I always feel an irrational sense of pride when I discover a gem of a hotel, one that strikes the perfect balance between ambiance, service, location, and of course, price. By those standards, the Trapp Family Lodge is my current crowning jewel. They bill themselves a mountain resort in the European tradition. If I had to describe it in one sentence? Santa’s home away from the North Pole.
The von Trapp Family
One of the most exciting things about the Trapp Family Lodge is that it is owned and operated by the von Trapp family. Yes, the von Trapp family from the Sound of Music. The real Maria (in the movie, the perpetually cheerful ex-nun played by Julie Andrews) is buried on the premises at the family cemetery, and when we were there, there was even a screening of the Sound of Music movie.
The movie was liberal with creative embellishment, but what it did get right was that the von Trapp family was immensely gifted musically. When they left Nazi-occupied Austria, they toured around Europe and the United States before eventually settling down in Stowe, Vermont and setting up the Trapp Family Lodge.
The Trapp Family Lodge is huge. I mean really huge. There’s the main lodge, which contains the hotel rooms, two restaurants (one formal, one more a lounge, both serving an a delicious fusion of Austrian/Vermontian cuisine made largely from local ingredients), a library, and many meeting rooms. Huddled together on the side are the rentable stand-alone villas. Across the street is the fitness center, which has a gym, a rock-climbing wall, an indoor swimming pool, and the perfect outdoor hot-tub to slip into and steam in while soft snowflakes prick everything unsubmerged. Down the road, there’s the Trapp lager brewery, whose products L sampled in the restaurant and classified “yum, and the Trapp DeliBakery.
And then, there’s all of the surrounding land, which also belongs to the Trapp Family Lodge. If you visit, make sure to leave a day to just wander around the property. Behind the main lodge is a never-ending forest. When we visited in November, the leaves had already fallen so the trees were naked but the ground bright as fire. Despite the light sprinkling of snow, L and I followed one path for ages, determined to reach its end. We never got there, forced to retreat to avoid having to light our way back by iPhone flashlight.
The Trapp Family Lodge offers so many activities you might never have to venture off the property. Every night, they distribute a list of the next day’s activities. Depending on the time of year, they offer guided hikes around the extensive grounds, skiing, bird watching, maple sugaring, snowshoeing, etc. If you’re looking for more relaxing activities, they have yoga, horse carriage rides, pottery, needle felting, movie showings, and even a trip to meet the Lodge’s adorable sheep. L and I didn’t have much time there but we did make it to a movie showing: the Sound of Music, of course. Appropriate.
Cozy with a side of Christmas. Something about the way the lodge’s tucked away on the top of a forested mountain location makes it feel straight out of that Robert Frost poem. The kind of place you want to sneak away to for a long weekend of long directionless strolls in the woods and hot chocolate cuddles by the fire. For more on my time at the Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe, Vermont, check out this post.
Do you guys have any hotel gems you’d like to share with me? If so, make sure to leave me a comment and let me know! It doesn’t even matter where the location is. If the place sounds/looks amazing enough, it might even be enough to sway me into booking a plane ticket.