How gorgeous is this photo of Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake in the heart of Glacier National Park? The 215-room hotel was originally built by the Great Northern Railway in 1915, and has maintained a lot of its Old World charm. You won't find air conditioning or televisions in rooms, just straight shots of this gorgeous view. The hotel offers a long list of ways to explore the park, including boat trips and ranger-led hikes. Many Glacier is also known for its Red Bus Tours, vintage ruby-colored buses from the 1930s with roll-back tops that make it easy to take in the scenery as passengers cross the park, learning about its history and heritage. Another great way to see the park is on horseback with Swan Mountain Outfitters, which leads riders on half or full-day rides along the park's lakes, and through its forests and meadows. Visitors can end the day with a Montana microbrew at the hotel's Ptarmigan Dining Room, overlooking the lake.
I think a lot of people fantasize about opening an inn. Imagine a cozy place in a pretty destination. There would beautiful guest rooms with of-the-place design details, a great restaurant, and lots of personal, local touches. And how fun would it be to open it with a group of your friends?
This is just the story behind the recently reopened White Hart Inn, a circa 1806 property in the heart of Salisbury, Connecticut. The story goes that, after undergoing an extensive renovation, the inn closed unexpectedly five years ago. Enter Conley and Meredith Rollins (Meredith is the editor-in-chief at Redbook) who knew and loved the property and wanted to reopen it. They purchased it with a group of their friends who also loved the area— including writer Malcolm Gladwell who plans to start a regular talks and event series at the White Hart — and called upon local Litchfield County artists like Jasper Johns, Terry Winters, and Frank Stella to donate work for the inn's public spaces.
The inn's current restaurant, the Tap Room, is helmed by English chef Annie Wayte and offers upscale takes on British-inspired comfort food like lamb burgers and duck shepherd's pie, served fireside. In February, Wayte will open a new restaurant focusing on farm-to-table fare, with a menu that will be updated daily. How lovely to dine downstairs and then have only to take a short walk upstairs to rooms like the ones below.
The inn is offering a few specials for Valentine's Day:
For the couple looking for romance: Chocolate and champagne upon arrival and a dinner for two with wine pairings; from $650/couple for a King room.
For adventure lovers: go on an ice fishing trip with a local guide. For the trip, couples will be equipped with picnic snacks and hot toddies; from $1000/couple.
For the food fans: a two-hour sausage making class with wine tastings (you'll take the spoils of your labor and recipe cards home with you); From $550/couple or add a two-hour dessert making class for a total of $700.
This week's check-in is at one of my favorite hotels in New England, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont.
If the name Trapp is conjuring up scenes from The Sound of Music, there's a good reason for it: the Von Trapp family portrayed in the film came to the U.S. in the early 1940s, touring the country as the Von Trapp Family Singers and eventually settled in Stowe, where the mountain scenery reminded them of their native Austria (you can read all about the full family history here).
The current 96-room alpine lodge was built in 1980 and sits on 2,500 acres. For me, of the best part of the lodge are all the cozy great rooms throughout. We met up with friends on our last visit here, and our evenings were spent nestled around fireplaces chatting and sharing a bottle of wine in the various public spaces. The atmosphere is relaxed and homey, great for those traveling with kids, and they also provide L.L.Bean dog beds and blankets, treats and dog-friendly trail maps should you want to pack your pooch. Here's our dog, Harold, taking in the snow.
In the winter the lodge offers cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails. If you're up for a workout, take the trail to Slayton Pasture Cabin for lunch. The three-mile journey to this little cabin in the woods is largely uphill, but you're rewarded for your hard work at the top with hot soup, sandwiches and apple cider. No need to bring your own gear. Guests can rent the required equipment at the hotel's ski center a short walk from the main lobby. And, if you have little ones, the lodge also offers horse-drawn sleigh rides across their beautiful, snow-covered fields.
When you're ready to warm up back at the lodge, there's an indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub with views of the mountains. Or, head to the lounge for afternoon tea with freshly baked cookies. The Main Dining Room also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite thing on the menu? The schnitzel with noodles, naturally.
I've written before about how much I love being a resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. What really makes the neighborhood are the multitude of clever small businesses. Urban Cowboy B&B is the perfect example. Opened last spring by Lyon Porter, you'd never expect to find such a fashion-forward bed and breakfast behind its unassuming exterior on Powers Street. Upon arriving though, guests are quickly swept up in what Porter describes as "an industrial Williamsburg-slash-Adirondack-slash-cowboy sensibility" and the communal, down-to-earth vibe.
The renovated townhouse has just four rooms, ranging from the "Lone Ranger" single-bed option to the "Kanoono Cabin," which has a king bed, clawfoot bathtub and a separate entrance. All rooms include access to the shared parlor where breakfast is served each morning, as well as the shared hot tub (a real novelty in Brooklyn) and the front porch. And, should you have your tribe traveling with you, a complete rent out of the hotel is available starting at $2,000/night.