The Wentworth is a Hideaway
for the Truly, Madly, Deeply in Love
|There are plenty of "puppy love" places in New England--so-called romantic inns with frou-frou eyelet bed linens, floral-patterned draperies, carefully scattered stuffed animals, tight-for-two Jacuzzis and communal breakfast tables. They're perfect for quick, romantic escapes for those in the throes of infatuation.|
But when your love is deep, mature, passionate, evolved... when time to focus solely on the person who makes your life complete is precious and scarce... the setting you seek is more sophisticated, more sensual, more seductive. The Wentworth, an historic, "baby grand" hotel in Jackson, New Hampshire, offers just the right atmosphere for the truly, madly, deeply in love.
Owner Fritz Koeppel purchased the property in 1991 and began a process of enlarging and renovating the inn's guest rooms, transforming them into warm and inviting hideaways for couples. About half of the 51 rooms--mostly those in the smaller, outlying cottages within the resort complex--now feature king-sized four-poster or sleigh beds, gas fireplaces that provide a toasty glow with the flick of a switch, hardwood floors, Oriental rugs, cozy sitting areas, a VCR or DVD player and television, surround-sound stereo, private bath and either a private balcony with a hot tub for two (pictured at left) or an in-room, oversized, sunken, mirrored whirlpool tub. The colors are muted and earthy--gold, deep scarlet, olive, plum--and small touches, such as the bath salts hand-made by Front Office Manager Ellie Murphy, will help you to feel at home.
You may be perfectly content to stay ensconced within your enchanting enclave, but there are plenty of reasons to venture out. The inn boasts an 18-hole, PGA-rated golf course; an outdoor heated pool; clay tennis courts and access to miles of cross-country ski trails. Several downhill ski areas are within close driving distance, as are the always-alluring outlet shops in North Conway and the superlative scenic driving experience of the Kancamagus Highway. Hiking, fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and ice skating are also among the recreational activities that draw visitors to the White Mountains.
Meal Plan Packages include breakfast and dinner at an intimate, candlelit table in The Wentworth's dining room, where menus take every advantage of locally grown produce and regional food products. The dining room and pub are located in the original 1869 Thorn Mountain House built by Joshua Trickey as a wedding gift for his daughter, Georgia, and her husband, General Marshall Wentworth, who returned from leading Union forces during the Civil War ready for the peace and tranquility offered by the Mount Washington Valley. Over time, the complex, which came to be known as Wentworth Hall, grew into a self-sustaining grand resort that could accommodate 400 guests and employees. During the grand hotel's heyday in the 1920s, 40 trains arrived in Jackson daily, bringing vacationers lured by the natural beauty of the White Mountains.
Photos and stories from The Wentworth's past are showcased inside the renovated lobby and on the sweeping front porch of the main building. Koeppel, a Swiss native and experienced hotelier, has succeeded in honoring the legacy of the grand hotel while updating it to reflect the grace, style and amenities travelers of today expect of a first-class inn.
If it's not a romantic rendezvous for two that brings you to Jackson, The Wentworth also offers a variety of other accommodations including standard and superior rooms (pictured at left), some with claw-foot tubs, in the main building; seasonal condominium rentals and even the four-room Amster building, which has a common room with a towering fieldstone fireplace and a courtyard with a sauna and hot tub--a perfect choice for a group of friends or a small corporate retreat.
If you're going...
Location: The Wentworth is located on Route 16A in the center of Jackson Village, New Hampshire, about 2-1/2 hours from Boston and 6-1/2 hours from New York City.
Dining: The dining room is open to the public and worth visiting for a special dinner, even if you're staying elsewhere in Jackson or North Conway. Reservations are a good idea.
For rates, special package information and reservations: Call 603-383-9700 or toll-free, 800-637-0013, or visit The Wentworth's Web site, where you can see an image of each guest room.
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Photographs by Kim Knox Beckius, (c) 2002, licensed to About.com, Inc.