High on a hill overlooking the Green Mountains of Vermont, Windham Hill puts visitors at a physical remove from the stresses of daily life.
Two memories from a recent visit to the Relais & Chateaux property underscore the nature of the place: While in the swimming pool, I grabbed onto the ledge to watch a monarch butterfly flit from one mophead hydrangea to the next. It was mesmerizing -- and suddenly nothing in the world seemed more important to do than observe its flight.
Another time, we visited the pool late in the day; our only company was a professional trumpeter on vacation, his back to us and his horn pointed toward the mountains as he practiced. Lesson learned: When you accept the quiet, you can hear the music.
The 21 rooms at the hotel are divided among its Main Inn and White Barn, approximately 75 feet apart. The White Barn –- a former barn with wood beams, low ceilings, and a treasure trove of old trunks and other antiques at the entrance -- features slightly larger accommodations.
Calm and quiet (no children under 8 or pets are permitted), the Inn doesn’t furnish TVs in rooms. And your cellphone won’t work in this remote spot. If you insist, the front desk can connect you with the rest of the world. But once you arrive, you may be reluctant to make contact with anything you've left behind.