Vermont

We’re all about a funky hotel or two, but some of the coziest spots are those with shabby-chic decor — just homey enough to be comforting, while still packing in a lot of style. Shabby-chic hotel design is a study in the art of textural contrasts: vintage leather, velvet furniture, deliberately faded rugs, woods, and rich prints all add to the look. And when shabby-chic is done well, the end result is impressively style-conscious, yet more livable than some, shall we say more modern, spots we’ve visited.  So today we’re giving a photo tour of our favorite hotels that have the shabby-chic vibe down pat. Get inspired — and get the look!

Petit Ermitage, Los Angeles

Butterfly Bar at the Petit Ermitage

We love the cozy, laid-back look of the Petit Ermitage, a quaint boutique in West Hollywood. The hotel’s bohemianism — think stained glassdistressed fixtures, and plenty of interesting artwork – gives the common areas and rooms a whimsical vibe and clearly attracts a fair share of hipsters, who can be found by the rooftop pool or in the lobby. It may not look like much from the outside, but the Petit Ermitage not only boasts an attention-to-detail in the design, but also in the amenities it provides (rooftop garden, tasty restaurant, pool), especially for a hotel of its size.

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The Inn at the Round Barn Farm is one of the most romantic spots in Vermont.

If there’s one word that describes Vermont, it’s scenic. Winding roads along rolling hills allow for wonderful vistas of tumbling streams, lovely villages and superb trails amid thick woods and state forests. And tucked into this picturesque landscape are some of the coziest B&Bs we’ve ever seen. Featuring wonderful fireplaces and historic details, these gorgeous stays come with delicious meals and warm, homey ambiances. So prepare yourself, because you’re going to want to bed up and mug down at our favorites after viewing this slideshow.

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The Amee Farm, tucked into Vermont's Green Mountains, is a rustically elegant spot to say "I do."

With its warm, urban-chic vibe, Amee Farm isn’t a typical B&B. This 40-acre property nestled in the Green Mountains has just 15 rooms, its own organic garden, and interiors that look straight out of a design magazine. With a near-perfect combination of rustic, quaint, and stylish touches, rooms feature wide-planked hardwood floors, comfortable beds with white, and soft linens, and interesting antiques can be found throughout the hotel. Another perk here is the inviting wrap-around porch with Adirondack chairs for admiring the scenery. And if there’s one word that describes Vermont, it’s ‘scenic.’ Winding roads along rolling hills allow for wonderful vistas of tumbling streams, lovely villages and superb trails amid thick woods and state forests. All in all, the farm is truly one of the most luxurious and special hotels in Vermont.

Weddings at Amee Farm are elegant and unique, held in either the barn or throughout the property’s stunning grounds. The farm’s owners are extremely hands-on, working with couples to create a rustically-chic celebration, many of which last three days. The estate can host a tented event on the grounds or an indoor affair in one of six refurbished barns, renovated with modern conveniences while still maintaining the rustic ambiance. Weddings are fully customizable, with a dedicated on-site staff, including a wedding coordinator, ensuring that every detail runs seamlessly. Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Amee Farm here »

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Foto Friday: Caption This Photo!

by Devon on December 14, 2012

Say, "Cheese!"

Sometimes in our travels, we come across some pretty cute creatures. And other times — we don’t. But this hungry brood of pigs at the Juniper Hill Inn in Vermont is definitely full of some lookers. Seeing their adorable faces scrunched up for the camera even makes us rethink our Christmas ham — and we love ham!

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below! Read More »

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When we visited Forty Putney, the snow was just starting to clear. But the next couple of months would be a beautiful time to visit as the leaves change.

When we visited Forty Putney, the snow was just starting to clear. But the next couple of months would also be a beautiful time to visit as the leaves change.

The temperatures are changing across the states and the cooler weather has us pining for New England — after all, there are few places that can do autumn much better. So we would love to be able to hit the road and head to Forty Putney Road Bed and Breakfast in Southern Vermont — just under a four-hour drive  from New York City — for a weekend getaway. This small, riverfront B&B with lovely natural scenery features fresh, understated decor and cozy accents (many rooms have fireplaces). A free two-course, gourmet breakfast is a highlight here, along with the intimate pub complete with a long list of local brews. No children under 12 are allowed at the inn, encouraging a romantic stay. Like most B&Bs, Forty Putney does not have a fitness center or spa. However, perks here include rooms stocked with free goodies like snacks and drinks, and an indoor Jacuzzi overlooking the grounds. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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Gone are the barbeques and beaches of summer, and in are the crisp air, pumpkin spices, and crunching leaves of fall. (Not that we’re complaining — our hair looks way better now.) Now that autumn is on the verge of its commencement, we’re ready to drive up to New England to wander around and soak in the vibrant folliage. But to take the trouble out of where to go, we’ve found the best locales  in the region for “leaf peepers,” as they are known, to explore the lush outdoors and curl up with some apple cider after with a loved one.

Visit: Providence, Rhode Island

The Christopher Dodge House has plenty of seasonal treats for Providence's fall guests

Stay: Christopher Dodge House

As one of New England’s most populated cities, Providence still has small town charm with its big city draws. Though the Rhode Island capital boasts its share of fine dining and high-end boutiques, Providence is the quintessential getaway for leaf peepers, filled with rolling, tree-lined walkways and lush park gardens. For the best view of the changing leaves, the Christopher Doge House sits in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of town, and is still just a short walk from neighboring green spaces like Roger Williams Park. After exploring the golden outdoors, guests can head back to the B&B and relax with a cup of hot tea and cookies around their in-room fireplaces, all before the early sun starts to set. Read More »

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When planning a destination wedding, the first locations that come to mind are likely postcard-perfect beaches in the Caribbean or some other exotic sandy setting. However, if you’re not quite ready to spend a fortune — or you don’t want to put that burden on your guests — there are tons of gorgeous, inexpensive (or shall we say, less expensive) destinations in the U.S. that make for memorable weddings. And it’s always nice a change of scenery! Just because you’re not Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner doesn’t mean you can’t have your own beautiful destination wedding, so we’ve put together a list of our favorite spots for a more affordable event to help you decide.

Destination #1: Vermont

Vermont, with its quaint villages and scenic landscapes, is probably your best bet for a back-to-nature inspired wedding. If you can totally see yourself posing for the pre- or post-wedding photos along tumbling streams, thick woodlands and gorgeous views, search no more. Its small, cozy inns and B&B’s are perfect for intimate weddings and small receptions, and the green meadows and steep mountains make for great backgrounds when saying your “I Do’s.” You will probably need a car or a shuttle to move your guests around, as Burlington’s is the only major airport serving the entire state, but the scenery and the vibe will prove to be well worth it.

Oyster’s Fave Value Wedding Spot: Swift House Inn

The Swift Room at the Swift House Inn; Mid Vermont, VT

Vermont's kitschy B&Bs are perfect venues for intimate weddings and family affairs.

The historic Swift House Inn is located within walking distance of downtown Middlebury, a picturesque New England town, with traffic-free streets lined by locally owned shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The hotel’s 20 rooms are spread throughout the Main House (formerly a Governor’s Mansion), the Carriage House, and the Gate House. Room decor varies, allowing guests to choose a room depending on personal style. Some rooms offer a classic New England B&B vibe with floral wallpaper, fireplaces, and four-poster beds, while others are more understated, with soft-toned walls and tasteful furniture. One of the inn’s highlights is its delicious and free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant, Jessica’s, is a popular destination for both guests and locals.

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Grounds at The Norwich Inn

Grounds at The Norwich Inn

The historic Norwich Inn — where President James Monroe and Dr. Seuss have both stayed — is a quaint, well-maintained inn with just 38 rooms. Rooms have a cozy New England feel, with floral wallpaper, Victorian antiques, and exposed brick, but they also offer modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Rooms are divided between the Main House, Ivy House, and Walker House, and vary both in size and decor. Though they’re not particularly upscale, they are certainly charming and the inn exudes a welcoming vibe with quaint grounds (leaf-covered in the fall, snow-covered in the winter), friendly innkeepers, and a spot right on Main Street in the quiet town of Norwich. While The Norwich Inn is popular with those visiting nearby Dartmouth College, it also attracts visitors for its on-site brewery, pub, and dining room. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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View of the Green Mountains at the Vermont Inn

An incredible mountain vista from Vermont Inn's lawn.

Last night, Hotel Impossible headed (way) up North to Vermont, the country’s fourth most-popular wedding destination — and home to the scenic Green Mountains. Located just outside of the ski town of Killington, the Vermont Inn is a cozy B&B that offers solid rates, cozy rooms, and of course, incredible views. But because the hotel had “absentee owners” — those who are not present on a regular basis — and those absentee owners just happened to manage their brother-in-law (who lives on property and is employed as its innkeeper), the Vermont Inn was struggling financially and emotionally. But when Anthony, Blanche, and the rest of the HI team show up, they mean serious business — and more importantly, help the hotel get business. Perhaps the most critical moment of last night’s episode is when the owners decided to focus on the Inn as a wedding venue — after all, plenty of people do get married up there. Find out what we learned about the biz (and loved, of course) the episode after the jump!

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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Some associate Boston with crooked old cobblestone streets, the American Revolution, and clam chowder. (Yum.) And it’s got all that. But those who work and play there know that it’s also filled with sprawling convention centers, progressive universities, and biotech research facilities. A forward-looking town with an eye on the past, Boston combines the charm of a New England harbor town with the mindset of a bustling, modern metropolis. And sometimes, its non-stop vibe can seriously wear a resident out. So if you’re a Bostonian looking for a weekend escape, why not hop in the car and head to a not-too-far destination where you can find some R&R? Get your bags packed and set your GPS: We’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: Boston to Kennebunkport, ME

  • Total Driving Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 85.4 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You want to bask in the sun like a quality Kennedy or Bush family member would.
Life's a beach.

Life's a beach in luxe Kennebunkport.

A Jonathan Adler-designed guestroom at the Tides Beach Club? Sign us up.

A Jonathan Adler-designed guestroom at the Tides Beach Club? Sign us up.

Enjoy the view from Adirondack chairs at The Colony Hotel.

Enjoy the view from Adirondack chairs at The Colony Hotel.

Originally settled in 1610, Kennebunkport was a small fishing village that experienced an economic boom during the shipbuilding era. But it wasn’t until after the Civil War that Kennebunkport became what it is today: a summer retreat for wealthy families. In fact, former President George W. Bush’s great-grandfather’s compound, Walker’s Point, is located in Kennebunkport, and both he and his father (also former President Bush) have hosted foreign dignitaries at the summer home. What, you may ask, attracts the elite crowds to this Northeastern haven during the summer months? The private-feeling beaches are the area’s main draw and activities such as kayaking, whale-watching, golfing, and fishing are also popular pastimes. If you’re looking for a cozy hotel that’s also spot-on chic, The Tides Beach Club is the perfect choice. Fully renovated in 2011, the hotel’s vibe is South Beach-esque and trendy while maintaining a quaint New England feel. Two suites designed by Jonathan Adler, spectacular ocean views, and a contemporary restaurant with a sophisticated menu are just some of the upgrades that came with the renovation. For a more budget-conscious option, stay at The Colony Hotel. This historic hotel has a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs, attracting families with its heated saltwater swimming pool and private sandy beach.

  • Top Driving Tip: Don’t forget about all the neighboring areas: Kennebunkport is a great launching point for visiting nearby towns like Ogunquit — known for its long sandy beaches and as being Maine’s biggest LGBT destination — or York, to see the famous Neddick Lighthouse.

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