10 Romantic New England Inns

A classic New England porch at Chebeague Island Inn, on Chebeague Island, a short ferry ride from Portland. Photo by Chebeague Island Inn
By Hillary Richard McNamara

Looking for a romantic weekend getaway? Whether your idea of romance is walking along a windswept cliff or through rolling hills of wildflowers, these New England inns are perfect summertime retreats.

Best of all, each of these inns in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont are a quick drive from major cities in the Northeast.

Photo Caption: A classic New England porch at Chebeague Island Inn, on Chebeague Island, a short ferry ride from Portland
A cottage at Castle Hill Inn overlooking Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island. Photo by Castle Hill Inn
What: Castle Hill was originally built in 1874 as a summer house for famous Swiss scientist and explorer Alexander Agassiz, who had decided that it was the perfect location to study marine animals. It became an inn after World War II, and in 2008 became the first Relais & Châteaux member in Rhode Island. The 35-room inn is on a private 40-acre peninsula, complete with a private beach and walking trails.

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

How To Get There: The inn is on Ocean Drive in Newport. It is 38 miles from Providence, RI and 78 miles from Boston.

When:
Summer is the busiest season, with the annual Newport Folk Festival in July and the Newport Jazz Festival in July-August. May through early June and September through October are quieter. 

How Much: Room rates start at $425 per night, including gourmet breakfast and exclusive afternoon tea.

More Info: www.castlehillinn.com

Photo Caption: A cottage at Castle Hill Inn overlooking Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island
Junior Suite Guest Room at the Chebeague Island Inn, on Chebeague Island -- a short ferry ride from Portland. Photo by Kristin Teig Photography
What: If a windswept island is your idea of a romantic getaway, look no further than Chebeague Island Inn. The three-story inn is proud to stay unplugged -- meaning no phones or televisions in any of its 21 rooms (although there is free WiFi). Couples can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, including a sunset cocktail cruise, visiting one of Maine's rare sandy beaches, island lobster bakes, seal- and whale -watching, sea kayaking, or just relaxing with a drink on the inn's wraparound porch. The inn was originally built in the 1880s. It burned down in the early 1900s and was rebuilt in the 1920s.

Where: Chebeague Island, the largest island in Maine's Casco Bay (but still only 3.5 miles by 1.5 miles)

How to Get There: The inn is 15 minutes off the mainland. Guests can take a water taxi or a ferry from Portland on Casco Bay Lines or from Yarmouth on Chebeague Transportation Company.

When to Go:
The inn is open from May to October.

How Much: Room rates start at $180 per room per night. Weekend rates start at $225. This includes a full breakfast, afternoon tea, and the use of all amenities (including bicycles, tennis equipment, lawn games, and fishing gear). From June 16 to Sept. 15, a two-night minimum stay is required.

More Info: www.chebeagueislandinn.com

Photo Caption: Junior Suite Guest Room at the Chebeague Island Inn, on Chebeague Island -- a short ferry ride from Portland
The exterior of Winvian in Morris, Connecticut. Photo by Winvian
What: For couples who dream of a private cottage in the woods without sacrificing luxury, Winvian is the perfect choice. This Relais & Châteaux property has 18 cottages on its 113 acres, along with a spa and multiple dining areas. When the Smith family bought the main house in 1948, they renamed it Winvian after Winthrop Smith (a founding partner of Merrill Lynch) and his wife Vivian (a model). Today, Winvian gives couples a chance to get back to nature in a secluded yet glamorous fashion.

Where: Morris, in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills

How to Get There: Winvian is off of Route 109. It is 33 miles from Hartford, 102 miles from New York City, and 134 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
Since Winvian is located on the 4,000-acre White Memorial Preservation, autumn is especially spectacular. For peak foliage, book in September or October.

How Much: Guests at Winvian can opt for à la carte or inclusive pricing. À la carte rates start at $499 per night and include a cottage for two plus breakfast. Inclusive rates start at $2,599 and include a cottage for two for two days, a five-course dinner and wine pairing, champagne and chocolate upon arrival, and two 80-minute massages.

More Info: www.winvian.com

Photo Caption: The exterior of Winvian in Morris, Connecticut
A room in the Cliffside Inn in Newport, Rhode Island. Photo by Cliffside Inn
What: History lovers will appreciate Cliffside Inn's many incarnations. It was originally built around 1876 as a family vacation house for Governor Thomas Swann of Maryland. From 1987 to 1901, the home was converted into a prestigious boys' school. In 1907, cotton merchant Andrew Turner and his socialite wife bought the property and turned it back into a beloved summer home. The current owners bought the historic inn in 2010. It was completely renovated and reopened in August 2011. The inn now has 13 rooms in the original main house and three in the Seaview Cottage, steps away from Newport's famous Cliff Walk.

Where: Newport, Rhode Island

How to Get There: The inn is on Seaview Avenue in Newport. The inn is 53 miles from Providence and 74 miles from Boston.

When:
Summer and fall are the high seasons, with rates varying accordingly. In general, the best months to visit Newport are from April through November.

How Much: Rates start at $180 per night, including breakfast, wine and hors d'oeuvres. Summer and fall rates start at $248 per night.

More Info: www.cliffsideinn.com

Photo Caption: A room in the Cliffside Inn in Newport, Rhode Island
The exterior of Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Photo by Jumping Rocks
What: Back in the 1780s, the Chesterfield Inn was a stop-off on a major New Hampshire stagecoach route. These days, privacy is of the utmost importance at the inn, which boasts that couples never have to leave their room if they don't want to. Most of the rooms have private balconies or patios with dining tables, where meals can be served in seclusion. However, if you do choose to venture outside and explore the 10 acres of private land and gardens (designed by famous landscape architect Gordon Hayward), it's unlikely you'll run into anyone else.

Where: West Chesterfield, New Hampshire

How to Get There: The inn is off of Route 9, between Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT. It is 78 miles from Manchester and 114 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
Summer and fall are the busiest seasons.

How Much: Room rates start at $149 per night. This includes a full breakfast (which can be delivered in-room), and afternoon cookies with tea or coffee.

More Info: www.chesterfieldinn.com

Photo Caption: The exterior of Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire
The Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness, New Hampshire. Photo by The Manor on Golden Pond
What: Anyone familiar with the Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda film On Golden Pond will instantly recognize the scenery around the The Manor on Golden Pond. The inn's own history is just as romantic as its surroundings. Wealthy Englishman Isaac Van Horn instantly fell in love with the area and decided to build an English-style manor in 1907. The home became known for its elaborate celebrations, but when Van Horn's beloved wife died, he abandoned the property. The manor has been an operating inn since the 1950s. Now, the Manor on Golden Pond is part boutique hotel, part English manor, and part country inn, putting a strong emphasis on its romantic and culinary offerings.

Where: Holderness, New Hampshire

How to Get There: The inn is off of I-93. It is 59 miles from Manchester and 110 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
Fall is the high season here, when the trees along Squam Lake change colors. To avoid crowds, book a stay in June or the first two weeks of September.

How Much: Rooms start at $235 per night, including breakfast and afternoon tea. The inn has two restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool, and courts for badminton and tennis.

More Info: www.manorongoldenpond.com

Photo Caption: The Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness, New Hampshire
The interior of Captain Fairfield Inn, Kennebunkport, Maine. Photo by Rare Brick
What: The Captain Fairfield Inn was built in 1813, on land Captain James Fairfield and his bride received as a wedding present. The sea captain's home is now a nine-room inn that has managed to preserve its early Federal period architecture while offering modern luxuries. The seasonally inspired breakfast and newly opened tasting room are locally renowned. The tasting room (available exclusively for guests) features craft beer selections and boutique wine pairings with local cheeses, smoked meats, and vegetables.

Where: Kennebunkport, Maine

How to Get There: The Captain Fairfield Inn is just off of Route 9. It is 31 miles from Portland, ME and 84 miles from Boston, MA.

When to Go:
To escape the crowds, visit in May or early June. September also offers the most consistent weather, but with fewer tourists than the summer months.

How Much: Rates start at $159 per night, including a gourmet breakfast, parking, afternoon snacks, and a 24-hour pantry.

More Info: www.captainfairfield.com

Photo Caption: The interior of Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine
The Victoria Room at Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont. Photo by Jumping Rocks
What: Rabbit Hill Inn is so dedicated to romance that even breakfast is served by candlelight. The inn's 19 rooms feature in-room fireplaces and massage tubs. Guests are free to roam the property's beautiful 15-acre surroundings and nearby 85-person village. At night, the inn provides its signature "candle glow" turndown service.

Where: Lower Waterford, Vermont, on the border of New Hampshire

How to Get There: Rabbit Hill Inn is on the corner of Route 18 and Lower Waterford Road. It is 87 miles from Burlington and 162 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
In the early summer months, the flowers are blooming, the trails are clear, and the weather is perfect. Fall is the high season.

How Much:
Room rates start at $120 per night, including a gourmet candelit breakfast, afternoon tea and pastries, gratuities, and turn-down service.

More Info: www.rabbithillinn.com

Photo Caption: The Victoria Room at Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont
The Great Room at Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Photo by Jumping Rocks
What: Bear Mountain Lodge was built with romance in mind. Innkeepers Michael and Carol Kerivan were so inspired by the log cabins they had seen on their honeymoon in Alaska that they decided to build their own on 26 private acres in the White Mountains. The lodge mixes the comfort of a classic inn with modern luxury, with room amenities like stone fireplaces, in-room Jacuzzis, and champagne and truffles.

Where: Bethlehem, a town in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The lodge is on New Hampshire's 100-mile scenic drive loop.

How to Get There: The lodge is on Route 10. It is 98 miles from Manchester, NH, and 150 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
July through October is the high season. Guests who enjoy winter activities will love the nearby Nordic and alpine skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. The inn has on-site snowshoe trails and complimentary snowshoes for guests.

How Much: Room rates start at $190 per night with a two-night minimum, including a two-course breakfast and access to a guest pantry with drinks, cookies, and brownies

More Info: www.bearmountainlodge.net

Photo Caption: The Great Room at Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, New Hampshire
A fireplace in The Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont. Photo by The Pitcher Inn
What: The Pitcher Inn initially opened as a lodge for wagon drivers passing through the local mill towns. In 1993, a devastating fire burned the inn to the ground, and in December 1997, the current Pitcher Inn opened. This Relais & Châteaux property focuses on the tranquility of its Green Mountains location. The inn is set on the edge of a river, in a picturesque village. Each of the 11 guest rooms has a different Vermont theme, and most have wood-burning fireplaces.

Where: Warren, in Vermont's Green Mountains

How to Get There: The inn is off of Route 100. It is 46 miles from Burlington and 203 miles from Boston.

When to Go:
The town of Warren hosts an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration each year. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy July and August at the Pitcher Inn, when the rivers are a little easier to swim in (temperature-wise).

How Much: Rooms start at $375 per night, including full breakfast and afternoon tea for two. 

More Info: www.pitcherinn.com

Photo Caption: A fireplace in The Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont
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