Maybe I am jaded, too much travel to too many wonderful places, but rarely do resorts live up to over the top hype. So I flew up to Vermont with trepidation to visit the much touted Twin Farms.
Additionally, I am not really a "nature girl" so promises of fly fishing lessons and campfires did not entice. But to the woods I went and I was absolutely floored. They got it; every little thing was perfect. Luxury was in the detail, food and design, but was always in proper character for the locale. Service was six-star but totally unobtrusive, which is a hard blend to master.
This Relais and Chateaux property sits on 300 acres and is about 90 minutes from Burlington airport. The transfer, with one of the long-time staff driving, was a highlight of the stay. There are 20 different types of rooms, including 10 free-standing cottages that are the most diverse and creative I have seen in U.S. or abroad.
The art collection, that they call "eclectic," is world-class. Your cottage may have a masterpiece by Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Frank Stella, Jim Dine, Deborah Butterfield, Milton Avery, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Sean Scully or Cy Twombly to name a few. Or your cottage may be designed by Peter Bohlin. Check the picture of "The Aviary" below. My cottage was a Moroccan-inspired fantasy, the Meadow, surrounded by lupine-filled meadows and certainly the place I will retire to write my first great novel.
Untrue to my instincts, I did hike and I loved it. Walking through the grounds and paths, barely manicured, but defined, took me out of my iPhone centric world and into theirs -- and isn't that the purpose? One note to mention -- and hard for me at first -- was that there is limited cell coverage. All living areas have strong wifi but no cell service. To compensate, all phone calls on their land lines are free -- including international. They hope to have cell coverage soon. But may I suggest, it was nice without it too.
Food, of course, was wonderful. Locally sourced, beyond fresh -- their gardens are extensive -- and staff quickly learn your likes and preferences so my Diet Cokes appeared wherever I went. Wines were plentiful and well matched and the bar is always open. Everything is included or beyond inclusive as they say.
I would return, anytime, which is something I rarely want to do. They set a new standard, both in refining the rustic experience and in their service and general approach to meeting the demands of clients -- and hypercritical, high strung, travel writers.
This article was originally published last month on the site A Luxury Travel Blog.
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