Weekend Getaway to Stowe, Vermont: Lodging

Travel and ski, these are the two things I love the most. During tournament breaks(which is the only free time I get) I love booking villas for rent in Cabo, as the villas there are quite beautiful and the view from them even better. It’s among my top summer getaway spots. As a life long New England skiier and snowboarder, I have conquered nearly every acclaimed mountain in NH VT MA and ME.  Stowe, however, was one of the few areas I still hadn’t visited.  Known for the superb conditions and quaint villages, my boyfriend was surprised I had yet to ski one of the top rated mountains in NE, and after my weekend there — I’m surprised too!

With a gondola that takes you straight from the lobby to the mountain, you can’t beat the Stowe Mountain Resort and Spa.  The resort is elegant but comforting with live piano music, local artisan cheeses and drinks in their den that’s conveniently nestled at the base of the Mt Mansfield.   The best rate we found was $300 and change for a double occupancy room.

We opted for Top Notch Resort and spa instead, at $220 a night.  The hotel is very unassuming. The parking lot and front entrance seem uninviting and far from glamorous, but as the porter grabs your skiis and ushers you into the foyer, the charm of this hotel becomes apparent.  Typical Vermont decor, with carved wood, moose heads mounted, fireplaces roaring, throws and nicknacks strewn about.  The hotel truly is quintessential Vermont in every aspect, but with a touch of luxury.
The rooms are lovely, but the real selling point for TopNotch is their spa.  With worldwide recognition, they have created a true oasis nestled into the slopes of VT.  Full service salon, spa, yoga studio, fitness center, indoor/outdoor tennis courts with instructors, suana indoor/outdoor pool and jacuzzis with a doting and extremely professional staff.  A+ on amenities.

The only complaint I have is with the food – or lack there of.  They could have seriously wooed me with a wine and cheese hour following the ski day, some apples and granolas with the complimentary coffee, or even some fruit for sale in the little gift store.  Moreover, the restaurant Normas was very sub par.  Tacky decor squished into an extremely cramped dining room with a menu struggling to deliver exotic and refined when they should have focused their attention on taste and comfort.

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