair with a cup of coffee and gazed at the morning mist traveling across the distant mountains, I realized it would be impossible to come to Windham Hill and not feel the weight of the world lifted from your shoulders. The setting is spectacular with dramatic views down the valley and across meadows filled with wildflowers and rock walled gardens. Four miles of trails over 160 acres of pine and maple forests afford the chance for a mind clearing stroll or quiet conversation with someone special.
Once the home of the Lawrence Family, the Inn and Barn have been wonderfully converted to a luxury inn while still retaining much of the charm of the original buildings. The Main House has two parlors and a living room, the main dining room and a private dining room and a cozy little bar. The Living Room, the largest of three common rooms in the main inn building, has wrap-around windows with magnificent views and is ideal for listening to music or working on a puzzle. The Parlors with warming fireplaces are the perfect place for a drink or to curl up with a book.
Accommodations are spread over two buildings, the Main House and the converted White Barn. Furnished with antiques or furniture made by local craftspeople, the 22 guest rooms come with private baths, queen or king size beds and many have fireplaces, private porches, window seats or Jacuzzis and all have great views. Many of the original building features like brick walls and ceiling beams have been retained and add extra charm to the rooms. Our room, the North Loft in the White Barn was spacious and private with its own staircase. Area rugs covered hardwood floors and a couch and wingback chair surrounded the fireplace in a separate sitting area. Built-in bookshelves added a homey touch. The four poster king bed was set with luxury linens and was wonderfully comfortable. The bath was down a few steps from the main room and had a Jacuzzi and separate shower. A small deck overlooked the meadow. All of the rooms here are delightful, but the ones with fireplaces and window seats enhances the experience.
The elegant dining room takes full advantage of the mountain and frog pond views with most tables positioned for maximum advantage. One end is anchored with a brick fireplace and the tables are set with small table lamps, glistening tableware and crisp linens. The atmosphere is intimate and romantic.
The menu changes seasonally and makes great use of local products including vegetables and herbs from their own garden. Some highlights; Braised Pork Belly with blackberry sauce and roast grape, Grilled Quail with warm polenta and lingonberry glaze, Rabbit Ragu with free form lasagne and handmade ricotta. The Wine Spectator award winning wine list has some excellent choices and is very fairly priced.
The setting for breakfast was just as cozy as at dinner. A fire was set in the fireplace and out our windows there was a morning mist on the frog pond. The food was excellent starting with a pineapple/melon fruit smoothie and a fresh blueberry turnover. A couple of choices for the main course but we chose scrambled eggs with mozzarella and spinach and baked potato slices. Cereals, bagels, fresh fruit and oatmeal round out the menu.
The Inn is part of a group of properties owned by US Hotel Group that also includes the wonderful White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport Maine. Absentee management can often result in service levels that are not up to par. Not so here. In the very capable hands of Innkeeper Katja Matthews, you would never know she wasn’t the actual owner. She and her staff somehow make you feel as if you are visiting family, although I am not sure my family would have gone to such lengths to dry the morning dew off the Adirondack chairs so I could enjoy coffee outside as Jason did. Dining room service was crisp, efficient and friendly. They make you want to come back.
From $202 Prime Season Weekend
WHAT OTHERS SAY
AAA Four Diamond Award – Lodging
Member of Relais & Chateau
Member of Distinguished Inns of New England
Member Select Registry
A “Top Pick Inn” – “If you are a dreamer as I am, and you dream of a perfect country inn, this is as close as you will come. At Windham Hill you are sitting on top of the world, and it is beautiful up here.” – Elizabeth Squier, Recommended Country Inns