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Thursday, 21 December 2006

Castle Hill Resort

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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castle‘The Castle’ in southern central Vermont is a little dip into old-fashioned luxury. It is a beautifully appointed restoration with an oval mahogany breakfast room and a library with supple leather couches, a big fireplace, and a grand piano. Its rooms are large and many feature claw foot tubs, writing desks, and fireplaces lit with candles as well as king-sized beds.

 

This was the former home of Vermont governor Alan M. Fletcher and was the first home to be fully wired for electricity and to have an elevator. It was an elegantly completed English Coltswood mansion.

We slept very well with the sound of wind rushing past the old stone walls. Another pleasure awaited us upon rising: a delicious breakfast in the luxurious breakfast room. There is a continental style spread and a couple features of the day – our choices were Belgium waffles or a mushroom quiche, and both were fantastic. The wait staff was very friendly, helpful, and genuine in true Vermont style.dining

The Spa at Castle Hill was one of the best features of this small luxury hotel– it is in the converted carriage house and there is a heated outdoor pool so you can swim year-round. The water is kept at 89˚ and the hot tub at 102˚ if you get a chill. Steam lifts off the top and floats up like clouds. Imagine the pool surrounded by snow as you dive in…

 

The friendly, helpful staff will offer you robes to wrap yourself in for the walk outside and back inside to the gym, sauna, and showers. They will also arrange a massage, facial, or other spa service for you.

woodstockWe tore ourselves away from the spa long enough for an afternoon drive to Woodstock and Bellows Falls along scenic route 131 that winds through mountains and rivers. Woodstock is billed as the quintessential Vermont small town – which is true in a way, but it also creates expensive café’s and shops that are geared towards tourists. In Bellows falls (7 miles further), next to a roaring waterfall – there is an expensive pottery and glass blowing studio that is another popular place to visit.

 


 

The Castle has a view of Okemo Mountain Resort (and is also close to Killington) for a day on the slopes and Ludlow is in the snow belt – more snow than most areas of Vermont.

On our second night, we enjoyed a four-course dinner in the restaurant. Although the food was good, it was not outstanding for the price. We had to send the chicken back, as it was overcooked, and when it arrived again it was not much better, but the lamb was excellent, so it seems it’s hit or miss. The scallop appetizer was another great choice, while the deserts we tried were average.

 

The charismatic piano player was the highlight of our evening, he came around to all the tables befriending people and asking if we had any requests. He was quite a musician, too, and many stayed long after dinner in the library listening to him play.window

It is also possible to get good specials on staying in the Castle if you go to their website – from $149 weeknights staying in the castle including champagne and chocolates on arrival and full spa use during your stay, or from $119 staying at condominiums located on the property.

Details: Castle Hill Resort, Box 525, Ludlow, VT 05149 1-888-764-6836

www.thecastle-vt.com

©Christina Kay Bolton

Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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