Valentine’s Day unusually falls a week before Presidents’ Day this year. That means love birds can take a break with their significant other without having to contend with a resort full of kids on school break. How about a homey hideaway in the Green Mountains with easy access to Stowe Mountain, snowmobiling, boutique shopping and opportunities for wine, hard cider and IPA tastings in every direction? Fun fact: Vermont has the most craft breweries per capita of any state. Boyden Valley Winery crafts artisan ciders and Glogg, Swedish-style mulled red wine to drink warm, perfect for an apres ski toast to (finally!) getting time to yourselves. And there is plenty for an outdoorsy duo to do right on the 60-acre property, too, including snowshoeing, Nordic hiking and dog sledding. Here’s what else may have sweethearts both smitten with Stoweflake.
The rooms. The walls separating accommodations are built in the same way as those in multiplex movie theaters—that is, soundproof. For the same reason, guests won’t find connecting rooms here. What all rooms do have is a gas fireplace and a jetted tub built for two.
Convenient, stellar skiing. Stowe Mountain Resort, well-known as a top destination for all levels of skiers, is right down the road. Stoweflake has a free shuttle that runs all day in both directions, saving patrons the potential parking hassles.
Cozy nooks. As travelers are driving up, the resort doesn’t look very big. It’s deceiving, though. Once they check in and start exploring, they’ll see it’s actually huge, but laid out in a way that there are lots of quiet little sitting spots throughout, from the pub to the spa to the lobby itself. These are often sunken, with wood-burning fireplaces and cushy seating.
The spa. It offers lots of options for twosomes, including a private aromatherapy bath fireside, and candle-lit hot stone massages, side by side. Beyond that, couples tend to be found under the Bingham Hydrotherapy Waterfalls or in the Hungarian Mineral Soaking Pool. Janet Savage, Certified Master Hand Analyst (yep, that’s a thing) works with the spa to conduct hand-reading sessions for couples. It’s not predicting the future, but more science-based around personality traits.
Chuck. And Sheri. And Scot. And the rest of the family-comprised staff who go out of their way to carry patrons skis, offer advice on the-must hit brewery (The Alchemist with its Heady Topper Double IPA, no question) or chase down a lost hat (thanks, Chad). Sweet little touches, such as afternoon tea and cookies in the lobby, make guests feel like they’re visiting family—but with no in-laws in sight!
Donuts, ice cream and chocolate. Oh, my. On the way up, as travelers get off I-89 to make the final approach to Stoweflake, they’re going to pass the ultimate trifecta: cider donuts on the right, then Ben & Jerry’s factory and the Lake Champlain chocolate flagship on the left. More into savory than sweet? Look! There’s the Cabot cheese emporium just ahead. They let visitors sample any flavors that intrigue them. The horseradish cheddar is well worth a nibble.
Sweethearts’ Week. The resort’s romance package is in play from February 10-16. King accommodations can be had for $330/night, with includes Lake Champlain chocolates, a bottle of wine or champagne and free dessert with dinner. Add a “couples spa escape tandem massage” with all-day access to the spa and fitness classes, plus lunch in the spa cafe, for $279.