If I picked the wrong winter to fracture my leg, at least I chose the right resort for a little ski rehab getaway. Bretton Woods and the Omni Mount Washington Hotel provided just the cure for Greg and me. Greg was eager to ski, and explore Mt Stickney's new "side-country" terrain, all-natural, un-groomed glades located on Bretton Woods' eastern slopes serviced by a new T-Bar. Already the largest ski area in New Hampshire, Bretton Woods is beloved for its pleasant, well groomed intermediate runs accessed by four high speed quads, and awesome views, but in the last decade they have added dozens of interesting, low angle glades that make the mountain ski so much bigger.
While Greg threaded exciting lines through the trees on skis, I lounged in the luxury of the grand 1902 Hotel - feeling like a Princess in her snow castle surrounded by elegant chandeliers and granite fireplaces in the Great Hall and Conservatory, and our beautiful room with a view of 6,288' Mount Washington. We first stayed at the Hotel in 1999, its first official winter season - and loved the lavish lodging after a day on Bretton Woods ski slopes across Route 302. It's even more posh now that Omni Mount Washington Resort has spent $80-million and added a Presidential Wing with a spectacular Spa which blends well with the prominent hotel, adding top shelf treatments in a luxurious setting.
Greg returned from skiing with a smile and tales of interesting trails like Inferno and Enchanted Bear. I wasn't even bitter, since I had my own intriguing stories, from my historic hotel tour, of Princess Carolyn's haunting presence in Room 314 (maybe I will get the courage to stay in Carolyn's spirited canopy bedroom next visit). We soaked in the immense outdoor pool, then sipped cocktails in the fairytale-inspired Princess Room before dinner. The Cave was not open during our midweek stay, so we will have to come back for that too. How often do you get to party in a real speakeasy bar in the brick and stone basement of a century old Hotel?
Staying in this white winter palace surrounded by Presidential views inspires relaxation and appreciation. I found myself thinking of the "well to do" who came to this gracious setting in the 1920's for a summer of social and outdoor indulgence. There remains a timeless elegance in this environment, and plenty to do at this majestic Hotel, and the surrounding White Mountains.
So many ski resorts claim to cater to the non-skier (or the wounded one in my case), but few offer more than skiing, après ski, and standard lodging. Omni Mount Washington Resort does it all with style - Canopy Tour Ziplining, snowshoeing, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, dog sledding, skating on a year round synthetic rooftop ice rink, spa-ing, cooking classes, afternoon wine and whiskey tastings with the sommelier, dancing in a prohibition cave, and drinking in this 111-year-old architectural marvel with its splendid scenery.
Omni Mount Washington Resort has specials like "Stay Here, Ski Free" lodging packages starting at $99 a night, per person, double occupancy. For day trippers, the Zip and Ski at $99 is a deal, as is the $129 Ski & Spa and the $160 Zip & Spa.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.