Historical Mansion Tucked in Green Mountain Foothills
At the beginning of the 20th century, Vermont Governor Allen Fletcher hired a team of European craftsmen to build a country house in the foothills of the Green Mountains. While focused on crafting an authentic Old World aesthetic, the builders tapped into New World resources, quarrying local stones for the exterior and carving the interior out of California redwood. That English Cotswold–style mansion today welcomes visitors as the Castle Hill Resort and Spa, a destination listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hoteliers have stayed faithful to Fletcher's design, preserving original elements such as the grand staircase, carved plaster ceilings, and Tiffany lamps.
Ten individually decorated guest rooms bedecked with antique and reproduction period furniture evoke a vintage ambiance. Modern technologies update accommodations for the 21st century, including flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and bathtubs. Castle Hill's public spaces are well worth exploring, from a game room to the oval-shaped dining room, where the executive chef serves French-influenced American cuisine using locally sourced produce and meats. A grandfather clock sets the stage for elegant dining on entrees such as herb-roasted sea bass and slow-roasted rack of lamb. Included in the package, visitors receive a $25 voucher toward a fixe meal for two, which changes seasonally.
The hotel's Aveda concept spa sits apart from the old mansion, housed in a historical carriage house. Here, technicians chase stress away with various massages ranging from classic deep-tissue sessions to specialty black river hot-stone massages ($125 for 50 minutes) and elemental nature treatments with aromatherapy ($115 for 50 minutes). A $25 voucher toward a 50-minute massage is included.
Cavendish, Vermont: Quaint New England Town Close to Ski Mountains
Cavendish lies in the shadows of Vermont's Okemo Mountain. At the family owned mountain with more than 600 acres of generally uncrowded slopes and beginner-friendly trails, Okemo has maintained its natural beauty by not overdeveloping the area with shops and restaurants. Manmade and natural snow ensure the alpine terrain remains buoyant and powdery, and 19 lifts shuttle visitors up the mountain's 2,200-foot vertical drop without the hassle of hiring The Rocketeer.
For dining, nearby Ludlow possesses a diverse culinary landscape of classic Italian restaurants, Irish pubs, and steak houses. Between bites, numerous boutiques and antique shops welcome window shoppers to feast eyes on elegant gifts, collectors' items, and local art.