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Stowed Away

Stowed Away

Travel East
By Robert Kiener
posted: 02/02/2006

Under the shadow of 4,393-foot Mt. Mansfield and bisected by the West Branch River, postcard-pretty Stowe, Vt., is one of those places that would be easy to ruin. But not to worry: Amid base-area development, the village is working hard to retain its New England vibe. The coming years will bring the first ski-in/ski-out lodging along with shops and restaurants to the base, but the village-seven miles from the hill-still represents Vermont's best. Here are our picks for places to pass a New England night.

Romance>Stone Hill Inn If a quiet getaway is your mission, this nine-room inn in the village is for you. Stone Hill has an adults-only policy, no in-room telephones and not a single squeaky floorboard on the premises. Each soundproofed room boasts a king-size bed and a double-sided gas fireplace that overlooks the bedroom and the two-person jacuzzi in the bathroom. (For a touch of whimsy, each tub is inhabited by a rubber duck.) After a peaceful night's sleep, wake to a homemade breakfast-e.g., cinnamon pancakes with Vermont maple syrup, of course. $295-$375; 802-253-6282; stonehillinn.com

Family>The Trapp Family Lodge Take the kids to Europe without the jetlag: The von Trapps (of Sound of Music fame) have operated this 2,700-acre resort, minutes from the mountain, since 1942. The resort arranges extracurriculars from snowshoeing to dog-sledding, and lodging runs from deluxe one-bedrooms to three-bedroom villas. For the best value, families should opt for Premier rooms in the Millennium wing-they're 20 percent off when you book adjoining rooms. And after Austrian schnitzel in the dining room, bundle up for a sleigh ride through the meadows: You may even convince the kids you're gliding through the Alps. $198-$830; 800-826-7000; trappfamily.com

New England Ambience>The Green Mountain Inn Over its 171-year history, Stowe village's Green Mountain Inn has had seven owners and three names, and housed a private residence, a dance hall, the offices of an electric railroad and a hotel. That doesn't mean its rooms are withering in disrepair: Each offers the best of yesterday and today with antique furniture, fireplaces, canopy beds and jacuzzis. Off the historic lobby, you can dine surrounded by the past: The popular Whip Bar and Grill, named for its trove of historic buggy whips, is a must. $79-$305; 800-253-7302; greenmountaininn.com

Luxe>Stoweflake Mountain Resort A traipse through the Stoweflake's spa provides ample evidence that no expense was spared on this newly renovatedhotel, a five-mile drive to the base. At 50,000 square feet with five fitness studios, a Hungarian soaking bath, a hydrotherapy waterfall and 120 treatments, you could get lost on your way to the hot tub. But if you can find your way out from under the Vischy shower, book a Stoweflake Club Room-preferably one in the west wing with a two-person jacuzzi (lest you succumb to spa withdrawal). Then hit Winfield's Bistro:Chef Jeffrey Weiss is a whiz with local ingredients. $180-$1,100; 800-253-2232; stoweflake.com

ALSO CONSIDER

Family Golden Eagle Resort, a half-mile from town. $100-$220; 800-626-1010; goldeneagleresort.com

B&B Brass Lantern Inn, a half-mile north of the village. $95-$225; 800-729-2980; brasslanterninn.com

Budget Season's Pass, in the lower village. $75-$159; 800-441-4575; seasonspass.com

Slopeside The Inn at the Mountain, at the base of the Toll Road lift. $159-$559; 800-253-4754; stowe.com

DECEMBER 2004

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