Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant
What We Love
- A Vermont breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate: blueberry pancakes, fresh-baked muffins, oatmeal and more
- Truly unique activities: falconry school, off-road driving classes and Orvis Fly Fishing School are all within walking distance
- Rooms all have fireplaces and flat-screen TVs, and most have whirlpool tubs
What To Know
- This is a small inn, and after 11 p.m. there’s no staff on-site (an innkeeper can be reached by phone)
- The term “Suite” is used very loosely, as some are regular rooms with no extra sitting area
With its gabled good looks and butterscotch paneling, the 20-room Reluctant Panther resembles a supersized dollhouse, a brick-and-mortar slice of the Americana. Originally a colonial tavern dating back to the 1800s, a 2005 fire and subsequent revamp have garnered it a host of modern must-haves (flat-screen TVs, spa tubs) as well as an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant. Add the ambience people come to Vermont for in the first place, and a spot on a quiet residential street (just a few minutes from the Bromley ski resort), and this place is the quintessential New England escape.
Bed and Bath
Cozy guestrooms have a classic B&B style with just enough mod cons. All have least one gas or wood fireplace, a large LG flat-screen TV, free WiFi, a Keurig K-Cup machine and a marble-clad bathroom (where you can unwind in a large soaking tub with Gilchrist & Soames spa goodies).
The inn’s award-winning restaurant is a sedate space of pumpkin-colored walls, royal purple curtains and views of Mount Equinox. Head chef Jonathan Cox is obsessive about cooking local finds, so much of the menu is the fruits of his partnership with the Vermont Fresh Network — such as the farmstead cheese plate (with gooey berry compote) and the succulent duet of duck leg and sausage, with acorn squash and sweet-and-sour slaw.
How to Get There
Manchester, VT is a lovely little city, but our stay at The Reluctant Panther was icing on the cake. We had a small suite that was beautifully decorated in keeping with the atmosphere and architecture of Manchester. There was a 4 poster bed and a fireplace, which, due to my asthma, I was unable to use. The service was impeccable--friendly and warm without being obsequious. We especially appreciated the quiet and privacy that you could not expect in your standard issue chain hotel. We were there in snowy March, but the grounds must be magnificent in summer.
Breakfast was included with the room and it was completely home cooked and delicious. Even the baked goods were made on premises. We did not have dinner there, so we cannot comment.
We highly recommend this hotel and will definitely stay there again.
We planned a three day stay in Manchester VT around a need to experience the Silver Fork restaurant, and our choice of accommodations was absolutely perfect. It was mud season up North so, when we weren't driving around the charming town of Manchester, we spent a lot of time enjoying the quiet beautiful room that we booked. And, the restaurant at this location (full breakfast in the morning) and dinner, offered five star meals. This is a gem!
We spent 2 wonderful nights at the Reluctant Panther Inn to celebrate our wedding anniversary in March and could not have imagined a more relaxing and enjoyable getaway. We booked a special internet discount rate about a week or two ahead of time but when we arrived we were upgraded to a gorgeous suite with two fireplaces! Happy Anniversary! It was beyond lovely. The breakfasts at the Inn were delightful and our morning server gave us helpful tips to fill our lazy days poking about Manchester, VT.
We were given directions to the JK Adams shop that sold the long, wooden, paddle-style cheese board that was used to serve our cheese plate appetizer at dinner the night before, and recommended the Above All Vermont shop where we found new soap dishes, woven “soap-raisers,” and artisan soaps to rest on them. We enjoyed a visit to the Northshire Bookstore in town, the Tilting at Windmills gallery - filled with so many remarkable works of art, and did a little shopping at a few of the outlet stores.
We had a delightfully simple soup & salad lunch at one of the red-checkered tables at Al Ducci’s Italian Pantry whose friendly owners we’d met at a bar the evenng before. The light lunch was perfect after a late breakfast of Eggs Benedict and fresh baked goods at the Inn, but somehow we found room for one of the tempting cookies at checkout. Dinner at the Reluctant Panther Restaurant was wonderful and relaxing. We had heard about it’s award-winning chef when visiting the Eileen Fisher Outlet and we were not disappointed. There is something especially relaxing about having a delightful dinner at the place you are lodging and knowing that when you wander back to your room the bed covers will have been turned back and yet another special delicious treat will be waiting on the bed stand! Perfect!
Our fifth time returning to the Reluctant Panther. We stayed one night and had dinner at the Panther. The room was perfect with a nice fireplace and king bed. The local pheasant entree at dinner was amazing. Our waiter Lennie was fascinating to talk to and provided service above and beyond. Breakfast was also fabulous and again the waitstaff was exceptional . The front desk people were so friendly and helpful. We will definitely return again.
Couldn’t have had a better experience. Everyone was super helpful. Can’t say enough good things, will definitely be back soon. We had our 8 month old son with us and he had a blast as well. Thanks again!