Although the busy ski season in New Hampshire is nearing an end, that doesn’t mean the Granite State will temporarily shut itself down to tourism. Indeed, the spring months offers a completely different experience for new and returning visitors, with clearer and warmer weather making it so much easier to get around. Although the maple season also ends around mid-April, there are all sorts of spring activities to enjoy, whether it’s hiking through Franconia Notch or kayaking on Squam Lake, also known as the iconic setting for the 1981 American film, “On Golden Pond”. To make it a complete New Hampshire experience, why not stay at one of the remaining few grand hotels that opened during the expansion of the railroads in the late 19th century? If you’re not familiar with these architectural masterpieces, chances are you’ll have an unforgettable stay.
Omni Mount Washington
310 Mount Washington Hotel Road
Bretton Woods, NH 03575
Nestled within the breathtaking White Mountains, the Omni Mount Washington is easily among the most distinctive hotels in New England. One of the last remaining grand resort hotels of the Gilded Age from the late 19th to early 20th century, this magnificent structure was completed in 1902 as The Mount Washington by coal broker Joseph Stickney. Over its illustrious history, The Mount Washington has hosted a wealth of notable people, including three U.S. presidents and in 1944, was the setting for the landmark Bretton Woods Conference, which helped establish the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Today, the Omni Mount Washington is a member of both the Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide and features both AAA Four Diamond lodging and dining, among the best spas in New England and its renowned skiing at Bretton Woods is routinely ranked at or near the top in the entire Northeast but also a hot spot for springtime activities like hiking and mountain biking. The Omni Mount Washington features 200 luxury guest rooms and suites, as well as 30,000 square feet of meeting space, multiple dining options, the award-winning 25,000-square foot spa and salon and the 9-hole Mount Pleasant Course and 18-hole Mount Washington Course designed by Donald Ross and considered one of the best golf courses in New Hampshire.
Mountain View Grand Hotel
101 Mountain View Road
Whitefield, NH 03598
Another distinguished member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Mountain View Grand Hotel is just as breathtaking as the more famous Omni Mount Washington. Also situated in the White Mountains region, lodging on this historic property dates back to 1865, when owners William and Mary Dodge hosted their first overnight guests in their farmhouse. A year later, the Dodges officially opened their inn and due to their financial successes in accommodating guests, began to build multiple additions to their home. Providing incomparable views of the White Mountains, the grand hotel became so well-known, it was able to host an impressive list of U.S. presidents and celebrities, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, Babe Ruth and Neil Armstrong. Today, the Mountain View Grand Hotel has been a AAA Diamond lodging and dining property since 2008 and the recipient a growing list of travel awards, including TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame since 2015 and recognized as one of the best resorts in the Northeast by Condé Nast Traveler. In addition to its more than 140 wonderfully appointed rooms and suites, the hotel also offers an award-winning Tower Spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, the Mountain View Golf Course and superb dining options, that’s consistently acclaimed for its outstanding service and exceptional cuisine, most notably the family friendly Harvest Tavern and its signature restaurant and one of the best in New Hampshire, 1865 Wine Cellar.
Wentworth By The Sea
588 Wentworth Road
New Castle, NH 03854
Located in New Castle, Wentworth by the Sea is the last of New Hampshire’s Gilded Age grand hotels that resides along the coastline. Completed in 1874 by Massachusetts distiller Daniel Chase, the lavish hotel was the largest wooden structure in the state when it opened and like other historic luxury hotels, has had a rich history of hosting dignitaries and monumental events. This includes the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, which formally ended the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War and helped earn President Theodore Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize. Now under the ownership of Marriott International, Wentworth by the Sea features 161 exceptionally appointed guest rooms and suites with many offering sweeping ocean views, as well as luxury spa services, fine dining particularly at SALT Kitchen & Bar, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, indoor and outdoor pools and access to the 18-hole championship golf course at the private Wentworth by the Sea Country Club. Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa is likewise a member of the Historic Hotels of America and is consistently awarded leading industry awards, such as being ranked among the best hotels in New England by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2019 AAA Four Diamond Award.
Related: Best Rooms With A View In America