A Friendly Competition between the Jackson Fire Department and the Bartlett Fire Department

On Friday, February 3rd, The Wentworth hosted its first ever Broom Ball game behind the hotel on our freshly groomed ice skating rink.  This was brought on by a challenge from the Jackson Fire Department toward the Bartlett Fire Department.  What is broomball you ask…. 

“In a game of broomball there are two teams, each consisting of six players: a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than your opponent. Goals are scored by hitting the ball into your opponent’s net using your broom. Tactics and plays are similar to those used in sports such as ice hockey.

Players hit a small ball around the ice with a stick called a “broom.” The broom may have a wooden or aluminum shaft and has a rubber-molded triangular head similar in shape to that of a regular broom. Players wear special rubber-soled shoes instead of skates, and the ice is prepared in such a way that it is smooth and dry to improve traction.”

It was a great night and alot of fun was had by all.  We had our fire pit roaring to keep spectators warm and of course there were plenty of marshmallows available for roasting.  The final friendly score was 3-1 with Jackson coming out victorious. 

Doing “The Whites”: The ski hills of New Hampshire.

 By Margo Pfeiff, Special to the San Francisco Cronicle – published January 26th, 2012

From atop Wildcat in glittering sunshine, I have to remind myself to pay attention to the run. While we’re not in the aggressively tall Sierra, the spectacular views of Mount Washington right in front of my face still seem dangerously distracting.

And you definitely want to survive the run, especially when you know what’s waiting at the bottom. Not that there aren’t plenty of choices for good Eastern skiing in Quebec where I live, but sometimes you need a dose of big-hill, small-village New England character.

“Let’s do the Whites,” my Boston ski buddy, Moira Brown, will say at least once every winter. So we pack up our skis and I drive three hours south from Montréal and “Moe” drives three hours north from Beantown and we meet up in the heart of the snowy White Mountains, in the hamlet of Jackson, N.H.

An icy river burbles through it, and you have to drive through an 1876 red covered bridge to reach Jackson. Historic inns with candles in the windows, century-old taverns with blazing wood fireplaces and slim-steepled churches all lie muffled under a glittering, snowy duvet.

The occasional cross-country skier skims out of the woods on a network of trails starting right in town. No matter how many times I visit this quintessential New England town, I always feel I’ve arrived inside one of those perfect little snow-globe villages, wreathed in serenity until someone shakes it up and makes it snow.

Which it does a lot.

Elegant home base
Our base is the elegant 1869 Wentworth Inn. Smack in the center of Jackson, the first-class lodgings with four-poster and sleigh-bed suites make it a romantic getaway and ski destination.

Moe and I have freshly waxed skis screaming for a workout, so in early morning after eggs Benedict fireside in the formal dining room, we stare at a map deciding which mountain to tackle first – Black, Cranmore, Attitash and Wildcat are all within 20 minutes’ drive: Bretton Woods is 40 minutes away.

OK. We’re not talking the Sierra here. Though the peaks are big by eastern standards – Wildcat has 2,100 feet of vertical on a 4,000-foot summit – no one would compare them to hefty Western slopes.

But New Hampshire offers experiences you don’t get out west. You come for the mellow New England charm, the Yankee character – and drawl. Kick around Boston for a few days, then rent a car and amble through rolling countryside up into the White Mountains for seasoned Old World hospitality and fine European cuisine in classical white-linen restaurants.

Sip your way through the Northeast’s microbrew scene after a day on the slopes in a post-and-beam tavern that once served horse-and-buggy travelers. There are history-steeped inns and genteel grand hotels to prowl, all of them heading, with grace, well into their second century.

Attitash and Bear
After a short debate we always start our Whites ski break at the same place: Our favorite peak is actually two – Attitash and Bear. Together they offer 300 acres ribboned with 73 trails – which is where I ski – including seven birch- and spruce-dotted glades (Moe’s terrain) winding through Bear’s woods. That means lots of choices for a long day on slopes that see about 15 feet of annual natural snow.

Unlike in the West, big powder dumps are not common, but they do happen. More often, Eastern skiing at its best is hard-packed and fast: At its worst it’s a near-vertical ice rink. That’s when you launch into Plan B. But more about that later.

Like most White Mountain resorts, runs are sparsely populated at Attitash and lineups are rare. Something new to try is the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster, a wilderness roller coaster for adrenaline junkies to plummet on rails down through the trees.

The best après-ski scene is back in Jackson, and on our first night we make a beeline back to the Wentworth where Fritz melts hearts as he melts cheese for his afternoon Swiss fondue served in the bar alongside the chic, columned lobby. Later we mosey into the dining room for venison osso bucco and buttered spaetzle that would make even my Austrian mama weep.

Day Two blows in nippy. After doing the wind-chill math we opt for an aerobic day in the forest. Across the street from the Wentworth, the community-based nonprofit Jackson Ski Touring Center maintains an exquisite 100 miles of trails through mountains and woods that is considered the best in the East.

After taking part in Thom’s Amazing Waxing Demonstration in front of the fireplace at the chalet, Thom Perkins, executive director since 1975, tells us about the Jackson Groomed Trail Challenge in which participants try to ski all 60 miles of groomed trails in a single day.

“Only one person has succeeded so far,” he says.

We opt instead for the more modest 5-mile Ellis River Trail, which kicks off through another red covered bridge and follows a rolling scenic route beside the Ellis River, dotted with rocks topped in fluffy snow pillows. We spot a group of deer and a blood-red cardinal at a warm-up cabin where the sign nailed to the outhouse door says “Jackson’s Hole.”

Taming Wildcat
At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the Northeast’s highest peak, and from the summit it’s an impressive panorama: Ski magazine consistently rates Wildcat tops for scenery in North America. From here you can also pick out the Eastern legend, Tuckerman’s Ridge. First skied in 1926, it’s a steep, snow-filled ravine on Washington’s flank.

Every spring since the 1930s, it has become a tradition for a thousand or more skiers to hike up the precipitous bowl, then barrel down the hair-raising, near-vertical headwall, a ritual I have easily managed to avoid, despite Moe’s nagging.

As we glide down Wildcat’s long, winding runs there are no condos or developments to scar the view: It’s wild all around. Then New England’s most powerful quad chair whisks us back up 4,000 feet in six minutes and we do it all over again. That evening we collapse, exhausted, in front of the blazing fire at the Wildcat Inn and Tavern, just in time for Friday night’s Fish Fry and a round of hobnobbing with locals and Bostonians.

The next morning, our pummeled bodies tell us we have overdone it, so we engage Plan B, perfect for those not-so-great weather or just-plain-tired days (or in-need-of-shopping-therapy days). Plan B is the factory outlet Mecca of North Conway 9 miles away, which offers state-tax-free shopping entertainment at L.L. Bean, Carhartt, J. Crew and all the other usual suspects. We generally start by combing through the hive of great outdoor shops like Ragged Mountain, Eastern Mountain Sport and the technical-gear-oriented International Mountain Equipment.

Then we park ourselves at the bar of the casual Moat Mountain Smoke House and Brewing Company to share plates of their renowned ribs and pulled pork sandwiches and order from a lineup of microbrews including a killer Czech Pilsner. New Hampshire has a thriving microbrew scene with more than a dozen breweries statewide including Tuckerman in nearby Conway.

Jackson has been a tourist magnet since the late 1800s. In the 1940s folks began driving to the Whites with their wooden skis, bear trap bindings, lace-up boots, bamboo poles and baggy wool ski pants to schuss the slopes, then ride back uphill on rope tows powered by Model T engines. At Black Mountain, shovel handles were suspended from an overhead rope to create an early version of the T-bar; you can still see them in Jackson’s Whitney’s Pub.

But in the days before cars, Bostonians traveled north by rail. In the heyday of the 1920s, 40 Snow Trains a day delivered passengers to Jackson. They spread out to stay at dozens of the region’s grand hotels, big posh estates in the wilderness.

These days only two remain. The Balsams is an hour-and-40-minute drive north of Jackson, classic old lodgings in a castle-like building tucked dramatically into Dixville Notch (a “notch” is a mountain pass). It opened shortly after the Civil War and has a lovely, small ski hill and cross-country ski area. But it’s probably best known nationally for its Ballot Room inside the hotel where Dixville Notch’s presidential primary votes are cast just after midnight on the day of the New Hampshire primaries – the first votes to be cast, counted and reported nationally.

Bretton Woods
On our last day we head 40 minutes northwest from Jackson to hit the slopes of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire’s biggest ski area. After a week of hard skiing, there’s no guilt in enjoying a leisurely ski day on a hill more geared toward families.

The view across the valley is stunning, with Mount Washington in the distance and, perched on a low hill, the white Omni Mount Washington Resort, a 1902 grand hotel with a Mediterranean profile complete with red tiled roof. Both Bretton Woods’ mountain and its chic wood-and-glass base lodge are part of that resort. Omni Resorts took over management of this National Historic Landmark in 2009 and spent $60 million returning this palace of rosewood, gold leaf and Tiffany glass luxury to its pre-World War II splendor as well as adding a new 25,000-square-foot spa.

This grand resort too has its place in history: In 1944 the Bretton Woods Conference took place here, when 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered to sign into existence the International Monetary Fund and what would become the World Bank.

Moe and I arrive in time for the free tour that leaves twice daily from under the grandfather clock. Our guide takes us through ballrooms, around broad verandas and under the parabolic cupola – the Hemicycle – where chamber quartets once entertained the wealthy. We listen to stories about the ghost of the builder’s wife and tales about the “Cave” – a Prohibition-era speakeasy in the basement – now renovated.

When the tour winds up, we take seats in the window of the Rosebrook bar, order flutes of Champagne (to match the regal setting) and admire late-afternoon views of Mount Washington, dusted with fresh snow.

Yup, dangerously distracting.

If you go
The best time to ski the Northeast is January through March.

Getting There
Boston is the nearest gateway city to the White Mountains. It’s roughly a 145-mile, three-hour drive, most of it on interstates.

Where to Stay
The Wentworth: (800) 637-0013, www.thewentworth.com. Suites feature four-poster or sleigh beds, fireplaces, Jacuzzis and steam showers. Double rooms in the main house from $139 per night including a full breakfast.

Carter Notch Inn: (800) 794-9434; www.carternotchinn.com. Friendly Jackson country inn run by a British couple. Double rooms including a fabulous breakfast from $139.

Omni Mount Washington Resort: (888) 444-6664; www.omnihotels.com. Rates start at $179 for a double room.

Where to Ski:
Jackson Cross Country Ski Center: (603) 383-9355; www.jacksonxc.org. Best in the Northeast with almost 100 miles of groomed trails throughout town and into the hills and woods. Day rate for adults $21, kids $10.

Wildcat Mountain: (603) 466-3326; www.skiwildcat.com. More than 2,000 feet of vertical, 30 percent expert, 25 percent beginner; 49 trails. Weekend adult day pass $70, kids $50.

Attitash Mountain Resort: (800) 223-7669; www.attitash.com. 1,750 feet of vertical, 47 percent intermediate. Weekend adult day pass $70, kids $50.

Bretton Woods: (800) 314-1752; brettonwoods.com. Vertical drop: 1,500 feet; 102 trails; five high-speed quad chairs; four terrain parks. Weekend adult day pass $78 ($66 for hotel guests), kids $49 ($37).

Wentworth dining room: www.thewentworth.com. Dinner for two $80; prix fixe menu, $35 per person including dessert.

Wildcat Inn and Tavern: www.wildcattavern.com. Pub food to fine dining in a historical inn with a fireplace and old cross-country skis on the walls, a popular local hangout. Dinner for two from $40.

Moat Mountain Smoke House and Brewing Company: moatmountain.com. Dinner for two from $45.

More information
Watch for midweek special rates at Ski New Hampshire, www.skinh.com.

Margo Pfeiff last wrote for Travel on Newfoundland. E-mail comments to travel@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page N – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


The Wentworth 18th Annual Ice Carving Competition

On Monday, January 9th we had nine carvers from around New England carve 300 lb blocks of ice into clowns, dragons, fish, a margarita bar, angels and even a road runner. Over the years we have seen these sculptures melt in as little as a few days or last until the middle of March.
Starting last year we had our own competition for those on our e-mail guest list and facebook friends. By submitting a guess as to the date when the last ice sculpture would topple, those with the correct date were entered into a draw to win a two night stay in a deluxe suite. We received over 2,000 guesses and the lucky winner is actually using her certificate on a Sunday and Monday this coming February.

Again this year we are holding the same competition – the guesses this year are a little more conservative due to how warm this winter has been so far. We actually have had to only eliminate 20 guesses so far. Pictured above is this years winner Dennis Hickey of Ice Breakers a regular participant in our ice carving competition. Make sure that you join our mailing list and like us on Facebook for updates on future events and competitions.

Winter fun at The Wentworth

With winter season under way and not too much snow on the ground, we just wanted to let you know of the many activities available to our guests. All of the downhill ski areas are 100% open and have been busy making snow over the past few weeks. For cross country we will have to wait until mother nature cooperates with us. In the meantime our ice skating rink is open, we do have a limited number of skates for rent here at the hotel but if you have your own, please feel free to bring them. Our outdoor firepit will be burning for you to warm your toes after skating or to toast your marshmellows.
Sleigh rides at Nestlenook Farm right in Jackson Village are always a popular option and have you ever thought about dog sledding? Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel located in Jefferson NH offer a variety of kennel tours. Visit their web site at www.dogslednh.com or e-mail them at info@dogslednh.com

There is always a reason and a season to visit us at The Wentworth so call us today at 800-637-0013, e-mail us at reservations@thewentworth.com or visit our website at www.thewentworth.com


Christmas Shopping

Worried about your Christmas shopping, don’t be as at The Wentworth we can take care of all of your shopping needs.

Our gift certificates are available in any amount and can be used to introduce others to the Wentworth experience. Available in any amount, our gift certificates make a wonderful Christmas gift and can be used to recognize a valuable employee or customer. This beautifully illustrated certificate comes boxed ready for giving. We can overnight and ship to anywhere – order on-line by using our on-line purchasing form.
Call us today at 800-637-0013 for more information.


Wentworth Weddings

Our wedding season is just wrapping up for the year 2011 at The Wentworth with just one small wedding left in December.
We just wanted to share with our readers a lovely review we just received on Trip Advisor:
Last week our daughter was married in a rather large wedding (180 guests) at The Wentworth Inn in beautiful Jackson, NH. Although quaint, quiet and intimate, it is very close to No. Conway (great shopping) and Mt. Washington, among many other tourist hot spots. It’s hard to describe how thrilled we are with our total experience! From the time we arrived, to the time we left, we felt like we were in someone’s romantic, beautiful, warm home surrounded by people whose only goal was to make us as comfortable and well taken care of as possible.
We delivered our daughter’s wedding paraphernalia (lots of it!) to the front door, spoke to Kathleen, the sales administrator (and amazing wedding contact person), and they took care of the rest! We had the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and wedding reception all at The Wentworth. The staff handed out our welcome bags to our guests upon check-in, which was huge for us, as we had 125 of them! All of our decorations, etc. were set out perfectly for us for each event…we had nothing to worry about for the whole weekend!
The food for both the rehearsal and wedding was nothing short of phenomenal! Even breakfast was outstanding! We wished we could have met the chef, but he was obviously very busy cooking fabulous meals! Ian, I believe he’s the dining room manager, was always around in the dining room to help with anything that we needed, which wasn’t much, because everything was already perfect! In fact, he was even there for us late into the night during our reception! We wondered when he slept!
Our room was in the Fairlawn building…a gorgeous, spacious room with an outdoor hot tub…clean and amazing. We had guests staying in the main inn, Fairlawn, Amster, Sunnyside, Arden and condomiums…all were more than happy with their accommodations! We received NO COMPLAINTS from any of our guests in the 3+ days that we were there!!
We can’t thank the owners, Ellie and Fritz, enough for allowing our daughter to have the magical wedding that she had always dreamed of. Between the two of them, Ian, Kathleen, and the entire Wentworth Staff we had the best possible experience we could have asked for. We came away feeling as though we gained some very good friends! Thank you all so much! We can’t wait to go back!
So, if anyone reading this is even considering The Wentworth Inn for dinner, a weekend or week away, a wedding or any type of event at all, go ahead and book it! You won’t be disappointed!

Thank you so much to all of our brides and grooms of 2011 – each and every wedding was special and we wish you all many years of happiness.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our turkeys are happily enjoying the last few days of sunshine on a farm in Jackson Village as we prepare for our Thanksgiving dinner. On the menu this year we are serving Traditionally roasted “TomTurkey”, Tenderloin of Beef, Country Ham and Pan Roasted Salmon. Along with a variety of appetizers, soups and salads and don’t forget the homemade pies for dessert.
We will be serving Thanksgiving Dinner at The Wentworth from 2:00PM until 7:00PM and seat every 15 minutes. Tables for large parties are available and you can book your table on-line.

This family have celebrated Thanksgiving dinner at The Wentworth since their children were really little. They are pictured here after last years Thanksgiving dinner with Ellie and Irina. We have many families who join us year after year and we invite you and your family to start a Thanksgiving tradition by celebrating your time at The Wentworth in Jackson Village, NH and let us take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy spending time with your family and loved ones. Call us today at 800-637-0013 to reserve your accommodations or your dinner.

Late Fall Off Season Rates

The Wentworth Fall WindowsFrom October 23rd until December 22nd we will be offering our very special off season special rates. Enjoy some early skiing, or take advantage of the terrific savings at the tax free shopping outlets in North Conway and get a head start on your Christmas shopping. Delight in a leisurely dinner in our dining room or let us arrange a massage or other spa treatment at a local spa. *Weekend availability starts on November 18th with some Friday night stays available from October 28th on but feel free to call us to check on updated availability as it can change.

Standard & Superior Main Inn Rooms:
From only $178.00 (weekend) $168.00 (midweek) per night for two guests including a four course dinner for two and a full country breakfast for two or $98.00 (weekend) $88.00 (midweek) per night for two guests including a full breakfast for two.

Deluxe Rooms and Suites:
From only $248.00 (weekend) $238.00 (midweek) per night including a four course dinner for two and a full country breakfast for two or $168.00 (weekend) $158.00 (midweek) per night for two guests including a full breakfast for two. 
There is so much to do in Jackson New Hampshire and we at The Wentworth will assist you in making all of your plans.  
Call us today at 800-637-0013, e-mail us or make your reservations On Line 

Fall Foliage

You’ve read about fall foliage New England style… you’ve heard other people rave about it… you’ve even seen the brilliance of it in stunning pictures ablaze with brilliant yellow, glowing orange, fiery red, and rich brown… maybe it is time for a fall foliage visit to Jackson, in the center of the White Mountains of New Hampshire and to The Wentworth. With all of the recent rain and the cool nights it is expected to be a brilliant color season and what better location than to view the colors than at The Wentworth, your best choice for lodging and dining in Jackson, NH. This photo was taken on Thursday, September 22nd so you can see how brilliant the colors are already. Each day brings more color with peak expected to be sometime around the first two weeks of October.

Call us today at 800-637-0013, e-mail us at reservations@thewentworth.com or make your reservation on our website www.thewentworth.com


Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour

What could be more romantic than a horse drawn Austrian Sleigh Ride through the village of Jackson starting at Nestlenook Recreation Center greeted by Carolers and Santa – while warming yourself with a steaming hot chocolate. Then you will be whisked away through the village of Jackson stopping at inns, restaurants and country stores to receive a delicious chocolate treat at each location.

The only way to book this tour is to stay at one of the participating inns – The Wentworth being one of them. We have created a special package for you for the dates of November 26th and 27th, December 3rd and 4th and December 10th and 17th and includes your accommodations, a four course dinner by candle light in our elegant dining room. A full country breakfast the following morning starts your day to get you ready for your Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour. 
Rates start at just $218.00 for two guests including accommodations, a four course dinner for two, a full country breakfast for two and the Jingle Bell Chocolate tour or just $148.00 for two guests including breakfast only. Call us today at 800-637-0013 to reserve.