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“Wonderful time at the NEW Barn”

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Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub
Ranked #5 of 15 Waitsfield B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hastings on Hudson, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful time at the NEW Barn”
Reviewed 29 January 2014

My family has been coming to the Inn at Mad River Barn for about 20 years and we have always loved the Barn and the people who worked at it. We loved the uncomfortable beds held up by books, the lack of hot water if you didn’t get back soon enough after skiing, and the sense of connection to mid-twentieth century New England skiing. So we were wary when the Barn changed hands last year. After our stay in early January, we can say that we still love the Barn. But now, we love the comfortable beds, the hot water, the even temperatures in the rooms, the new bathrooms, the delicious food, and the new owners’ obvious effort to retain a connection to tradition. The refurbishment of The Barn is a resounding success, and the new owners, Heather and Andy, incredibly hospitable.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elwen80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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157 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

My wife and I stayed here on a whim from January 1 to January 3 and were extraordinarily impressed!

The newly-renovated property has a modern yet authentically-Vermont vibe, attained in part through the extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials. The room we selected was small but efficient, and at $120/night, a great value. The bed was comfortable, the pillow and sheets were fitting of a four-star hotel, the bathroom was spacious and had higher-end fixtures, and everything was immaculately clean. And the wireless internet throughout the property enabled my wife to tackle some of her work while I skied.

An added bonus is the upstairs pub and game room, which featured a friendly bartender, a roaring fire, several fun games (e.g. shuffleboard) and an array of other friendly guests and their families (who shared with us bits and pieces of the inn's storied history). We really enjoyed hanging out here for each of our nights at the inn.

Also worth noting is the included breakfast, better than anything we've had at a hotel or B&B in the Mad River Valley: on one morning, for example, we had coffee and juice, fruit, yogurt & granola, eggs, bacon, home fries and french toast, enough to keep me full for much of the ski day at Sugarbush. It was helpful that the breakfast was served at 7:30am both days, enabling us to eat a full meal and be at Sugarbush South by just after 8:00am (in time for first tracks on the Mall, and later, Organgrinder, on a morning in which the mountain received 5" of snow).

Finally the service throughout our stay from innkeepers Joanne and Andrew, as well as their staff, was impeccable without ever being intrusive, and laid back in way that matches the character of the property.

In sum, we had a great time at the Inn at the Mad River Barn, and look forward to returning soon for another ski or cycling vacation.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Vermont, United States
1 review
Reviewed 19 November 2013

We stayed at the Inn at Mad River Barn over Easter weekend 2013. We had a great time. The new owners were fantastic hosts. They let us have the run of the place and do an Easter egg hunt for our kids in the lounge. We spent hours talking with them over a delicious french toast breakfast and heard about their plans for renovation. We followed all of this with a hike on trails behind the Inn. We already loved the Inn, but can't wait to come back this winter now that it has undergone major renovations!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Becky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billskis
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2013

Not sure what criteria James used in his assessment, but I don't see the changes going on there will do much more than put things back the way they had been years before, with of course some updating. Frankly, the building took a beating over the years. There were leaking ceilings and pipes, which beget their own problems of odors and mildew. The there was the outside staircase which got a bit icy now and then, making for an adventure. Truth is, some of this stuff just brought the building up to code. This isn't the Marriott, nor do the owners aspire to be.

I have had some really long conversations with Betsy. The barn was for sale for many, many, many years. She was very particular with who she would sell it to. Just like when she sold MRG. Many developers approached her, but in the end, she went with the co-op model. The knew it would be sustainable and be loved. Why? Betsy is sharp as a tack. She has a compelling business sense. Both she and her husband were very wise in the ways of business success. She sold the business because she had faith that new owners could make it sustainable, loved and maintained. Betsy knew it needed a little bit of "TLC" as the realtors say. The valley doesn't need one more luxury hotel. The funkiness remains and I'll get to check it out this winter once again. I can't wait to see the way the fireplace looked 40 years ago. And the cooking will never change. From what I've seen so far, they are preserving the personality. After all, what really makes the place unique is the people it attracts. I almost missed skiing the second day because I got carried away talking with all the interesting people in the kitchen. I always rated it "very good", because there is always room for improvement.

Room Tip: Take a room in the "annex" if you're a light sleeper or just want to be entirely disco...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank billskis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrew L, Owner at Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub, responded to this review, 2 October 2013
Thanks for your review! We appreciate your support of the renovations we are undertaking at the Mad River Barn. We think we have the coolest community here in the Mad River Valley, and we love that people enjoy the "funkiness" that is the Barn. We love it too. At the same time, we know that guests enjoy clean rooms, comfortable beds, modern bathrooms, and these sorts of things, and that's what this renovation project is about. It's also about being good stewards of the environment. We were really unhappy with how much fuel oil the Barn burned each year, so a significant portion of the renovation budget was allocated toward energy efficiency. We've installed new windows and insulation, replaced the oil-fired boiler with a geothermal heating and cooling system, and restored in-room temperature controls. All good stuff!

We love the Valley and the people that come here, and we're looking forward to re-opening after renovations are complete the week of Christmas 2013. After we re-open, we will remain open year round, including the pub and restaurant which will be open to the public as well as Inn guests. So if you've primarily visited us in the winter for the awesome skiing up here, remember that Vermont has something to offer every season of the year! Road biking, motorcycling, swimming, kayaking, fishing, hiking... the list goes on an on!

Thanks again,

Andrew & Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waitsfield, Vermont, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I've been going to the Mad River Barn since I first skied Mad River Glen in the mid-70's. I'm now a Mad River Valley resident and it was sad to have see the old house and out buildings fall into disrepair over the years. This past ski season I had the pleasure to stop for a beer on the way back from the mountain and meet the new owners. I sensed their enthusiasm and I just knew they were going to turn around the Mad River Barn. I have been watching the impressive renovations during this summer and look forward to stopping by again soon. The Mad River Barn is back!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tony A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

Great ski weekend to Mad River. The barn was as comfortable and casual as ever. A great family loding option. The new owners seem great and excited to be a part of the wider Mad River community. They spoke of trying to do a little more with the restaurant, which I think would be a welcome addition to the area.
A word of caution to first timers; this is a comfortable family friendly lodge, but if you're looking for a spa weekend with all the creature comforts this is not a good spot for you.

Room Tip: For convenience to the bar and dining area, I always try and stay in the main barn versus the annex.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank poorfarm153
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013

The Inn at Mad River Barn is for anyone interested in a uniquely Vermont experience, particularly a skiing one. With some of the best skiing VT has to offer within spitting distance, this inn is uniquely positioned to take advantage of it all. The Inn has been around forever and offers an experience that is harder and harder to find these days.

The inn has been around for a long time and is a great mixture of artifacts from the many Vermont winters it has seen including old paintings, skis, a moosehead, etc. If you like sitting around a roaring fire sharing stories with fellow skiers and getting to know them, this is a great place.

The new owners, Andrew and Heather, are super friendly and helpful. If you have kids, this is a great place with plenty of board games, air hockey, foosball, etc. We will definitely be back.

In terms of some of the negative reviews below, I offer the following feedback.

1. This is an Inn, not a hotel. There is a difference. Understand that and you will not be disappointed. If you want a flat panel tv in your room, marble baths, etc. then check into a hotel. If you want comfortable digs at great value with great people, check it out.

2. This is an experience, not just a room. Be prepared to be social. You will be dining and sharing space with other guests and the staff. Get to know them, it will improve your stay.

3. For those with kids, leave the iPads, xBox's, etc at home or at least in your room. You would be amazed at how much fun kids can have with Twister, Monopoly, or Air Hockey.

Finally, before I forget don't skip the breakfast. Josh, Rick, and the rest of the staff do an awesome job of making sure you are well fed before you hit the slopes.

Room Tip: Rooms in the annex may be a little quieter, particularly if there are lots of kids staying.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank smeyler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub

Property: Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub
Address: 2849 Millbrook Rd, Waitsfield, VT 05673-7372 (Formerly Inn at the Mad River Barn)
Region: United States > Vermont > Waitsfield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Waitsfield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant & Pub has been a fixture in the Mad River Valley for many years. Located at the base of the Appalachian Gap in the heart of the Mad River Valley, we're just a mile and half from Mad River Glen, and about five miles from Sugarbush's Lincoln Peak. We offer 18 guest rooms, each with a private bath. In addition, we have an onsite restaurant, a pub with a floor to ceiling fieldstone fireplace, and a game room where guests can play a game of shuffleboard on the newly refurbished antique shuffleboard table, or a game of foosball. Board games, cribbage, and cards are also available.In 2013, the property underwent a significant renovation project, including enhancements to the Barn and to the Farmhouse. From shopping and dining, to outdoor recreation, the arts, and events, Mad River Barn serves as your retreat and gateway to a fantastic Vermont experience. ... more   less 
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