By Susan Farewell
As the author of Quick Escapes from New York City, as well as a former travel editor at Bride’s magazine, I’m frequently asked to recommend great romantic inns that are within a reasonable distance of not only New York, but Boston and other New England areas.
The one that always comes to mind first is Rabbit Hill Inn in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It’s one of the top choices for my husband and I when we’re looking to get away for a long weekend alone. What we love most about this place is that it allows us to seriously unplug and spend time with each other.
The inn itself is truly conducive to this. Every detail seems to have been designed with relaxation, comfort and romance in mind. There are none of the high-tech distractions that are standard in so many inn and hotel guestrooms these days. Instead, it’s all about simple, sensual pleasures--sink-into beds and chairs, luscious fabrics and soft lighting. And then there’s the turn-down service, which has a meaning of its own at Rabbit Hill Inn. When you’re off enjoying your Porcini Dusted Lamb or Molasses Glazed Monkfish in the dining room, the turn-down fairies are drawing a sudsy bath, dropping rose petals, lighting candles and tuning into soft romantic music in anticipation of your return.
The same thought and detail that goes into the inn’s design and comfort can be said about the food and wine here. A culinary artist, Chef Matthew Secich is a true farm-to-table cook, sourcing seasonally fresh produce as well as meats from local farms. All meals, including candlelit breakfasts—are memorable events. And the desserts…all I can say is thank goodness my husband and I are so active. When we visit Rabbit Hill Inn, we
hike, bike or cross-country ski ourselves silly. Right outside the door there are ten acres of wooded trails and just over the border in New Hampshire, are the awesome hiking trails of the White Mountains. Nearby also is the network of Kingdom trails in Vermont. There are plenty of other things to do including horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, climbing, scenic drives….the list goes on. But for us, it’s all about not doing much at all and plotting the day so we make it back in time for tea in the parlor.
There are 19 guestrooms at Rabbit Hill Inn with three levels of pricing. Classic rooms start at $199 a night, Superior rooms start at $259, and Luxury Rooms start at $335. The price includes breakfast, tea and all gratuities. Specials and packages with reduced rates are frequently announced on the inn’s website.
Reaching Rabbit Hill Inn
While quite north in Lower Waterford, Vermont, the inn is not far from major interstates 91 and 93. From Boston, it’s about a 3 hour trip. From Hartford, it's about 3.5 hours and New York--a bit of a drive but worth it--6 hours.
Photo credits: Jumping Rocks