Mayflower Inn in a Nutshell:
The 58-acre Mayflower Inn & Spa is an oasis of gentility in the Connecticut countryside two hours from New York City. A gem in the sparkling Relais & Chateaux
collection, the 19th century inn was completely rebuilt in the 1990s and a 44,000-square-foot Spa House was added three years ago. Landscaped with gardens, arches, and specimen plantings, the grounds invite romantic walks. A distant church bell gently tolls around dinner hour; and an unseen owl high in the trees punctuates the night watch. The Mayflower experience is “decidedly grownup” and children under 12 are not allowed.
Guest Rooms at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
There are 30 rooms and suites on the property, half of them in the main house and the other half divided among three large cottages. Steps from the Spa House, the six-unit Allerton has its own foyer with fireplace, desk with laptop and wi-fi (no cell phone service on the property), and equipment such as raincoats and Wellies for wet weather. Within it our large room had an inviting canopy bed, a bookcase stocked with interesting titles and an Aquos TV, a bathroom with double sinks, and a terrace with wicker rocking chairs where we savored a room-service breakfast of blueberry pancakes and “hand-pressed” juices.
Dining at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
Decorated with understated murals of the countryside, the main dining room comfortably seats 50. There’s also an outdoor terrace overlooking the well-tended Shakespeare Garden, and a casual Tap Room. Some of the lighter courses in the main dining room are “spa inspired” (the spa itself serves midday meals for spa guests), but we fortified ourselves for the evening with steak and salmon. We shared a delicate heirloom-tomato-and-buffalo-mozzarella appetizer, and a heavenly pineapple tatin topped with a small dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Destination Weddings at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
The romantic setting for many an irresistible proposal, the Mayflower Inn & Spa hosts between four and six weddings each year. Each is completely customized for the wedding couple, with the particulars depending upon the scale. Often the wedding party occupies the entire property, and the couple chooses the locations for the various events. For example, the rehearsal dinner can be held on the lawn beside Blue Heron Pond; and the ceremony can take place in front of the Shakespeare Garden, with its bronze bust of the Bard looking on. For more information, contact the inn.
Honeymoons/Romance Packages at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
Joined there or elsewhere, honeymooners come to the Mayflower to begin their married life in style. Some couples return year after year to celebrate anniversaries and other important occasions. Though the inn does not offer a Romance package per se, any stay for two deserves the title. Abiding awhile in this privileged state of grace inevitably brings you closer together. Come for a three-night stay over a long weekend; or slip in for a one-night getaway midweek. Options vary by season; see the website for more info.
Activities at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
Though there is an outdoor pool, a tennis court, and a putting green, the Spa House is the center of activity. The pampering begins at the door, where you leave your shoes – and the world -- behind. In supplied Sensei sandals and lush white robe, you feel as though you are floating through the hushed waiting lounge, then into a private room for a heated-stone massage, gentle facial, or other rejuvenating treatment. Afterwards, postpone your descent back to earth in the spa’s tiled pool, whirlpool, or thermal sanctuary scented with Icelandic Moonflower.
Nearby Mayflower Inn & Spa:
Litchfield County, Connecticut, comprises quaint New England towns such as Washington, New Preston, Kent and Litchfield that are great for antiquing and other shopping. Also nearby is picturesque Lake Waramaug, which is ringed by a scenic drive. Activities can include hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, biking, running, riding, fly-fishing, wine tasting, and even bald-eagle viewing. On the cultural side, the Bantam art house cinema and the Institute for American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center are minutes away.
What Could be Better at Mayflower Inn & Spa:
Though there is probably no remedy, the sound of service trucks going about their routine maintenance occasionally disturbs the serenity of the grounds.
Mayflower Inn & Spa Vibe:
Many of the visitors come from the New York Metro area, driving (or being driven) up from Manhattan, Westchester, or Connecticut. Others fly in from across the country or around the world, landing at JFK, LaGuardia, White Plains, Bradley, or Oxford airports. Guests are typically well-heeled and accustomed to first-class accommodations and service (this is a Relais & Chateaux member, after all). Nevertheless, the overall atmosphere is warm and relaxed. A young couple on their honeymoon, an older couple on a romantic escape from the kids, and a pair celebrating their 40th anniversary would all feel equally welcome.
Mayflower Inn & Spa Info and Reservations: