FINDING THE FAN HOUSE IN BARNARD, VT., IS simple. "We're the third house on the left, past the white-steepled church, says innkeeper Sara Widness when you call for directions. Once you get there, you'll find that everything about the little bed-and-breakfast is as seamless as the directions.
Widness spent several years refurbishing the 1840 country house before opening for business last January. She restored the home's two-story clapboard exterior, which is painted white with dark green shutters and features fan-shaped detailing in the woodwork (for which the inn was named) above the windows. Inside, wide pine floorboards shine, colorful artwork and tapestries hang from whitewashed walls, and treasures from Widness' travels, such as a Chinese terra cotta horse, fill the rooms.
After unloading skis on the porch, guests enter a warm country kitchen, the focal point of which is an 1912 wood cookstove. Three high chairs at a butcher-block counter are a popular spot for sipping morning coffee and discussing the day's agenda.
Upstairs, the Fan House offers three private guest rooms. The Fireplace Suite is bright and cheerful, with a wood-burning fireplace, a king-size bed tucked under a skylight and a roomy bathroom with a clawfoot tub and marble-topped sink. Across the hall, the Red Toile Room (named after its pillow and curtain fabric) has a queen bed and a private bath. Tucked under the dormers, the Red Toile (actually two small rooms) is perfect for friends traveling together. Fine linens, plush towels and Bulgari toiletries add a touch of elegance in all three rooms.
Before making the trip up to Killington (20 minutes) or Suicide Six (10 minutes), feast on Widness' Vermont cheddar soufflés, fluffy pancakes and homemade granola. But beware: The temptation to curl up with a hot cider and a book from the library might displace your intention to ski.
Rates begin at $100 per night, including breakfast.
Contact 802-234-9096; Box 294, Barnard, VT 05031; email@example.com;thefanhouse.com