Top 10 New England Bed-and-Breakfasts

Experience New England's charm at these bed and breakfasts.

By: Jennifer Plum Auvil
Experience the best of New England’s characteristic charm and beauty in one of the region’s best bed-and-breakfasts. With elegant mountainside inns, refined beachfront estates and classic country homes, this list highlights the best of New England’s luxurious and romantic B&Bs.
Pitcher Inn

Photo by: Denise Yu, flickr

Denise Yu, flickr

Nestled in the nearly 400,000-acre Green Mountain National Forest, Warren, VT, is the epitome of New England’s small-town charm. In the center of town, on Main Street, of course, stands the Pitcher Inn. The white-clapboard house has 11 rooms, each weaving together the story of Vermont’s villages, history and favorite pastimes with handmade furniture, local artwork and many whimsical touches. The Ski Room features vintage trail maps and signs and even a lift-ticket booth, while the Trout Room explores the fishing theme with a bed carved from a tree-trunk; a jumbo trout overlooks it all from its perch on the wall.

What’s Cool: A full-country breakfast is included with your room rate, but for dinner you can splurge on local delicacies at 275 Main or grab a burger, sip some craft beer and shoot some pool at the more casual Tracks.

Topia Inn

Photo by: Topia Inn

Topia Inn

First thing's first at the Topia Inn — slip off your shoes. BYOS (that’s “bring your own slippers”) or borrow a pair of cozy hemp slippers, because this ultra-green inn in the Berkshires is a shoe-free zone. Honored with a LEED-platinum designation, it has solar panels and LED lighting that keep the carbon impact near zero. Chemical-free bath and cleaning products keep things clean and healthy, too. The inn proves that going green doesn’t require skimping on comfort or style. The 8 rooms have chic décor and unique amenities such as aromatherapy rain showers and chromatherapy spa tubs that use LED lights to tint the bubbling bath water. Rent a bike to explore the historic town of Adams, or work up a sweat cruising the nearby Ashuwillticook Trail, a 10-foot-wide paved bike trail with lake and mountain views.

What’s Cool: Rock away your worries with a good night’s sleep in the Aloha Room, which showcases a round, nestlike floating bed suspended from the ceiling.

Cliffside Inn

Photo by: Cliffside Inn

Cliffside Inn

Don’t have the keys to any of the super-mansions that put Newport, RI, on the social scene during this beach town’s Gilded Age? Try the next best thing at the luxurious Cliffside Inn, just a short stroll from the manse-lined, 3.5-mile-long Cliff Walk. Each of the 16 rooms and suites strikes a delicate balance between old-time elegance and modern comforts. The antique furniture and elegant slipper claw-foot tubs are a nod to the inn’s Victorian past, while cozy window seats and gas fireplaces set the scene for relaxation. Common areas are equally luxe. Sip tea or a glass of wine in the parlor, on the wraparound porch or beside the outdoor fireplace.

What’s Cool: Looking for a nightcap? Order from the wine menu room service and have a bottle delivered to your room in the Main House before 9 p.m.

Lodge at Moosehead Lake

Photo by: Jumping Rocks

Jumping Rocks

A visit to the Lodge at Moosehead Lake is kind of like summer camp for grown-ups, only better — with upscale accommodations and activities galore. There may be 500 DVDs in the video library, but you’ll likely be too busy planning adventures or enjoying some pampering to watch any of them. In the winter, pick up a thermos of hot cocoa at the lodge before setting off on a snowshoe or dogsledding adventure. During the warmer months, you can cast a line for lake trout, go white-water rafting in the 170-mile-long Kennebec River, or set off on a moose safari on a backcountry canoe tour of a remote mountain pond just 30 minutes from the lodge. Nature’s wonders remain at the forefront in rooms both rustic and elegant; most offer prime views of Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in Maine.

What’s Cool: Stick with the theme and indulge in a Moosapolitan martini at the charming on-site Chloe’s Pub.

Copper Beech Inn

Photo by: Pamela Corwin

Pamela Corwin

The Copper Beech Inn in the Lower Connecticut River Valley is best-known for its outstanding restaurant, Brasserie Pip, where you’ll find innovative menu choices and an impressive wine list. But if you come for dinner, you’ll likely want to stay for breakfast, too — you can do so comfortably in this stately inn. The estate comprises 22 rooms, filled with antique furniture and indulgent touches, such as deep-soaking tubs and radiant-heated marble floors to warm cold toes in the bathroom. Fill the time between meals with antiquing in the nearby towns of Essex or Chester, or by taking in a show at the Ivoryton Playhouse, a nearby professional theater in production since 1911.

What’s Cool: Dogs are welcome to partake in the fun, too, if you book a pet-friendly room in the Carriage House.

Union Street Inn

Photo by: Union Street Inn

Union Street Inn

Decked out with crisp Frette linens and high-end furniture, the Union Street Inn has come a long way since its days as a whaling captain’s home in 1770. This 12-room Nantucket, MA, jewel is equal parts charm and luxury, with 4-poster beds and some larger rooms boasting cozy sitting areas and fireplaces. With a prime location just off the cobblestoned Main Street, it’s a short walk to the beach (ask the innkeepers for beach towels). As the only B&B in town to serve a full hot breakfast, there’s always something yummy cooking in the kitchen, such as stacks of fluffy blueberry pancakes or white-chocolate-chip cookies with macadamia nuts for a midafternoon snack.

What’s Cool: Enjoy more time in your room — and with your sweetheart — by requesting breakfast in bed.

Stone Hill Inn

Photo by: Stone Hill Inn

Stone Hill Inn

The Stone Hill Inn in Stowe, VT, is designed for romance. Each of the inn’s 9 rooms has a 2-person Jacuzzi and a fireplace, amenities that are often available only in a bed-and-breakfast’s priciest rooms. All of the tables are set for 2 in the sunny breakfast room, so you can focus on your partner and a pile of orange-pecan waffles! As lovely as things are inside, it gets even better outside, with 9.5 acres of rolling hills for tobogganing, hammocks for lounging and an outdoor hot tub for stargazing in snowy weather or on cool summer nights. Ready to dip a toe into the real world beyond the inn? Stowe’s great skiing and cool village scene with restaurants and shops is just 10 minutes away.

What’s Cool: Picky about pillows? Find one that’s just right at the inn’s pillow library.

Beach House Inn

Photo by: Courtesy of the Beach House Inn

Courtesy of the Beach House Inn

The Beach House Inn in Kennebunkport, ME, is the beach house you’ve always wished for, with breezy rooms, smart décor and gorgeous panoramic views of Kennebunk Beach. Each of the 34 rooms varies in size and view, with some overlooking the garden and others boasting prime oceanfront views. It seems it’s always snack time, too: Enjoy a continental breakfast spread in the morning, tea in the sitting room come afternoon, and cheese and aperitifs at sunset. As a bonus, there are chairs and towels to bring to the beach and even free access to bikes and canoes to explore the town by land or sea.

What’s Cool: Unlike most bed-and-breakfasts, kids are welcome here. The Beach House Cottage is a perfect pick for traveling families, with a kitchenette, living room, dining room and 2 bedrooms.

Inn at Kent Falls

Photo by: The Inn at Kent Falls

The Inn at Kent Falls

Built in 1741, the Inn at Kent Falls is on the National Register of Historic Places but offers thoroughly modern amenities. There is a selection of rooms and suites with comfy beds and private bathrooms. The star might be the Gables Suite, with exposed beams, an open loft area and a spacious walk-in shower in the original house’s former attic. Aside from its rich history, what sets this inn apart is its level of personalization. The concierge can customize your vacation with yoga or Pilates sessions, spa treatments, skiing excursions at nearby Mohawk Mountain, leaf-peeping during high foliage season or other unique touches to tailor your stay to your hobbies and interests.

What’s Cool: Take a dip in the inn’s secluded pool, surrounded by lush gardens.

Clarendon Square Inn

Photo by: Christian Giannelli

Christian Giannelli

Boston’s Clarendon Square is the rare big-city bed-and-breakfast that offers the best of both worlds — cozy and personal lodging with all of the amenities you would expect from a sophisticated city hotel. The 6-story town house is located in Boston’s South End, near Copley Square, Boston Public Garden, the Boston Common and Fenway Park. Once a single-family home, this stately building now houses 7 rooms, each with chic furniture and modern decorations. Luxury suites let you spread out, with full living rooms, dressing rooms and enormous soaking tubs. The continental breakfast buffet satisfies your sweet tooth with croissants and Nutella or cinnamon rolls, plus savory goodies such as quiche, gourmet cheese and cured meats including prosciutto.

What’s Cool: Retreat to the rooftop deck with a bottle of bubbly for a soak in the hot tub and a great view of Boston’s city lights.

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