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Connecticut gets its fair share of snow each year and transforms it into the ideal venue for a little winter vacation, especially if you enjoy outdoor sports. The state boasts five different ski venues that are perfect for discovering new slopes and trying out a few tricks.
From the 1,075-foot summit elevation of Ski Sundown, in New Hartford, to Mohawk Mountain (the oldest and largest ski area in the state), to all the family-friendly activities at Mount Southington or the varied slopes at Powder Ridge park, New England has enough fresh powder to keep any ski bunny happy. After a day on the hill, you’ll likely be wiped out, these are the best places to rest your weary body.
Best Overall: Interlaken Inn
This hotel is about a 20-minute drive from Mohawk Mountain, which is regarded as the best hill in the state. The main building at Interlaken features 40 guestrooms and all have cable flat-screen TV, high-speed Wi-Fi and coffee makers. Visitors can also choose more private lodging provided in separate houses, suites and cottages that have a variety of amenities, including fireplaces, microwaves, refrigerators and even private hot tubs in some units. The on-site spa offers a range of services to ease your tired muscles after a day of snowboarding or skiing.
In the evening, be sure to book a table at Morgan’s, the Inn’s restaurant, where the executive chef, John Welch, will treat you to hearty and traditional New England clam chowder and even a varied selection of vegan options.
Best Budget: Econo Lodge Plantsville
The Econo Lodge provides clean and comfortable accommodation for a very affordable price. Located in the town of Plantsville not far from Southington and the ski center there, this property has an exercise room if you still have any energy after a day of skiing. It also offers simple rooms with a TV, coffee maker and a desk. Some even have a refrigerator and microwave to allow you to make snacks or simple meals.
Breakfast each day is included in your room rate and the free Wi-Fi will have you uploading all of your off-piste photos in no time at all. A selection of pubs and restaurants are within walking distance and if you're looking for something a little different, both the American Clock & Watch Museum and the New England Carousel Museum are close by.
Best Close to The Mountain: The Cornwall Inn
The Cornwall Inn is the closest country inn to Mohawk Mountain and takes just a few minutes drive from your room to the base of the slopes. The Inn offers ski packages with full day ski lifts representing savings of up to 30 percent. The spacious common area with fireplace is a great place to meet up with friends after a day on the mountain. The country lodge has eight rooms each with their own entrance (they're on the small side, but offer privacy and a little seclusion). The main building has four rooms and two suites with flat-screen TV's and Queen-sized beds decorated in a quaint country style. If your party is large enough, you can request private dining at the inn or check out nearby restaurants like the Fife and Drum.
Best for Families: Residence Inn Southington
Just a six-minute drive to Mount Southington, this hotel has bright, cheerful rooms and suites complete with separate living and sleeping areas. The free grocery shopping service is a lifesaver for parents. Simply hand the staff your shopping list and when you return from the mountain your fridge will be fully stocked. Kids and adults will enjoy the indoor pool, and for a little downtime, the flat-screen cable TV in your room will be greatly appreciated. American breakfasts are served each morning and local restaurants will deliver food straight to your door. Check out nearby Crystal Bee’s entertainment center for bowling and burgers.
Best Apres Ski Activities/Nightlife: Hartford Marriott Downtown
Just a 15-minute drive from Mount Southington ski center, The Marriott is in downtown Hartford, close to a shopping mall and numerous restaurants, bars and nightspots. After a day of skiing, challenge your crew to a pub crawl around the neighborhood’s lively collection of taverns and bars. The 401 rooms and eight suites at this newly renovated hotel feature free Wi-Fi and luxurious 300 thread count bed sheets. There is also a full-service spa, lap pool and fitness center to keep you entertained in case you encounter any snow-free or rainy days that keep you off the mountain. There is a restaurant, pub and Starbucks coffee house on-site, so even if you are too tired to venture far you’ll find good food, drinks and a strong coffee the morning after the night before.
Best Boutique: The Goodwin
Located a 25-minute drive from Mount Southington, The Goodwin provides a unique and bespoke lodging option of guestrooms, duplexes and suites all designed with modern opulence. Expect velvet furnishings, oversized artwork, LED mood candles, chaise lounges and contemporary luxury bathrooms. In the duplexes, you’ll also find kitchenettes to make longer stays more comfortable. Amenities include 50-inch high-definition flat-screen TVs, in-room Keurig coffee makers and convenient charging stations.
A state of the art fitness center and yoga studio will help you to round out your workout both on and off the slopes. The all-day dining offered at the restaurant, Harlan Brasserie and Side Bar, will refuel you at any time. Try the Aroma Therapy cocktail made with Earl Grey infused Tanqueray gin, and lavender.
Best Luxury: Avon Old Farms Hotel
Just 11 miles from Ski Sundown, the Avon Old Farms hotel welcomes you with an impressive lobby and sweeping staircase. The 156 guestrooms and two suites are decorated in traditional country charm (expect antique furniture and four-poster beds), but modern amenities such as cable TV and Wi-Fi complement the experience. Enjoy an apres ski warming drink by the fireplace in the mezzanine lounge before dining at Seasons, the Avon’s award-winning restaurant. The dining room has beautiful views over the Talcott Mountain Stream and features paintings from local artists. If you visit in winter to take advantage of the local skiing scene, the outdoor pool will be closed, but you can still enjoy the fitness center and relax in the sauna.
Best for Romance: The Wallingford Victorian Inn
Located just an 18-minute drive from the Powder Ridge Park with 80 skiable acres, The Wallingford Victorian Inn is like taking a step back through history. Originally purchased in 1890 as a wedding gift to the bride Georgianna Hull from her parents, the historic inn is an elegant reminder of a more romantic era. With five suites, guestrooms, a parlor and library all decorated in traditional Victorian splendor, the Wallingford is the perfect place to retire after a day spent on the slopes with your sweetheart.
Relax in your room with a glass of wine and snuggle up in your fluffy luxury bathrobe. Breakfast is included in your room rate and, in a unique romantic twist, is served by candlelight. For supper, visit nearby Michael's Trattoria, a Zagat-rated local favorite featuring Northern Italian bistro style cuisine.
Best Cottages: Winvian
Sometimes you need a little more space than typically found in an average hotel room, especially if you have all your ski gear with you. Renting cottages allows you to travel with the whole family or in big groups of friends for vacations or pre-wedding events. Winvian offers 18 unique cottages with interesting names like Beaver Lodge and the Secret Society. A team of 15 architects designed these beautiful rooms that delight and surprise guests with unusual and unexpected features (one cabin has an oak tree growing right through the middle of the bedroom!). Another features a fully-restored 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH3F helicopter at the center of the living space. BOSE stereo systems, coffee makers, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs are standard. The five-star, farm-to-table restaurant will impress with local ingredients and unexpected flavors. If you can tear yourself away from your luxury cottage, the Mount Southington ski hill is just 20 minutes away.