2003 Number 14 Resort in the East: Bretton Woods, N.H.


What's not to like about Bretton Woods? Begin with the lodging: That includes a historic grand hotel, a charming country inn, a modern motel with budget-friendly prices or the requisite condominiums. Add a modern sports center with indoor pool, an extensive cross-country network and free shuttles. Top it off with the largest alpine area in New Hampshire, which earns praise for its copious snow (both natural and manmade) and excellent grooming. "You can't beat this resort for snow quality and grooming in New England," says one reader. From the slopes, you see the majestic hotel with Mt. Washington as backdrop. "Best view in New Hampshire," asserts another reader. Experts will complain that the terrain is lacking, but with these facilities, who cares? Skiers come to Bretton Woods to cruise and relax, and Bretton Woods obliges. It's a feel-good mountain that caters to families and just-glad-to-be-here intermediates. As one reader notes, Bretton Woods has "come a long way in the past few years." And its owners continue to spend money upgrading lifts,expanding terrain and enlarging the lodge. The lack of expert terrain is a plus for many regulars: It keeps the hotshots away and makes the place even more family-friendly. There are a handful of lounges on the property, but the resort is isolated and is not the place to come for rip-roaring nightlife. It's the place to cruise, to chill and to enjoy quality family time. Don't forget to bring the grandparents: Unless they're cliff-jumpers, they'll love it. -Hilary M. Nangle

WHAT'S NEW West Mountain Quad is now high-speed; Crawford Double, serving novice terrain, is now a quad and is free for all ages; a halfpipe/terrain park on Bretton's Wood; base lodge expansion, with construction expected to continue through the winter.

A GOOD DEAL Lodge at Bretton Woods lifts-and-lodging package: $65 per person midweek, $95 weekend (double occupancy); includes night-skiing on weekends and use of all Bretton Woods facilities.

MEDALS GOLD Family Programs, Snow, Grooming, Scenery; SILVER Weather, Lifts, Service, Lodging.

HIGH/LOW RANK Family Programs (2), Grooming (6), Scenery (6); Après (48), Terrain (55), Challenge (57).

DON'T MISS Dinner at the intimate Bretton Arms Country Inn, which locals say has the resort's best food.

READER REMARKS (+) "Great service, gorgeous view." "Best snow quality and grooming in New England" (-) "Needs more expert terrain." "No downtown area."