Castle Hill Resort And Spa
What We Love
- Library stocked with antique books has a full bar menu and live piano music
- Heated year-round outdoor pool and hot tub offer an idyllic retreat in the Vermont countryside
- Best of both worlds: The resort offers period decor and modern convenience
What To Know
- The property’s old elevator doesn’t work anymore, so you’ll have to take the stairs; request a room on a lower floor for easier access
- A free shuttle takes guests to Okemo Mountain Resort during ski season
- Walls are thin; light sleepers may want to bring ear plugs to guard against occasional hallway noises
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Turn-of-the-century living is preserved at Castle Hill Resort & Spa, an architectural gem built for future Vermont governor Allen M. Fletcher in 1905. Remarkably, it was the first home in Vermont to have electricity, and it’s filled with original storybook touches that hark back to a bygone era, including ornately carved gables on the stone building’s steep roof, Oriental carpets, wood-paneled walls, intricate plaster ceilings and a working antique grandfather clock in the lobby.
Bed and Bath
The accommodations in the castle feature period decor and antique furnishings, from grand four-poster beds to decorative brick fireplaces, but there are also modern conveniences such as flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges and coffeemakers. The bathrooms feature Aveda toiletries and are generally more quaint than luxurious, with antique fixtures that echo the vintage vibe of this historical property; some have deep clawfoot bathtubs. The one- and two-bedroom condos, which are in a separate building behind the castle, offer a decidedly more modern experience that’s great for families, with jetted tubs, fully equipped stainless steel kitchens and gas fireplaces.
An Aveda Concept Spa, the only full-service spa in the area, is located on the Castle Hill grounds in a 17th-century carriage house. Next to the spa is a year-round heated outdoor pool and hot tub ringed by lounge chairs. If you’re looking for a wellness fix, yoga and Pilates classes take place in the greenhouse by the pool. Après-ski, spend an hour among the antique books and cocktails in the castle’s elegant library, where the staff serves snacks and spirits (think espresso martinis, Sidecars and Kir Royales); some evenings a pianist provides entertainment. A prix-fixe three- or four-course menu is served in the wood-paneled dining room, where elevated presentation and excellent service enhance French-American gourmet fare crafted with Vermont-grown ingredients (think sweet potato gratin, Vermont sausage, grilled winter vegetables, brandy and apple demiglace); the best spot in the house is by the western windows, which offer postcard-perfect sunset views.
In the Area
A five-minute drive from Castle Hill, the four-season Okemo Mountain Resort, with its 18-hole championship golf course and 120 alpine ski trails, is a prime draw for guests. The beautiful drive to the Castle along scenic byway 103 is also an attraction in itself. And the antiquing here can’t be beat: Charming little antique shacks abound on the neighboring country roads, but many of these are private homes, so bring cash and a sense of adventure. In the Ludlow area, the casual and very popular Downtown Grocery serves an ever-changing menu scrawled on a large blackboard, with fresh ingredients from sustainable fish to meat cured in the restaurant’s cellar. Also nearby is Singleton’s General Store, an old-fashioned country shop that sells everything from guns to wool socks, with a wide array of homemade specialty foods such as sausages, smoked meats and famous Canadian bacon.
How to Get There
The beautiful castle and grounds are the real treat here. The pool was excellent, the staff very friendly and helpful. The rooms and common areas have a wonderful feel, and you feel like you've been transported to 100 years ago. The continental breakfast (which should be included for what you get) isn't anything special. I highly recommend taking a short 5 minute drive to The Hatchery in Ludlow, where you will be treated to an amazing breakfast (followed by excellent coffee at Java Baba's just down the road). Dinner at the castle is overpriced and underwhelming, so for dinner, take a 30 minute drive to Simon Pearce for an amazing dinner, which is worth every penny. Minus the food options, the castle's location is great, and the scenery a treat. It would get an excellent rating once the food issues are fixed. Also, being an older hotel, the beds creak quite loudly...I'll let you figure out the rest:) A romantic place to relax and truly enjoy your loved one.
We arrived early afternoon and were able to book massage appointments at the Spa. wonderful welcome at the front desk! All the staff members were very welcoming and friendly. Nancy and Beth did an excellent job and both my husband and I enjoyed our massages. Wonderful atmosphere in a historic building and terrific Aveda products. It was a lovely day, so sitting by the pool was a relaxing way to spend a few minutes after the spa. Thanks, Andy!
My husband and I just returned from a vacation at the Castle. It is our second home. I can't explain what continually attracts us here! I must say the main reason is the staff!!! We are treated like family! Andy, you have done an amazing job! We love the tranquility, friendship and all the amenities we receive here! Thank you Kierstan, Andy, Paula , Fonz , Lisa , Dianne , our housekeeper, Palmer and the entire staff for your kindness!!! Fonz, you are the best chef we have ever encountered!! See you in July!!!
In winter, I like to be outdoors. My sisters, not so much. So we decided on a spa weekend. This place was the perfect compromise.
We stayed at The Pointe, which is down the hill from the spa. Lovely and clean, they had super staff who could not be more helpful and I will totally be going back there.
But the spa .... just wonderful. I had a massage and facial and both were terrific. The whole thing is in a kind of big house, where you lounge on couches and sip water while you await your treatments. Quiet and peaceful. There’s a small gym which was perfect for a little Sunday morning sweat, and a dry sauna, also nice.
Outside the spa, there is a heated walkway to get to pool and hot tub. If you’re not doing spa treatments, you can access for a small fee. We soaked and swam and watched the snow fall and, really, just relaxed and talked and unwound. It was actually hard to leave and I’m already thinking ahead to my next visit.
I was sure that I booked a room with a bathtub, but was checked in to a room with a shower. I dialed “0” for front desk immediately to ask if we could upgrade for an extra pay to which I got a quick response that there was nothing available.
Next morning, we came down for continental breakfast around 8:30 AM and were told that it would cost us $11 or so per person, and if we want scrambled eggs, we would need to go to the Pointe. I said that we are fine with continental breakfast and would like to stay where we are. However, the staff member tried to convince us to go down the other building and have breakfast there. We stayed where we were and when we came to the table with pastries, everything was tightly wrapped in plastic, and I asked if is was for guests, and a staff member said "yes, please help yourself". Breakfast staff checked on us many times to see if are done yet and brought us the bill before we even finished our breakfast. To my experience, in the hotels which promote themselves as 4+ stars, the staff normally checks if you need more coffee or else, but we served ourselves starting from unwrapping breakfast dishes and finishing with paying for this kind of continental breakfast.
No available rooms, poor customer service made us to decide to leave the hotel 1 night earlier. To my surprise, front desk person said that we should check out at the Pointe. We drove down to the Pointe where a front desk person said that there are options available for us to stay, and that she could had given us a room with a bathtub. I said that I had made my decision to leave and that I should had been informed about the options when I called and asked for the upgrade the moment I checked in.
Two days after I called AmEx Travel and asked to refund me 1 night stay that had not use, but the hotel denied the refund referring to that they offered me options, and I did not take them. I asked to speak to a manager who was not there, and I was transferred to another person whom I told everything described herein hoping to get at least her understanding of why I decided to leave the hotel. Instead of being listened, I was attacked and blamed for wanting a better service. She said that there is no people at the castle to offer me options, and that I could had helped myself at the breakfast room…. And that that she was there at the desk what I was checking out and that she heard everything and said “Do you want to say that that my colleague is lying??” I never said that somebody lied and was extremely polite over the phone. Nobody ever said "sorry" for poor service or refunded money.
Other than the above described, the hotel is nice and clean.