Great Lodges: Mount Washington Hotel

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Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

The elaborate Mount Washington Hotel was the brainchild of industrialist Joseph Stickney, who made his fortune in coal mining and the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late 1800s.

The hotel was built in the Spanish Renaissance style, and Stickney spared no expense, incorporating complicated, state-of-the-art heating and plumbing systems into designs. Construction was a two-year effort that employed 250 Italian master craftsmen skilled in masonry and woodwork. When it opened on July 28, 1902, with a staff of 350, the hotel catered to the wealthy from Boston, New York and Philadelphia, most of whom arrived on one of 50 trains that stopped each day in Bretton Woods.

Each room has its own character. Throughout the hotel, authentic Tiffany glass adorns the rooms. The ornate Princess Lounge (far right) was a private dining room designed specifically for the mistress of the house, Princess Caroline, Stickney's wife. She wasn't very social, so only certain guests of standing would be invited to join her in her private dining room.

Incredibly, the hotel only opened for winter tourism in 1999. The debut was met with huge success, particularly with Bretton Woods' skiers, and the current hotel proprietors promise to continue the new winter tradition. (800) 258-0330 www.mtwashington.com