Woodstock, Vermont, is considered one of the country’s “prettiest small towns” for its bucolic centerpiece, The Green, and its authentic, wooden Middle Covered Bridge, which spans the local Outtaquechee River. The Woodstock Inn has been the premier lodging destination in the quintessential Green Mountain winter resort town since it was built in the Federalist Era, circa 1793. (Newly renovated rooms make it nicer than ever to stay there.)
The recently refurbished rustic lobby — with its blazing fire — is a cozy place to lounge and the comfortable sit-at-desk check-in and concierge services are an upgrade. Naturally, the concierge makes dining reservations at the Inn’s restaurants, the Red Rooster and Richardson’s Tavern, which feature locally sourced ingredients, and make spa appointments. There’s a special winter sports concierge for seasonal activity recommendations, including a multitude of child-centric outdoor activities — skiing, snow-boarding, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, sledding — and some wonderful indoor ones, including swimming and spa-ing. The inn’s game room, draped in cozy Vermont flannel, is an ideal bad-weather option, because it’s fully equipped with foosball table, vintage pinball machines, board games and a giant Scrabble board.
The Spa at the Woodstock Inn and Resort is a 10,000-square-foot, LEED-certified facility with natural light, 10 treatment rooms, shaker wood stoves, a hot tub, a Scandinavian sauna and a spa boutique. Organic and locally sourced products predominate and there are Vermont-inspired seasonal treatments available to 12 year olds and older with an adult companion. Guests must be 16 or older to use the steam, sauna and whirlpool and those younger than 12 can indulge in hair or nail services. The Athletic Club offers fitness equipment, an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub.
Winter diversions include the pristine, family-friendly Suicide Six Ski Area, which boasts 100-plus acres of skiing and snowboarding on 24 slopes. Suicide Six, which replaced old double chairs with a new quad chair lift, pays respect to the past, particularly the Rockefeller family’s vision and conservation priorities. The site is located about 10 minutes from and operated by the Woodstock Inn (which provides complimentary shuttle service). Ski lessons on the Bunny Hill are available for youngsters — even toddlers of 2 or 3 who can stand on skis — starting whenever parents think it’s time. The resort’s Nordic Adventure Center, located just a half a mile down the road from the inn, provides an additional 30 kilometers of groomed trails that crawl up and around Mt. Peg and Mt. Tom to explore via Nordic skis, fat tire bikes or snowshoes. Plus, expert-led tours and lessons are available.
Another must-do is a visit to the Billings Farm & Museum. In winter, the barn and farmhouse, circa 1890, are open weekends, November through February, and daily during vacation weeks, Feb, 16 to March 2. Some of the child-friendly activities in winter include films, sleigh rides and hot spiced cider. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion, Laurance and Mary Rockefeller’s home, are part of the March-Billings-
Rockefeller National Historic Park.
The hotel is positioned just a short stroll from the independently owned retail establishments on Main Street, many of which are still in old-fashioned, two-story buildings. Fill in on clothing needs at Patagonia, Dubarr, Barbour, Toms and Darn Tough socks at Elevation Clothing, where there’s a bargain outlet downstairs. And buy artisanal cheese, Vermont maple syrup, jams, mustard and honey at FH Gillingham & Sons General Store. Have a casual breakfast or lunch at Mont Vert Café or a burger or pulled pork at Bentley’s.
Quaint, charming, idyllic Woodstock is a winter wonderland.