By Peter Terzian
July 08, 2020
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This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on Mar. 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come—whenever they may be.

The most appealing resorts in New England and New York take all of the creature comforts of a classic bed-and-breakfast and turn up the dial. A welcoming glass of wine beside a roaring fire? Check. Rambling walking paths through picturesque forests or beside peaceful lakes? Check. Comfortable guest rooms and thick mattresses piled with warm coverings? Check.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — 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.

This year, a number of properties are new to the list. The Vanderbilt, an Auberge Resort, occupies a Gilded Age mansion in the heart of downtown Newport, Rhode Island. Hidden Pond, located minutes from the Atlantic coast in Kennebunkport, Maine, offers tree-house-like spa and cabins on stilts. The Taconic Kimpton, just outside Manchester, Vermont, opened in 2017 and won raves from our readers, not least because, like all Kimptons, it’s pet-friendly. “We were able to bring our fur baby Charlie Brown, a long-haired German shepherd,” one voter wrote. “The resort had bowls of water when we walked into the lobby, a chalkboard with the guests’ dogs’ names, plus locally made biscuits. They provided a loaner bed and bowls, and we were allowed to bring them to the lobby for complimentary happy hour.”

Courtesy of The Sagamore

Alongside the newcomers are some of the region’s long-beloved classics. Lake Placid Lodge was rebuilt in 2005 after a massive fire burned the original 1882 camp to the ground. But the hotel’s spirit is still intact. “My husband and I stayed here for our mini-moon for three nights,” one reader wrote. “We arrived exhausted after all of the wedding festivities and couldn't wait to relax and have a quietly romantic weekend. The Lake Placid Lodge delivered exactly that. Between the luxurious room with its wood-burning fireplace and a balcony with a gorgeous lake view, it was the perfect fall getaway.”

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, has existed in some form since the 1860s. The range of activities at the property has perhaps never been bigger. “Visit in the summer and see the incredible gardens and get in some golf,” said one reader. “Visit in the winter and get in some ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. In all seasons, the trails are great for walking independently or on one of the multiple guided hikes. You can also get in on the tomahawk throwing — see if you can hit the target!”

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring visitors back year after year. For one reader, the Sagamore, a hotel on the shores of Lake George, New York, that dates back to 1883, it was the thoughtful service: “I'm not sure how they do it, but the staff who have been there for years remember how you like your coffee in the morning, what you like to order, and just when you need something.”

One place that does the little things exceedingly well: the charming Rabbit Hill Inn, which  repeats as No. 1. Read on to see why it earned top billing again — and which other properties ranked among the best resorts in the Northeastern United States.

1. Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vermont

Jumping Rocks/Courtesy of Rabbit Hill Inn

Score: 96.69

More information: rabbithillinn.com

Rabbit Hill Inn in northeastern Vermont has captured the top spot on this list for two years in a row. The 19-room lodge has everything readers want from a luxe, quintessentially New England stay. “We live in Hawaii and wanted to have a mini-winter vacation,” wrote one reader. “Rabbit Hill Inn fully met our fantasies of what an ideal winter vacation could be. The Inn could not control the perfectly timed snowfall that graced our visit, of course, but the room, the service, the food — everything was done so well and so thoughtfully, with lots of caring and special touches. We stayed for five nights and could not have had a better experience.”

2. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

Courtesy of Twin Farms

Score: 95.31

More information: twinfarms.com

3. The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island

Courtesy of The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Score: 95.15

More information: thechanler.com

4. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwick, Massachusetts

Courtesy of Wequassett Resort

Score: 94.97

More information: wequassett.com

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

Courtesy of The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 94.86

More information: aubergeresorts.com

6. Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine

Courtesy of Hidden Pond

Score: 94.46

More information: hiddenpondmaine.com

7. The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Courtesy of The Wauwinet

Score: 92.70

More information: wauwinet.com

8. Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

Courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge

Score: 91.73

More information: lakeplacidlodge.com

9. Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vermont

Courtesy of Woodstock Inn & Resort

Score: 91.47

More information: woodstockinn.com

10. Taconic, A Kimpton Hotel, Manchester, Vermont

Courtesy of Kimpton Taconic Hotel

Score: 90.96

More information: taconichotel.com

11. White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kennebunkport, Maine

Courtesy of White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 90.63

More information: aubergeresorts.com

12. Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Score: 90.19

More information: mohonk.com

13. The Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing, New York

Courtesy of The Sagamore

Score: 89.96

More information: thesagamore.com

14. The Nantucket Hotel and Resort, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Kit Noble Photography/Courtesy of The Nantucket Hotel and Resort

Score: 89.80

More information: thenantuckethotel.com

15. Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island

Courtesy of Castle Hill Inn

Score: 89.73

More information: castlehillinn.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.