Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ski Trip....Part 1: Where We Stayed

There is no way to recap last weekend in one post, without locking up my computer or yours with all the information I've just gotta share with I'll have to do it in two posts. So I'll start with where we stayed.... Jeff and I have started an annual birthday tradition, since our birthdays are less than two weeks apart, of a ski trip. You can read about last year HERE, when we went to Beech Mountain, NC. This year we wanted to go somewhere on the Northeast coast, so last Thursday we left Georgia surrounded by our own little "dusting" of snow and headed to the ATL airport. Once we were all checked in, we stopped for a quick lunch at Houlihans, where I had a birthday beverage, and my sweet thing told me how fabulous I am.

I gotta say I think he's pretty cool too. ;)

A friend recommended a tucked away place for us to go skiing called Brettonwoods. It's located in Mt. Washington, NH, and to get there was an adventure itself....We left Atlanta, landed in Philadelphia, took a potty break, and flew one more hour where it became so cold snow was accumulating on the window outside the plane! As the sun began to set, we landed in Portland, Maine....a teeny, tiny airport in a harbor town in Maine where we hopped in our 4WD Jeep Cherokee and headed up the mountain.
After two hours of driving through the cutest New England towns, and most beautiful mountainside, a Smartwater and a sleeve of Ritz....and maybe a few turnarounds later, I'll never say... we topped the mountain at NEGATIVE FIVE DEGREES at 8pm. We were in total disbelief, we'd never seen a negative before a temperature in our life!!
We knew we were there when we saw this sign, and were simply blown away. (And I'm switching to daytime pictures now, they're much better....)
When we saw this structure in the distance, our jaws dropped (even at night). This is the Mt. Washington Hotel, the last of the "grand hotels" in our country. And our crib for the weekend. Remember in Dirty Dancing, Baby's family stayed in a "grand hotel"....these are the kind a nice little 1950's/1960's family would stay in for an entire season; with activities year round to entertain them.
The Mt. Washington was built in 1902, has changed hands several times, and is now operated by the Omni Hotel & Resorts. So you can imagine our accomodations. It sits on New Hampshire's Historic Register, and is among it's National Forest.
Brettonwoods offers all the winter sports you can imagine, from skiing of course, to snowmobiling, ziplines, and dogsledding. But the summers and falls seem to be just as big an attraction here too! Jeff and I already want to come back! There's plenty to do while it's warm, from golf, to hiking and biking, the ziplines and canopy tours, horseback riding, fishing and rockclimbing.
Of course, while Jeffrey is out trying his best to fly-fish, I would have NO problem at all spending my whole weekend at the spa inside this place! One whole wing of this hotel was dedicated to it, and rightfully so: it's 25,000 SF! With indoor pools and well as OUTDOOR...yes, that's what I said...after skiing, you wouldn't believe the c-r-a-z-y fools who would go throw their suits on and go jump in that heated pool outside! Thank you very much, I'll stick to a martini and a pedicure please.
Jeff and I literally spent hours exploring this place. Multiple floors, hallways hundreds of feet long. GIGANTIC wrap-around porches. Magestic. Grand. I keep trying to put into worlds what this place was like. There's not another hotel to compare it to. I've been to big hotels, very big. And very nice ones too, ultra-modern. But this was just so different. I described it to my parents the "Titanic, dry-docked." So comfortable, but so royal.
People were so friendly here too. We couldn't pass a staff member without being spoken to. Them asking how our day was. How were the slopes? Can I get you anything? Just a hello.
No one would just take your order and leave. They had conversations. Managers, bellhops, the cleaning lady, the bartenders, the dude who drove the ski lift. Even the guy at the Enterprise.
Enough about the outside, here's what you see when you walk in. Chandaliers I wanted to snag. The kind from cathedrals. And 30' ceilings. One heckuva lobby, for sure.
Here's a good lobby picture. Sorry, I have no idea how those crusty jet-lagged people got in my picture.
Everywhere I looked up, there was a surprise. And most of it came with Tiffany stained-glass inserts. Breathtaking.
But then we get a reality check....we are in the middle of nowhere after all, in a ski resort. So there's got to be a moose right? Just above the biggest fireplace I've ever seen.
When we finally made it to our room (one of two ways by the way...we could walk up the gorgeous grand staircase, OR take an elevator driven by a man who greeted you and stood with his nose two inches from the buttons, I called him Lerch....) we were greeted by another beautiful and appropriated decorated space.
I love that in all the renovations, they have maintained the period furniture and character of this space, with doors like this. Everything about the Mt. Washington is exactly as it should be.
Inside this comfortably elegant (which has been perfectly combined) hotel we discovered multiple restaurants, the spa, a "speakeasy" (AKA bar), flowershop, candyshop, clothing store, arcade, daycare, a post office, and oh geez, I can't even remember it all!
I cannot say enough about this place. I have so many memories about this too-quick, but so special birthday weekend. Jeff and I laugh and love wherever we go, but staying here made it that much more "grand."
Next up, now that you know "Where We Stayed," I'll let you in on "What We Did!!"


  1. That place is gorgeous! Fab Fab Fab....Love it Love it Love it! Oooohhh...I wanna go go go!! :) Maybe I can talk T5 into taking me sometime! Can't wait to see the activity photos! :) And by the way, I adored the reference to Dirty Dancing...Kellerman's was a grand place indeed! :)

  2. Wow, that hotel looks AMAZING! I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip....