The best possible way to ski is out the sliding door of you living room, and that's how we did it recently at Loon Mountain in Lincoln NH about three-and a half hours from the Cape.
We've stayed there often over the years and tought it needed little improvement, but the property just completed a $9 million renovation that included upgrades to rooms, common areas, restaurants and convention and wedding facilities.
“Guests at the Mountain Club have always enjoyed convenient access to some of the finest skiing and year-round activities in New England – now they will do so in added luxury and comfort,” said Ken Lowe, President of the Mountain Club on Loon Management Board, which owns and operates the resort.
He added, “The extensive renovation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to provide a superior level of service and premium experience to our guests, matching the awe-inspiring views of the White Mountain peaks with fresh, well-appointed spaces ideal for families, couples and groups alike.”
Man does not live by slopes alone
Loon is famous for its aggressive snow-making, which has been a blessing with this season's warmer weather.
When we were there in Mid-February this year the slopes were loaded with happy skiers and snow boarders.
But after several vigorous runs down one of the two major ski areas here, it's back to the 234-room hotel resort and spa, nestled on a slope-side bluff overlooking the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln
We luxuriated in one of the 117 suites that sleep up to six guests, each dividable into separate Club rooms with king beds and Studios with queen/double beds, a full kitchen and dining area. Four larger two-bedroom Grand Suites can accommodate between 8 to 12 guests.
Visitors can enjoy ski-on, ski-off access, convenient garage parking, the Black Diamond Bar and Grille and the Viaggio Spa & Health Club, which features two heated pools (one indoor, one outdoor), a whirlpool and saunas, Yoga/Pilates studios, a weight room, and indoor racquetball and basketball courts.
The $9 million dollar floor-to-ceiling renovation, launched in 2007, significantly upgraded the resort’s interior furnishings, common areas and operating systems. Enhancements include:
The area's other delights
Because my wife makes Mario Andretti look like a slowpoke, we arrived before noon and our suite was not ready, so what to do?
Loon Mountain and Lincoln are the western terminus of one of New England's coolest and most scenic roads, the Kancamagus Byway which takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge.
The Kanc takes you to an elevation of just under 3,000 feet at its highest point at Kancamagus Pass on the flank of Mt. Kancamagus near Lincoln.
This 34 mile mountain road heads east from Loon to Route 16 at Conway and then a bit north to North Conway, a great shopping town. After a little shopping we were back well before time for the Mountain Clubs marvelous forever cooked & smoked pulled pork sandwich dry-rubbed pasture raised pork, with Mark’s BBQ sauce and sweet chilli slaw on a grilled roll; served with baked beans, and ma’s bread and butter pickles for $10 at the Black Diamond Bar and Grille.
There are many other things to do if you want to get off the slopes for a couple hours. There are scads of shops, and we discovered two of the best inexpensive lunch spots ever - the Gypsy Cafe and the Fully Brewed and Half Baked coffeehouse.
About the Mountain Club on Loon
Located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountain region two hours from Boston and three and a half from the Cape, the Mountain Club on Loon is a four-season luxury hotel resort and spa offering slope-side studio, one- or two-bedroom accommodations, an indoor pool, spa and health club, two on-site restaurants and garage parking. For more information, go to www.mtnclub.com or call 800-229-7829.