My family – like so many other New England families – has its own history of the Mount Washington Hotel.
In 1992, my then granddaughters walked on the vast veranda for the first time and were amazed. “Mom,” one of them asks, “is the princess home today?”
1999: My husband and I travel without children for the first time since we had them. We stay in the famous room 401 (two towers in one room), play tennis on the red clay courts and celebrate our temporary parental freedom.
2001: Now open in winter, we start spending family ski weekends here whenever we can. Our girls love the mix of outdoor fun (tubing, skiing and more) and upscale stay (dinner attire is the rule in the main dining room).
2011: My now college-aged daughter and I head out on a last-minute spa getaway in the middle of winter. We drink bubbles, laugh and I master the “sorority pose”.
2012: We all attend a dear friend’s wedding there, creating memories to last a lifetime.
We know there is more to come.
On July 28, the famous Mount Washington Hotel (omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mount-washington), now officially known as Omni Mount Washington Resort, celebrates its 120th anniversary: the doors opened for the first time in Bretton Woods, NH, on this day in 1902. Then it was a huge draw: three trains a day stopped at the elegant hotel.
Today, it remains a top choice. With the same grand scale look and feel of 120 years ago and modern offerings, Mount Washington Hotel is a perfect place to make memories.
The Omni Mount Washington’s most obvious amenity is its location. Nestled at the base of Mount Washington – directly across from Bretton Woods Ski Area – even the most jaded travelers have an “OMG” moment upon arrival. The classic red roof with tower design harks back to its early days, when Joseph Stickney built it as one of the area’s grand hotels.
Then it was remarkable – with 2,000 doors, 2,000 windows and over 11 miles of plumbing. When electricity was added, Thomas Edison supervised the installation. It had its own telephone system and post office, and both remain today (sending a stamped postcard from there is a must).
Today it remains remarkable and stands as one of the last great hotels of that era.
Like 120 years ago, the hotel seeks to cater to every guest’s mood.
There are two golf courses. The Mount Washington course is a Donald Ross-designed 18-hole course that has been meticulously restored to Ross’ original 1915 design, and there is a challenging and fun nine-hole course. The pros offer lessons and there are all sorts of golf specials.
Across the street is Bretton Woods, where you can now ride their shiny new eight-person gondola up the mountain. The 12-minute ride gives you stunning views of the area – and a truly special view of the hotel itself. At the top of the gondola you can enjoy lunch with this view in the new Rosebrook Lodge.
There’s a Canopy Tour – one of the longest in New England – that takes you through the trees and past vistas on a three-hour tour, a spa, tennis on these clay courts red, hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, trail and carriage rides with the resort’s horses and catering of all kinds.
I have always loved how the hotel invites you to linger and relax. Vaulted halls, porches, casual and formal restaurants, an outdoor and indoor pool, and all those rocking chairs; it’s a must to not do much for a while.
For accommodation, you have the choice between a classic room and a family suite.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort has a long history, but they haven’t finished adding to it. Neither do I. I have two granddaughters now, and soon I will see the wonder in their eyes when I take them to stay in this beautiful castle-like place their mother loved so much as a child.
Who knows what new memories we’ll make.