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Besides its cozy inns, the Northeast USA is well known for its iffy atmospheric conditions. Mark Twain famously quipped, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.”
Chances are if you’re traveling during the cold, freezing months, you’ll experience a blizzard or, in warmer season, what’s affectionately termed a Nor’easter. So, it behooves you to find a place with a snuggle-luxe room and a commensurate meal on site.
A place, in other words, where you don’t have to leave the premises in order to experience a great dinner after check-in.
The following award winning luxury hotels and cozy inns in Northeast USA fit this bill. (And if you need more ideas, check out this Huffington Post piece).
New Canaan CT
Prominent chef, Francois Kwaku-Dongo, helms the kitchen at the newly restored Roger Sherman Inn. Fifteen recently renovated rooms are interspersed throughout a rambling 18th and 19th century building – one that was facing the wrecking ball in 2016, until the community saved it. Thank goodness it did.
National Harbor MD
Gaylord National is not exactly a cozy inn in the Northeast USA. But it is a fantastic hotel in which to snuggle down and wait out any storm. Gaylord’s signature architectural element; multiple acres under glass (in this case, 1.5) enclosing burbling brooks, secondary buildings, restaurants and shopping, stone pathways, water features and interior gardens provides the optimal “storm raging outside, but you’re cozy inside” experience.
Temperature controlled – you’re snug and sound inside an inverse snow globe. Plus, you’ve got several excellent restaurants to choose from – including the Southern Charm Old Hickory Steakhouse – just an elevator ride from your upscale room.
Best Cozy inns In Northeast US: Massachusetts
If you had to be holed up somewhere, you’d be lucky to find yourself at the charming Groton Inn in the small pastoral boarding school burg of Groton MA. A Colonial-style roadside lodging, this cozy inn in Northeast USA stands on the footprint of what had been one of the oldest inns in America with the same name, the Groton Inn, first opened in 1678.
The hot new restaurant, Forge & Vine is located behind the inn where the old Carriage House used to be. It’s become quite a local sensation. Yes, you’ll have to venture outside – but just a few strides across the parking lot.
New Bedford MA
Another boutique (not quite a “cozy inn”) in Northeast USA, the New Bedford Harbor Hotel nevertheless features charming rooms and an excellent in-house restaurant focusing on local craft beer and elevated, delectable, pub food. Sitting about a quarter mile up Union St. from the waterfront, the New Bedford Harbor Hotel, fills a downtown-lodging niche close to museums, historic Town Hall, and the cobblestoned Historic District.
Imagine entering a real life version of the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine, and that’s what you’ll find when you first walk into the lobby of Studio Allston Hotel in Allston MA. Adjacent to Harvard University’s football field, where the Charles River bends on Soldiers Field Road, what was formerly a Day’s Inn is now a playful place with the vibe of a youth hostel on the main floor and upscale, witty, Mid-Century Modern guest rooms.
Casa Cana Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar is attached to the hotel, yet not owned by it. Nevertheless, guests of the hotel need not go anywhere else – the food and scene in this Cuban-influenced restaurant is fantastic and fun.
The Pinehills, MA
Opened in 2014, Mirbeau’s French Country décor, bewitching gardens (with “Monet Bridge” popular for wedding photos), and well-regarded spa appeal to brides and Boomers alike. And, of course, girlfriend groups. Fifty guest rooms are quietly luxurious. Common areas, with fireplaces, are the go-to spots on a snowy winter’s eve. If you don’t plan to stay here, at least reserve a table for lunch or dinner at The Bistro & Wine Bar – a fantastic meal that begins with addictive popovers and honey butter.
West Chesterfield NH
From the fallen bones of 300 year old barns emerged the upscale Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield NH. Owners Judy and Phil Hueber created a Yankee-luxe home away from home for corporate travelers, parents of students at area colleges (Keene State, Marlboro, Landmark), girlfriend groups, and of course leaf peepers in autumn. The on-site restaurant is known for being one of the best in the area, so, yes, bring on the blizzard.
The 30-room Diamond Mills Hotel has become a go-to for weddings and special events for both locals and NYC Brides and Grooms. Though the rooms at Diamond Mills are upscale and wonderful, the in-house restaurant, Tavern, a soaring, bright two-story atrium, crammed with CIA grads, is really where this place shines.
White Plains, NY
Halfway (30 minutes) between Greenwich CT and Manhattan, the Ritz Carlton Westchester is frequented by corporate executives mid-week. However, this Ritz has become a preferred “Staycation” for locals who want to a) get away from the kids, b) rock one more weekend alone BEFORE having kids, c) enjoy a stay-over-spa-indulgence, or just d) discover and be immersed in the famous Ritz Carlton caché.
Book a couple of spa treatments; watch the snowstorm raging outside from the glass-enclosed rooftop pool; then dine on excellent cuisine in the lobby around a contemporary fireplace.
Admittedly, there’s not much to do in Carbondale PA, which makes the 61-room Select Registry boutique Hotel Anthracite an anomaly. A thrilling find for hunters of cool lodgings in obscure places, Hotel Anthracite celebrates the clean-burning hard coal (anthracite) found and mined here. Food at in-house Kol Restaurant is very good, surprisingly so. Sitting down for a meal in this pretty, low lit, crystal chandelier’d place is a joy and truly a port in a storm.
Once upon a time, this was the more rustic, “family friendly” brother of the upscale Hotel Hershey. But most of the 665 rooms and suites at the Lodge have been refreshed to luxury standards. And the lobby sports a large and impressive four-sided stone fireplace around which HersheyPark-weary parents take a much-needed load off. Of course, as a Hershey Co. property, you get a full-sized Hershey’s Chocolate Bar at check-in, and can choose between five, count ‘em, five restaurants – casual to fine – within its walls.
The Red Fox Inn is one of the oldest and finest inns in the country – established in 1728. While the restaurant and several rooms are located right on Main Street, most guest rooms are scattered in cottages a block from the busy intersection. For dinner, picture a cozy, whitewashed fieldstone-walled hunt club with fireplace, wood tables, low ceiling. And then add excellent food. Within a warren of rooms, the Tavern, shade-lamp votives aglow, features Southern cuisine with local produce. Excellent.
With just nine luxury rooms, this inn provides guests with a stay in American History. While a student at UVA, Ryan Hubbard walked by this Federal style red brick townhouse – constructed in 1822 by Thomas Jefferson’s builder – nearly ever day. In 2003 he bought the building. In 2016, he completely renovated the rooms to luxury standards. And, in 2017 Hubbard opened an on-site restaurant, Farm Bell Kitchen, which is fast became a Charlottesville hot spot, especially for brunch.