Romantic Inns of New England

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Archive for the ‘AAA-Four-Diamond’ Category

Foodie Fun:  A  New Hampshire to Vermont DINEtinerary

RHI-FineFiresideDining-JumpingRocksphoto-smaller - CopyWe’ve enjoyed doing some fun blogging about different itineraries among the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England. We started with one story about our most historic inns, and continued to a story about our more Southern inns and then a Maine Coastal itinerary too.  Today we’re heading North from the more southern parts of DINE country to New Hampshire and Vermont  and focusing in on two inns where food is a highlight.

While all DINE member inns serve up fabulous food for breakfast and some also offer dinner too, the Manor on Golden Pond and the Rabbit Hill Inn offer an ideal itinerary for those who define a great vacation by fab food.  Close to one another, an itinerary that includes Rabbit Hill Inn and Manor On Golden Pond offers foodies specialized classes, fun food tours and the chance to sample exquisite dining in both of the  inns’ dining rooms too. Both Manor on Golden Pond and Rabbit Hill Inn offer four diamond dining, afternoon tea, very special breakfasts and unique food activities and experiences.

Manor-FiresideDining2Manor On Golden Pond

If you’re coming from Boston, you’ll want to start your itinerary at the Manor On Golden Pond in Holderness, NH.  Take I-93 North to Route 3S/NH-25 right into Holderness. Overlooking Squam Lake, made famous by the film On Golden Pond, this inn could easily be mistaken for a beautiful  country manor house from the moment one drives up the driveway. The rich wood, grand and welcoming living room, and library are reminiscent of a stately British manor house.  The food fun starts at 4:00pm when a complimentary afternoon tea is served with scones and other sweet treats for all guests.  From there, move to the Three Cocks Pub, named for the collection of roosters which adorn copper bar and walls.  Whether it’s a special martini, a fine cognac or port, or a glass of wine  a full selection of just what you need to start relaxing on your foodie vacation here.

Next, it’s on to the Van Horn Dining Room.  In the winter a roaring fire welcomes you with flickering light.  Any time of year, fine linens, fresh flower and candlelight set the mood here.  You’ll dine leisurely, lingering over the evening’s offerings, accompanied by an outstanding bottle of wine from the extensive Wine Spectator list of worldwide vintages  if you wish. From appetizers to desserts, each dish is as beautifully prepared and presented as it tastes.  By special request, the chef even offers a Vegan Chef’s Tasting menu.  Dinner options are a la carte, allowing for plenty of different pairings of foods and courses.

Relaxing guest rooms offer private fireplaces and decks. After dinner, return to your room, again reminiscent of an English Manor given their names for different places in England, like the Buckingham Room and the Canterbury.  Rooms are spacious, elegantly decorated and filled with amenities like private balconies and decks, fireplaces, deep whirlpool tubs and fabulously comfortable beds.

The next morning, breakfast is another festival of food.  For those simply looking for a light bite, there is a cold buffet . For others who prefer to relax over a warm breakfast, the kitchen offers a changing menu of omelets, eggs Benedict, waffles, pancakes, crepes, French toast, and numerous egg preparations.

ManoronGoldenPond-BostonWineSchoolFor those who can’t get enough foodie fun here, try the Fork in the Road Cooking classes offered throughout the year in late fall, winter and early spring. Designed for every level, from novice to experienced, the classes will hone your culinary skills with a two-day itinerary under the tutelage of the Manor’s team of professionally trained chefs. Plan to sample the tempting dishes prepared during the classes.  The cooking school package combines  overnight stays with dinners and the classes for a total foodie immersion experience.

Need a break from food?  In the summer, take a dip in the inn’s in-ground pool, enjoy a round of tennis on the courts or year-round, savor a couples massage or plenty of other treatments at the inn’s spa too. At the center of life in Lower Waterford is the Rabbit Hill Inn.

Rabbit Hill Inn

From Holderness, jump back on 93 North once again and within about an hour, you can be at Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, VT, your next stop on the Foodie DINEtinerary.   Look to the left when you enter the front door and you’ll spy the dining room where your dinners will be filled with candlelight and exciting cuisine.  Look to the right and you’ll spy an afternoon tea service filled with yummy sweet treats and a fine collection of teas in the spacious living room.   From there, the Snooty Fox Pub rounds out the options, and you’re right back in seventh foodie heaven again.

Located in Lower Waterford, VT, the next closest option for dinner is Littleton, NH making dining at Rabbit Hill Inn not only the easiest but the most relaxing option too.  Once here, you won’t want to get back in the car.  The sense of “Ahhhhhh…..” hits guests the minute they walk in the door and meet Leslie and Brian Mulcahy, innkeepers and owners of the inn.  If you don’t get your hug from Leslie when you arrive as strangers for the first time, you’ll definitely get one when you leave as friends and then again each time you return.

With a cup of tea (in the summer time, lemonade or ice tea are added to the options, and fresh brewed coffee is always available too)and plate of desserts in hand, enjoy relaxing at one of the tables in the living room to take on any one of the Stave puzzles, made close by and cherished for their intricate pieces.   Sit in the pub, and you will soon want to take your hand at any of the intriguing puzzles or games available here too.

The Snooty Fox Pub at Rabbit Hill InnOnce cocktail hour rolls around, guests tend to congregate in the pub for one of Rabbit Hill Inn’s signature cocktails or a glass of wine or craft beer.  There’s never any shortage of great stories from the bartender and guests here too.  Ask nicely, and Brian might just make one of his Lemon Drop Martinis or a Bourbon Old Fashion.   The Chocolate Martinis are a true treat too!

Next, it’s on to dinner in the dining room, with a lovely fire and a culinary adventure ahead. Choose from the small plate, large plate or sweet plate menu.  Most choose one option from each. Rabbit Hill Inn went from a prix fixe to an a la carte menu about a year ago to allow diners the option for as little or as much as they like.  The focus here is on fresh and handmade. From the soups to the sauces to the pastas and the ice creams, the magic happens right in the Rabbit Hill Inn’s kitchen. Fresh Vermont produce, meats and inn-grown spices are utilized, and when the ingedients don’t come from within 20 miles, they come from as close as possible.  Adventurous combinations and unusual options are a highlight here, allowing not only you but your taste buds to have a vacation from your everyday options.

Rabbit Hill Inn - warm up with a soft blanket, tea and warm fireplaceReturn to a beautifully decorated and in some cases a themed room.  There’s even one with a secret door and a truly private location too.  With fabulous whirlpool tubs, showers for two and fireplaces, and the most comfy beds around, a perfect night’s sleep after a fabulous foodie day is assured here.

Arise for breakfast the next morning and you’ll have the chance to try Phyllis’s pastry prowess!  Pastry Chef Phyllis offers up everything from her signature donuts to fabulous muffins, guests simply must leave all diets behind and try one or more of these treats.  The same Vermont fresh ingredients and fun creativity goes into breakfast at the Rabbit Hill Inn, along with the bunny-shaped butter pats.  You know there’s not a detail overlooked in the kitchen or anywhere here and plenty of rabbits to entertain you, everywhere.  See how many you can count!

Ask about the customized foodie itineraries that Rabbit Hill Inn has developed.  Follow the map created by Leslie and you’ll visit a cool collection of specialty foods from the Cabot Cheese to the Ben & Jerry’s factories and some much smaller places in-between.  From syrups to smoothies, this custom self-guided tour will offer the ideal culinary caper.

Be sure to keep coming back to the DINE blog, as we add more DINEtineraries throughout the year.  Whether it’s New England romantic getaways or culinary cavorting, you can be assured that there’s a DINE inn that’s ideal for you getaway needs.  And to create your own itinerary, consult this handy DINE locator map for proximity of inn to inn.

The Secret Loft at Rabbit Hill Inn.

DINE inns are both distinctive and award-winning

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking on the DINE blog about how the innkeepers and owners of the Distinctive Inns of New England make each of the properties so special.  No visit to any hotel or resort could result in the kind of warm relationship that guests have with the owner of DINE properties.  Visit any of the 11 DINE inns, and you’ll leave a friend.  Return again and again to visit your new pals.

Innkeepers are not the kind of people to blow their own horns often.  Yet, when it comes to being special, the eleven member inns have achieved their inclusion in the Distinctive Inns of New England through hard work and attention to detail.  Their tenacious efforts in providing hospitality and distinctive décor have also landed a long list of awards for the members.  Thus, the eleven member inns are not simply distinctive; they are award-winning too.

At the risk of sounding boastful we thought we might offer some insight into the kind of recognition the Distinctive Inns of New England have achieved.  You know they are distinctive, but did you know they are also considered among the best in the world by national magazines, travel websites, inngoers and B&B experts?  Let’s take a look.

All of the eleven Distinctive Inns of New England have passed a rigorous inspection process. They are either members of Select Registry, an association of luxury inspected inns, or’s Diamond Collection.  To qualify for membership in both of these organizations, the inns must undergo a meticulous inspection.  Those inns which are not members of these two organizations underwent an independent inspection from their DINE peers. Additionally, the Manor On Golden Pond is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Recently, DINE member inns have received excellent accommodation from TripAdvisor. The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. The Chesterfield Inn, Cliffside Inn (2012and 2013), Rabbit Hill Inn (in 2012 and 2013), Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, the Camden Maine Stay Inn (2012 and 2013), Deerfield Inn and Captain’s House Inn all received the TripAdvisor Award of Excellence in 2013. The Gateways Inn received the award in 2012.

Additionally, a number of the DINE properties are four-diamond rated by the American Automobile Association.  To achieve four-diamond status, the inns must pass a rigorous inspection to qualify as a luxury property. Only 4.8 percent of more than 30,000 properties approved by AAA achieve this coveted distinction. The Manor on Golden Pond has achieved four diamond rating for both lodging and dining since 1997.  The Captain’s House Inn achieved its 26th year in a row of four diamond AAA rating in 2013.  Additionally, the Rabbit Hill Inn has received the four-diamond status for lodging and dining each year since 1992, and the Cliffside Inn received the four-diamond award in 2012 and 2013 after completing a top to bottom restoration the year prior (while maintaining that four-diamond status for the decade before too).

Some of the DINE inns with restaurants have received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for a number of years.  The Manor On Golden Pond has received accommodation from Wine Spectator since 1997, and the Gateways Inn has received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for the past seven years.

Many of the DINE member inns have achieved special acclaim by being included on lists or nominated for special awards.

The Cliffside Inn was selected as a Top 10 Luxury Inn by, recognized as a top inn around the world providing the best travel experience in this category.

The Rabbit Hill Inn was named to the  Conde Nast Gold List in 2012 and among the Top Ten Affordable Hotels by Travel & Leisure Magazine in 2012.  In 2013, the Rabbit Hill Inn was named among the Best Places to Propose in New England by

The Captain’s House Inn has achieved inclusion in a number of esteemed lists including the 2013 Trip Advisor 25 Best Inns in America and 2012 Cape Cod Life Readers Choice Gold Award for best bed and breakfast/inn on the Cape and Islands.

Connecticut Governor Malloy announced at the Connecticut Tourism Conference 2013 that the public  named Niantic the first-ever Fan-Favorite still revolutionary Town of the Year. Niantic, home to the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, mobilized passionate residents and visitors and earned more votes than any other town, village, city or borough across the state.  And the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina was voted the favorite destination within Niantic. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina also received Yankee Magazine’s / Best of New England ~ Editors’ Choice mention for having the “Best Water-View Inn” in the May/June 2013 Travel Guide to New England.

Closed for 18 months to rebuild after Hurricane Irene sent a five-foot wall of water through the lower level, the Deerfield Inn received perhaps the most prized award of all in April, 2013 – a certificate of occupancy to reopen in beautiful new surroundings.

Gateways-5MugsAwardThe Gateways Inn and Restaurant received a 5 Mug Award from the Berkshire Eagle. It is VERY rare that anyone gets more than a 4. The inn has also been nominated and is a finalist for Trendsetter of the Year from the Berkshire Visitors Bureau .  The winners will be announced at a Gala event on June 26.

The Inn at Thorn Hill ranked  12th in top 25 small resorts in Mainland U.S. in the Conde Nast Traveler “Best in the World Top 100” in 2010.   And the Grafton Inn was featured in Northeast Flavor Magazine, Fall 2012 and the TV Show Vermont’s Best Weddings and Getaways.

There you have it.  Award winning AND distinctive, DINE member inns are leaders,  exude excellence and have been recognized by their peers and the travel industry for the quality experience they offer.  We don’t blow our own horn very often, so this will be it for a while.  We’ll go back to simply providing warm and welcoming hospitality for guests whom we appreciate for the great reviews and patronage.

Members of Distinctive Inns of New England Receive AAA Four Diamond Awards

Distinctive Inns of New England is proud that five of its members have once again received their AAA Four Diamond Award for the 2010 year!   Each year, 65 tourism editors evaluate over 58,000 hotels and restaurants.  Of those, only about 3% are awarded the coveted Four Diamond Award.   Join us in congratulating the following Distinctive Inns of New England members for receiving the AAA Four Diamond Award. 

Captain’s House Inn of Chatham, Massachusetts – 24 years for lodging – Located in the picturesque seaside village of Chatham on Cape Cod prides itself on its sixteen sumptuously appointed guestrooms housed in a Greek revival style sea captains home built in 1839 coupled with exceptional service, gourmet breakfasts, and authentic English afternoon tea. 

Rabbit Hill Inn of Lower Waterford, Vermont – 18 years for lodging and restaurant – Romantic Northern Vermont Bed and Breakfast Inn located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.  Rabbit Hill Inn is known for pampering their guests and always offers a special welcome hug from its owners, Brian and Leslie.

Inn at Thorn Hill in Jackson, New Hampshire – 12 years for lodging and 11 years for restaurant – 1895 Stanford White-inspired Inn is situated grandly on a knoll overlooking Jackson Village.  Enjoy their award winning wine cellar or a visit to the spa.

Cliffside Inn of Newport, Rhode Island – 7 years for lodging – A luxury bed and breakfast located in Newport, the Cliffside Inn was the first Newport bed and breakfast to ever be awarded AAA Four Diamond status in Rhode Island.

Manor on Golden Pond, Holderness, New Hampshire – 13 years for lodging and restaurant – A lovely New England manor house overlooking Squam Lake.  The Manor is an idyllic countryside getaway in southern New Hampshire.

Congratulations to everyone for a great job!

Rebecca, Quantum Hospitality

Captains House Inn of Chatham Receives 23rd Consecutive AAA Four Diamond Award

The Captains House Inn of Chatham, Massachusetts has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond award for the 23rd consecutive year.  Each year, 65 full time tourism editors evaluate over 58,000 hotels and restaurants.  Of those, only about 3% are awarded the coveted four diamond award.  


The Captains House Inn, located in the picturesque seaside village of Chatham on Cape Cod prides itself on its sixteen sumptuously appointed guestrooms housed in a Greek revival style sea captains home built in 1839 coupled with exceptional service, gourmet breakfasts, and authentic English afternoon tea.  


The luxury Chatham MA bed and breakfast is one of five Distinctive Inns hotel or inn properties that are AAA Four Diamond rated. The others are Vermont’s Rabbit Hill Inn, New Hampshire’s Manor on Golden Pond and the Inn at Thorn Hill, and The Cliffside Inn in Newport, Rhode Island.


To experience the Captains House Inn’s four diamond facilities and service for yourself, click here to book online now.

by Jill & James, Captain’s House Inn

Newport RI Weekend Packages: Spa Getaway Winter Weekend Special

Newport RI Weekend Packages Feature Spa Deal Winter Getaway
Calling all New Englanders suffering from cabin fever. Newport RI’s luxury bed and breakfast, Cliffside Inn, has just put together a spa treatment special that will revitalize and turn anyone’s New England weekend into a rejuvenating New England getaway weekend.

Guests save 25% on the indulgent, Signature Spa Treatment Weekend Package. Designed exclusively for the Cliffside Inn by leading organic skincare and spa specialist Brenda Brock, founder of Farmaesthetics Sustainable Beauty, the Newport spa deal includes 2-nights in a State Room, plus the inn’s signature couples in-room organic spa treatment, a Farmaesthetics Facial To Go gift set, and terry cotton spa slippers. Weekends are $650, weekdays are $550. The spa treatment deal is offered through February 8, 2009. Reservations by phone only, please call 401-847-1811.

The spa getaway is also available at Cliffside sister property, Abigail Stoneman Inn. Both inns are AAA Four Diamond B&Bs and members of the prestigious Legendary Inns of Newport luxury property group. Other Newport weekend packages and winter weekend getaways include: Grand Wine Tasting Weekend; Newport Getaway Weekend Package; Best of Newport Package; Newport Romantic Getaways. Check availability at all Legendary Inns of Newport

Newport RI AAA Four Diamond Award: Cliffside Inn Makes It Five-Years In A Row

Newport RI Bed and Breakfast Cliffside Inn AAA Four Diamond Award
Distinctive Inns of New England founding member Cliffside Inn has received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond award for the fifth consecutive year. The luxury Newport RI bed and breakfast is one of five Distinctive Inns hotel or inn properties that are AAA Four Diamond rated, the others are Vermont’s Rabbit Hill Inn, New Hampshire’s Manor on Golden Pond and Inn at Thorn Hill, and The Captain’s House on Cape Cod.

The Cliffside Inn joins its sister Newport RI bed and breakfast Abigail Stoneman Inn with the AAA Four Diamond distinction. Owned and operated by the same family under the name Legendary Inns of Newport, the group is now in the unique position of running more than a quarter of all the AAA Four Diamond inns or hotels in Rhode Island.

The coveted Four Diamond award is given each year to only about three percent of the more than 32,000 AAA rated inns and hotels in America. Only seven Rhode Island bed and breakfasts, inns, or hotels have been honored with AAA Four Diamonds for 2008. Cliffside Inn was the first Newport RI bed and breakfast or inn to be awarded AAA Four Diamond status in Rhode Island. Check availability at Cliffside Inn. See all DINE inns.

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New England Inns Hotels Top 10 — Travel+Leisure Magazine Names Two DINE Inns New England’s Top 10

“Ten special inns whose warm hospitality is guaranteed to take the season’s chill out of the air, ” is how Travel+Leisure described its early Spring search for the 10 coziest inns in New England. The travel magazine named both Newport RI’s luxury bed and breakfast Cliffside Inn and New Hampshire’s small luxury hotel Manor On Golden Pond to its Top 10 Inns of New England list.

“Roosted above the Atlantic Ocean overlooking Newport’s Cliff Walk, this Victorian manor house and former home of painter Beatrice Turner channels the sort of joie de vivre stylings one might expect in an eccentric artist residence,” writes Adrien Glover about Cliffside Inn. “Enjoy afternoon tea surrounded by turn-of-the-century canvases in a living museum.” The magazine spotlighted the Governor’s Suite with grand king bed, 2 fireplaces, Victorian birdcage shower, whirlpool and iPod sound system.

“Katharine Hepburn and a doddering Henry Fonda may have made Golden Pond famous, but it’s this New Hampshire Lakes District inn that keeps Squam Lake (the pond’s real name) on the map, ” reports Ms. Glover on the Manor On Golden Pond. “Dinners are elaborate candlelit affairs; the kitchen swings in both directions, offering Chateaubriand for Two as well as special dishes for vegans.” Featured room blue-and-white Churchill Room with king bed, Jacuzzi tub, and fireplace.

Both properties are founding members of the Distinctive Inns of New England and both are AAA Four Diamond rated. Check availability for Cliffside Inn or Manor On Golden Pond. Travel+Leisure Top 10 Slide Show

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Newport RI Romantic Getaways Valentine’s Week Include Champagne

Escape to the romantic world of Newport RI’s luxury bed and breakfast Cliffside Inn the week of Valentine’s Day, and the bubbly’s on us. Enjoy a bottle of Italy’s red hot sparkler Domenico Prosecco as part of all one-night romantic getaways Feb. 10 to 14 — including Valentine’s Day — with our compliments. Cliffside Inn is Newport’s only luxury bed and breakfast named both America’s Top 10 Most Romantic Inn and Romantic Hideaway of the Year.

All Cliffside guest quarters feature fireplaces, grand beds, Italian linens, and all suites have 2-person whirlpools. The romantic interlude special includes multi-course breakfast, acclaimed afternoon tea, complimentary Champagne, artisan chocolates, and evening turndown. The grand Victorian Manor House and cottage are peacefully perched above the Atlantic Ocean and Newport’s Rhode Island’s dramatic Cliff Walk.

Book Now or call 401-847-1811. DINE Founding member Cliffside Inn was Rhode Island’s first AAA Four Diamond luxury inn and is the flagship property of the Legendary Inns of Newport RI. The Romantic Getaway Special is available at all Legendary Inns including Abigail Stoneman Inn and Adele Turner Inn. Other Romance Package options.

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Legendary Inns of Newport RI Takes Top Rhode Island Hotel Honors Again — Double AAA Four Diamond Awards For Luxury B&B Lodging

For the fourth year in a row, the Legendary Inns of Newport RI has been honored as Rhode Island’s top AAA Four Diamond luxury lodging group. Both Cliffside Inn (a Distinctive Inns founder) and Abigail Stoneman Inn have again received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award.

While just over three percent of the more than 32,000 AAA rated inns and hotels in America are given the coveted Four Diamond Award, the Legendary Inns of Newport owns and operates more than one-quarter of all the AAA Four Diamond hotels or inns in Rhode Island.

Only seven Rhode Island bed and breakfasts, inns, or hotels have been honored with AAA Four Diamonds for 2007. Two Rhode Island restaurants also received AAA Four Diamond Awards at the annual ceremony, held at The Westin Providence Hotel.

“This unprecedented AAA Four Diamond award in Rhode Island for our flagship Newport bed and breakfast inns – four years in a row – is truly gratifying, ” said Winthrop Baker, Group President of the Legendary Inns of Newport. “This AAA recognition speaks to what we’re all about: extraordinary guest experiences, warm hospitality, personal service and grand style, all set in luxuriously detailed, historic Newport, RI inns.”

Each year AAA inspects and rates lodging properties across America. According to AAA Southern New England President Mark Shaw, AAA only awards Four Diamonds to properties that consistently deliver first-class hotel experiences, superior personal service, deluxe amenities, and impressive surroundings.

Abigail Stoneman Inn became Rhode Island’s first luxury bed and breakfast inn awarded the Four Diamond rating in 2003. It was followed later that year by Cliffside Inn.

Named to the “Great Tea Rooms of America,” the luxury Newport, RI bed and breakfast inns also feature a unique array of personal service and deluxe amenities including pillow menus and bath butler soap bars, exotic bathing salons with whirlpools and steam baths, iPod sound systems, in-room spa services and artwork from renowned Newport artist Beatrice Turner.

In addition to Abigail Stoneman Inn and Cliffside Inn, this year’s Rhode Island AAA Four Diamond hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts include: The Hotel Providence, The Westin Providence, Point Pleasant Inn & Resort, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, and Hydrangea House Inn. The top Rhode Island restaurants include L’Epicureo, and Spiced Pear Restaurant.

The Legendary Inns of Newport is a distinguished group of three luxury Inns. All set in historic, Victorian homes, they have been meticulously restored and seamlessly blended with the finest modern amenities to produce unique, luxury bed and breakfast Inns known for their refined elegance, grand style, warm hospitality and attentive service. The group includes Distcintive Inns member Cliffside Inn, plus Adele Tuner Inn and Abigail Stoneman Inn. Read the release. See all Spring Getaway Specials to Newport Rhode Island

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