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Mount Washington Hotel & Resort


Mount Washington Hotel & Resort

A century-old grand dame of a hotel, the Mount Washington Resort is a National Historic Landmark.

(c) Vincent Sardone.

What to Expect at Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

"Madam, this is a family resort," the dining room maitre d' informed me when I requested a table not close to children. Right he was: They are everywhere in this century-old hotel, which accommodates youngsters like an indulgent grandmother.

I shouldn't have been surprised: Mount Washington Resort is on Travel & Leisure's list of the 500 Top Family Friendly Resorts. While most kids here are well-behaved, for a childfree couple like us, being around so many was overwhelming.

What Does Mount Washington Hotel & Resort Look Like?:

A confection of a hotel, the white-turretted, red-roofed Mount Washington Resort hasn't lost her looks despite her 1902 birthdate. History was made here in 1944 when delegates from 43 nations convened to set International Monetary Fund policy. The room where they met is a stop on the free daily tour. Looking out from the hotel, there are scenic views of rolling hills and New Hampshire's White Mountains that visitors will be tempted to capture on film, in paint, or commit forever to memory.

Guest Rooms at Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

As you walk down a wide hallway to your room, you may note small metal plates on some doors. They commemorate some who came before. George W. Bush had stayed in the room across from ours, and F.W. Woolworth once lodged down the hall.

Our room, number 314, was large with a lovely view of the lawn and mountains. It featured a big Jacuzzi surrounded by windows; a full-size, carved, four-poster bed; and a gas fireplace. High-speed Web access is free. The small bathroom has a magnifying mirror.

Dining at the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

Food quality is uneven. Buffet breakfasts are excellent. Lunch in Stickney's informal restaurant yielded an exquisitely flavored potato truffle soup, and we enjoyed both the view and large fireplace.

Alas, dinner in the main dining room was sub-par. Cold rolls and rancid butter did little to whet our appetites. Appetizers and chicken were dry. Nothing arrived piping hot. Another night at the more intimate, quiet, and charming Bretton Woods Inn, fish was disappointing but osso buco exceptional.

Activities at the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

This sylvan setting enables Mount Washington to operate as a four-seasons hotel. In warm weather, there's golf, tennis, and indoor and outdoor pools. The concierge can provide hikers with a trail map. Like to bike? The hotel will properly fit you for one, and send you on your way.

Or brave the Mount Washington Auto Road and get the bumper sticker to prove you did it. Come winter, at the adjacent Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, Olympics-famous Bode Miller acts as skiing director.

Honeymoon/Romantic Packages at the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

Unless you've already got a family of your own, or love kids, you may not find this resort particularly romantic. Yet with nearly 1,000 gorgeous acres to explore, you can certainly escape the little darlings if that is your goal.

The hotel's Princess package includes a half-hour afternoon horse-and-carriage ride. Schedule yours for close to sunset, when the sky over the mountains changes colors. Active couples may want to visit for a long weekend that includes couples' rock-climbing class.

Weddings at the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

This all-purpose hotel offers many different and lovely places to hold a wedding for multi-generational guests. There's a huge ballroom and many smaller rooms that can be converted to ceremony and reception spaces. In summer, any number of outdoor spaces provide ideal settings for weddings.

Entertainment at Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

Given its fairly remote location, Mount Washington Hotel & Resort does a good job of offering guests a range of cultural activities. While we were there an art show was mounted, guests could sign up for a watercolor painting class, the hotel's own ensemble accompanies diners with Big Band dance music, and a live piano concert of Mozartiana was performed.

The cellar, a speakeasy lounge from the Prohibition era, holds The Cave, a bar-band-billiards-and-disco area.

What Could be Improved the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort?:

New owners have recently acquired the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort and there are big plans for the coming years, including an expansive spa. We imagine the plumbing will be upgraded, tacky accents like plastic flowers in rooms will disappear, all guest rooms will minimally feature queen-size beds, and the lower level restaurant and shops will be refreshed without losing their historic bona fides.

Find More Information About the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort:

Mount Washington Hotel & Resort
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire 03575
Hotel Web Site
800-314-1752 or 603-278-1000

Resort Photo Tour >

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals at the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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