What We Love
- Locavore menus: Vermont-made cheddar cheese and maple syrup, chicken that was raised one town away, produce fresh from a nearby farm
- The 700 acres are made for walking; entire resort is a Certified Audubon Sanctuary
- Incredible sunset views over Lake Champlain toward the Adirondacks
What To Know
- Many activities, including biking and boat rides, are an extra fee
- No TVs in the rooms
- The scene here is low-key and relaxed, though the bar at the Red Mill restaurant stays open ’til midnight
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
On a winding road that ends at Lake Champlain, Basin Harbor Club is a sprawling resort of cottages and guesthouses clustered around a harbor. With tennis courts, a championship golf course and a private airstrip, it’s a preppy scene — we’re talking coats and ties each evening for men 12 and over in the main dining room — without a stuffy attitude. Visitors bring their dog, their kids or both and relish the only-in-Vermont air of refined chaos and downright cheerful surroundings.
Bed & Bath
The 74 cottages provide a true Vermont home-away-from-home, with pattern-loving bedrooms (or two or three), a living room, kitchenette and deck or porch. Each one is unique, from the layout and the furnishings to the lake views and size of your screened-in porch. In the main lodge, Historic Guest Rooms are on the small side at 200 square feet, but have expansive views of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, the award-winning flower gardens or the golf course.
Most guests stay and play at the resort all day. Each morning a list of activities is handed out near the main dining room, cruise ship–style. There are exercise classes at the gym and guided hikes, pampering spa treatments, boat rides, bonfires, bingo games, bike rentals and much more. The kids area is wildly popular, keeping campers busy with scavenger hunts and crafts and swimming. And then there’s the water. A diving board dares you to jump in the lake, and a big floating trampoline makes it fun to stay out there all day. You can rent paddle boats and kayaks, go waterskiing or take a banana boat ride. On the dining front, choose from hearty meat-heavy entrees in the main dining room; the more casual Red Mill restaurant for burgers and grilled dishes; or bumper buffet fare in the seasonal Ranger Room.
In the Area
For a dose of retail therapy and city action, head due north to Burlington, also on Lake Champlain, or get away from it all on a self-guided hike along any of the lakeside paths. Kids love the trip to Shelburne Farms, a bucolic working farm where you can milk a cow, collect eggs, watch cheese being made and buy fresh produce. Or, since the entire resort is a Certified Audubon Sanctuary, stay onsite and attend one of the frequent talks and classes at the nature center.
How to Get There
First time visitor to VT so i was at a loss on where to stay. We had promised ourselves a trip to Lake Champlain after seeing a TV program highlighting the lake and its history and finally got the chance in June 2018.
We got an excellent deal on this hotel and knew very little about it other than the photo's online and the reviews here on Trip Advisor.
After a long 5 hour drive we arrived mid afternoon in glorious sunshine and drove through the stone pillars indicating we had arrived at the Basin Harbor Resort.
Pulling up to the entrance you are immediately thrown back in time, clinging Ivy over the entrance, the old screen doors and friendly smile from a gentleman holding the doors open for you all reminded me of perhaps a better time....
Small check-in desk was efficient and accommodating, we decided to stay in the main lodge, there are multiple accommodation options but for the 2 nights we were there this seemed like the best option.
We had rooms on the second and third floors, the second floor room had access to a small verandah that overlooked the Basin, the third floor room was on the corner and so had views of the Basin and the golf club but no verandah..
Both rooms were small but very nicely decorated, tasteful and calming art on the walls, minimal bathrooms that were tight but functional and all very clean.
Walls are a little thin, but with no TV's in the rooms, the noise isn't really an issue, we found most people here were like us, looking for a quiet getaway and a break from technology.
Of course, we were there prior to school vacation so i'm sure the noise level increases as more families arrive.
The adjacent golf course looked in great shape, i'd love to go back just to play a round.
Everything is a short walk, the marina across the basin has bicycle as well as motorboat, yacht and various other water sport item's available for rent.
We opted for the Lake Champlain boat cruise, an informative 90 minuted tour narrated by the local boat captain, extremely enjoyable, so much history!
The small bar in the hotel was accommodating if not huge in selection of beers, mainly VT brewed offerings, but that was fine.
The restaurant on site is shooting for a fine dining experience and delivers on many levels, beautiful place settings, excellent service, small well prepared menu and an actual dress code on weekends (gentlemen to wear suit coats/blazers) that i wish more places in the city insisted on this.
The food was very good, not excellent, but very good, shrimp starter was fresh, my lobster ravioli although fresh was a little bitter, perhaps the black garlic contributed to this, the steak was perfect and was presented very carefully, all in all, a very pleasant dining experience.
Breakfast buffet was excellent, maple sausage, bacon, eggs and omelette's made to order, fresh fruit, cereal, potato's and of course, pancakes and VT maple syrup!
The staff (with the exception of the girl making the made to order eggs and omelette's in the dining room who looked like she really didn't want to be there, shame really) were amazing.
I really can't praise the staff enough, front desk were always quick to greet you when you passed by, the bartenders were engaging and quick to serve, the wait staff in the restaurant were some of the best i've ever seen, anywhere in the world including some 5 star hotels in major cities, but the pièce de résistance is the view across the basin onto Lake Chaplain, beautiful, simply beautiful.
All in all i'm in love with the Basin Harbor Resort and i'm not alone, i hear many families go there every year, the same time, the same cabin and i'm not surprised, if i had a group of folks looking for a nice getaway, this would be in my top 5.
Was there for a wedding. They did a marvelous job. Breakfast buffet service was nicely varied. All rooms are unique. Numerous activities readly available including croquet, badminton, tennis, horse shoes, water sports, volleyball and golf. Quiet, tranquil setting. Kind of has a "Dirty Dancing" vibe to it.
Basin Harbor seems to have upped its game. It has always been wonderful which is why we always go back, rent the same waterfront cottage for five visits. This time everything seemed fresher. The paint, the service, the thoughtful touches, the food at Red Mill, the ambiance all seemed spruced up. Maybe it was Spring instead of Fall but nonetheless we could not fault anything in our two night three day stay. Granted Ardelias had not opened for the dinner season but Red Mill held its own compared with other years when it had been a little disappointing. We loved the walking trails, we biked, we played tennis and watched people play that game with the small white ball and an assortment of clubs 😉 Thank you to all the employees from all the countries. See you next year
I first went to BHC as a five year old. For 50 years, my family has been frequently this lovely establishment. It is the perfect destination for a family gathering. We all have our own cottages along Lake Champlain, which is great for privacy, but we gather for meals, golf and lakefront time.
This was an amazing family vacation for a family of 5. We have our active and independent boys ages 10 and 9 and our baby age 1 at the time.
We wanted an all inclusive resort with beautiful scenery, family friendly, kids activities, and choice of restaurants. This resort impressed and wowed us with so many extras. The staff who is from all over the world treated you like family, remembered names and made a point to come over and say hi to the kids. The food was delicious, and always had such a variety from which to choose. There were daily and nightly activities on land and on beautiful Lake Champlain everyday that you could sign up for in the lobby. We biked everywhere around property and on the hiking trails. And we felt secure allowing the boys to go off on their own or participate in the kid club activities without our supervision.
There are generations of families who stay at this resort every year and grow up going there the same week every year. It's truly a family resort for those who like good old fashioned family fun for all ages.