The Vermont Winter Experience Getaway GIVEAWAY!

The snow gods have been much more generous to us in Vermont this winter than in recent years, and while we have had a few warm days, there is still some winter left here and we are living it to the fullest.

We put our heads together with a few of our friends around town to cook up the ultimate Vermont Winter Experience Getaway. In partnership with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, we are excited to offer a two-night complimentary stay here at Hotel Vermont, dinner for two at Hen of the Wood – Burlington, and lift tickets to Stowe Mountain Resort!

The giveaway closes March 6th, so enter as soon as you can! ENTER HERE.

Runamok Maple & Hotel Vermont Partnership

For this holiday season, we are excited to announce that we have partnered with Runamok Maple to place complimentary 2oz bottles of syrup in all of our guest bedrooms.
Runamok Maple launched this summer and is a line of organic barrel-aged, infused and smoked maple syrups. Runamok produces all their syrup in Cambridge, Vermont. Designed to get people thinking about and using maple syrup differently, the syrups are equally as good for breakfast as they are as icings/glazes or in cocktails. You can try their different flavor syrups now through the end of the year during breakfast at Juniper or in some of our cocktails at the bar.
Runamok Maple has been picked by Oprah, Food and Wine, Cooking Light and Real Simple for their 2016 gift guides.
Online at: Facebook @runamokmaple and Instagram: runamokmaple and Twitter @runamokmaple.

New Ceiling Sculpture in the Lobby!

Our design firm, Truex Cullins Interiors, recently installed a new wooden sculpture in our lobby. Cut using digital technology, the decorative ceiling is a 3D topographical map of the Adirondacks, an homage to the view of the mountains across the lake.

Read more about the design and process on Truex’s blog here or stop in and take in the view for yourself! Photo by Jim Westphalen.

Instagram Scavenger Hunt

Live the Hotel Vermont life during your stay with our #hotelvtlife Instagram Scavenger Hunt. Post pictures of the destinations, yourself or your travel companions at the destinations below using the hashtag #hotelvtlife and  @hotelvermont and win prizes along the way!

See contest restrictions below.

 Rules of the Hunt:

–       Complete 3 photos and receive a delicious Vermont treat (limit to one per room).

–       Complete 5 items and win a $10 gift card to Hotel Vermont that you can use on your current stay or at Juniper AND be entered into seasonal Instagram “best-of” contest to win a free night at Hotel Vermont. Full disclosure, the winners will be chosen by the staff so make your pictures count!

–       Read complete restrictions below. You must be a guest of the hotel to win.

 Picture requirements are five of the following:

–       A Vermont famous craft beer

–       Some type of Vermont dairy product

–       An Adirondack or Lake Champlain beauty shot

–       A favorite Hotel Vermont detail

–       Best thing you ate

–       Champ

–       Little Italy

–       The original Hotel Vermont

–       Street mural or local art

–       Lone Rock Point

When you are finished, please stop by the Front Desk to redeem your prizes! Happy hunting!

Read the full restrictions on our website here.

New Summer Package: Meet the Cows!

We are very excited to introduce one of our new Summer packages: Meet the Cows Tour package! Led by our friends at Bonafide Tours, this guided farm experience features a grass fed organic dairy farm with a Guernsey cow herd located on a picturesque hillside farm near Johnson Vermont.

Open to all ages, this is an up close and personal tour that includes walking among the cows during milking, bottle feeding and/or petting calves when available.

After visiting with the cows, stop at an elegant tea room featuring hand-made sweet and savory treats made with local ingredients and located within a carefully handcrafted post and beam barn.

Optionally (and open to customization for families) the tour also includes wine tasting at the award winning Boyden Valley Winery, allowing you to take in the incredible views of the stunning Mount Mansfield region, riverside landscapes, and a quaint covered bridge along the tour route.

This is a two-night minimum stay package. For Wednesday-Friday or Thursday-Saturday stays. Tours are led Thursday or Friday and include breakfast at Juniper each morning and the four-hour tour that departs at 1pm and returns at 6pm. More information and booking available here.

Ice Fishing in Vermont

While this year’s temperatures have been a bit above average, that hasn’t stopped fishing enthusiasts from getting out on the water. John Abair, our Event Coordinator and Fishing Concierge, tells us about ice fishing in Vermont. John is more than happy to share his knowledge and love of fishing with interested parties and can be reached at john@hotelvt.com. 
When the bite of winter is first felt in Vermont, many Vermonters can be found on the slopes, or snowshoeing through the woods; though, there is but one thing on the mind of the die hard anglers. Where’s the ice?
During the heart of the cold Vermont winter, anglers target a huge variety of fish species through the ice; these include yellow and white perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, crappie, northern pike, trout, salmon, burbot, and a host of other species. Lake Champlain contains over 80 species of fish! Ray’s Seafood, the only local fish processing facility, buys nearly 1 million dollars worth of perch and other panfish every year. Much of which is caught by ice anglers.
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Ice fishermen (and women) use either a motorized or hand powered auger to drill 4 to 12 inch holes; where they will either jig (using a small fishing pole) or set tip-ups (or traps).  Once the traps are set, a flag will spring up when something has taken the bait. Anglers are allowed to have up to 15 lines out at one time while fishing on Lake Champlain (8 on most other bodies of water), allowing for even greater potential to catch fish. So if find yourself in Vermont during the middle our longest season and want to try the sport, stop by one of the local bait shops for a fishing license and intel on where the safe ice is, and what’s biting!

Maple and More

This month guest blogger Todd Comen writes about the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier, Vermont. Todd holds a PhD from the University of Vermont and is a professor at Johnson State College. In his free time, he runs Bonafide Tours & Adventures, which we have partnered with this spring to take guests on a uniquely Vermont maple experience. The package will be released through the hotel’s website in a few weeks, but in the meantime read Todd’s take on the brothers Morse and their maple production.

The sweet smell of spring fills the air in Vermont when finally the sap begins to flow to the tops of the birch, beech, and maple trees.  Vermonters make time to celebrate spring by venturing out of their winter burrows to visit a Vermont Sugar house at the end of March.  Those who do get out enjoy the sweetest of flavors of maple sugar on snow, and, if they go to the right sugarhouse, they’ll be treated to the sweet taste of hot dogs or eggs boiled in maple water.

Two generous, friendly, and humble sugar makers I know are Burr and Elliott Morse, two brothers who have been sugaring on the Morse family farm as the seventh generation of sugar makers for as long as they can remember.  Burr and Elliott have a whole flock of followers, as well as long time employees, newcomers, and a host of grandchildren coming up as if breaking through the deep winter snow.  Among the long-time employees is Audrey who can tell stories of long ago when her father operated the saw mill below the old Wrightsville Dam or when a young Gerald Pease, now in the heavenly barn for dairy farmers, would bark like a dog for one of those hot dogs boiled up so sweet to accompany his sugar on snow, which always, at Morse Farm, has the required dill pickle, and a generous helping of traditional plain, yet tasty doughnuts, from the famous Wayside Restaurant.

So get on out to a sugar house near you this spring, or find your way to Morse Farm Sugar house on the County Road only two miles outside of Montpelier.  You are bound to have a really Sweet Experience!