We love snowboarding and splitboarding in southern VT because it’s easy to get to, it has tons of mountains to shred and plenty of awesome places to shack up for a night or two. We’re not really about reviewing hotels, Inns or other manners of accommodation, but we love companies with a story and A Stone Wall Inn in Windham, VT has a great story!
This is one of the coolest places I have ever stayed. Built in the 1970’s by architect Robert Shannon. It was (and still is) ahead of its time in terms of both form and function. It is super eco-friendly and every last detail has been well thought out.
The idea behind A Stone Wall Inn is to interact harmoniously with the environment. There are
south facing windows for solar heating. The rest of the heat is provided by wood stoves vented throughout the entire building. There are no individual thermostats, but the temperature is kept comfortable and there are plenty of cozy blankets on the bed should you catch a chill. The building materials are environmentally friendly wherever possible and many are reclaimed or salvaged from other local building projects.
There are 10 unique rooms on the property spread between two buildings. And when I say “unique” I do not just mean different from one another… I mean like no other room you have
seen before. The “main” building, the Long House hosts the office, lounge, breakfast area, 6 of the guest rooms, and a hot tub. The Corner House was being renovated when we were there, but it is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a full kitchen, great room, dining area and more, and you can rent out the whole thing.
There are signs EVERYWHERE at A Stone Wall Inn, and if you bother to read them, pretty much all of your questions are answered! Sean, the Inn Manager lives on the property and is very available. But when he is not in the office, there is a sign (told you) on the door so you know you have to wait for a bit. Waiting in the lounge is a pleasure. It is cozy, in a good way. The unconventional (again, in a good way) furnishings are enough to keep you engaged, there is internet access and some excellent eco-geared magazines to peruse.
We also love a “shop” dog. They have two. Ginger is a Golden Retriever/ Spaniel mix who sounds all sorts of tough behind a closed door, then you see her adorable face and wagging tail and there’s no chance of intimidation. The other pup, Henry did not make an appearance while we were there so I cannot comment on him other than he is a long-haired Dachshund and super cute according to his picture.
There is a lovely continental breakfast daily. The many gardens on the property provide fresh
ingredients whenever possible. Our room was right near the kitchen and the smell of fresh coffee being brewed was our cue that it was time to get moving. And when Sean baked zucchini bread the first morning, it was hard to wait until 8:30 to storm the kitchen! They are sensitive to food allergies if informed ahead of time. The zucchini bread was egg-free and there was gluten free cereal, and soy milk in the fridge for other needs. Love that!
Though A Stone Wall Inn is pet friendly, there are a couple of rooms that remain pet free for guests with allergies. A Stone Wall Inn is intended to be a couple’s retreat and the rooms do not accommodate cots for additional guests. There is wifi in the rooms and common areas, but cell service is spotty and there are no tv’s in the rooms. This sort of break from technology was refreshing (though we did use the internet while we were there.) TV was not missed and there really wasn’t anyone we needed to talk to on the phone.
Little details that we could really appreciate include liquid hand soap and a dispenser for shampoo and soap in the shower…why don’t more places do this?! It eliminates SO much waste! Have you ever thought of what happens to all of those soap bars that only get used once? All of the light bulbs are energy efficient, and there are double windows in some areas to prevent heat loss, just for a few examples.
There is also an abundance of really interesting art throughout along with plans to open a
gallery of sorts in a new building being constructed. Unique pieces are featured all over the place. Take the time to check them out! You are welcome to stroll around the property and wander into any of the rooms with open doors to see the other setups. You request the room you want when you make a reservation, so this is the perfect opportunity to scope out where you want to stay next time.
Though you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere when you are on the property, you are in reality not that far away from a good selection of “stuff”. We splitboarded at Timber Ridge the day we arrived and it was a whopping 5 minutes away from the Inn. Magic Mountain is less than 10 minutes away. Londonderry is about 15 minutes…there is plenty of snowboarding within a 30 minute radius…with Okemo, Stratton, and Bromley. There is also plenty of snowshoeing, XC skiing and hiking to be done too. And if that’s not exactly your thing…other options include cheese and beer tours, shopping and historical and cultural activities.
All of the profits from A Stone Wall Inn are dedicated to their sister, non-profit organization, The Fourth Corner Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to increasing awareness of the impact of man-made design on the environment as well as the impact of the environment on man-made design. We love a company dedicated to doing things differently for the right reasons. And we loved our time at A Stone Wall Inn. It was like being a guest in someone’s really cool house! Make yourself at home, settle in and enjoy your time there…you can thank us later.
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