If you live in New England and are looking for a long weekend getaway driving distance from home, these are my four (+1) favorite resorts for couples. They are all on the water – three on lakes and two on the ocean. Four of them are our partner hotels, so expect to enjoy extra perks and VIP treatment – see the details below. I’m also in-the-know about which rooms are the most requested, the coziest spot to curl up and read a book or the best place to sit on an Adirondack chair to watch the sun set (or rise). Each of these places give you the opportunity to be as relaxed or active as you’d like – you get to choose.
White Barn Inn, Kennebunkport, ME
White Barn Inn has been located in the beautiful coastal town of Kennebunkport for over 150 years. This is a testament to its warm New England hospitality, rustic charm and delicious cuisine. It’s location on the water allows you to enjoy both your time at the Inn and exploring the nearby coast.
The Barn is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. It’s a perfect blend of incredibly fresh farm to table cuisine, with impeccable service in a barn setting.
If you love lobster, there are many ways to enjoy it on and off property:
- Order the special lobster preparation as part of a 5 course dinner in the barn
- Enjoy a seaside lobster bake
- Go out on the ocean with Captain Steve for a true lobstering experience
- Grab a lobster roll at local favorite, Mabel’s Lobster Claw
- Enjoy the famous wood-fired lobster pot pie for two with minted peas and potatoes has become a cult favorite at Earth at Hidden Pond
For more details on ideas for your visit, check out the Maine, The Way Life Should Be itinerary.
Pets: are not allowed at the White Barn Inn.
The Point, Saranac Lake, NY
Built by William Avery Rockefeller II a century ago, the luxurious log mansions, crafted of native timber and stone, personified the 19th Century romantic notion of roughing it in great comfort and style. The Point was the first Relais & Chateaux property in North America and maintains those high quality standards to today. It is an adults only property – so if you are not old enough to drink you’ll have to wait a couple of years.
“Today it is a marvelous union of rustic simplicity and extraordinary luxury. The magnificent guest rooms are housed in four log buildings on the peaceful wooded shore of Upper Saranac Lake.
The Point is a study in delicious contrasts: exceptional meals, blazing campfires at the edge of the lake, artworks and antiques. Enjoy gourmet picnic excursions, journeys through the rippling waters in gleaming mahogany boats, and a staff that organizes each day according to the pleasure of the guests.”
For those who desire the ultimate quintessential lakeside guest experience, the Boathouse is open, airy, loft-like beamed ceiling beautifully frames the storybook canopied king bed in the center of the room. It’s also the most requested room. The second most requested room is Weatherwatch which affords a spectacular view of the lake through the huge picture window. It also has a magnificent “walk in” size fireplace. This room was Rockefeller’s photography studio and some of the original touches remain.
The culinary offerings at the Point are extraordinary. Under normal conditions, guests often dine together in the Great Hall, forging life-long friendships. The variety of experiences is shown in both the fresh, local foods as well as the choice of venue for meals. Cocktails happen on a vintage boat ride, meals may be a barbecue at the Lean-to, breakfast in your guest room, luncheon on the terrace or even an island picnic. Each menu is tweaked to your specifications, which they will inquire about ahead of time.
Note, if you are coming to the Point on a Wednesday or Saturday night, dinner is a black tie, formal affair with a 7 course dinner. This experience appeals to many, but it’s important to note, because if it’s not your style, you may want to select dates accordingly. Having spoken with one of my partners who has been vacationing here twice a year for ten years, I learned that the feel of the juxtaposition of black tie with rural, rustic atmosphere is very special. A stay at the Point is a wonderful combination of luxurious service, unique guests and rich history.
If this level of formality is not your style, check out Twin Farms below.
Pets: are allowed at The Point.
Twin Farms, Barnard, VT
Twin Farms, an adults-only property, is Vermont’s only luxury, five-star experience. Twenty accommodations ranging from rooms in the Inn to private cottages are sprinkled throughout 300 acres. Each of the individual cottages has a different feel and decor, which I’m happy to go over with you so you pick just the right place for you.
One of my favorites it’s The Aviary, with two story windows, and the feel of being outdoors. Imagine sitting in this beautiful tub next to a roaring fire as you look at the colorful fall leaves or falling snowflakes.
On your visit, you will have the opportunity to be as active as you’d like – go for a hike, a fat tire bike ride, SUP or fish. Or simply relax with your partner working on a Stave’s puzzle, at the spa or over a cocktail at Twig’s pub.
Prior to your stay the staff will inquire as to your food preferences and allergies. Expect to be delighted with every plate and wine that will be selected especially for your meals. If you want to surprise your partner, we can talk with the Twin Farms team ahead of time and plan a surprise picnic with champagne at the end of a hike with a beautiful view. Alternatively if you’d like to reserve the Wine Cellar for a private dining experience for just the two of you – that can be done. There is no end to the creative ideas that happen when you are a guest at Twin Farms.
I visited Twin Farms in the winter and loved everything about the experience – the setting, the pre-dinner cocktails in the drawing room, playing darts after dinner at Twig’s, going for a hike around the property. Since the experience really changes based on the season, I’m looking forward to a return visit one day in the summer and fall.
Pets: are allowed at Twin Farms.
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
Another spectacular Relais & Chateaux property in New England is the Lake Placid Lodge. It sits on the shores of Lake Placid, overlooking the majestic Adirondack Mountains. The main lodge is built in an Arts and Crafts style and everything from the beds to the great stone fireplaces has been built by hand by local artisans. Stay here to enjoy nature and the outdoors – hiking (the famed 125-mile Jackrabbit Hiking Trail passes right by the Lodge’s front door), mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, SUP, tennis, golf and white water rafting. Or join them each evening as they host a boat tour on their 35′ mahogany Hacker-Craft. If you are there on the weekend watch their Birds of Prey demonstration provided by Adirondack raptors.
For a welcome break from the activity, enjoy relaxing in-room massage and the Lodge’s farm-to-table cuisine served on the deck while overlooking the spectacular lake and mountain views. For a late night sweet, meander to the warm and inviting bonfire on the edge of the lake for a s’more, a true taste of summer.
Pets: are allowed at Lake Placid Lodge.
Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, ME
Hidden Pond is the extra “+1” in this list for two reasons – it’s very likely to have many families with kids and given what is happening this summer they have a minimum stay of one week required. Like White Barn Inn, Hidden Pond is in Kennebunkport. Their 36 bungalows and two-bedroom cottages are spread around the Adirondack-style main lodge with a range of decor from farmhouse modern to elegant contemporary. The feel is an upscale, cozy beach vibe. One of the two pools has a cool outdoor bar (see above). Another fun feature is the outdoor bar and grill that sits on a “sand bar,” with chairs circled around fire pits. The hotel offers a shuttle to the beach, a five minute drive away.
Their signature restaurant, Earth, is self-described as “Imagine ripe heirloom tomatoes, picked hours before…local lobster pulled from the Atlantic that day…cocktails made from herb-infused spirits and muddled fruits. Envision distinctive decor inspired by nature, the soft flicker of candlelight, soothing natural hues integrated with chunks of solid wood, and intricate yet subtly bold details to create an environment unlike any other.
You’re at Earth at Hidden Pond, and your dining experience will be exceptional.”
Hidden Pond, Twin Farms, White Barn Inn and Lake Placid Lodge are partner hotels where our relationship affords you extra perks when I book your stay (which I do complimentary). Depending upon the hotel, the perks include room upgrades and early checkin/late checkout (based on availability), $100 credits, breakfast, private kitchen tours, house-made honey & local pottery and VIP treatment. I also know which rooms are the most sought after and can help you pick the exact right room for you. If you have any questions or want to talk about how these places compare and which one is best for your getaway, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you’re feeling independent and would like to look up each hotel on your own, you may do so here.
Each one of these resorts and inns would be a perfect escape to connect with each other and with nature – throughout the summer and into fall.
One last note: if you are looking for a luxurious getaway for a group of couples, Dry Island Lodge is an outstanding choice offering seclusion, adventure, activities and incredible cuisine and luxurious service on your own private island in the Adirondacks.