by Peter Hines, originally published at snowsportsna.com
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire is the setting of New Hampshire’s largest ski and snowboard resort. It is also home of the Omni Mount Washington Hotel. Together they offer arguably one of the best ski and stay experiences in the East.
If you are looking for a stay in a grand hotel that is over century old, steeped in history, yet well-maintained and cruising wide trails during the day and night the Omni Mount Washington Resort (OMWR) is the place for you.
The Mount Washington Hotel
Even though Bretton Woods is the largest ski area in New Hampshire, it has a modest vertical drop of 1,500 feet. The trail and lift layout is such that one can easily traverse peaks to access almost all areas without much poling or skating.
The mountain operations staff really knows how to lay down the snow and groom it with natural snow for an enjoyable experience. We found some stellar early morning corduroy on the “groomers” like Range View and Big Ben, Bigger Ben and Coos Caper. The many wide trails with gentle slopes make for a great on mountain experience. My favorite trails are Granny’s Grit and Herb’s Secret just below the top of the Zephyr Quad.
If you don’t get enough runs in during the day, Bretton Woods offers night skiing off of the Bethlehem Quad.
The OMWH is one of those grand hotels of a bygone era where many of the rich and famous of the late 1800s would spend their summers. There is so much history that goes along with the Hotel, that you could easily spend an awe filled day just walking around. The Historic Hotel Tour, which is offered daily, provides insight into the visionaries who built this first of its kind hotel and buildings, and the later rehabilitation, should not be missed. There are rumors that a ghost rooms the grounds too.
Even though the Hotel is over a century old it offers many modern amenities including several very nice restaurants, a spa, heated indoor and outdoor pools and workout facilities.
Located about two and half hours from Boston and about six and half hours from New York City on interstate highways the OMWR is a spectacular getaway experience. No five star resort in the East that is coupled with a snow sports venue can compare.
The Hotel itself is worth the trip. It boasts impressive views of Mount Washington, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, and rest of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Walking into the lobby of the hotel is an awe-inspiring experience. High ceilings, ornate furnishings and architecture, and Tiffany glass give the feeling of stepping back in time. In a sense you are.
Courteous staff are available to meet your every need from parking your car, carrying your bags, to checking your skis and board or shuttling you between the Hotel and the base lodge, or local restaurants.
After the shuttle drops you off in front of the Bretton Woods base lodge it is an easy walk to inside for booting up and getting ready to hit the slopes.
Immediately outside the base lodge three lifts are easily accessible. The Bethlehem Express Quad will take you almost to the summit Mt. Rosebrook. On a clear day the vista from any of the ski area’s peaks back over the valley floor and past the Mount Washington Hotel with the Presidential Range beyond is breathtaking. It has to be one of the prettiest views in the East!
A short run down to the Rosebrook Summit Express Quad will bring you to the summit where green and blue trails provide easy access to the back to the base, West Mountain and the rest of the 460 acres of skiable terrain.