Vermont’s Innkeepers Offer Personalized Travel Experience


Often nestled in time-honored historic downtowns, the inns of Vermont welcome travelers with all the comforts of home in the Green Mountains. Restaurants offer the bounty of Vermont’s locally grown and produced food, often complimented by local craft beerwine or spirits.

“The combination of the Norman Rockwell village setting, the historic white houses, village green and summer theater is like a scene right of a movie,” said Steve Bryant, owner of The Dorset Inn on the Green, Vermont’s oldest continuously operated inn in Dorset, established in 1796. “A stay at the Dorset Inn is authentic and wholly unique, it’s the classic of the classics.”

It’s not alone; other Vermont properties have gotten a global nod from publications like Forbes and Travel + Leisure, like Waterford’s Rabbit Hill Inn and Barnard’s Twin Farms.

At Rabbit Hill Inn, you’ll find a warm, hearty welcome.

“I think guests really enjoy not being anonymous. They like being addressed by name, they like having conversations with the people who own the property,” said Leslie Mulcahy, co-owner of the property with her husband Brian. “They feel very shortly after arriving that this is a place to be comfortable, but not in an intrusive way. You kind of feed off of their pace.”

Each property offers a different experience; choose to stay at a classic bed-and-breakfast, a modern hotel with high-end amenities or a historic inn.

The people you’ll meet help the experience stand out, too.

“Our staff is kind of like a family, and we try to make a special effort to connect with the guests, find out where they’re from, find out what they like to do and try to help them enhance their stay,” said Walt Blasberg, owner of the North Hero House, which is nestled along the shore of the beautiful Champlain Islands and offers spectacular views of Lake Champlain.

That approach extends to the dining room, too.

At the Red Clover Inn, the large dining room with plenty of windows and a sizable fireplace make the restaurant a centerpiece of the property. Add in the services of a friendly, attentive staff, and it’s easy to see why dining there is such a treat.

“Our innkeepers will learn your name; our wait staff will learn your name. Occasionally the chef will pop out, and it’s that personal touch you’ll be getting that I guarantee will happen for everybody,” said Red Clover Inn innkeeper Carol. “I think it’s exciting to see how people who never stayed at an inn or bed and breakfast, how their mind is opened up to a whole new experience.”

The Artisan Restaurant at the Four Columns Inn prides itself on serving Vermont-produced foods from nearby farms and artisans that chefs from around the world seek out.

The Tavern area at the Four Columns is another central attraction to guests, and is not alone as a premier spot to grab a drink at one of Vermont’s inns. The bar areas at the Vermont Inn and Tracks at the Pitcher Inn in Warren offer up lively, yet relaxed drinking areas that provide guests with options for an evening of fun while staying on the property.

If an urban setting strikes your fancy, Made INN Vermont and the Willard Street Inn in Burlington are located just a few blocks away from the Church Street Marketplace walking mall, and offer superb accommodations.

“The place is gorgeous; we did a very eclectic, Burlington-style design,” said Linda Wolf, owner of Made INN Vermont. “I think our guests feel they’re taken care of and don’t feel part of the masses and that this special occasion is creating lasting memories. We have people who make friends here and we have a very friendly, club-like environment, particularly in our inn because it’s so small.”

The Inn at Montpelier in Vermont’s capital city is another cozy destination. Owners John and Karel Underwood live on-site and take care of the guests.

“From the time they step foot in the door to the time that they leave in the morning, the two of us are there to take care of all of their needs,” said John Underwood. “Every room in the Inn has its own unique décor. Also, it’s like being at home. You’re not in a hotel, you’re at home. We have people that return and become our friends.”

“Thirty to forty percent of our guests are repeat guests,” agreed Mike Marrano, innkeeper at Mendon’s Vermont Inn. “I think a lot of guests who choose to come to inns are looking for that one-on-one interaction with the innkeepers. It’s an important part of our jobs and we enjoy it too. That’s why we do it.”