Each fall, we receive a slew of trip requests for “somewhere upstate,” “nature… but with a gorgeous hotel,” “leaf peeping, long walks and good food.” Our suggestions nearly always include two all-inclusive standouts: Vermont’s sprawling gem of an estate, Twin Farms, and upstate New York’s famous lakefront resort, The Point. Recently, Passported’s Monique Thofte and Brandi Wilson paid visits to each property, and now we’re comparing notes. Read on to find out which of these storied sleeps is best for you.
Passported’s Brandi Wilson visited in summer 2017
Where Barnard, VT, around 275 miles, or 5 hours north of NYC
What A sprawling gem of an estate with just 20 rooms nestled on 300 secluded acres in the green mountains of Vermont. The resort and service feel like a private getaway for each guest, whether you spend your days exploring the resort's six ski runs in winter, relaxing in the Japanese furo bathhouse in the forest, or dining on exceptional seasonal fare prepared with your preferences in mind—not a menu in sight. There are four guestrooms, six suites and ten private cottages, all with wood burning fires and beautiful forest views. Service is exacting never fawning, and there are thoughtful details throughout, from the classic design given a playful riff (see the Donald Roller Wilson paintings) to the showcase of local artisans, including custom pieces from potters and puzzle makers.
Brandi’s highlight “Staying here is one highlight after another, but I loved wandering the covered bridge over the pond to reach the roaring fires and cozy atmosphere of the Billiard’s Bar. And taking a dip in the steamy Japanese furo bathhouse overlooking the forest.”
Who For Active couples looking to recharge and reconnect, and families who find a home away from home in the 4-suite Farmhouse.
How Much From $1,500 - $2000 per night.
Passported's Monique Thofte visited in summer 2017
Where Saranac Lake, NY, around 311 miles, or 5 hours from NYC
What On upstate New York’s idyllic Saranac Lake, The Point transports guests to a bygone age of black-tie dinners, anticipatory service and zero WiFi. Built as a country escape for William Rockefeller in 1933, the four original “log mansions” offer a glimpse at glamping for the Gilded Age—all fine art, antiques, taxidermy, wood paneling and roaring fires. Today, the atmosphere remains formal but intimate, with just 11 rooms across the four houses; the most recent addition, the Boathouse, is a standout for its open-plan layout and canopied bed in the center of the room. Meals are a highlight here, prepared with ingredients from the property’s kitchen garden and local farms, and served at “Day Break,” “Midday” or “Day’s End” wherever you please. Make it breakfast in bed, lunch by the lake, dinner in the Great Hall or at “The Point,” a rocky perch overlooking the water. By day, the vibe is casual and spent mainly on or beside the lake, but evenings are more buttoned up, with a black tie dress code for dinners on Wednesday and Saturday. The all-inclusive plan banishes any mark-up stress, and the multiple bars dotted across the grounds encourage guests to make the most of this setup!
Monique’s highlight: “I appreciated the digital detox and loved the tradition of afternoon drinks beside a bonfire at “the Point,” but was most impressed by the service. When I inquired about the nearest gas station at check-out, I was told, almost as a given, that my tank had been filled ready for my journey home.”
Who For Anyone for whom peace, pristine nature and flawless service are the ultimate luxuries.
How Much From $1,750 per night.
Ready to head north this winter? Contact our bookings team to find out more about these countryside escapes and how to reserve your stay all the Passported Perks.