Most of us dream of taking a much-needed winter vacation, but with the holidays, school days, and snow days, finding time to plan one can be a challenge. This year, to help whittle down the legwork, we compiled a list of our own favorite winter getaways that are not only luxurious and versatile, but all within a few hours’ commute. So whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat—a second honeymoon, perhaps?—or somewhere to let loose outdoors, these 12 exquisite New England resorts provide the perfect mix of ingredients to yield a winter wonderland all your own.
Situated between Boston and New York City in Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, Winvian is a tranquil, romantic getaway, perfect for couples who enjoy exquisite cuisine, outdoor adventure, and, above all, relaxation. Winvian has received AAA Five Diamond Awards for its accommodations and exceptional fine-dining restaurant, which features French and Mediterranean dishes created from artisanal seasonal ingredients by Executive Chef Chris Eddy. Stay in one of the 19 luxe cottages, which bear whimsical and even outrageous themed decor (an authentic restored 17,000-pound 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH3F helicopter is the centerpiece of its Helicopter Cottage, for instance). You can also treat yourself to some quality R&R at the nearly 5,000-square-foot spa. Looking for something remarkably romantic? Book the couples massage in the Forty Winks Suite, followed by fireside Champagne and treats. 155 Alain White Road, Morris, CT, 860-567-9600, winvian.com.
Arguably the most sophisticated French chateau in America, Wheatleigh in Lenox, Massachusetts, sets the tone for an unforgettably romantic winter getaway in the heart of the Berkshires. Tucked away on 22 acres, the exquisite property offers 19 accommodations in the form of grand guest rooms and elegant suites. (Hosting an intimate wedding? Book the entire property for a totally private ceremony and celebration.) Complete with exceptional personal service and attention to detail around every corner, not to mention its own AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant, Wheatleigh is perfect for couples who are looking for a true fairytale setting on a romantic weekend retreat. 11 Hawthorne Road, Lenox, MA, 413-637-0610, wheatleigh.com.
The White Barn Inn
If you’re searching for a quintessentially romantic New England getaway, look no further than The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine. From its thoughtful, luxurious details to its astounding cuisine, you can’t help but feel starry-eyed during your stay at the 150-year-old coastal Maine estate. Not only has the property’s celebrated restaurant received both a AAA Five Diamond Award and a Forbes Five-Star Restaurant award, but it is also the only restaurant with this status north of New York City. If dining in a restaurant of this stature accompanied by rustic decor, the soft flicker of candlelight, and classic snowy mountain views still isn’t romantic enough, maybe the butler-drawn bath and chilled Champagne will be just the thing to convince you. 37 Beach Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME, 207-967-2321, whitebarninn.com.
Forty 1° North
If your idea of a New England winter getaway is more urban than rustic, Forty 1° North in Newport, Rhode Island, is the place for you. Sit back and unwind among modern elegance and sparkling winter views of Newport Harbor and historic Thames Street from any of the 28 guest rooms or suites. For truly royal treatment, take advantage of the sweeping views seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows while enjoying in-room spa services by the fire. Plus, all accommodations at Forty 1° North feature state-of-the-art technology and are LEED registered for an eco-friendly stay. And with an iPad in every room, you’ll never be without paperless directories, menus, and maps, or even your daily newspaper. 351 Thames Street, Newport, RI, 401-846-8018, 41north.com.
Portland Harbor Hotel
Located in the heart of the Old Port in Portland, Maine, Portland Harbor Hotel is a one-stop destination for winter fun and all of the glamorous amenities of an upscale urban retreat. Situated on the waterfront, the Portland Harbor Hotel provides a dose of warmth from the cold winter temps as soon as your car is whisked away by the valet and you are ushered inside to the toasty lobby. Head upstairs to your room and you’ll find a custom-made Signature Portland Harbor Hotel bed waiting to wrap you in luxurious 250-thread-count linens. A Town Car is available to whisk guests away to downtown restaurants and attractions, but if you prefer to enjoy the brisk New England outdoors, the hotel is right near spots for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. 468 Fore Street, Portland, ME, 207-775-9090, portlandharborhotel.com.
The Essex Resort & Spa
Just minutes from the lively cultural scene of Burlington, Vermont, you’ll find a winter getaway that’s perfect for culinary aficionados. The Essex Resort & Spa, also known as Vermont’s Culinary Resort, offers an onsite cooking-class program for its residents. Stay in one of the property’s 120 guest rooms and suites and you’ll get the opportunity to work alongside its renowned chefs as you prepare delicious meals using local Vermont ingredients in the fun and intimate atmosphere of its classroom kitchens. Not only will you sharpen your knife skills and cooking techniques, but you’ll also get a three- or four-course meal paired with a glass of wine to celebrate your new area of expertise. 70 Essex Way, Burlington, VT, 802-878-1100, vtculinaryresort.com.
Mayflower Inn & Spa
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back into your regular healthy routine. What better way to stick to those New Year’s resolutions than by heading to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts? An all-inclusive stay at the award-winning Canyon Ranch has everything you need for the ultimate dose of R&R, including gracious, relaxing rooms and the tools necessary for living a healthy lifestyle. Every day at lunch, a chef will teach you how to cook healthful, easy-to-make meals, and the 40-plus fitness classes offered every day amid the beautiful Berkshires backdrop will make exercising—indoors or out—enjoyable. For the perfect end to your day, choose from a variety of signature spa treatments that promise to reenergize and restore balance to your body and mind. 165 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA, 413-637-4100, canyonranch.com/lenox.
Mayflower Inn & Spa
TheMayflower Inn & Spa’s 58 acres of Connecticut woodland and five-star accommodations make it the perfect antidote to a hectic, urban lifestyle. As a guest of the Mayflower Spa, you’ll be pampered and reenergized with a personalized program built by a spa advisor. The state-of-the-art Spa House includes soundproof treatment rooms to enhance tranquility; various fitness choices, from yoga to kickboxing; and even its own dining room, which serves health-conscious meals to complete the healthy living experience. With extremely comfortable feather-topped mattresses, enormous marble baths, and clean-air gas fireplaces, you’ll never want to return home from this country haven. 118 Woodbury Road, Washington, CT, 860-868-9466, mayflowerinn.com.
Topnotch Resort & Spa
Often ranked among the top 10 spas in the United States, Topnotch Resort & Spa, nestled in the beautiful landscape of Stowe, Vermont, provides guests with an enchanting dose of leisure and indulgence. The Spa at Topnotch spreads over 35,000 square feet and includes more than 120 spa services that focus on body, skin, fitness, beauty, and peace of mind, allowing for utmost relaxation and rejuvenation. Rooms include divinely comfortable beds, complimentary WiFi, marble baths, and, of course, stunning views of the Vermont mountains. The resort even has its own spa boutique, which sells signature Topnotch Spa products, clothing, and gifts to help make the bliss last long after your stay. 4000 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT, 802-253-8585, topnotchresort.com.
Stowe Mountain Resort
The Wentworth Inn
Situated among the snowy White Mountains of Jackson, New Hampshire, the Wentworth Inn puts a charming spin on wintertime fun. The 51-room inn includes both standard and superior rooms, as well as deluxe accommodations equipped with modern amenities to satisfy even the most discerning of guests. Cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, and snowshoeing in the nearby White Mountains are popular activities among guests of The Wentworth. To make your stay more intimate, the inn partners with local mountains to bring all the amenities and activities of larger ski resorts to its guests while still providing a personal and luxurious country setting all your own. 1 Carter Notch Road, Jackson, NH, 603-383-9700, thewentworth.com.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Its 485 skiable acres are only part of what sets Stowe Mountain Resort apart from other luxury ski resorts in the Northeast. There are an outstanding number of winter activities on site, as well, like skiing, snowshoeing, ziplining, and snow mobiling, not to mention dogsledding, horseback riding, and sleigh rides around the resort. When you’ve had enough winter fun, you’ll be welcomed back inside the 312-room luxury Stowe Mountain Lodge to goose-down feather beds, marble baths, oversized windows, and outdoor balconies, the ideal location from which to watch shadows dance across Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peek at night. 5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT, 802-253-3000, stowe.com.
The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel
From the pristine white snow to the breathtaking views, wintertime at The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, is nothing short of perfect. Enjoy complimentary downhill or cross-country skiing at The BALSAMS Wilderness Ski Area, where you’ll find impeccably groomed trails, ski lessons, a separate children’s area, and even a base lodge, where guests can defrost by the fire after a fun-filled day on the slopes. Visitors can also snowshoe or snow mobile through the wooded area surrounding the estate, skate and play hockey or broom ball at the resort’s own ice rink, or simply relax during a romantic sleigh ride. 1000 Cold Spring Road, Dixville Notch, NH, 800-255-0600, thebalsams.com.