Cigar Aficionado

‘Tis the season when the Green Mountains are draped in their winter white and the Woodstock Inn & Resort beckons for a seasonal getaway. The luxurious inn has an enviable location on the village green in the most quintessentially picture-perfect town in Vermont, from its white-steepled churches and historic colonial homes with tidy picket fences to its babbling brook and covered bridge. Streets are lined with tony art galleries, designer clothing shops and high-end home stores, which coexist happily with mom-and-pop coffeehouses and bakeries, Gillingham's General Store (circa 1886) and The Yankee Bookshop, Vermont's longest-running indie bookstore.

Whatever your ideal winter getaway, the folks at the inn can make it happen. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride from Billings Farm & Museum through 20 miles of groomed country paths. Or rent snowshoes from the Woodstock Nordic Center and explore the trails into the woods below Mount Peg. Downhill skiers are also spoiled for choice, with three major ski areas (Killington, Pico and Okemo) within a 45-minute drive.

Then again, you could stay put and do a whole lot of nothing. The inn's spacious lobby has an enormous stone fireplace and comfy armchairs; all you need is a good book and a warming drink. The original inn was built in 1793, then razed and rebuilt in the late 1960s. The place still feels historic, though, and manages to exude both country sophistication and genuine Vermont hospitality. Guest rooms are done up in buttery creams and moss greens, and delicately match homey creature comforts (cue fluffy down duvet and soft woolen throws) with contemporary conveniences (LG flatscreen TV, Keurig coffeemaker).

Plan to spend at least a few hours enjoying the inn's spectacular spa, which opened last September. Book a 100-minute Signature Deep Forest treatment, which begins with an exfoliating body scrub and hydrating wrap and ends with a full-body massage. Afterward, adjourn to the private outdoor courtyard, where there is a hot soaking pool, cedar sauna, and meditation tree. Even on the chilliest of winter days, the enclosure is kept downright toasty thanks to radiant-heat flooring and an open fire pit.

Cap off the day in the Red Rooster restaurant, where head chef Jason Lawless taps Vermont's bounty of artisanal cheeses, breads and fresh produce to create a menu of comfort foods that might include braised lamb shank with roasted barley risotto, seafood stew or butternut squash
ravioli. The wine list spans the world of vineyards and ranges from a sensuous Red Zinfandel from California's Ridge Vineyards to a Sauvignon Blanc from Australia's Kim Crawford. Be sure to save room for the maple crème brûlée or a slice of blueberry cheesecake made with locally produced goat cheese. You're guaranteed to dream of sleigh bells and snow-covered Vermont fields.

Visit or call 802-457-1100