The hug is real: these are the five most comfortable hostels for a winter getaway



Most people consider this classic inn – hailed by the New York Times as the “best place in town” – as a summer getaway to “watch the sailboats go by”. After all, it sits on a 40-acre peninsula overlooking Narragansett Bay. But this more than a century old Relais & Châteaux property is also an indulgent retreat in winter. The main inn, the original 19th century Agassiz mansion, offers several suites with their own fireplaces; look for additional fireplaces in public spaces, like the Mansion Lobby / Lounge, perfect for snuggling up with a cup of tea and a book. And if you’re feeling like a parched shell of your old self, thanks to the harsh New England winter weather, head to the inn’s spa, Farmaesthetics’ Retreat at Castle Hill (a local brand) for a soothing and hydrating body treatment.

Best for: Couples looking for a chic getaway.

Ultimate hygge moment: Spring for the foyer + s’mores package and sit on the hostel’s terrace under a pile of polar blankets. Grill those mauves to a perfect char with the Newport Pell Bridge as a backdrop, lit up at night. Need some extra heat? Add a dash to your hot chocolate or hot cider. [Note: The inn closes in January but reopens in February.]

Starting at $ 435; 590 Ocean Drive, Newport, RI; 401-849-3800;

If you’re okay with no snow, a comfortable Cape Cod getaway will be just the ticket. This photo of Captain David Kelley’s home in Centerville was taken in December. Always cozy, especially at breakfast in front of the fireplace.Diane Bair for the Boston Globe

Captain David Kelley House, Centerville

If you like your getaway served with a dash of nasty good humor, this is your place. Go downstairs for breakfast and you’ll likely come across ‘Britney Scones’ or ‘Frank Scone-atra’ serving the inn’s signature baked goods. Or rather, one of the characters created and played by the innkeepers, in what is possibly the most outrageous pastry delivery the world has ever seen. He was born out of a battle (they call him “Scone Wars”) over which of them – Rick Garceau or Tom Nortz – served the best scone. The guests weigh. Now it’s done at this six-bedroom B&B, located in the heart of Centerville on Cape Cod. Fortunately, each scone is a delight, with flavors like blueberry / banana / white chocolate. There is not a dry scone in the house.

“We’ve stayed in hostels all over the world, and this is our favorite,” friends said of this Greek Revival-style captain’s house dating from around 1835. Plus some delicious little ones Three-course breakfasts which include a hot starter (eggs benedict with Dutch lime on Sundays), the owner-occupied inn is warm and welcoming. The house has been welcoming tenants since the 1930s; the current innkeepers took it over and restored it to sparkling splendor in 2009. There is a grand piano and gas fireplace in the living room area (in winter, guests can have breakfast in front of the fireplace ), and nice touches like luxury bathrobes and linens (plus flat-screen TVs) in the bedrooms. Craigville Beach is a short walk away, as is the 1856 Country Store and the Four Seas Ice Cream (open weekends). There is a cheerful vibe here, one that you’ll want to keep for as long as possible.

Best for: Couples who need a laugh and someone cool to chat with.

Ultimate hygge moment: Bundle up and roam Craigville Beach, mitten in mitten.

Starting at $ 159; 539 Main Street, Centerville; 508-775-4707;

A lakeside inn with an ice rink, snowshoes nearby and pizza on site?  It seems quite comfortable to us.  It would be the Wolf Cove Inn in Poland, Maine.
A lakeside inn with an ice rink, snowshoes nearby and pizza on site? It seems quite comfortable to us. It would be the Wolf Cove Inn in Poland, Maine.Handout

Wolf Cove Inn, Poland, Maine

If you’re one of those ‘play / stay together’ couples, this hostel on the lake is a great option for you. Situated on the shores of Tripp Lake in the Polish countryside, about 30 miles from Portland, the Inn dates back to the 1890s but became an Inn in the 1990s. Before that, this sprawling property was a private summer camp ( house) and in the 1950s and 1960s it housed a restaurant called Lobsterland on the Lake. Some of the 11 rooms have gas fireplaces and jetted tubs and offer lake views. two night stay. There is also a self-contained cabin. Some rooms allow dogs, so you can bring your stuffed dog (dogs deserve a change of scenery, too, right?)

The main draw here is what’s outside: a frozen lake in the woods, perfect for ice skating (and very private, good to know if you’re not exactly worthy of ‘Disney on. Ice ”on skates.) Do you have snowshoes? Bring them with you – Poland Springs Golf Course, with groomed wagon trails, is 10 minutes away. If you love Nordic skiing, plan to hike the trail system at Oxbow Beer Garden, 10 minutes away. There’s even a dogsledding outfitter nearby (you’ll stay warm on the sled under heavy blankets). After a day of outdoor action, you’ll be delighted to return to the inn and dine at the on-site lakeside pizzeria.

Best for: Outdoor types.

Ultimate hygge moment: Rush through the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh, near the Carousel Horse Farm (

Starting at $ 169; 5 Jordan Shore Drive, Poland, Maine; 207-998-4976;

The Pitcher Inn in Vermont has working fireplaces in each of its uniquely themed rooms, like this one in the Trout Room.
The Pitcher Inn in Vermont has working fireplaces in each of its uniquely themed rooms, like this one in the Trout Room.Pitcher Inn

The Pitcher Inn, Warren, Vermont.

Fancy a little kitsch with your cozy? Choose from whimsical-themed digs at the 11-room Pitcher Inn in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. (The Sugarbush Ski Resort and Ole Cross Country Ski Center are a short drive away.) There’s the Trout Room (think ceramic fish, river rocks, and greenery), in Mallard, Colonial, Lodge, Ski and Mountain designs. An adjacent barn houses the dog-friendly Hayloft and Stable suites, suitable for families or getaways with friends. The original Pitcher Inn, dating from the 1800s, burned down completely, but the “new” inn (circa 1997) blends in perfectly with the picturesque Main Street of Warren.

“Cozy Chic” best describes the public spaces of the Inn. Wood stoves and fireplaces are everywhere – there are 14 in all, and all but two of the rooms have them. Outside there is a fire pit, perfect for making gourmet s’mores or enjoying a hot drink. In the neighborhood (including the nearby Waitsfield), there’s a covered bridge (but of course), an outdoor brewery (Lawson’s Finest Liquids), and galleries galore.

Best for: Foodies and those who can appreciate the exaggerated design.

Ultimate hygge moment: Savor a dinner cooked on the fire “From fire to fork” at 275 Main, the inn’s gourmet restaurant. Chef Jacob Ennis changes the local menu to suit what looks good that day, but count on something hearty and heartwarming, perhaps butternut squash soup, served in a large saucepan hanging over the fireplace. .

From $ 530; 275 Main Street, Warren, Vermont; 802-496-6350;

Fog drifts through a Christmas tree farm near Fryeburg, Maine.
Fog drifts through a Christmas tree farm near Fryeburg, Maine. Robert F. Bukaty

Admiral Peary Inn Bed and Breakfast, Fryeburg, Maine

Innkeeper Donna Pearce is like the aunt you wish you had. She can greet you with a snickerdoodle, make blueberry French toast for breakfast, and warn you to “keep calm!” If you get too rowdy at billiards in the Great Hall. Adding to the warm vibe of this circa 1865 home are hostel dogs Daisy and Gizmo, and a cat, Sasha (she’s a bit distant, though). “We accept pets as much as possible,” says Pearce, who is happy to house your pooch if you confirm it with her first. There is a large fenced lawn at the back and a fire pit available if you are inclined to light it. Inside there is a library, cozy nooks with comfy chairs, and the great room with a fireplace, TV (bedrooms don’t have one) and pool table. The hostel is named after arctic explorer Admiral Robert E. Peary, and Pearce has named six of the seven guesthouses for his favorite places to travel, including Paris, Panama, Tuscany and the Serengeti. Some of them have fireplaces or wood stoves. Beyond breakfast, the Inn doesn’t offer any meals, but there is a good restaurant, 302 West Smokehouse & Tavern, a short drive (or walk) away. The bustling town of North Conway is a 15-minute drive away.

Located just across the border from New Hampshire, in the shadow of the White Mountains, the inn is close enough to seven ski resorts (Shawnee Peak and Mount Cranmore are the closest), as well as Great Glen Trails , an attraction for skinny skiers. Arrange a horse-drawn sleigh ride nearby at High View Farm in Harrison (

Best for: Families, animal lovers and those who appreciate the personal touch.

Ultimate hygge moment: You will remember how good it is to share food around a communal table when you meet for breakfast in the kitchen / diner with other hostel guests. This place seems to attract a friendly crowd.

Starting at $ 169; 27 Elm Street, Fryeburg, Maine; 207-935-1269;

Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be contacted at [email protected]

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