Sugarbush’s accommodations come in several varieties. However, it is Lincoln Peak Village’s Clay Brook Hotel that sets the standard for excellence in New England ski in/ski out accommodations.

Until the development of the Clay Brook Hotel, the only ski in, ski out lodging at Sugarbush were the Sugarbush Village condominiums. While these condos are still an excellent option, we can’t help but recommend staying at the Clay Brook Hotel. Clay Brook offers top of the line elegance in an understated yet chic condominium hotel. Designed to look like a large red barn (complete with silo!), Clay Brook is one of a kind. The resort does an excellent job with the small touches. Be sure to snag a complimentary cookie or cup of coffee in the upstairs lobby on your way out to the ski valet.

At the end of a long day of skiing, the short walk from the lifts to ski valet is much appreciated, but its what lies steps beyond the valet that makes Claybrook feel exceptional. The large outdoor heated pool and numerous hot tubs are simply irresistible. From your perch in one of the hot tubs you’ll be able to gaze up at Lincoln Peak and taunt the skiers walking by jealously eyeing your bubbly comfort. And don’t worry, you won’t even freeze your feet on the walk back in – the paving stones are heated. They really did think of everything…

Many of the new Rice Brook Residence condos are also available for rent and are of a similarly high standard to the Clay Brook Hotel.

If the plush Clay Brook Hotel or Rice Brooks condos aren’t your style, Sugarbush also offers lodging a half-mile down the road at the Sugarbush Inn. The inn is quaint yet modern and offers shuttle service to the resort. There are also numerous lodging options available throughout the valley.

Millbrook Inn , (Tel: 802-496 2405 or 800-477 2809) on Route 17, midway between Sugarbush and Mad River Glen ski area, is a classic Cape style farmhouse dating back to 1850 with seven unique bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, and a top-rated restaurant open to non-residents each evening. Owner and chef Thom Gorman has indulged his love of cooking for the last 30 years at Millbrook when he and his wife, Joan, gave up publishing in New York in 1979, moved to the Mad River Valley and bought the Inn. They have a separate self catering two bed two bath cottage, the Octagon House, in the woods available to rent which sleeps a maximum of six. The Inn does not have TV, but the Octagon House has. Thom and Joan offer the warmest of welcomes to guests, so it is not surprising to learn that 75% of their vistors return regularly. The restaurant, which has an extensive and excellent wine list, concentrates on local freshly cooked fare with variations which reflect Thom’s service in the Peace Corps in India, and the couple’s love of travelling to Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand.

West Hill House , (Tel: 802-496 712 or 800-209 1049) a mile from the Lincoln Peak base, is a charming B&B deep in the back to 1850 with 8 individually furnished bedrooms each with their own huge bath, Jacuzzi or steam shower, TV’s, and free wi-fi as well as a vast library of books, videos and DVDs. a snooker table and organ for guests to play. The innkeepers, Peter McLaaren, a Scot and his wife, Susan, moved to the Mad River Valley in 2005 when they bought the Inn, sharing their peaceful retreat with two huge Hemingway cats. Breakfast is served at a set time, with local berries, pancakes, muffins, eggs and Vermont maple syrup. Coffee, tea and home-made cookies are available all day. Although the McLarens do not serve dinner at West Hill House, they do have wines and beer, available by the glass or bottle, and are happy to recommend local restaurants.

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