Stowe Mountain stay Field Guide Lodge is an inviting, all-year-round basecamp for exploring this picturesque corner of Vermont. The only residual signs of its ski-haus past are the hotel’s more-practical-than-pretty buildings that belie the top-notch interiors within. Bucolic Vermont scenery inspires the hotel’s contemporary lodgings – with outdoorsy-print wallpapers, tactile timbers and nature-referencing hues – where the deer heads are papier-mâché and the furs are faux. A sociable lobby-bar-lounge is at the heart of this retreat, but as the mercury rises, expect the party to extend to the patio and outdoor pool, where a fire pit encourages laidback evenings alfresco.
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A selection of locally made sweet treats and some handmade soap
11am; check-in is from 3pm until 8pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability and you’ll need to arrange this in advance.
Double rooms from £155.53 ($197), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include a tapas-style breakfast in the main Lodge.
Although not wheelchair-friendly, there’s an accessible suite in the Trail House (not ADA-compliant), which has grab rails in the shower, a lowered toilet seat, and a foldable shower chair. The front desk and lobby are accessible by ramp, but the pool and hot tub are not wheelchair-friendly.
Please let the hotel know if you’ll be arriving after 8pm, when check-in closes.
At the hotel
Free WiFi. In rooms: air-conditioning, 40-inch LED TV with Apple TV, Tivoli radio, USB ports, hairdryer, mini fridge, wine glasses, corkscrew, waffle kimono robes, and Lather bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Summit Kings at Field Guide Lodge come with their own entrance, outdoor gear locker, plus high ceilings and/or picture windows. Cottage Suites are idyllic for groups or families, and if you’re after something extra special, check out the Lark and Trail suites in the Trail House to the rear of the hotel. King Suites in this building, too, come with private outdoor space, and we’re putting in a good word for the cosiness of Lodge Queen rooms.
Between the main Lodge and the Trail House, a jauntily angular pool is edged by oversize concrete slabs that give way to tub chairs and wooden four-poster day-beds, and there’s a hot tub to one side. The main pool is heated and opens seasonally.
There’s no spa at the hotel, but for face and body treatments, Field Guide Lodge recommends Bhav Spa in nearby Waterbury.
The ambience at Field Guide Lodge is more backpack than wheelie case… Binoculars and sketchbooks, outdoorsy threads for daytime adventures, and cosy layers for lingering alfresco as the sun sets.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, the hotel often hosts live music.
Up to two dogs, each under 70lbs, are welcome at any of the Cottage Suites, from $50 a pooch, each night. Note that Fido’s not allowed in public spaces indoors and cannot be left alone, plus if there are any dog-related damages, you’ll be charged $250. See more pet-friendly hotels in Vermont.
Welcome, and there are multi-room and cottage-suite options, as well as some rooms that’ll fit a crib, but that’s the extent of the provision for families, so this family-friendly stay is best suited to older children.
As the elements allow, the patio is an atmospheric spot, whether it’s breakfast or après-ski drinks. A fire pit beside the pool is a great spot for after-dinner drinks and chat.
Mountain casual or ready for the slopes is fine.
There’s no restaurant at Field Guide Lodge, but rock up to the lounge areas that fan off the lobby in the main Lodge each morning for juice, coffee, and sweet and savory small plates served tapas-style.
The lobby-cum-lounge-bar at this Vermont mountain lodge is the hub of any stay here – light-filled and beautifully appointed with raw timber, birch tree-trunks, faux-fur, papier-mâché deer heads, and eye-catching modern furniture. It’s a space in which you could curl up with a coffee, defrost fireside with a good book, gather with apéritifs before heading into Stowe for dinner, or return to, sated, for a cheeky nip before bed. In summer, the patio becomes an extension of this conviviality, occasionally hosting live music.
Breakfast is served from 8am until 10am.
There’s no room service at Field Guide Lodge, but all rooms come with a mini fridge, glassware and corkscrew – so there’s scope to improvise your own in-room drinks and snacks.
Field Guide Lodge is in Stowe, a ski field and open-all-year mountain town, edged by the Green Mountains in Vermont.
Burlington is the nearest airport, a 50-minute drive from Field Guide Lodge. Private transfers are available (price on request).
Waterbury-Stowe is the nearest station, 20 minutes from the hotel by road, with daily Vermonter services connecting Waterbury with St Albans to the north, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC to the south. Private transfers are available (price on request).
There’s a private carpark at Field Guide Lodge, with a free allocation of one car for each room booked.
Worth getting out of bed for
Vermont is known for its ice-cream and maple syrup and there’s a sweet line-up of places to visit and adventures to try, centred around Stowe – the heart of which you can access on foot from Field Guide Lodge. In winter, it’s all about Stowe Mountain – the snowy playground between Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, linked by 13 lifts and 116 ski trails: explore it skiing or snowboarding, or via its network of cross-country ski routes. Summer brings the opportunity to spy its peaks and valleys from the air with a hot-air balloon ride, or amid the canopy with a high-ropes adventure at Smugglers’ Notch. There are hiking trails, including Camel’s Hump – a five-hour epic with the range’s largest vertical climb. For two-wheel aficionados, mountain biking trails ribbon the slopes, or you can stick to flatter routes with a cycle along Stowe Bike Path. Weatherproof delights include a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, tenpin at Stowe Bowl, or tastings and a browse of bottles at Boyden Valley Winery. In spring, head to Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm to explore the alchemy that transforms tree sap into maple syrup.
Showcasing Vermont’s pantry, the Waterbury outpost of Hen of the Wood is an upscale timber-lined dining spot with a seasonally-changing menu that uses locally sourced ingredients. Plates are either sharers, small or large, and described sparingly by listed components, say pappardelle with shishito peppers, corn and aged goat’s cheese, or crispy skate cheeks with cider aioli. Comfort food and cabin vibes come together at Stowe stalwart, the Bench: we’re eyeing up chicken sliders, poutine, and wood-fired nachos – and that’s just for starters; mains such as smoked ribs, seafood cioppino, and vegetable kitchari with avocado raita seal the deal. Foremost a natural wine store, Cork also has a handful of tables for dinner, serving a small menu of Italian-inspired plates such as rhubarb caprese, ricotta-topped bruschetta, and garlicky chicken wings; pasta, gourmet burgers and hearty fish plates are typical mains.
‘We couldn’t find a decent café,’ said nobody ever of Stowe. Butler’s Pantry does a fine line in coffee, brunch or breakfast; for lunch, Stowe Sandwich lives up to its name with shrimp-stuffed subs, fried-chicken fabulousness, and tempting toasties; for soups, salads and sandwiches, you want Café on Main; brunch – be it huevos rancheros or buttermilk pancakes – is fine-tuned at Green Goddess Cafe on South Main Street.
Stacked plates and cosy-cabin feels abound at Backyard Tavern, which has a similar appeal to the Bench, but we’re listing it as a drinking hole for its late hours, beer selection and house cocktails – whether you add duck wontons, pork tots and fish tacos is up to you…
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Vermont mountain lodge and unpacked their Field Notes journals and stash of maple syrup, a full account of their Green Mountains break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Field Guide Lodge in Stowe…
Resort lovers – look away now: this is no all-frills, restaurant- and spa-sporting stay, but Field Guide Lodge in Stowe is all the more petite and peaceful for that. A clutch of rooms and cottage-style suites are spread across two buildings set around tranquil grounds (featuring a summer swimming pool). Cosiness is heaped on like cream on hot chocolate – via contemporary mountain-inspired interiors by Reider + Co, with papier-mâché deer heads, faux-fur throws, outdoorsy prints by Mandy Mohler, rugged timbers and playful pops of colour. Convivial lounge areas surround the main lobby at the heart of this boutique bolthole and ensure that, along with space to unwind in rooms and suites, this is a welcoming address you’ll look forward to returning to. Think of this finessed lodge – one of the Lark Hotels family – as your year-round basecamp: it’s ideally situated for snowy days on Stowe Mountain’s slopes, or forays hiking or biking, from spring through summer and fall. And although Field Guide Lodge has a breakfast-only set-up – for nights out, the bars and restaurants of Stowe are only a walk or short drive away.