The Equinox Resort, Manchester, Vermont, USA
The Dormy Grill, overlooking the golf course at the Equinox Resort
The Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont, USA
Fly fishing in Woodstock in the New England sunshine
- Family Vacations: A wide range of activities just for children; hiking, biking, horse-riding and many other outdoor pursuits; comfortable family lodgings.
- Golfing Groups: Two of the finest golf courses in North America; oustanding dining and drinking options; plenty of post-golf relaxation activites.
- Romantic Breaks: Breath-taking scenery; his-and-hers activities; memorable restaurants; beautiful hotels.
YOU GO TO HEAVEN: I’LL TAKE VERMONT, THANK YOU KINDLY
There are some golfing holiday destinations where golf becomes secondary. Vermont is one of those places. Part of mountainous New England, it is a major winter ski destination but go in June, when the countryside has reverted to emerald green, and you'll be overwhelmed by the beauty.
There’s no more apposite destination for a romantic holiday so take your Best Beloved on a two centre holiday guaranteed to soothe the soul. The trip includes staying at two of the most gracious hotels in the United States, each with its own beguiling golf course, all in settings to beggar description.
LOCATION - THE FIRST STOP
Our first stop is the village of Manchester, 140 miles from Boston airport. Click here to see a local map. It luxuriates in a wooded valley overlooked by Mount Equinox and is the epitome of small town America. It is squeaky clean and picture book pretty, with traditional New England architecture of white clap-board, but with an air of modestly stated affluence. Discovering it will be an enriching experience.
The tree-lined main street, its fashionable shops, restaurants and small hotels clustered around the steepled church, is the focal point of a well-ordered township. Compulsory off-street parking leaves the roads uncluttered; advertising hoardings, like the police, are conspicuous by their absence. Crime is negligible; the traffic is minimal; the pace of life an amiable stroll. You will view the lucky locals with green eyes.
Here stands the iconic Equinox Resort Hotel. Recently renovated at a cost of $20 million, the inn is steeped in history (founded in 1769, it was a meeting place for the fathers of the American Revolution and has hosted several presidents). From its historic beginnings as one of Vermont’s first lodging houses, this extraordinary property now offers a wide variety of accommodations with 195 rooms and suites in four unique buildings. The others are:
This recently renovated 19th century residence is situated just beside The Equinox Resort. Along with nine suites, the inn boasts a library, sitting rooms and New England-style porch and deck.
The former home of Abraham Lincoln’s granddaughter, the 1811 House is an excellently maintained romantic country inn offering soaring mountain views and a glimpse into history.
Tucked next to the resort’s main building, the townhouses include 30 bedrooms, including 10 suites with fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, porches and a living room with sleeper sofa.
Situated just off of the first tee box of the golf course, two distinct suites offer comfortable sleeping and dining quarters with the feel of an upscale Vermont country home.
The hotel overlooks the course from across the main street, part of an estate that covers 1,300 acres. Quite simply, it has every luxury, facility and service you’d expect of one of America’s most gracious hotels. It is utterly addictive.
THE GOLF COURSE
Originally designed by Walter Travis and revamped by Rees Jones, the course is ranked #1 in Vermont and regarded as one of the finest resort courses in North America. It lies in an undulating valley at an altitude of 1,800 feet, with the Taconic and Green Mountains as a backdrop. You have to see it to believe it.
Likewise the new spa and health centre: it covers 13,000 square feet, has a 75 foot long pool and all the services of one of only nine Leading Spas of the World.
NON-GOLFING ACTIVITIES AT THE EQUINOX HOTEL
The spring, summer and fall seasons at the resort are perfect for mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, fly fishing and shooting and off-road driving; while the winter season means pristine downhill and cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and sledding, snowmobiling and ice-skating. Indoor and outdoor tennis courts are available for year-round use.
ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN AT THE EQUINOX HOTEL
During the spring, summer and autumn months, the range of activities for children are so extensive that they may never want to leave: canoeing; falconry; tennis; horse-riding; hiking; fishing; mountain biking - almost any outdoor activity your children could wish for. Bromley Sun Mountain Adventure Parkwill just be the icing on their Vermont-flavoured cake.
During the winter months, there are excellent skiing opportunities in the immediate vicinity - including Bromley Mountain, rated No. 1 in North America for family ski programs by SKI magazine. Ice skating, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, and (for older children) snowmobiling are also available.
DINING OPTIONS IN AND AROUND THE EQUINOX HOTEL
The Equinox resort currently features five dining venues, including the Chop House - one of the finest steak houses you are likely to find anywhere. A broad range of culinary tastes are catered to in the local area - including Chantecleer, a highly regarded French restaurant, and Mistral's, located in a romantic setting in the forest.
LOCATION - THE SECOND STOP
Then there’s Woodstock (pop 2,500). Ah! Woodstock! Frequently described as the most beautiful village in New England, Woodstock was founded in 1765; there's been an inn overlooking the village green since 1793, and golf was first played here in 1895. Enchanting is the most apt adjective: Some visitors fall so in love with the place that they never leave. Click here to see a local map.
Covered bridges, quaint shops, a warming ambience and gentle people: the attractions are legion; but our priorities centre upon the Woodstock Inn and its country club golf course.
Like the Equinox, the newly renovated 142 roomed Woodstock Inn & Resort has the highest US rating available and frequently wins international awards for cuisine, accommodation and facilities. And yet it's not stuffy: cosy and luxurious sums it up, with service to match and nothing is overlooked. Many guests make an annual visit.
THE GOLF COURSE
Its Trent Jones golf course, half a mile away, is equally addictive. Surrounded by wooded mountains, it's visually breathtaking, with hundreds of specimen trees, several lakes and a stream that's frequently in play. It's only a spit over 6,000 yards from the back tees and an easily walked but challenging par-69 from the forward tees, with a clutch of holes that will have you reaching for the camera.
Like the inn, it's impossible to tire of Woodstock's gem of a course. British readers familiar with Royal Worlington, or Woodenbridge near Dublin, will get the picture.
NON-GOLFING ACTIVITIES AT THE WOODSTOCK INN & RESORT
Racquet & fitness club; indoor pool with whirlpool; steam room and sauna; seasonal outdoor pool; indoor and outdoor tennis courts and, opening in September 2010, the spa at Woodstock Inn. During the winter months, world-class trails and destination ski resorts are only minutes away. Click here to see the Inn's extensive calendar of events.
ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN AT THE WOODSTOCK INN & RESORT
Aside from all the outdoor activities available in the New England countryside, the Woodstock Inn caters for all the family with activities such as tennis; golf; croquet; hiking; biking; riding and swimming in the Inn's pool.
DINING OPTIONS IN AN AROUND THE WOODSTOCK INN
The Inn's new restaurant, The Red Rooster, is open for lunch and dinner with sophisticated menus that draw from the best suppliers in New England.
There's also a tavern for light meals and, for golfers, The Fairway provides casual outdoor dining. Breakfast may be taken in the main dining room.
Other restaurants will be found in the village nearby.
WHEN TO GO
Vermont is very much an all year round destination. The best time to go depends primarily on what you would like to do whilst you're there. Late May through to October tends to be best for golf - the fall (September and early October) is particularly pleasant when the foliage explodes into a heavenly array of colours.
TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR HOLIDAY
Continental Airlines have a daily service from both Manchester and London to Newark, New Jersey, with connecting flights to Boston and/or Burlington, Vermont. American Airlines offer direct flights to Boston from London Heathrow and Paris CDG. Both hotels offer airport transfers.
As with most travel within the USA, rental cars are both readily available and essential to see the best of the region. Hire cars are available from both Hertz and Avis at all of the nearby major airports.
Dress Code And Packing
Both resorts are of the five star genre and while formal dress is not required for dining at one of the several restaurants available, the regular clientele is of the fashionable faction and smart casual dress will bring peace of mind - particularly for the ladies. An acceptable dress code also applies to both golf courses.
New England weather is notoriously variable, so it's wise to include some warm-weather and cold-weather clothes, irrespective of when you go.
US dollar. For current rates of exchange, click here.
Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) during the winter months, and Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4) during the summer months.
The country code for the USA, and then the local code for Vermont, is +1-802 (then add the local extension).
HOW TO BOOK YOUR VACATION
Request a Quotation or Use Our Recommended Golf Tour Operator
PGT can negotiate discounted rates and bonuses for our readers. Simply contact us giving details of preferred dates and your requirements and we will contact the resort on your behalf.Alternatively you could
Book Through A Tour Operator
If you require a total holiday package including flights, transfers, accommodation and golf reservations PGT will recommend the tour operator who serves the resort or destination of your choice and negotiate any possible discount available.
To order US dollars from Travelex at the guaranteed best price availabe in the UK - at 0% commission, and with free airport pickup click here.
Insurance isn't fun but it is both important and a sensible investment when travelling overseas (particularly when transporting expensive golf equipment). We recommend American Express .