Those of you who know me, or who have read my pages, know that I am a bed and breakfast guy. They just fit our style so nicely. So, when we started planning our foray to New Hampshire, I started perusing the B&B lists. In very short order, we zeroed in on the Darbyfield Inn, which technically is in "Albany, NH", just off the Kancamagus Highway near Conway/North Conway.
The Darbyfield is, by B&B standards, a bit larger. They probably have 20 rooms of varying sizes, there is a fairly substantial dining room (and evening restaurant), as well as a small tavern pub/restaurant. There are a few suites (we had the Littlefield Suite), and some other larger rooms. Finally, there are a few small simple doubles - I am told they're a bit small.
The service here is top-rate, and it's just far enough away from North Conway/Conway to be both convenient and yet very very quiet. There are quite a few walking trails in and around the inn, most which cross private property, for guests to enjoy. (In the winter, they are cross-country ski trails)
The best way to sum up the Darbyfield experience would be to group the words "friendly welcome", "quiet and unobtrustive service" and "a totally relaxing experience". The accompanying photo pretty much sums it up. It's a picture of Bonnie and I relaxing in two Adirondack chairs out on the back lawn.
The Darbyfield is an excellent and long-successful B&B. In addition to a restful stay, excellent breakfasts and other meals, the inn offers free wi-fi, a great little pub, walking trails and above all - peace and quiet. TRAVEL AND LEISURE MAGAZINE voted Darbyfield one of America's 30 best inns.
FWIW, I'm told that they sometimes rent the entire inn out for weddings. It would be a most enjoyable spot for such an event - sounds like some sort of movie that would end up starring Alan Alda or something. And here's another unique aspect.... the inn's owner is a licensed notary, absolutely qualified to perform weddings. They also have an "elopement special", if you're just ready to run away and marry your true love without all the bother of a big wedding plan.
Oh yes, they also can make arrangement for various spa services.
No, it is not in North Conway, but it's close. And it's huge. Some people debate as to whether or not it was the inspiration for the Stephen King classic "The Shining" but whether it was or not, I can definitely see the resemblance. There are actually several different ways of staying there. You can stay at the main hotel which is the big white building called the Mount Washington Hotel. Or you can stay at the Townhomes, Country Arms, or Lodge. The main hotel is the most expensive and rates start at $150 a night per person, including breakfast and dinner.
Things that the resort offers are skiing, horseback riding, ice skating, snow mobile rentals, hiking, walking, indoor pools and saunas, snowshoeing, fitness centers, golf, tennis...well, you name it and they've got it. The prices ARE a bit much, especially for such standard hotel rooms, but you're also paying for the atmosphere and that's really cozy. If you wanted to stay there and take advantage of the facilities without paying the enormous rates of the main hotel then I would recommend staying at one of the other places like the Country Arms. You still get the privelege of the main hotel's facilities.
I love hotels, they are great. But like I said in my England pages, you get a better feel for a place if you go and live amongst the natives so to speak. So rent a house or cabin. Then you can get up as early as you want, or sleep late if you like without the sound of a maid hoovering waking you up, make your own breakfast. Save some money! It's great. I do it all the time, whenever and wherever I can.
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