Between hiking, swimming, theme parks, and Mount Washington, New Hampshire’s White Mountains are good for all kinds of recreation. But nothing compares to skiing the mountain range—from carving down a powdery slope with all the ruggedness of the West (and smaller price tags) to cozying up with a beer at the hotel afterward. I’d argue there’s no better way to experience the White Mountains at their finest. Or to spend winter in New England.
The Grand Summit Hotel, an approachable, ski-in, ski-out property at the base of Attitash, gives you that quintessential northern New England ski experience. Located in Bartlett, New Hampshire, just west of North Conway, the property has 143 guest rooms. Of those rooms, 105 are suites, complete with kitchens—some even have three bedrooms or lofts, giving you more of a condo experience than a hotel one. “There’s a really great emphasis around being able to spread out, be with family,” says Leah Bellemore, corporate director of marketing for Hay Creek Hotels, which manages the Grand Summit. “And a lot of [the suites] are connecting so you can really get the whole gang up there if you want to.”
I’d be remiss not to mention the property’s pièce de résistance right up front: its heated outdoor swimming pool and two—two!— outdoor hot tubs, all of which are saltwater. I remember exactly how exciting that outdoor heated pool prospect was when I visited the property with my family as a kid, and it still doesn’t disappoint. The pool even has an indoor entrance to the water, so you don’t have to run around outside in your bathing suit in freezing temps on your way into or out of the water. “[The property] is approachable, too, in a way that feels like any family can come together and have a great vacation,” says Bellevue. “You can feel comfortable and really focus on each other and on making those memories instead of the price tag,” she says. “It’s really for everyone.”
The Grand Summit’s two dining options cover all the bases. The Tap House is a cozy, full-service lunch and dinner restaurant that features American tavern food like burgers and pizzas and boasts a full bar, while the Black Diamond Grille is a counter service-style joint perfect for grabbing a coffee and a breakfast sandwich in the morning, or a little something for lunch during a day of skiing.
Speaking of skiing, the Grand Summit is one of New England’s only true ski-in, ski-out hotels. “You can literally ski right from the top of the mountain down to our front door,” says Bellemore. And in the morning, just grab your skis and walk out the door to the Flying Bear Quad, which will take you up to the top of Attitash’s Bear Peak.
One of the top ski resorts in New Hampshire, Attitash is a great family-friendly property. It’s big but not too big, and “it’s accessible for skiers of all levels,” says Bellemore. The Grand Summit offers ski-and-stay packages each year with the mountain— check the hotel’s website for package updates as ski season starts.
And while the Grand Summit is fantastic for skiers, it caters to the non-ski crowd in the wintertime, too, sometimes offering packages with the other cold-weather attractions in the White Mountains like the Polar Caves in Rumney and the Ice Castles in Woodstock. There are plenty of other wintertime activities in the White Mountains, too, like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and Santa’s village—and the Grand Summit is set right in the middle of everything.
Get off property for dinner at one of the countless taverns and pubs around, try a day of skiing at the nearby Bretton Woods or Wildcat, or head over to Conway for some shopping. Those warm summer days couldn’t feel further away right now, but if you’re thinking that far ahead, the property is also near some of the White Mountains’ finest summertime attractions like Diana’s Baths, Cathedral Ledge, and Echo Lake.
In line with its mission of getting the whole family together, the Grand Summit has quarter-share ownership opportunities available, too. The studios, one- and two-bedrooms, lofts, and penthouse are all available for quarter ownership, giving owners access to their suite every four weeks for a total of 13 weeks a year.
The opportunity is great for exploring the White Mountains in all their glorious seasons—as Bellevue says, with so much natural beauty in the area, there really is no quiet season for them. “We have so many owners that started coming up when they first started having kids, and now they’re grandparents,” says Bellevue, bringing their grandchildren to experience the Grand Summit and make memories of their own.
That’s what Bellevue says the property really emphasizes: making memories. Whether it’s photo ops with their partnering photographers for the perfect Christmas card shot, a visit from Santa, or s’mores outside when it’s cold, the property offers memory-making activities galore. And with that location, it’s not hard—I’ll certainly never forget those childhood trips to the Grand Summit, swimming in an outdoor pool on chilly nights surrounded by dense mountains all around, feeling like the luckiest kid ever.