Josh has been raving about skiing/Snow Boarding at Bretton Woods for some time, and how they have the best snow in New England. His birthday is in January, so I thought it would be an opportune time to book a birthday weekend in the White Mountains.
The White Mountains did not disappoint! We had a great weekend that included touring multiple Grand Resorts, a Mountainside cottage, skiing @ Bretton Woods and some accidental Fine Dining.
Check out the “Grand Resorts” – Mountain View Grand Resort & The Omni Mount Washington:
I was interested to learn about the resort culture that existed up in the White Mountains some time ago, when the region was bustling with grand scale hotels, and people would take trains from all over the Northeast to enjoy the White mountains especially over the summer. More info on that here.
There used to be 24 “Grand Resorts”. Now there are 5. We checked two of them out, The Mountain View Grand & The Omni Mount Washington. The Omni is the more well known of the two. I wouldn’t have known about the Grand View had I not been looking for a place to get a massage, but it was just as spectacular!
Note: Both are rumored to be haunted, and there is plenty of lore about the alleged paranormal activity to have occurred.
Mountain View Grand Resort (Whitefield, NH):
Things You’ll Find Here:
- Plenty of Outdoor Activities: Ice Skating Rink, Snowmobiling and Sledding
- Multiple Restaurants and a Bar w/ Lounge Area and Fireplace
- A Wine Cellar Restaurant w/ a Private Dining Room (Pictured Above)
I feel like my pictures don’t totally do it justice, but it was spectacular on the inside and out!
Omni Mount Washington Hotel:
Things you’ll find here:
- Grandiose Decor Reminiscent of the Titanic
- A lot of people here for leisure or coming off the slopes from Bretton Woods across the street
- Multiple Bars/Restaurants including one downstairs called “The Cave” (pictured above)
- Fireplaces, Outdoor Fire Pit, Movie Theatre, Indoor Pools and Plenty More
Again feeling like my pictures don’t really do it justice, but it was magnificent!
Ski/Snowboard @ Bretton Woods:
The main attraction – what we booked this trip for. The largest mountain in NH, Bretton Woods was awesome. I haven’t been to all the mountains in the area, but this was the best skiing I have done in New England. Bretton Woods was awesome for a leisure skiier like myself. I like to coast down trails, not push it too hard, just skiing for enjoyment/exercise and being in the outdoors. There are lots of easy trails that are really long. There was so much snow there and it wasn’t icy at all, and wasn’t super crowded, but that could have been partially because it was Super Bowl Sunday. It’s not limited to just the easy trails, and would be a great mountain for anyone .
Other Things I Looked Into:
There were a couple of things I looked into but we didn’t commit to in time that would have been cool. Many are on the pricier side. The area is not lacking however for its outdoor activities. There are extensive snowmobiling trails, and multiple mountains for skiing in the area other than Bretton Woods including Cannon, Loon and others.
- Snowmobiling Tour
- Dogsled Tour
- Ski Another Nearby Mountain – Cannon, Loon, Cranmore, and others are options
- Massage @ the Omni ~ $180 – Nixed this idea quick and moved onto looking at the Grand View
- Massage @Grand View – ~$100
Food & Drinks
Friday night stop over. This place was really cool. They had live music when we arrived. Had an excellent bean dip and a fresh pretzel and a few beers which were delightful. Located in Bethleham, NH, seemed to be the nearest bar establishment that was on the way to the AirBnB.
Bretton Arms Restaurant:
We came here thinking it was a Wine and Tapas establishment, but that turned out to be the bar menu. This place was FINE dining. I definitely under dressed slash was under prepared for how nice it was, but everything was excellent! Definitely not an everyday establishment on account of the price, but great for a special occasion! Its not often I go somewhere where they give you lemon sorbet in between courses to cleanse the pallet, so I really can’t complain. Would like to go back and try the bar tapas menu.
Things to Know
- Lack of Grocery Stores/Stores in General – Other than the Grand Resorts, Bretton Woods and neighboring Ski Mountains (Cannon Mountain and others), there really was not much going on. Very few restaurants, stores, etc. The nearest legitimate grocery store to Carroll/Twin Mountain was around 15 miles away. Same for any sort of Rite Aid/CVS/Pharmacy.
- No Ubers/Lyft – We contacted a local cab company. The cab driver we got was great and picked us up and dropped us off, but I wouldn’t count on this as being reliable necessarily, as if they get busy there’s only so much ground they can cover.
- Twin Mountain also goes by Carroll NH. They seemed to have been used interchangeably and is the town where the Bretton Woods Ski Resort is located.
- If coming from the Boston area or anywhere South really in the winter, expect to see a lot more snow! When we left there was basically about an inch on the ground near Boston and up there, there was like 2 feet at least. I figured there would be more but was shocked at how much more.
Bretton Woods Places to Stay: The Mount Washington Hotel is a popular choice, because it’s right on the mountain, but we opted to search for more of a cabin feel, which we found on AirBnB.
Twin Mountain Cottages – We ended up at this darling little cottage in Twin Mountain/Carroll. The host was excellent! The question of which cottage was ours was cleared up quick when we saw an electronic sign welcoming us with our names on it. The host new it was Josh’s birthday weekend so she set up birthday balloons and birthday signs which was cute. The cottage itself had two small bedrooms, it could have easily fit 4 people. It was small but didn’t feel like it at all. It wasn’t anything fancy, but had everything that you would need for an excellent ski weekend. The best part was the backyard, jacuzzi, and perfect sized fence in yard with mountain views. I thought I was going to instantly freeze after stepping out in the cold weather but did not. There was also the option of paying extra to bring our dog, but we opted out of this and he enjoyed a weekend of being babysat.
There are about 6 cottages set off together in this little complex. Definitely would recommend as a unique, fun and affordable place to stay.
Link to AirBnB: Here
Ski Passes: $56 X 2 = $102 – Purchased a few days in advance on Liftopia. **BARGAIN ALERT** They were cheaper than usual on Liftopia because it was Super Bowl Sunday (We Skiied 9:00 – 1:00 then got back for the game) This was a bargain from buying at the Mountain, which would have been $99 on a regular day.
Food and Drink: ~$500
- Rek-Lis: $50
- Grandmas Breakfast: $25
- Drink at Grand View: $35
- Drink at Omni: $35
- Bretton Arms: $270 (Fine Dining): **SPLURGE ALERT HERE**
- Lunch at the Mountain: $50
- Miscellaneous snacks: $25
Total: $500 Roughly. The fine dining meal took up a hefty portion of this, so this could easily be significantly less.
Total for the Weekend for 2: ~$1,000.00
- Drive up From Boston – Took around 2.5 hours. Not a bad drive basically straight up 93. In my head this part of Northern NH seemed like it would be extremely long and treacherous to get to, but it was totally easy.
- Arrived in the Vicinity around 9:00PM: Stop @ Rek-lis Brewing Company For a Snack/Drink
- Check into Cottage
- Breakfast at Grandma’s Kitchen
- Grand Mountain View Resort – Toured & Grabbed a Drink
- Mount Washington Omni Resort – Toured Around
- Dinner @ Bretton Arms at the Omni Mount Washington Resort
- Ski at Bretton Woods
- Head Home – Drive Back directly from Bretton Woods back to Boston Area wasn’t bad, took around 2 hours 15 mins
Note – We ended up skiing Sunday instead of Saturday, as the weather forecast for Saturday was frigid. It wasn’t hard to find ways to fill up Saturday with things to do and relaxing in between.