The Pitcher Inn
What We Love
- The two-bedroom suites in the barn are perfect for families
- Hybrid bikes, canoes, sleds, and snowshoes are all complimentary
- Dining on the terrace overlooking the river
- Everything you buy at the old-fashioned general store across the road can be charged to your room
What To Know
- Not all rooms have fireplaces
- There’s no gym, but guests can visit one nearby for free
- All rates include a country breakfast and afternoon tea in the library
A white-clapboard house that started life as a resting place for wagon drivers is now a charming blend of contemporary and Victorian elements with enough modern conveniences—WiFi, Nespresso machines—to keep you comfy for days. The Pitcher Inn has just 11 rooms and suites, so it’s as intimate as a B&B, but with the kind of dining (think locally sourced seasonal produce magicked into creative gourmet dishes) you’d find in a top-notch hotel. Under-floor heating, soft bathrobes, and soaking tubs are all designed to keep you warm and cozy during chilly Vermont winters. Each room has a theme: the Ski room is decked out with branches, leather club chairs, and antique skiing paraphernalia; the School room has colorful murals and a lab table repurposed into a desk; and the Trout room boasts a collection of wooden oars and its fair share of sporting prints. It’s a Relais & Châteaux property, so the service is always up to snuff, but the country aesthetic and plethora of outdoor activities let you think of yourself as an adventurer, even while you’re sampling wine and downing foie gras.
In the Area
The village of Warren is small and picturesque, with a charming general store that sells everything from freshly baked pastries to craft beer to kids toys. Warren is part of the Mad River Valley, a hotbed of outdoor sports from cycling to swimming (in an actual “swimming hole”) to skiing at one of the three nearby resorts: Killington, Sugarbush, and Stowe. Hiking is especially popular in late September and October, when leaf peeping is at its best. Day trips are easy—you can reach Burlington in an hour and Woodstock in just a bit more —but lovers of beautiful river views, decadent afternoon teas, and long baths might want to stay close to home.
How to Get There
This is a beautiful old hotel on the stream in Warren, centrally located in Vermont, with easy across-the-street access to the Warren Store with one of the best bakeries and delis in this part of the world.
Unfortunately the hotel needs a little bit of a tuneup as it is showing a few signs of age. The flooring creaks and needs refinishing, the small section of cobblestoned road outside needs sand to be added to prevent it being a loud rumble strip at night as cars drive over it, and other minor matters need tuning for it to become a great hotel again.
If you want to avoid noise from the road, pick a room facing the creek. I would not suggest staying in the lodge room as it is quite noisy at night.
The reason for a 3 star rating instead of a 4 is due to the little things: water not placed at bedside tables at night, towels not all replaced, shampoo and other amenities not replenished, orders for food to be delivered late at night forgotten, etc.
In addition, the lack of choices on the menu for dinner would make this place tiring after a couple of days. Given the very large kitchen and the fact that many if not all of the baked goods come from the Warren Store, you would think there would be more options on the menu.
The final disappointment was not having a fire in the room. “Because it is over 55 degrees the fireplaces don’t draw the smoke up properly” was the reason why we we were told we shouldn’t have a fire made in our room. However, even in late August the rooms get cold at night, and with the heat not on in the building it was downright uncomfortable.
A disappointing stay for a Relais class hotel.
We toured New England for 3 weeks. Pitcher Inn was part of many hotels we tried. The first important disappointment is that they did not inform us at booking time that the restaurant would be closed for the 2 nights we stayed there. Part of the experience of Relais Chateaux is for its gastronomy, it would have been fair or even honest to let us know. The rest was OK, but not really justifying the much higher price than any other lodging we went to, especially when things looked really quiet. Comfort is 4 stars, price is 5 stars.
Average is only to be fair, because it isn’t poor. Rooms are nice and the staff is friendly and helpful. BUT this is not a Relais and Chateaux. Very much over priced for the product it delivers. Sited on a street location without any charm whatsoever. Kitchen doesn’t achieve its aspirations. AC didn’t work in a heat wave. No one checked after we complained, citing global warming until hours later, when we complained again. Restaurant closed 2 days a week. TV could not be operated by anyone over 16. Fire alarm in the middle of the night an no one from management was present for at least 20 minutes. Additionally, they charge a substantial service fee and then expect tips for included services. Probably the best hotel in the area, but we are not returning.