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. With an Old-World aesthetic in mind, 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 is today the Castle Hill Resort and Spa, a destination listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, you can still find original elements such as the grand staircase, carved plaster ceilings, and Tiffany lamps.
Ten individually decorated guest rooms feature antique and reproduction period furniture. Modern influences vary by room and can include flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and bathtubs. In an oval-shaped dining room, 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 beef wellington and slow-roasted rack of lamb. With the weekday stay, visitors receive a $25 voucher toward a prix fixe meal for two, which changes seasonally.
The hotel's Aveda concept spa sits apart from the old mansion, inside 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 Elemental Nature massage is included.
Cavendish, Vermont: Quaint New England Town Close to Lakes and Trails
Cavendish lies in the shadows of Vermont's Okemo Mountain. The family-owned mountain, which has more than 600 acres of generally uncrowded slopes and beginner-friendly trails available in colder months, has maintained its natural beauty by resisting overdevelopment. When the weather is warm, visitors can swim and fish in the area's lakes, and bicycle or hike across its network of trails, such as the Healdville Trail, which climbs to the mountain's 3,340-foot summit.
Nearby, Ludlow’s diverse culinary landscape includes classic Italian restaurants, Irish pubs, and steak houses. Boutiques and antique shops welcome window-shoppers to feast eyes on elegant gifts, collectors' items, and local art.