These local winter escapes have fresh new looks

Mid-winter in the Northeast doesn’t have to be all shivery gloom.

Some of the regions top resorts are showing off fresh renovations and new family-friendly activities this season.

Amid the granite fortress that is the White Mountains, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire’s largest ski resort, is a longtime hub for skiing and snowboarding.

Now, the 464-acre resort is offering new mountainside dining with stunning views.

Sitting just below Mount Rosebrook’s summit, at the multi-venue 16,000-square-foot Rosebrook Lodge, stone hearths vibe with outdoor decks in the Switchback Grille, a more formal restaurant with waitstaff service, and Crystal Mountains, a casual self-serve eatery. Peaks, a grab-and-go coffee shop, completes the options, all of which are accessed via Bretton Woods’ new eight-passenger Skyway gondola, which glides up the steep slope overlooking the glimmering, grand Omni Mount Washington Resort in the Ammonoosuc River Valley below.

Exterior of Omni Mount Washington Resort.
Rooms at Omni Mount Washington Resort start at $279.
Omni Mount Washington Resort

Bretton Woods is, in fact, part of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, which also has a Nordic ski center, a canopy zip line tour and a lot of history.

Opened in 1902, as the new mountainside lodge was going up, the hotel’s majestic octagonally shaped main dining room added a big four-sided, white marble-topped central bar, cozy sitting areas with settees and a newly installed fireplace, leaving the dining tables to fan out along the window wall looking onto the mountains.

The new Jewell Terrace, which houses the outdoor Observatory Bar, stretches over the roof of the newly built Presidential Wing, which adds 66 spacious guest rooms and three one-bedroom suites bearing opulent bathrooms with egg soaking tubs.

For super relaxing après-ski, try the suave spa’s Ultimate Journey head-to-toe massage with full-body exfoliation. Then head to Stickney’s Restaurant, where tables are set around a big roaring fire.

Rates from $279 per night.

Interior of a room at Cedar Lakes.
Rooms at Cedar Lakes Estate start at $225.
Cedar Lakes Estate

From November to April, Cedar Lakes Estate, a beautiful 500-acre wedding and events resort, is the spot in the western Hudson Valley for individual bookings in family/group cabins and cozy couples-centric cottages. Its Winter Getaways program includes all meals and many activities from snowshoeing to curling. Several other activities cost extra, including a new pyrography class instructing on wood etching using an electrically heated tool. Another new class teaches the valuable survival skill of fire building. Once you’ve got that down, enter the One-Match Challenge competition to create and sustain a campfire using only one match. Seriously, that takes skill. Each class costs $55 per person.

Enjoy s’mores by the bonfire and drinks in the Treehouse Lounge by a roaring fire you do not have to build or maintain!

Rates from $225 per night; resort fee: $185 per person, per night.

The sauna at Glen Forest House.
Glen Forest House has a new outdoor sauna.
Glen Falls House

Discover winter’s true essence — stillness — with Glen Falls House’s new Forest Bathing Spa program this winter. This is no simple walk in the woods, though the 47-acre property in the small hamlet of Round Top in the Catskills has beautiful trails that pass by icy waterfalls with natural plunge pools.

At the trail head, a new outdoor six-person cedar barrel sauna is available by reservation, and a heated massage tent is ready for full body work sessions — whose body doesn’t need a bit of work? Meditation and/or sound bathing sessions are available, too. Before snuggling up in a bucolic-boutique guest room, cozy up with drinks and dinner in Glen Falls House’s farm-to-table Trotwood restaurant.

Rates from $195 per night; dinner, treatments priced individually.

Exterior of the lodge at Spruce Peak
Winter sports enthusiasts at Vermont’s village-esque Spruce Peak.
Stowe Mountain Resort

Up Mountain Road, at the top of Stowe in northern Vermont’s Green Mountains, is the self-contained ski resort, Spruce Peak. If you’re a New England ski junky you know this resort like the back of your hand — or do you?

At the Lodge at Spruce Peak, a ski-in, ski-out luxury hotel, a renovation is introducing old guests to grand new dining options like the Tipsy Trout. The seafood focussed bar and lounge is located in high-ceilinged Alpine Hall, which has glorious views onto the village green and the mountains.

The view is better, however, from the relaxation lounge of the massive spa, which has new hi-tech cryogenic treatments to soothe ski muscles, or freeze fat, whichever you prefer.

On the village green’s other side stands Spruce Peak’s basecamp, which leads to 40 miles of skiable terrain, operated by Vail Resorts and part of its multi-venue discounted Epic Pass program. 

After a day’s skiing, the apres ski is on tap both inside the lodge and outside in the village’s WhistlePig Pavilion, a bespoke chalet featuring Vermont the rye whiskey maker’s wares; and The Line House basement speakeasy. All of which surrounds the village green, which transforms in the winter into a picturesque ice skating rink. 

Room rates from $399 per night.