Advertisement

This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

New England resorts run the gamut: from beach escapes to Gilded Age mansions to quiet country inns. What they all have in common is the feeling that you're at the well-appointed home of a sophisticated friend, rather than a splashy hotel. This understated elegance is what keeps T+L readers coming back year after year, whether it's on a seafood-seeking road trip along the Maine coast or a history-filled jaunt to Newport, Rhode Island.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Pickering House, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Pickering House, hotel, exterior, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
| Credit: Courtesy of Pickering House

Of the 10 New England resorts on this year's list — the debut of this category — many were in coastal summer locations, such as the Wauwinet (No. 3), which one reader called "the best of Nantucket." And though New England winters can be notoriously cold and snowy, in some cases — like with No. 2 Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont — the winter wonderland and the incredible skiing are part of the appeal. One reader said of Twin Farms, "I really liked to be able to go skiing privately and be pulled on a snowmobile," adding that the sledding, outdoor firepits, and dinners served by the roaring fireplace indoors were also noteworthy. 

Though smaller properties, like the 19-room Rabbit Hill Inn (No. 4) in Vermont, certainly appeared on the list, readers also showed loyalty to some larger hotels, like the No. 9 Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, a sprawling getaway on Cape Cod.

One place that hits all the marks for service, amenities, and charm is the Pickering House Inn. Read on to see why it earned first place — and which other properties ranked among the best resorts in New England.

1. Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire 

Pickering House, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Pickering House, hotel, exterior, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
| Credit: Courtesy of Pickering House

Near Lake Winnipesaukee is Wolfeboro, a cherished New Hampshire summer vacation town and secret celebrity escape — Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, and Gabrielle Union have recently been seen there. And just like Hollywood stars, many T+L readers stay at the quietly luxurious Pickering House Inn, which gets top billing in the New England resorts category for its included gourmet breakfast, concierge-assisted adventure planning, and inviting common spaces, including the library and wraparound front porch. One reader gushed, "If you want a romantic, quiet, and peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle, come here. Amazing ambiance and delicious food. They pamper you and make you feel so special. Go make some beautiful memories. You won't regret it."

Score: 98.11
More information: pickeringhousewolfeboro.com 

2. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
Twin Farms,hotel, chalet living room, Barnard, Vermont
| Credit: Courtesy of Twin Farms

Score: 96.00
More information: twinfarms.com 

3. The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts

The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts
The Wauwinet, hotel,guest room, Nantucket, Massachusetts
| Credit: Courtesy of The Wauwinet

Score: 95.71
More information: wauwinet.com 

4. Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vermont

Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vermont
Rabbit Hill Inn, hotel, guest room, Lower Waterford, Vermont
| Credit: Jumping Rocks Photography/Courtesy of Rabbit Hill Inn

Score: 95.10
More information: rabbithillinn.com 

5. White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kennebunk, Maine

White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kennebunk, Maine
White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, hotel, guest room, Kennebunk, Maine
| Credit: Courtesy of White Barn Inn

Score: 93.53
More information: aubergeresorts.com 

6. Brenton Hotel, Newport, Rhode Island

Brenton Hotel, Newport, Rhode Island
Brenton Hotel, guest room,Newport, Rhode Island
| Credit: Courtesy of Brenton Hotel

Score: 93.26
More information: brentonhotel.com 

7. Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 

Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Inn by the Sea, exterior, hotel, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
| Credit: Courtesy of Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Score: 92.98
More information: innbythesea.com 

8. The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, Newport, Rhode Island

The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, Newport, Rhode Island
The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, hotel, terrace, Newport, Rhode Island
| Credit: Courtesy of The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 92.91
More information: aubergeresorts.com 

9. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich, Massachusetts 

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich, Massachusetts
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, pool, terrace, Harwich, Massachusetts
| Credit: Courtesy of Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Score: 92.59
More information: wequassett.com 

10. Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, Rhode Island

Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, Rhode Island
Weekapaug Inn, hotel, Osprey Suite Living Room, Westerly, Rhode Island
| Credit: Courtesy of Weekapaug Inn

Score: 92.53
More information: weekapauginn.com 

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.