T+L Reports: Connecticut Cool
Judging from the interiors of the Boulders Inn, you'd never guess it was built more than 100 years ago. That's because businessman Steven Goldstone and managing partner Martin O'Brien, a former executive at Ian Schrager Hotels, gutted the Ehrick Rossiter-designed Dutch Colonial mansion and invested $2 million to create a luxe lakefront getaway just 80 miles north of New York City. An Adirondacks-meets-Telluride theme—an antler chandelier, antique armoires, antelope-skin carpets—is echoed throughout the 20 understated rooms in the main lodge, carriage house, and four cottages. But it's the little things that count: candles lit at turndown;bikes, kayaks, and hiking maps ready at a moment's notice. Wind down with a glass of red wine from the cellar's 300-plus bottles and a sunset dinner of olive-crusted rack of lamb in the dining room, overlooking Lake Waramaug. Boulders Inn, Rte. 45, New Preston, Conn.; 800/455-1565 or 860/868-0541; www.bouldersinn.com; doubles from $350, including breakfast.
Named for the giant chunks of granite that form its imposing façade, this 1890 Dutch-style mansion stands out among Litchfield County, Connecticut's colonial clapboards. The informal grandeur of the place is impressive, and so is the setting under a canopy of maple trees on the shores of Lake Waramaug. The inn, which has been in operation since the early 1900's, was renovated top to bottom in 2003. The lobby seems almost airlifted from a snitzy Swiss ski chalet, with cathedral ceilings, giant stone fireplaces, and wonderful views of the lake—the second biggest in the state. The 20 guest rooms scattered throughout the main lodge, carriage house, and hillside cottages have a modern-meets-rustic charm, combining twiggy furniture and retro-style freestanding fireplaces with new fixtures, inside the baths and out. The inn's New American kitchen is helmed by localvore Paul Bernal, known for his award-winning wine list and such dishes as pan-roasted duck breast accented with caramelized quince. Guests wanting to spend time outdoors can explore the many marked trails that form a web over nearby Pinnacle Mountain.
Insider Tip: The inn gives repeat guests 10 percent off every future stay.
Coziest Room to Book: Tucked back into the woods, the spacious and private Fieldstone Cottage has a king bed, whirlpool tub for two, working stone fireplace, and views of the lake. Be sure to inquire about the inn's daily and midweek specials.