Travel Spotlight

Spotlight: The Pitcher Inn

In the tiny Vermont village of Warren, surrounded by storybook cottages bedecked in twinkling lights, the Pitcher Inn is a haven of rustic charm.

The two-story New England mansion rises from the center of town, welcoming guests with a stately white clapboard porch and elegant colonial exterior. Seemingly frozen in time, the inn was originally built during the Civil War and was later devastated by a fire in the 1990’s. It was then that a couple from Greenwich eyed the property and—after falling in love with the region’s pristine scenery and bucolic charm—opened the Pitcher Inn, now a prized Relais and Châteaux hotel.

Located in the northwest of Vermont in the famed Mad River Valley, the inn is a celebration of Vermont culture. In this state, where skiing and maple syrup reign supreme, quirky locals will gladly regale you with stories of long winters and moose encounters. Vermont pride is on full display at the Pitcher Inn, and relics of the state’s heritage can be found in every nook and cranny. Taxidermy and fishing memorabilia decorate the common spaces; vintage photographs illustrate the region’s unique history; local artwork and handmade furniture ornament the hallways; and each room is themed around a different element of Vermont tradition.

These gorgeously designed rooms keep guests returning to the Pitcher Inn year after year. Thoughtful and imaginative, accommodations are decorated with just the right amount of whimsy without being kitschy. Designer Dave Sellers struck a perfect balance in outfitting the playful yet elegant rooms, creating a delightful sense of place that will impress even the pickiest of aesthetes. Rooms boast sophisticated touches like toile wallpaper, grand fireplaces and lovely antiques, and while the décor toes the line of eccentricity (the ‘Trout’ room is adorned with paddles and carved fish), it never crosses it. The ‘School’ room emulates a one-room schoolhouse, featuring vintage black boards and a hand-painted mural of a library scene, while the ‘Ski’ room transports guests to an old-fashioned ski lodge, complete with a vintage ticket booth and ‘toboggan bed’ built from birch trees and sleds.

Adding to the Pitcher Inn’s many draws are its two standout eateries. 275 Main, the acclaimed fine dining restaurant, attracts foodies from miles around with its excellent, locally sourced fare and romantic candlelit atmosphere. The menu features scrumptious dishes like marinated quail with tahini and roast duck breast with walnut gnocchi, complemented by wine and creative cocktails (try the 'Masonic Temple,’ a gin-based elixir). Downstairs, the casual pub and local watering hole, Tracks, buzzes with revelers each night. Complete with leather couches, a roaring fire and pool table, the space is decorated with taxidermy and handsome furniture akin to a wild western saloon. There is also a private dining room and wine cellar which boasts hundreds of bottles of internationally-made varietals.

While staying at the Pitcher Inn, guests are encouraged to take advantage of all the region has to offer. The inn is especially popular with ski bunnies, as SugarBush Mountain is just a five-minute drive down the road. Other activities include hiking and biking around the area’s scenic trails, golf, canoeing and kayaking, and less active pursuits like antiquing and maple sugar tasting. Guests can also arrange for horseback riding and sleigh rides, plus in-room spa treatments.

Still, it’s easy to while away several days here, curling up by the fire in one of the cozy common areas. The setting practically oozes small town charm; the service is warm and sincere; and each staff member has a story to tell. Many have been with the Pitcher Inn for decades and are eager to entertain guests with tales of the inn’s storied past. "We're just a couple of misfit toys," they say. And, when you leave, you too will feel part of the club.

Fast Facts:

Who Should Go:

Couples and families in search of a long-weekend retreat with plenty of activities and a charming sense of place.

Getting There: The Pitcher Inn is a 5-hour drive from NYC. Guests may opt to fly to Burlington Airport, which is a 1-hour drive from the Pitcher Inn.

Good to Know: The Pitcher Inn offers a number of packages such as the 'Gourmet Experience' that includes dinner with wine pairings and a picnic lunch; and the ‘Honeymooners’ which includes a five-course tasting menu and massages.

Published onApril 5, 2017

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