DOVER, Vermont – Mount Snow is certainly the proper name for a ski resort in the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont, about two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boston.
Mount Snow has been open for skiers since 1954, when Walt Schoenknecht purchased a 500-acre farm at the base of a mountain in West Dover, Vermont. The farmer had the last name of Snow, and that is what Walt named his new little bit of paradise that he created in the majestic Green Mountains of Vermont.
Today the resort has been transformed into a year-round vacation destination for not only skiers, but golfers, hikers, and everybody else who loves the charm and natural beauty of the Green Mountains.
The 195-room Grand Summit Hotel looks like a unified collections of ski chalets and is the same red color, found on many Vermont barns. The grand lobby is spacious, and a stone fireplace towers above the second floor of the hotel. The rooms are large, and many overlook the mountains. If you are visiting during the ski season, a lift is only a two-minute walk from the entrance to your hotel. But there are activities to enjoy at the resort regardless of the season.
The 18-hole, Geoffrey Cornish design golf course is a five-minute ride from the Grand Summit Hotel. Mount Snow Golf Club has a practice range, and friendly staff that will welcome you. Mt. Snow is a mountain course in the true sense of the word. Elevated tees, and elevated greens permeate the course, and you will have a number of uneven lies in the fairways. There are several blind shots but that is expected in a mountain course as the fairways meander through the hills and valleys.
Mount Snow Golf Club is a very manageable 5,259 yards from the red tees. If you are a long-ball hitter, the back tees are a formidable challenge at 6,943 yards, including a 624-yard par 5. Be sure to pause on the elevated tees and marvel at the mountains that surround you. If you’re lucky enough to be golfing in Autumn, well, the vista is truly magnificent.
After a round of golf, a hike through the woods, or after a day of skiing and jumping the moguls, you need to relax those tired muscles. The Grand Summit has a spa, health club, steam room, and heated outdoor pool and hot tubs that are open year-round. There is nothing like sitting in a heated outdoor pool as you watch the skiers glide down the mountainside.
If you’re in the mood for cocktails, be sure to stop in at Harriman‘s, the restaurant and lounge located in the first floor lobby. The contemporary designed restaurant serves food from Boyden Farms, a 54-acre farm in Cambridge Vermont. The menu at Harriman’s is extensive and the food is delicious, and I highly recommend the “Mountain Burger.” It is comprised of farm ground beef, Vermont cheddar, Green Mountain smokehouse bacon, lettuce red onion and tomato.
Bike and ski shops are open for hotel guests. If you need a quick snack on the go, the hotel has a deli and convenience store on the property. What makes Mount Snow superior is the service of the staff. When I was ready to open the door to my room, a gentleman in a service uniform introduced himself. “Welcome, my name is Andy” he said as he showed me his I.D. “I was just checking your room to be sure that everything was set for your arrival.” He opened the door, showed me not only the amenities of the room, but how all services had been properly sterilized. Right down to the plastic bags over the remotes.
That evening my wife left something in our car that was parked in a valet car lot next to the hotel. As she walked to the car two valet workers, who were shuttling cars from the lot to the hotel stopped. They showed my wife their I.D. s and said they would be pleased to give her a ride back to the hotel.
If it’s the little things that create fond memories and make a hotel shine, then Mount Snow is offers an impeccable guest experience. Andy, the valet drivers and all the members of the staff make the Mt. Snow resort a must-visit. The golf was wonderful, and I will definitely be back when the snow falls on Mt. Snow. After all there are 86 trails spread out over 600 acres of land. And when the day is done, heated hot tubs and a pool are waiting.