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It’s been interesting to check out some of the older inns and hotels in other New England states as well as those in New Hampshire. I always try to look into the history of an inn and the surrounding area before we arrive. Sometimes, like in Bethel Maine, I get lucky and catch the local Historical Society open when I arrive. I usually ask the hotel concierge for any historical information. Some hotels have printouts they share with me. Some hotels have no written historical information but usually someone there can share nuggets of interesting lore gathered over the years. At the Omni Parker House in Boston, I was very surprised when they handed me a booklet with loads of information and pictures, saying ‘compliments of the house’!

Here are the historic places I’ve stayed in New England, besides New Hampshire:

Vermont

The Green Mountain Inn This old hotel fits right into the vintage downtown setting on Main Street in Stowe Vermont. Time seems to have stood still here at this Vermont landmark, established in 1853. One of the things I love about this inn is the location. It’s convenient for walking all over town and it is neighbor to some country type stores, a café’, and bookstore and the historical society is right across the street. Downtown Stowe Vermont provides a real sense of village life in New England. I really enjoyed sitting on the upper porch in the evening and reading in one of the rocking chairs there. The Stowe area is a lot of fun with scenic vistas everywhere. See my blog, Summer in New England

The Woodstock Inn set just off the village green in oh-so-charming Woodstock Vermont, is a special place. My preference for natural elements drew me to the huge stone walk-in size fireplace in the lobby and all the dark green marble in the public bathrooms! A couple of dining establishments on the premises make life easy and many fine restaurants are also within easy walking and driving distance. Woodstock in one of my favorite villages anywhere, with a covered bridge and country stores, art galleries and stone building. See my blog Farm Museums I Have Known.

The Inn at Shelburne Farms I first saw this beautiful property while visiting Shelburne Farms in Shelburne Vermont many years ago. The inn is located on an unforgettable point of land over-looking Lake Champlain, deep into the farms grounds. Frank Law Olmstead designed the grounds at the farms and there isn’t a vista anywhere on the property that isn’t fantastic. The inn itself is the former mansion home of Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt and has remained much the same as it was in their day. Each guest room, of which there are only 24, is unique. A wonderful old library with original furniture, a dining room with a marble floor and a marvelous spiral stairway are all luxurious details set in a gracious, yet relaxed setting. I had a memorable picnic on the gazebo here.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Omni Parker House This Boston landmark in continuous operation since 1855, is located on the Freedom Trail and is minutes from several Boston historical sites. It also the birthplace to some great Boston foods like Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls. The enormous lobby contains dozens of vintage photographs and prints of the hotel during it’s long reign. There are pubs located within the hotel itself and a couple of dining options as well. The location of the hotel makes it easy to walk to numerous historical sites in Boston, including the State House and Boston Common.

MAINE

The Bethel Inn A scenic drive through some very rural and beautiful areas of Maine introduced our arrival in Bethel. The inn, a local institution since 1913, sits behind the village green and is located just a few minutes walk from the downtown area. One of the many Colonial era homes in the neighborhood of the inn, houses the local historical society which I found to be an interesting way to spend a couple of hours. The pub on premises has live music and good food. A golf course with some interesting elements, like the foundation of an old mill, wraps around the back of the inn.

Bethel Inn

Poland Springs Resort located in Poland Springs Maine, is an unusual facility. The present inn, built when the original grand hotel here burnt down, is quite basic, in fact you bring your own pillows and towels. The rooms are not at all fancy so don’t expect any frills in that department. However, that being said, expect some pleasant surprises. Some great live music can be heard here and there’s lots of room for dancing. On the property is the original Poland Spring, famous for it’s pure water source and a fantastically preserved building saved from the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Nearby is peaceful Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village; worthy of a day’s browsing.

Poland Springs Resort, Evening

View our 2010 Annual Report (1.9MB pdf)

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