The Northeastern US: Tapping into Tradition
The nation’s oldest buildings and cities – including Boston and New York City – are rooted in the Northeast, making it one of the most historically rich regions you’ll ever visit. Not to mention, it’s home to the country’s most brilliant display of nature’s distinct seasons.
With the recent merger of Benchmark and Gemstone, the combined portfolio now proudly boasts 58 total properties, including seven distinctive resorts and hotels in the Northeast. From a countryside culinary resort in Vermont to Boston’s longest continuously operating hotel, here’s what you need to know about each.
Vermont’s Ultimate Boutique Experience
Topnotch Resort | Stowe, VT
Overview: Originally a ski club built in 1953, this 68-room boutique hotel sits on 120 acres in view of Mount Mansfield.
Concierge Tip: Parents, leave the kids at the resort’s game room – equipped with Wii, PlayStation, and Nintendo – and enjoy a private dinner at the on-site modern ski bar, The Roost.
Treat Yourself: The spa’s Maple Sugar Body Scrub – made with maple sugar from local trees – moisturizes the skin and leaves you smelling divine.
Don’t-Miss Detail: Hanging in the lobby is a giant stuffed male moose head, affectionately named Mikey, who used to roam the property in the 1950s.
Destination Gem: Less than two miles south, the cult brewery The Alchemist sells their unicorn of beers: Heady Topper, said to be America’s most coveted beer.
A Savory Culinary Resort Retreat
The Essex, Culinary Resort & Spa | Burlington, VT
Overview: The Burlington area’s only destination hotel, this 120-guest room resort is famous for its on-site Cook Academy, offering demonstrations, classes, and area food tours.
Concierge Tip: Every day at 4 p.m., one of the chefs offers a free cooking demonstration on the cooktop in the lobby.
Treat Yourself: Visit the resort bakery at 11 a.m. to see the staff at work through the kitchen window – and enjoy free samples of that day’s specialty sweets.
Don’t-Miss Detail: Newcomers in August 2016, two adorable dwarf goats – Penelope and Stuart – live next to the property’s gardens.
Destination Gem: Area outfitter, Above Reality, offers hot-air-balloon tours from the resort property over the rolling foothills of the Green Mountains and shoreline of Lake Champlain.
A Legendary Boston Back Bay Hotel
Copley Square Hotel | Boston, MA
Overview: The oldest continuously operating hotel in Boston (since 1891), this 140-room property is Back Bay’s swankiest with posh accommodations and an on-site nightclub.
Concierge Tip: In honor of the hotel’s 125th birthday in 2016, for an additional $1.25, guests receive valet parking, a full breakfast for two, and a surprise birthday amenity.
Treat Yourself: Every day at 5 p.m., a complimentary “Wine Down” in the lobby offers a different fine red and white (and sangria in the summer).
Don’t-Miss Detail: In the 1891 Boardroom, you’ll see turn-of-the-nineteenth-century photos of the hotel, including an old receipt for a $7 overnight stay.
Destination Gem: Located across the street, Boston Duck Tours is home to the city’s famous 80-minute tours aboard WWII-inspired vehicles that run on both land and water.
An Intimate Hotel Escape in The Heart of Boston
Ames Hotel Boston | Boston, MA
Overview: Boston’s first skyscraper built in 1893, this chic 114-room hotel mixes European architecture, sleek lines, and minimalist design in the heart Boston’s most happening district.
Concierge Tip: Need to get somewhere close by and quicky? Borrow one of the hotel’s cruiser bicycles.
Treat Yourself: Book the “Apartment,” the hotel’s most exclusive accommodation, which includes sumptuous details like a velvet chaise, oversized Moroso sofa, silk rugs, and a white feather chandelier.
Don’t-Miss Detail: The property’s Romansque floor-to-ceiling arched windows are a dramatic backdrop for photos.
Destination Gem: Built in 1742, the famous marketplace of Faneuil Hall is just one block away from the hotel and filled with all kinds of retail and restaurants, as well as world-traveling street performers.
White Plains Most Unique & Original Resort
Doral Arrowwood | Rye Brook, NY
Overview: Located an hour from New York City, this 373-room resort nestled on 114 acres caters to corporate executives and those looking for a destination getaway.
Concierge Tip: On Mondays from 4 to 5 p.m., sample a slew of local micro-brews in The Pub for $10 a pop.
Treat Yourself: Book the 9 & Dine package and receive a bucket of balls at the resort’s driving range, nine holes on the Robert Von Hagge-designed course, and dining perks.
Don’t-Miss Detail: The giant ballerina sculpture (from the hotel owner’s personal collection) that guards the entrance to the guest wing makes for a great photo opp.
Destination Gem: Located 10 miles away, Playland Park’s 1920s wooden coaster is one of approximately 100 working coasters of its kind in the US.
New Brunswick, Central Jersey’s Little “Big” City
The Heldrich | New Brunswick, NJ
Overview: Located an hour from New York City, this 235-room gem lives in the heart of the cultural center of downtown New Brunswick.
Concierge Tip: Present your same-day ticket stubs from any of the downtown cultural venues and receive 10 percent off of your entrées in the resort’s Christopher’s Lounge.
Treat Yourself: The 50-minute full-body Detoxifying Body Wrap removes impurities at The Spa at The Heldrich, while also treating you to a scalp massage.
Don’t-Miss Detail: Just one of several pieces by New Jersey artists, J. Kenneth Leap’s “Garden of Hesperides” is a three-dimensional, glass wall hanging that welcomes you in the hotel lobby.
Destination Gem: Across the street, the Cultural Center of New Brunswick features award-winning music, arts, and theater.
Historic Village on the Scenic Hudson River.
Edith Macy Conference Center I Briarcliff Manor, NY
Overview: Situated on more than 400 acres of secluded and lush hillside 45 minutes from Manhattan, this 52-guest room conference center is an ideal place to get away and focus on the work at hand.
Concierge Tip: The self-guided walking tour or scavenger hunt are great ways for guests to explore the property.
Treat Yourself: Numerous fire pits are a popular place for guests to end their day; s’mores kits are available at the bar nightly.
Don’t-Miss: Detail Built in 1926, the Great Hall is an on-site historic building boasting a beautiful slate patio, stairs, and roof, as well as an incredible, original wood interior.
Destination Gem: Just seven miles west of the resort, Cronton Point Park is home to two vaulted brick wine cellars built into the hillside and believed to be the oldest in New York State.