Skyscrapers, lighthouses, tree houses, farms – for travelers looking something a little different, New England has plenty of unique places to stay. Here are a few hotels, resorts, bed & breakfasts and more for curiosity-seekers and adventurous lodgers.
Great Wolf Lodge New England
The newly opened Great Wolf Lodge New England is the ultimate family vacation. Located in Fitchburg , the resort spans 68,000 square feet and features a water park, six story funnel slide, an obstacle course, mini golf, live action games, an XD theater, an ice cream-themed spa, a bowling alley, and more. Best of all, activities are exclusive to lodge guests. Suites range from $199.99 to $379.99 a night.
Great Wolf Lodge New England, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA. 978-343-9653. www.greatwolf.com.
The Green Turtle Bed & Breakfast, Charlestown
Travelers bored by the typical accommodations offered by a city should try The Green Turtle. Located in Charlestown Navy Yard with great views of the harbor and skyline, it is a floating bed and breakfast offering two room options in luxury boathouse style. Relax on the water in dock chairs, or enjoy the full amenities including wireless internet, private bath, and refrigerator. A water taxi can take guests to and from Logan Airport, or they can walk the historic Freedom Trail into downtown Boston. Rates start at $260.
The Green Turtle Bed & Breakfast, Shipyard Quarters Marina, 1 Pier 8 13th St., Charlestown, MA. 617-337-0202. www.greenturtlebb.com.
Adventure Suites, North Conway, N.H.
North Conway’s Adventure Suites is a hotel with 16 themed rooms. Suites include a medieval-themed room with a bed suspended from the ceiling, a tree house, an Elvis room, a cave (pictured), and one made to look like a New York penthouse. All of the rooms have Jacuzzis, and stays include a meal at the hotel’s diner. Rates start at $119.
Adventure Suites, 3440 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, N.H. 603-356-9744. www.adventuresuites.com.
The Kendall Hotel, Cambridge
The Kendall, in Kendall Square, was once the Engine 7 firehouse, built in 1895. Current owners Gerald Fandetti and Charlotte Forsythe, both Rhode Island School of Design grads, have introduced their own art and that of other New England artists, to create a mix of modern and old. They have renovated and expanded the historic building, which now contains 73 guest rooms and four luxury suites. Guests can partake in the Kendall’s hosted wine hour Monday through Thursday on the hotel’s roof deck, or dine at the Black Sheep, the restaurant inspired by the nickname of the Cambridge firefighters who previously occupied the building. Rates start at $134.
The Kendall Hotel, 350 Main St., Cambridge, MA. 866-566-1300. www.kendallhotel.com.
Goose Rocks Lighthouse, North Haven, Maine
Goose Rocks is an offshore lighthouse – that means it is completely surrounded by water, so you’ll need a boat or kayak to get to it, and be able to climb a ladder from that craft. Run by Beacon Preservation Inc., guests don’t rent the lighthouse, but make a donation of $600 to $1,000 a night in order to stay in it. All of the money directly supports the expensive preservation and upkeep of Goose Rocks.
Goose Rocks Lighthouse, 179 Main St., North Haven, ME. 203-400-9565. www.beaconpreservation.org.
Winvian Resort, Morris, Conn.
Winvian offers guests several interesting and unusual accommodations, like tree houses and beaver dams. The 18 cottages, spread over 113 acres, are each themed, including one that features a Sikorsky Sea King helicopter in the center of a hangar-like lodging, complete with a living room in the fuselage. The sprawling property also includes a spa and restaurant. Rates start at $549.
Winvian Resort, 155 Alain White Road, Morris, CT. 860-567-9600. www.winvian.com.
Liberty Hotel, Boston
Formerly the Charles Street Jail, the Liberty Hotel’s designers incorporated many features of the prison, such as the catwalks that wrap around the upper floors of the lobby. Visitors in modern times are much more fortunate than their counterparts of a century ago, as the hotel offers access to a 24-hour fitness center, in-room dining, complimentary bicycles when in season, and other amenities. Clink, one of the Liberty’s five restaurants and bars, even includes the remains of old jail cells – and another bar, Alibi, used to be the city’s drunk tank. Rates start at $349.
Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St., Boston, MA. 617-224-4000. www.libertyhotel.com.
Belfry Inne, Sandwich
The Abbey at the Belfry Inne was once a Catholic church. Now, it houses an award-winning bistro and bar on the first floor, with a staircase leading to six guestrooms – named “Monday’’ through “Saturday’’ – with high vaulted ceilings and skylights. Inn Keeper Christopher Wilson was behind the redesign of the old church, and utilized the building’s unique architecture to create the interesting and cozy space. And it has been modernized; rooms have amenities such as whirlpool tubs and wireless Internet. Rates start at $287 per night.
Belfry Inn & Bistro, 9 Jarves St., Sandwich, MA. 508-888-8550. www.belfryinn.com.
Rose Island Lighthouse, Rose Island, R.I.
Located on an island one mile off the coast of Newport, R.I., the Rose Island Lighthouse offers lodging on two floors. Restored in 1912, the first floor serves as a museum during the day, with everything left as it was when the original keepers lived there. Visitors can also choose to stay on the second floor and train to be keeper for a week, which involves training from the staff in performing duties and taking care of the facilities. Guests can take a ferry to the island, and rates start at $165 on weekdays through June, although special rates are offered until Apr. 30.
Rose Island Lighthouse, P.O. Box 1419, Newport, R.I. 401-847-4242. www.roseislandlighthouse.org.
Boston Hotel Buckminster, Boston
Kenmore Square’s Buckminster has seen its fair share of history. Built in 1897, the building was reputedly the spot where the plot to fix the 1919 World Series, known as the Black Sox scandal, was hatched; it was rented out by the military for use in holding Italian prisoners during World War II; in the 1950s, it was home to Storyville, the historic jazz club where Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and others played. The Buckminister has 94 European-style rooms and is dog friendly. Rates start at $109.
Boston Hotel Buckminster, 645 Beacon St., Boston, MA. 617-236-7050. www.bostonhotelbuckminster.com.
The Essex, Burlington, Vt.
Burlington’s Essex calls itself “Vermont’s culinary resort & spa,’’ and with good reason – along with a tavern and its signature restaurant, Amuse, it offers classes in the chefs’ kitchens and in the J.K. Adams kitchen of their Cook Academy. The classes use plenty of local Vermont ingredients and range from cooking with the local cheese fare to sushi and dumplings to knife skills. Rates start at $105 .
The Essex, 70 Essex Way, Essex, Vt. 800-727-4295. www.essexresortspa.com.
Jailhouse Inn, Newport, R.I.
Like Boston’s Liberty Hotel, the Jailhouse Inn in Newport is a unique adaptation of an old jail, in this case the former Newport County jail, for lodging purposes. But unlike the Liberty, The federal-style building retains less of the original prison features and focuses on a more laid-back, B&B style. It sits across from the oldest tavern in New England, the White Horse. On its website, the Jailhouse Inn staff tells visitors, “If you were a guest at the Jail before its rebirth as an Inn, be sure to let us know!’’ Rates start at $89.
Jailhouse Inn, 13 Marlborough St., Newport, R.I. 401-847-4638. www.jailhouse.com.
Bed and Breakfast Afloat at Constitution Marina, Boston
Like the Green Turtle, Constitution Marina offers bed and breakfast amenities on the water – but in this case, on actual seafaring vessels. Guests can stay on a 40’ motor yacht with two suites, a 59’ sailboat with a marble lined Jacuzzi, or several other houseboats. A water taxi goes from Logan Airport directly to the marina’s dock. Between the marina itself and the features of the floating lodging, you can enjoy traditional hotel amenities while you stay at sea. Rates start at $175 per night double occupancy.
Bed and Breakfast Afloat, 28 Constitution Road, Boston, MA. 617-241-9640. www.bedandbreakfastafloat.com.
Marriott’s Custom House, Boston
Stay in Boston’s own version of Big Ben, the iconic Custom House Tower in McKinley Square. With a prime location in the Financial District, guests can enjoy panoramic views of the city and Boston Harbor. The 26-story building has 84 suites and an observation deck. A night’s stay in one of the city’s best-known landmarks starts at $279.
Marriott’s Custom House, 3 McKinley Square, Boston, MA. 617-310-6300. www.marriott.com.
Shearer Hill Farm, Wilmington, Vt.
Ever wanted to stay somewhere where you wake up to the sound of cows? This New England farm stay has a herd of cattle. The owners of the six-room B&B bought the run-down farm and have been refurbishing it since the 1960s. Each morning, they serve guests fresh baked apples with maple syrup, topped with ice cream. Double occupancy rates start at $125/night.
Shearer Hill Farm, P.O. Box 1453, Wilmington, Vt. 800-437-3104. www.shearerhillfarm.com.
Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery, Woodstock, N.H.
Beer enthusiasts looking for a place to stay in the Granite State rejoice. The Woodstock Inn operates 33 guest rooms, and includes a restored former train depot attached to its main building. The brewery, makers of Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, White Mountain Weasel Wheat Ale, and others, operates a seven-barrel brewing system and offers dining with The Clement Room Grille and Woodstock Station. The coupling of the inn and brewery here gives guests a place to converse over a pint. Rates starting at $92/night.
Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery, 135 Main St., North Woodstock, N.H. 800-321-3985. www.woodstockinnnh.com.
Ames Hotel, Boston
The Ames building is known as Boston’s first skyscraper, and was the first in the city to make use of an elevator. The 13-story tower on Court Street, finished in 1893, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 – now, it is home to the Ames Hotel. It features original fireplaces and arched windows, along with architecture in the Richardson Romanesque style. Rates start at $186.
Ames Hotel, 1 Court St., Boston, MA. 888-293-4112. www.ameshotel.com.