Vermont has long been a sought-after getaway for hiking, the arts, and farm-fresh foods. Now visitors to the state's largest city can bunk in style at Hotel Vermont, which opened its doors earlier this month. All of the designers and architects, as well as the owner, are local and carry a love for Vermont.
When visitors enter the hotel they are immediately greeted with aromas of steamed cider and invited to linger in a locally crafted piece of furniture near the wood-burning hearth. A 2,000-square-foot green roof plus a 7,500-square-foot Harbor Terrace green roof accented by a bronze sculpture from local artist Richard Erdman offers up plenty of plein-air time for guests.
Under its roof are samplings of Vermont's locavore vibe, like fork-to-table small plates paired with coffee from small producers, cocktails featuring local ingredients or biodynamic wines at Juniper (where the stone countertops are made from Vermont marble and locally found shells make for chic flooring), and even more farm-to-table cuisine at Hen of the Wood Restaurant (a local institution in Waterbury since 2005). Chef Eric Warnstedt, a finalist in 2011 and 2012 for James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef Northeast," enjoys sourcing from local foragers and food producers.
The best seat in the house at Juniper is its granite terrace with an open heart and views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain. Cocktail enthusiasts can learn to make the exact drinks they enjoy at Juniper via a tutorial. As further commitment to craft cocktails, 11 local distillery partners are working with the hotel on its cocktail program.
Each of the 125 rooms features a window so guests can soak up the fresh mountain air and a custom Johnson Woolen Mills blanket to snuggle up with on cool nights. Flannel pajamas are in each room too, as is a custom Vermont Teddy Bear to take home, a hot-toddy list, and bedtime stories for children. Organic bath and body amenities are from Burlington's own Lunaroma. To explore the region on their own, guests can check out a bicycle at no charge.
Rates at Hotel Vermont, which is pursuing LEED certification due to all of its eco-friendly qualities, start at $229 per night.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Hotel Vermont