CHASING THE MAP

The Mount Washington Hotel – Grand In Every Sense

A stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort and Spa is not just a visit. It’s an experience; one that begins the second you pull into the long driveway and see the hotel in all of it’s glory with Mount Washington as its backdrop. You instantly know you’ve arrived someplace special.

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And special it is. The Omni Mount Washington is one of the few “grand” hotels remaining in the White Mountains region.

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What’s a grand hotel? Here are some of the key features that I think you’ll find interesting to learn.

A grand hotel has an impressive setting which guarantees spectacular views (it does, the Mount Washington itself and a gorgeous, long veranda with comfortable wicker furniture in which to sit on).

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A grand hotel offers exceptional dining. The hotel boasts two Four Diamond Dining Rooms, both of which are a draw themselves, even without a hotel reservation.

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A grand hotel boasts a substantial lobby (and conservatory) with many areas to sit, socialize, eat, surf the web, and enjoy creative craft cocktails and beers.

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A grand hotel boasts history. Lots and lots of history. Throw in a scandal or two, even a ghost story, and you’ve got yourself a legendary hotel that people can’t wait to visit.

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My room for this stay was a corner vista room with a king size bed. This was a very spacious room, about 500-550 square feet. It was almost as large as my first apartment! Newly renovated, it had a sitting area with gas fireplace, several easy chairs, a desk and bed that was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept on ever. It would have been really easy to hole away in my room for the stay and bask in the comfort and luxury if there wasn’t so much else to see and do around the hotel.

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If you’re interested in the historical aspect, you’ll find no shortage of lore here. The hotel, built by NH native Joseph Stickney in 1902, has hosted all sorts of famous people, including Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Alfred Hitchcock, and John D. Rockefeller. The hotel is rumored to boast more than a few ghosts and was once featured on the show “Ghost Hunters.”

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The hotel offers a historic hotel tour twice daily, beginning at the grandfather clock, which itself played an important and historical part of the hotel. Beginning in 1902, the first guest of the season to arrive would wind the clock, and the last guest of the season would stop the pendulum on closing day, marking the end of the hotel’s season. This practice stopped in 2001 when the hotel became a year round destination.

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The hotel also boasts a truly world class spa, which I visited during my stay and enjoyed an amazing pedicure. This place is unrivaled by any other, and I highly recommend a visit while you’re here.

What’s known as “The Cave” can be found on the lower level of the hotel. Originally indoor squash courts, The Cave later underwent a renovation and operated during Prohibition as a speakeasy. Patrons drank their alcohol from tea cups while hotel employees kept watch for any officials entering the property. If that did occur, they emptied their tea cups of the banned drinks and refilled them with, of course, tea.

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The Cave is now a popular late night venue for music and sports, with a really cool bar serving up delicious cocktails. That night I enjoyed a few tasty rum punches, which was a fantastic way to end my evening.

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There’s also a variety of retail shops for adults and kids alike, a coffee and pastry shop with other goodies like ready to go s’mores kits for the outdoor fire pits, video game arcade, fitness center, golf courses, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools and spas…I could go on and on.

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Whether you’re on a romantic getaway with a significant other, a solo traveler for business or pleasure, or on vacation with the whole family, there’s plenty to do on this expansive and majestic property. It’s an experience unlike any other, and a hotel rich in grandeur and history that you must see in person for yourself. Once you do, I promise you’ll be hooked like I was!

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