Nicki and Greg Shalette were looking for a little luxury and a little skiing that wasn't too far from New York City. So last weekend, they drove to Manchester, VT, for a fantastic romantic getaway. They skied, they got massages, they dined, they hit the outlets and they can't wait to go back. Here, Nicki explains why Manchester is her new favorite place.
Where They Stayed: We stayed at the Equinox Resort & Spa (pictured left) in Manchester, VT. It was amazing by anyone's standards. The hotel has over 200 years of history, and while it has been beautifully renovated several times, it still maintains a lot of what I imagine was its original charm. There is also an amazing spa on the premises, where we enjoyed massages after a full day of skiing on Saturday.
Where They Skied: We skied at Stratton, which is about 15 miles (a 30-minute drive) from the village of Manchester. (Other nearby resorts include Bromley and Magic Mountain.) Vermont has had a banner year for snow fall and conditions were as good as I have ever seen them in the East. We really enjoyed the skiing at Stratton, especially the longer top-to-bottom runs like Upper/Lower Tamarack. Although Stratton is one of the largest mountains in the area, it's not very steep and the slopes tend to be crowded. It was far more crowded on Saturday than on Sunday morning, probably due to the big football game and that many people face a long drive home on Sundays.
Where They Ate: There is a huge selection of restaurants in the area (if we had been there one more night, I was dying to try The Perfect Wife), but for Saturday night we choose to eat at an area institution, The Reluctant Panther, which is in a gorgeous, romantic inn of the same name. We were nervous that the food would not live up to the reputation, but we couldn't have been more wrong. This was one of the best meals we have had in a very long time: American regional cuisine at its best. The service was a little bit on the slow side, but we were in no rush and just had more time to enjoy the fire.
Where They Shopped: If you look closely beyond the quaint New England facades, you will notice Polo, Michael Kors and Bose merchandise on display in the windows. Yes! There are world class designer outlets nestled between ski rental shops and country stores. As one of the ads on the mountain says, Come naked, bring money!