by Jackie Perrin
Where should you go when you want to treat the kids to an adventure-filled New England getaway, but you’re also yearning for some adult-oriented rest and relaxation? Pretty as a picture postcard, Woodstock Inn & Resort offers families the best of both worlds. For adults who need a bit of pampering, the sophisticated 142-room Central Vermont property delivers with a sleek spa; an 18-hole, par-70 Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed golf course; guest rooms with luxurious appointments and a grand setting. For kids on the go, alpine and cross-country skiing, two pools and an impressive variety of area activities offer ongoing entertainment.
Overlooking the Village Green, the beautifully landscaped resort originally opened in 1892 and was rebuilt and re-opened in 1969 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, founder of the RockResorts luxury chain and a noted conservationist. Today, it is owned and operated by the Woodstock Foundation. Proceeds from resort operations benefit Billings Farm & Museum, a tribute to rural farm life created by Laurance and his late wife, Mary, and a favorite family day trip destination. Nearby, at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, another Rockefeller legacy, kids can hike along the carriage trails or take an educational scavenger hunt and earn a “Junior Ranger” badge.
In addition to hiking, biking, skiing, canoeing and kayaking, area recreation options include the nearby Montshire Museum of Science and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, both of which offer outdoor facilities, programs and trails for exploration.
When you’ve had your fill of fresh air, you can return to the resort for afternoon tea and cookies, followed by a family dip in the pool and dinner. As a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, the upscale Red Rooster features seasonal local products and delectable dishes that will please everyone in the family. Nearby, Richardson’s Tavern offers casual comfort fare. For times when the kids get antsy, the resort steps in with room service, boxed lunches, and grab-and-go ski breakfasts. Whatever you do, don’t pass up the opportunity to sample the delicious desserts created by the talented in-house pastry team.
As far as relaxation goes, the spa offers services specifically for teens, expecting mothers, couples and golfers. Of course, after an active day, you might prefer to curl up in front of a crackling fire, check out a book or challenge the kids to a board game or game of chess in the cozy resort library.
The property has recently undergone an expansion, including the addition of a new outdoor pool, as well as a $10 million, 10,000 square-foot spa, which debuted in 2010. In 2009, a resort guest room renovation was completed.
Our Editor Loves
- Picturesque New England setting
- Access to Suicide Six Ski Resort
- Luxurious base for outdoor adventures
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Accommodation options (142 total) range from standard single or double rooms to an 864-square-foot Executive Suite. Tavern Rooms are among the most luxurious and feature upscale appointments, such as deluxe marble bathrooms, down comforters and 600-thread-count sheets. Some Tavern Rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces and parlors. Of the suite options, Tavern Suites and Main Inn Suites, which feature two bathrooms, a private king bedroom and a separate living room with a sleeper sofa, are especially comfortable for families, as long as your kids don't mind sharing a bed. Connecting rooms are also available.
Standard rooms are located in the four-floor Main Inn, as well as the Spa Wing. The latter location is a nice option for those traveling with children, as it tends to be quieter.
All accommodations have been recently renovated and feature classic New England dÃ©cor. Earth tones contrast nicely with light and dark woods, with linens and accent pieces in green and burgundy hues. Many rooms feature four-poster beds and shutters.
Standard amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, Keurig coffeemakers with a supply of Green Mountain coffee and optional daily turndown service with chocolates. Spa products are stocked in reusable dispensers in guest bathrooms.
Cribs and Pack 'n Plays are available upon request. Cots are permitted in some rooms -- be sure to inquire which ones before booking if you need one.
A daily resort fee includes complimentary access to the Racquet Club and Fitness Center.
by Jonathan O
great spot ,lots to do out and around, food great, rooms very nice, recommend the gorge and simon pierce glass restaurant and outlet. harpoon not to far away, vermont nature center raptor venue very informative.billings farm hike not difficult for all ages .
by Karen B
This is a beautiful property in a great locations. We loved the restaurants, shopping and site seeing. We took a nice walk over to the nearby farm, walked across a covered bridge and enjoyed the amazing views, can't wait to go back in spring for golf season.
Surrounded by lounge chairs and featuring seasonal snack service, the L-shaped outdoor swimming pool is open seasonally from 8 a.m. to dusk. The pool is 3.5 feet deep at the shallow end, and towels are available onsite. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Racquet & Fitness Club
Located 1.5 miles from the main inn, the 41,000-square-foot resort recreation center includes an indoor pool, a steam room, a sauna, an exercise room and sports courts. Nearby, Knox Meadows offers sand volleyball. Considered to be among the nation's top facilities, the resort's Tennis Center features 10 outdoor courts and two indoor courts. Complimentary shuttle service from the Main Inn is provided. Be sure to bring a change of clothes for the kids if you're planning on swimming. There are changing facilities in the locker room. The pool is four feet deep, and flotation devices are permitted. There are no lifeguards on duty.
At the family-friendly, resort-owned Suicide Six Ski Area, enjoy 23 runs, from beginner to expert, as well as group and private lessons. Lifts operate from 9 am to 4 p.m. daily. Resort guests enjoy free access and lift privileges on select days during non-peak periods. Complimentary shuttle service from the Inn is provided.
Free to resort guests from Sunday through Thursday (non-holidays), the resort's Nordic Center offers 60 kilometers of groomed trails and a warming hut.
At the resort's par-70, 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Golf Course, you can book a tee time or a sign up for a family golf clinic. The course is open seasonally from May to October.
The Spa at Woodstock offers an array of services just for teens, from facials and massages to manicures and pedicures. Special treatments for couples, golfers and expectant mothers are also available.
The Red Rooster
This popular dining room features a peaceful centerpiece fountain with wholesome favorites and sophisticated selections, all made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Children's entrÃ©e choices include seared salmon with whipped sweet potatoes and grilled chicken breast with roasted potatoes. For traditionalists, macaroni and cheese with Vermont cheddar sauce, chicken fingers with French fries and maple mustard and a fresh fruit medley appetizer offer familiar comfort. For dessert, there's a root beer float or the house-made brownie sundae. Parents can enjoy a pot of Vermont Artisan tea or a cheese plate featuring local selections. Be sure to save room for a dessert -- the treats served up by the resort pastry team are truly exceptional. Ingredients from members of the Vermont Fresh Network are featured throughout both the adult and kid's menus. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.
More casual than the Red Rooster, this intimate pub, open for dinner, is warm and welcoming to families. Burgers, lobster mac and cheese and homemade soups are among the favorite choices. Try the Cabot Cheddar Cheese Fondue for starters. A children's menu is available. The Tavern tends to fill quickly in peak season. Arrive early with the kids if you're hoping for swift seating.
The Fairway Grille
Soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers are done right at this golf club dining room, which is open seasonally for lunch. Chicken tenders, an all-beef hot dog, a hamburger and fresh fruit and berries are among the menu options. Indoor and outdoor seating are available.
Suicide Six Ski Area
At the Suicide Six Ski Area eatery, warm up and refuel with soups, salads and quick sandwiches. Out of Bounds and the cafeteria are open for lunch seasonally.
Order up a stack of pancakes with fresh local maple syrup, enjoy dinner in or arrange boxed lunches to go to help fuel your daily adventures. Service and delivery charges apply.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
In addition to local souvenirs, from pottery to maple syrup, the resort gift shop sells snacks, sunscreen, health and beauty supplies and over-the-counter medications.
Consult with the concierge if you need tickets to Suicide Six or area attractions, including the Billings Farm and Museum.
Although it's very popular with adult couples, golfing groups, wedding parties and for girlfriend getaways, children are warmly welcomed at the Woodstock Inn & Resort. Babysitters can be arranged through guest services with advance notice. Games and books are available in the library area.
The resort prepares all of its own buns and pastries, and smokes its own fish and meats. During the busy ski season, a grab-and-go bar is offered for skiers, featuring fast and healthy portable breakfasts like yogurt parfaits. Poolside snacks (seasonal) and boxed lunches (year-round) are also available.
A resort tradition, complimentary afternoon tea, featuring freshly baked cookies and tea, is served in the library. You might want to set a limit on quantity with the kids in advance -- the cookies are notoriously irresistible.
Resort guests receive complimentary admission to Billings Farm & Museum, as well as free admission to the resort's Nordic Center and downhill skiing at Suicide Six Ski Area from Sunday to Thursday (except holidays).
At holiday times, the resort offers special buffets, which draw locals, as well as in-house visitors. A seasonal gingerbread display, which debuts in December, is a favorite attraction.
The Art of Smart Timing
Most guests arrive at the Woodstock Inn with an adventurous purpose, often oriented to the seasons. Fall "leaf-peeping season" is prime time to visit New England. Other popular times when you'll find lots of company include Waasail Weekend in mid-December, the Christmas holidays, school holidays during ski season and Fourth of July weekend. "Maple Sugaring Season," which usually occurs between February and April, often overlaps with the less busy later winter/early spring "Mud Season." Some resort facilities, such as the Golf Club, the outdoor pool and ski areas, are open seasonally. The indoor pool is open year-round. The resort plays host to a number of group events, including family reunions, golf tournaments and weddings.
Woodstock Inn is located 1.5 hours from Burlington, Vt. and Manchester, N.H.; two to 2.5 hours from Albany, N.Y., Boston and Portland, Maine; around three hours from Hartford, Conn. and Providence R.I.; and around 4.5 hours from New York City, or more, depending on traffic.
Daily domestic air service from New York City, Hartford and Boston is available to Burlington, Vt. (BTV) and Manchester, N.H.(DHT). Both airports are located 90 minutes from the resort. Call guest services for information on airport transportation.
For Mom and Dad
Escape to the spa for an hour-long massage in the Couples Suite. Designed for two, the serene space is bound to promote relaxation. If you can't find a sitter, you can get a massage right in your guest room. An additional fee applies.