A couple of weeks ago Matt and I took a rare and wonderful 24-hour respite from real life. We spent a night and a day in Vermont at the Hermitage Club and it was absolutely perfect. While Matt is from Vermont, this was a corner (southwest) of the state we haven’t spent much time. In fact, I’d never been there. Now, I can’t wait to go back. I am in love.
We started our adventure with an evening snowcat ride to the top of Haystack Mountain, now a part of the private Hermitage Club. We had fondue and drinks in a hut at the top and admired the nighttime views, and then enjoyed a delicious dinner in the gorgeous, brand new lodge.
The next morning dawned clear and cold and we had one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had at the Hermitage Inn. We knew we were in Vermont and felt right at home because we were sitting under a print of a painting of a duck by Matt’s adored aunt. We then headed out to ski the pristine slopes of Haystack. Because the Hermitage is a private club, it’s never crowded. All morning (and we tragically had to leave after lunch) we skiied directly onto ski lifts. There were #noliftlines. It had snowed the night before and the mountain was covered in several inches of powder.
Matt and I have skiied a lot, at a lot of places (New England, out west, Europe) and I can say without reservation that this was easily among our top three ski days. Ever.
We stopped at the same hut where we’d had drinks the night before for a hot chocolate. Every single person we encountered working at the Hermitage was friendly, warm, and professional. The service is flawless. The Hermitage has seen to every detail and made skiing as comfortable as humanly possible. There is valet parking and people take charge of your skis and gear for you. The food is delicious. There are no crowds. They can’t – yet – control the weather, but the introduction of a covered chairlift before next season will mean that riding up is warm and comfortable.
Haystack and the Hermitage are simply spectacular. My only regret is that Grace and Whit weren’t with us as I know they would have adored it. I think the Hermitage is absolutely built for children. It would be a fantastic place to learn to ski (no crowds = a much safer environment) and there is a full ski school program. The club has an excellent golf course and the mountain offers excellent biking and hiking opportunities. The spa wasn’t yet open when we were there but I imagine it’s, like the rest of the resort, absolutely perfection. There’s no question this is a four-season destination.
There are two ways to ski Haystack: join the Hermitage Club or stay at the Hermitage Inn. The latter is a great way to get a taste of the Hermitage Club experience, and the Inn itself is, as far as I can tell, the manifestation of a perfect New England inn. If breakfast is any indication, it’s some of the best dining in Vermont. They offer tubing, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing in addition to direct access to Haystack. This place is absolute, downright, unfettered magic. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The soaring ceilings of the lodge, with outrageously cool lighting fixtures
Disclosure: we were privileged to visit Haystack and the Hermitage as guests of the club. All opinions shared here are absolutely my own.
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