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Guest Reviews

Utter Comfort and Happiness!

Just back from a refreshing, sybaritic weekend with a group of friends at Frog Meadow in Newfane, VT, just north of Brattleboro.

The property, a good 1000 feet above the nearby Rock River, up a very long but well-graded [no worries at all about a lowslung city car in summer – ask the owners in heavier-weather seasons] unpaved country road, is a stunning hillside meadow and lush country garden/orchard site crowned by a warm, handsome, beautifully crafted post & beam house full of amusing art & folk-art (and for-real, not kitsch, except where intentional and very funny) and diverting books. Hiking (and winter X-C skiing/snowshoeing) trails ring the place, and there’s a fun dammed farm-pond (with frog population) for floating in inner tubes or taking a swim on a hot day.

The beds are among the best I’ve ever slept in and the whole place is spotlessly clean and bright and cheerful, perfectly maintained by the hosts – great guys; more to follow – and their invariably smiling and friendly support staff.

The wood-fired wooden hot tub out on the lushly planted stone terrace is a particular joy, especially on a starry night, with an alfresco shower, well-stocked with the B&B’s proprietary body care products (also excellent) right alongside. Accommodation options range from a very cushy suite in the main house (and two similarly comfortable and generous bedrooms with a shared bath on the landing), to a big cushy deluxe sort of suite over the yoga-studio, which is ideal for a big group of friends.

The most magical option, if one is willing to (faux) rough it a bit (given the indoor plumbing is all up at the main house) is the “Brookside Cottage” – a lovely little wood cabin with sash windows on all sides perched right beside the burbling brook that falls through the site, at the end of a couple of hundred yards’ walk (perfect for all needed privacy) down a stonewalled garden path. I stayed here on an earlier overnight visit in June, with the sound of the brook through the open windows and fireflies dancing outside all night – couldn’t ask for a better mental reset. Of the options around the Brattleboro area for gay travellers and possible devotees of Rock River, this is the most sybaritic option, yet entirely reasonable at a price equivalent to, or actually a bit better than, what any of the utterly bland corporate chain hotels around charge for an OK but plasticized, utterly generic room and prepackaged breakfast.

Contrast that with owner Dave’s French toast and pancakes with local maple syrup and country bacon, made while you watch (and enjoy yogurt, fruit, coffee as a warmup), all garnished with fresh berries and nasturtium blossoms from the garden (when in season, of course). No contest – now that I’ve found Frog Meadow, I’ll never stay anywhere else when in Brattleboro. Host/owners Scott & Dave are super-nice guys, welcoming, smart, very knowledgeable about local history and activities. They excel at putting their guests at ease, and are also perfectly discreet and not in anyone’s space if that’s more the guest’s mood: it feels like visiting the country place of particularly skilled and sensitive hosts.

We are all the richer for the fact that these guys have decided to open up their home to a wider circle.

Todd, Providence, RI
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