I apologize for this length of this, but no less would be a disservice. From the moment we arrived, we just knew it was perfect. A grand, elegant gem sitting atop Springfield, Vermont. This Christmas trip was my gift to my husband, and well I certainly benefitted, too. Unbelieveably, planning for this trip started in April 2012 when I discovered Hartness House. After confusion in 2012, and a phone call from the Hartness House, we all learned there had been a huge misfire on the 2012 trip. Until a phone call last December 2012 from Hartness House about our "late arrival" that night with instructions upon our arrival, I knew the trip wasn't going to happen. We were at our home...in 2012.
We phoned and immediately identified the gap in communications, or my technological glitch. We, ummm I, should have phoned. This was not our normal destination site, my husband makes the reservations and we were concerned. (The real misfire was my online booking and not following up.) Instead, Alla, the Hartness House proprietor, worked with us to book this White Christmas gift one year later in 2013. Amazing!!! More amazing was our cancelled flight and another 2 day delay due to an ice storm in 2013. We phoned again. As panicked and disappointed as we were, Alla assured us everything would be fine. We have never rebooked a trip one year later, but I was going to make this happen.
I especially chose the Hartness House because of the rooms, the history and the location. The rooms were exactly as we expected: warm, period-furnished rooms. James Hartness, a wealthy Springfield inventor, astronomer, business owner and governor of Vermont completed the home in 1904-1905. So, period rooms would not be accurately furnished with comtemporary sofas, chairs, etc. Instead, two "secretary" desks, sofa, period dressing table in the bedroom and in this room a queen-sized bed. The bed was an unnecessary concern as we slept in the most comfortable bed. The bath was great with a jacuzzi tub/shower, towel racks, wicker stand for extra space and actually a larger bath. Definitely super clean!
The room had a radiator, no longer used, and this added to the charm. Heat was not a problem at all. Our room had two closets, great sitting in a bay window, a faux bear rug and beautiful, shiny wood floors with period rugs. Since we came for my husband's "bucket list" "White Christmas" Alla found the movie and "Holiday Inn" in their large collection of movies to watch on the room's DVD player. No it's not a flat screen. We have these a home, and we were getting away from home!!!
The history of James Hartness is beyond one's comprehension. Born in 1861, we marveled at the observatory, telescopes, lenses, photos and a book written by his granddaughter. A tunnel from the inn to the observatory about 200 feet underground is available for private tours. We just asked and they were ready before we were. We are keenly observant and watch for off-peak times, when the staff are available to take a once-in-lifetime tour of an observatory, study, library all built underground in the 1920's. The observatory is in use nearly 100 years later! The Number 1 attraction in Sprinfield, Vermont should be Hartness House and the observatory. I can't believe it isn't.
The Pushkin Restaurant at the Hartness House is a destination restaurant for many, with delectable entrees. I didn't want to share my appetizer pastries and my husband didn't want to share his bacon-wrapped scallops. The entrees, Chicken Kiev and Beef Tenderloin, were cooked to perfection, hot and so delicious.
We hiked through the grounds on Christmas Eve with the very cautious staff warnings that darkness comes early in Vermont, take cell phones and try not to get lost! My photos were terrific of this breathtaking walk into the paths marked by Governor Hartness for visitors with bridges over brooks, signs with arrows and the quiet serenity of these peaceful, snow covered woods. Warmer socks would have kept me walking!!!
We were so "at home" we left our door unlocked, we left the door open, met a particular guest and new friend, and felt comfortable and welcomed in the perfect, warm hospitable Hartness House. Hospitable doesn't give Alla and her husband, and staff, the credit they deserve. Sadly, we had to leave Saturday with directions and warm blueberry muffins for our drive to the airport. To my delight, we also left with reservations to return in 2014 - in the summer and again in the winter!
We never got the chance to watch "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire and Alla loaned it to me! I couldn't believe it. They treat people with humanity, an unmatched gracious style I will never forget. Everyone should experience Hartness House and enjoy a time we thought we knew from 100 years ago, easy, quiet, warm, hospitable, genuine and welcoming. So, thankful for this special trip delayed by one year - Hartness House was worth the wait to experience this grand, significant, historical site (on the National Register of Historic Places), enjoy unmatched hospitality and see our White Christmas in Vermont!
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- Also Known As:
- Hartness House Hotel Springfield
- Hartness House Springfield, Vermont