One of the singular pleasures of a visit to the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H. is enjoying a respite on the veranda. Photo courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort
My family — like so many other New England families — has our own Mount Washington Hotel history.
In 1992, my then little girls walk onto the sweeping veranda for the first time and are astounded. “Mommy,” one asks, “is the princess home today?”
1999: My husband and I travel without kids for the first time since having them. We stay in the famed Room 401 (two towers in one room), play tennis on the red clay courts and celebrate our temporary parenting freedom.
2001: Now opened in the winter, we begin spending family ski weekends there whenever we can. Our girls love the mix of outdoor fun (tubing, skiing and more) and upscale stay (dress for dinner is the rule in the main dining room).
2011: My now college-age daughter and I head up for a last-minute mid-winter spa escape. We drink bubbly, giggle and I master the “sorority pose.”
2012: We all attend the wedding of a dear friend there — making memories for a lifetime.
We know there’s more to come.
On July 28, the famed Mount Washington Hotel (omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mount-washington), now officially known as the Omni Mount Washington Resort, celebrates its 120th birthday: The doors opened for the first time in Bretton Woods, N.H., that 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 ambiance from 120 years ago and modern day offerings, the Mount Washington Hotel is a perfect place to make memories.
The most obvious amenity the Omni Mount Washington has on tap is location. Tucked into the base of Mount Washington — just across the way from Bretton Woods Ski Area — even the most jaded of travelers has an “OMG” moment upon arrival. The classic red roof with tower design harkens back to its beginning, when Joseph Stickney built it as one of the area’s grand hotels.
Golf is a lure at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, thanks to two courses, including one designed by Donald Ross. (Photo courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort)
Then, it was remarkable — boasting 2,000 doors, 2,000 windows and over 11 miles of plumbing. When electricity was added, Thomas Edison oversaw the installation. It had its own phone system and post office, and both of those remain today (It’s a must to send a post card postmarked from there).
Today, it remains remarkable, and stands as one of the last remaining grand hotels from that era.
As it was 120 years ago, the hotel looks to cater to the mood of every guest.
There are two golf courses. The Mount Washington Course is an 18-hole Donald Ross designed course that was meticulously restored to Ross’s original 1915 design, and there’s a challenging and fun nine-hole course. Pros offer lessons and there are all kinds of special deals around golf.
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 sweeping views of the area — and a truly special view of the hotel itself. At the top of the gondola you can savor lunch with that view in the new Rosebrook Lodge.
Riding the zip line is an exhilarating way to take in the view at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H. (Photo courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort)
There’s a Canopy Tour — one of the longest in New England — that zips you through the trees and past vistas on a three-hour tour, a spa, tennis on those red clay courts, hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, trail and carriage rides with the resort’s horses and all kinds of dining options.
I have always loved the way the hotel invites you to linger and relax. The vaulted lobbies, porches, casual and formal dining spots, an outdoor and indoor pool and all those rocking chairs; it’s a must do to not do much for a while.
For lodging, you can choose from a classic room all the way up to a family suite.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort has a long history, but they’re not done adding to it. Neither am I. I have two granddaughters now, and soon, I’ll see the look of amazement in their eyes when I take them to stay in that magnificent castle-like spot their mom so loved as a child.
Who knows what new memories we’ll make.