More about Bretton Arms Country Inn
The grand Mount Washington Hotel
The historic Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods is where in in 1944 the world leaders came together in order to discuss the monetary and economic environment of post WW2. The meeting resulted in the foundation of the IMF and the World Bank, otherwise known as the Bretton Woods institutions.
The hotel offers spectacular views of the White Mountain, the highest peak in New England and often snow-covered.
Our stay was fantastic, the hotel staff extremely friendly and the views from our hotel room unbeatable. The only negative point was the jacket requirement for dinner.
Mount Washington II
I personally do not feel that other resorts can even compete with Mt. Washington as far as being grand and in delivering pomp on such an immense scale.
When Joseph Stickney (railroad tycoon) conceived the idea of this hotel, he set a new standard for luxury. There were electric lights, an indoor pool, private baths for each room, Tiffany lamps, and elegant chandeliers--this was all unique and extravagant for the times. How sad to know that Joseph Stickney died just one year after his creation opened to the public. Stickney's widow remarried to a prince--Prince Carolyn Aymon de Faucigny-Lucinge. Sadly, he died soon after the marriage! But, the widow continued to run the hotel.
Currently, a consortium of investors owns The Mount Washington Hotel resort. They have certainly updated and renovated the place, making it even more splendid. They brought in the live orchestra for dinner and the authentic prohibition speak-easy lounge called The Cave.
All along the Public Spaces, you are able to read about the history of this great, old hotel and how the Italian Craftsmen were imported (about 1000 +) to build and complete all the work here. It's fascinating. A personal experience that our family had will give you an idea of the staff and guests at the Mount Washington Hotel.
When we were there, Allan and I wanted to play golf, but our daughter Jill was too young to leave alone for four hours. Thus, we talked to a staff member who suggested leaving her with one of their most loyal and long-time guests--an 80 year-old-woman who had been coming here each year since she was six years old! The woman was quite the swimmer, so she volunteered to take Jill swimming in the indoor pool. They spent several hours enjoying the pool, playing pool volleyball, etc. After the swim and clean up, the two of them enjoyed afternoon tea together!
It's a memory for our family that lingers...Kindness, thoughtfulness, and loyalty. These attributes describe the staff and the guests.
Bretton Woods -- Mount Washington Hotel
Opened in 1902, the Mount Washington Hotel is in Carroll, NH, but the area is generally known as Bretton Woods after the local ski resort of the same name. The list of famous guests this hotel has hosted is long and distinguished, including President Warren Harding, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, , oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, baseball player Babe Ruth, inventor Thomas Edison, author Carl Sandburg, director Alfred Hitchcock, and businessman Joseph Kennedy.
The hotel's most famous and far-reaching event was the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. Near the end of World War II, delegates from 44 nations gathered to determine the rebuilding process for the world economy after the war ended. It was here that the gold standard, pegged to the US dollar was determined, and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank were created to encourage trade and development.
Rooms at the Mount Washington Hotel start around $200 for accommodations only, and some of the large suites are closer to $800 per night (and probably more for high-powered guests). Luckily nearby hotels such as the Bretton Arms Country Inn and the Lodge at Bretton Woods offer rooms for under $100 per night.
Mt. Washington Hotel - Bretton Woods Conference
Did you know that the base for the current financial system of the world was laid out in the Mt. Washington Hotel? Many people know about the "Bretton Woods Conference" and after learning that the hotel's address is "Route 302, Bretton Woods" you can make the connection.
For three weeks in July 1944 world leaders and financial experts including folks from France, UK and the Soviet Union, gathered at the Mount Washington hotel to develop a plan for the postwar economy. The conference resulted in creating the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) which became a branch of the World Bank later.
Definitely see the room where the articles setting up the IMF were signed. Turn right at the entrance, follow the lobby to the far end and then it is a door to the right (see pic). An important place in history.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway
Just after completing The Mount Washington Hotel, Joseph Stickney gained fame when he said, "Look at me, gentlemen...for I am the poor fool who built all this." But, even before he gained fame as the fool who built the hotel, another man conquered an impossible dream, too.
Sylvester Marsh, a Chicago meatpacking tycoon, proposed building a train that would go up to the summit of Mt. Washington. He was laughed at...it was said that he "might as well build a railway to the moon".
He was undaunted and along with inventors Herrick and Walter Aiken (a father-and-son-team from Franklin, NH), they began the task of building his mountain-climbing railway. Not an easy task because supplies had to be hauled by oxen for 25 miles, some of it through thick forest.
Now who is laughing? The first train was called "Old Peppersass" and was the first train to climb 6,288 feet up Mount Washington. Today, you can "ride to the moon" and to one of the wild places in New Hampshire because in 1866 the Mount Washington Cog Railway was specially built for the purpose of climbing Mount Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire.
It is the oldest cog railway in the world and still carries passengers today!
Each trip to the summit on the Cog Railway uses one ton of coal and 1,000 gallons of water. I find this next fact disconcerting as I rode this train..."At Jacob's Ladder, the grade measures 37.4%". That means that there is a 14-foot height difference between passengers in the front and back of the coach!!!
If you have the opportunity, by all means, ride this train. 3Just Think! This train ride is 136 years old!
I say, "Thank God for dreamers such as Joseph Stickney and Sylvester Marsh!"
I could not afford to stay here; instead, I chose a modest hotel nearby. But this is a beautiful hotel, and a great place if you have the money for it. In 1944, as World War II drew to a close, representatives from the victorious Allied powers met here to discuss the post-war economic arrangement. The result was the original General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The GATT treaty paved the way for the huge post-war economic boom.
It's the food
There are so many wonderful things about this grand old hotel that it is very disappointing to find out that the restaurant is expensive and not very good.
First the good points: The hotel is elegant and wonderfully designed to allow those inside to admire the spectacular scenery around them. The weather was not particularly good so it was especially comforting to be able to sit in front of a warm fire and then wander out into the many vantage points. Staff were friendly and efficient, and there seemed to be lots of them. Everything about our surroindings was idylly until dinner time.
Now the bad points: The dining room has wonderful views and courteous and helpful waitstaff, and the service was excellent. The problem seems to be in the kitchen. The menu was very pedestrian and the food was cooked without the slightest degree of flair indeed the soup tasted much the same as a canned minestrone, and I am suspicious that that is what it was. The average roadhouse can and does do just about as well. This restaurant produces food lacking in inspiration, and for the prices it charges one would expect better. Metropolitan hotels charge much the same but manage to do it better.
The informal dining room which offered buffet style dinner. The food was almost as expensive, and apart from the prime rib not any better.
Great Place - Poorly run
I booked the "romantic Package" for my wife and me. I asked for a suite with a king size bed when I booked. We were given a suite with a non-working fireplace with two beds, which did not make me feel very "romantic". After we expressed our feelings, we were given a simple room, that had a king size bed, but that was just about what fit in that room. We did not feel that the price we paid for the suite was justified for a simple tiny room. Since those were the only choices that night, we went back to the first room with the two beds. We did not want to make a big deal out of it, since we were told we would get a different suite for the second night. Of course, nobody ever called and we had to follow up the next day. The second room was beautiful, but did not get warm. At that point we had more or less given up on this place, since they also managed to forget our reservation for the "tea time" and it took them more than 30 minutes to set up a table for us. In the meantime we were put in the middle of the room on two individual chairs and were put on display for the rest of the guests; not a good feeling.
The service at breakfast fast poor for a place that charges what is does and I had to track down the waitress for coffee or tea numerous times.
I agree with other review on here, that the dinner was below average and overpriced. It does not come close to upper class restaurants even though the choices are very limited on the menu. The service at dinner was good though.
The management also gave us a discount for all the problems we experienced, which was however only a fraction of what we paid. I felt I had wasted a lot of money. The experience was rounded up by the bell boy not helping me carrying the luggage to my car and simply stood there watching me carrying the suitcases through the snow.
The bulidning and the place itself are absolutely nice and deserve a much better attitude, respect for the guests and openness to service from the staff. We had numerous situations where the staff tried to argue with us in order to make the situation easier for them. An example would be to print out a seperate receipt, which took minutes of arguing back and forth and 5 seconds to print out afterwards. Over all, it was not a pleasant experience.
Mount Washington Hotel and Resort
Mount Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods, NH
Mt. Washington Hotel, Lobby
Mt. Washington Hotel, the signature room
Me and my friend with our families are planning a trip to New Hampshire to see Fall Colors. We are going to stay in small hotel in Meredith, NH. We want to travel in Kancagamus Scenic Road.
We require some more tips of where to go, what to see.
As we are driving from New Jersey via Boston, want to spend some time in Boston also, any suggestions on places to visit please.
RE: Fall Colors
The Kancamagus is amazing and you can loop it with route 302, back through Franconia Notch. Bear Notch Rd. will help you skip the traffic and chaos of North Conway.
As to what to see, I would not miss Franconia Notch, as it's one of the most scenic areas of New Hampshire. The tram is a blast and takes you to a summit where you can see four states and Canada. If you're up for a hike, Arethusa Falls is one mile from 302 and is the state's tallest waterfall. The nearby Mt. Washington Hotel is legendary.
Boston...well there is so much to see, I couldn't get into it, here. But I recommend you do it on the way back, as peak foliage is here or soon. Get the leaves in the mountains and then make your way back to Boston which peaks later in the year.
RE: Fall Colors
Better come soon! The mountains are probably at peak now. Gilescorey gave great advice. Love Arethusa Falls & the Cannon Mtn Tramway.
Also the Cog Railway up to the top of Mt. Washington would be a lot of fun. It'll be really cold at the top so bring winter coats.
If you have young kids, you can head up to Storyland, Six-Gun City, Ruggles Mine, Lost River, Polar Caves, Clark's Trading Post or any number of touristy but fun attractions. Just do an internet search for info about each of these places. Clark's Trading Post has a scenic railway and trained bears and is pretty much a rite of passage for kids growing up in NH.
Since you'll be in Meredith, you should take a cruise on the M/S Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee.
And Castle in the Clouds, a historic estate in Moultonborough has fantastic views of the lake and is beautiful in itself.
There are tons of tips already written for things to do in Boston. Just do a destination search for Boston - the search box is at the top-right of the page. Then click on Boston to get to the Boston travel guide. Scroll down for the link for things to do. Too many tips to list here. Lots of ideas. Good luck!