Just two hours from New York City, Mayflower Inn & Spa, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is a luxury Connecticut escape where in-the-know city dwellers escape to unwind in style. Spacious, traditionally styled rooms are balanced with a sleek spa and modern fine dining restaurant, and it’s all peacefully tucked away in the woods on over 50 rolling acres.
Get this when you book through us:
A $75 resort credit to use on pampering spa treatments, leisurely meals and relaxing drinks during your stay
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £743.11 ($988), including tax at 15 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $42.54 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include access to the spa and group fitness classes.
You can cast a meditative line in a zen fly fishing lesson or cruise the surrounding area on a guided bike ride.
At the hotel
55 private acres, spa, swimming pool, tennis court, five-hole putting green, fitness centre, concierge, laundry, DVD library, free WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, iPod dock, minibar, Keurig tea and coffee maker, Red Flower bath products, bathrobes and free WiFi.
Our favourite rooms
In fall and winter, we love nothing more than to curl up on a cushy sofa in front of the fireplace in one of the Superior Suites. However, if you crave more square footage, opt for the Junior Suite with private balcony that’s tucked away in the homey Speedwell Cottage.
There are two pools: the heated, indoor spa house pool and unheated, outdoor pool open May to October.
The spa has a superb menu of specialised facials (rejuvenation acupuncture, anyone?), therapeutic soaks and replenishing body work rituals.
Don’t bother bringing your own tennis gear; racquets and balls are available at the front desk.
Over-12s are welcome and stay for free, but not catered to; the pools are adults-only and only over-16s are allowed in the spa.
Gaze out over the romantic Shakespeare Garden from any of the tables set along the back windows, and in warmer months don’t miss an opportunity to sit outside on the terrace.
Swap your muted city wardrobe for a sporty pop of colour or even a floral pattern to look the relaxed and well-heeled country-retreat part.
Muse by chef Jonathan Cartwright is a contemporary fine dining destination buzzing with guests and locals alike. The menu has an emphasis on seasonal, local fare – Connecticut Blue Point oysters and Rohan duck from a nearby farm – but the mod interiors in shades of muted grey and lavender, are a fresh departure from the hotel’s overall traditional New England decor.
Nab a high-backed seat lining the long polished bar or slide into tufted leather banquette in this traditional tavern. Order one of the local ales on tap or an expertly mixed classic cocktail. Beyond the average pub grub, the menu tempts with steamed mussels, bacon wrapped monkfish with lobster gnocchi and a black angus burger with hand-cut French fries.
Breakfast is served 7:30am to 10:30am, the Tap Room is open daily for lunch noon to 2:30pm and dinner 6:00pm to 10pm, Muse is open for dinner 6:00pm to 9:30pm but closed on Mondays.
Call up for a club sandwich, hearty salad or cheese and fruit plates 24-hours a day. In addition, the Muse menu can be requested in-room when the dining room is open.
Located in the rural town of Washington, Connecticut, Mayflower Inn & Spa is a countryside escape just a two hour drive from New York City.
Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is 60 miles away. JFK International Airport services most international and west coast arrivals and departures, and is 90 miles away. Several domestic airlines fly into LaGuardia Airport, 87 miles away. Travel times to and from all airports vary greatly due to traffic and time of day.
A car is essential for reaching the resort and exploring the surrounding area. Reliable car hire firms are available at each airport. Valet parking is available on-site and is free for guests.
Worth getting out of bed for
Tucked into the foothills of Connecticut’s Berkshire Mountains, the small town of Washington is the ideal country escape for those in search of some serious rest and relaxation. Set on acres of secluded grounds, you could be content to stay put at the Mayflower for your entire stay. Wander the winding meditative maze, stroll the fragrant paths of the Shakespeare garden or take a dip in the outdoor or indoor pool. The sleek spa has a long list of head-to-toe pampering and pummelling treatments. Rev up your heart rate with personal-training session like pumped-up playground (hoola-hoop and skip your way into a sweat) or fencing, and various yoga and Pilates classes.
They’ll also arrange for guides to lead you on excursions for every season – local hikes or snowshoeing treks, bike rides along scenic wooded trails,river kayaking or fly fishing on a tranquil pond. Take a private tennis lesson at the resort’s court or practice your swing on the five-hole putting green.
The concierge can point you in the direction of two public golf courses, downhill ski mountains and towns with unique shops for a day spent antiquing, too.
Chef Joel Viehland honed his skills in some of the world’s most impressive kitchens – Gramercy Tavern and Noma, among them – before he was tapped to help open Community Table. Here he works with the bounty of local ingredients from surrounding farms to create knockout dishes like milk-fed veal chops with coffee and spice roasted carrots or red snapper in an herb mussel broth. For a true New England pub experience, stop off at the GW Tavern set in a Colonial home from 1850. Sit with a pint of local ale in front of the fireplace or dine on traditional fare such as meatloaf or beer battered fish and chips on the flagstone patio overlooking the Shepaug River.
I needed a mini vacation that offered distance – physically, and more importantly, mentally – from Manhattan; a little time away from one another would be good for our relationship. The solution to this urbanite's problem came in a last-minute escape to Mayflower Inn & Spa?, an elegant New England-style hideaway in Washington, Connecticut, with a superb spa.
A subway, two Metro-North trains, and several hours later, I arrived in Waterbury, about a 30-minutes drive east of Washington, where I was able to hail an Uber to take me the rest of the way. Showing up in a chauffeured black car seemed like an appropriate arrival to make at this stately manor where a fleet of BMWs filled the parking lot.
However, any perceived pretension stopped there. Stepping inside the inn felt like I was entering a friend’s well-kept country home – a very affluent friend with a penchant for colonial revival architecture and design, mind you – but overall a cozy one.
Sitting rooms outfitted with leather Chesterfield sofas flanked both sides of the main entryway, each with lit fireplaces. The book-lined shelves, and the day’s newspapers set out on tables, all practically beckoning you to come take a load off for a few... hours.
My Superior Room, with its canopied four-poster bed and a mini library of books in the bathroom only furthered that feel of having been completely whisked away. I took in the view of the maze-like back garden before dropping my bags and making a beeline for the spa house. My sister was joining me later, and I wanted to get a lay of the land before our treatments that afternoon.
The spa menu’s 60-plus services would have been nearly impossible to choose from, had it not been for the fact that we opted early on to treat ourselves to a deep tissue duet massage. Admittedly, my sister was the least romantic partner for a mood-setting massage, but it was a relative bargain compared to each of us getting our own separately. What's not to love about that?
We had just enough time for a quick steam before we were due to meet our massage therapists, two attentive women who spent the next hour working each of us from stressed-out head to tense toe. My sister and I claimed that each of us had the better of the two massages; it was one of those debates where everyone wins.
Floating back up to the main lounge area, I longed for just an hour more to stay in my soft robe and recline on one of the chaise loungers, but our dinner reservation was fast approaching.
We made our way downstairs to the Tap Room, a casual gastropub and one of the hotel’s two restaurants. We loved the unstuffy atmosphere and our table near the fireplace however, I was hoping for some lighter vegetarian options given the hotel's focus on wellness. Anyone craving hearty American fare though – think burgers and steak – and locally sourced ingredients will be a happy camper, and the fries were ridiculously addictive.
The following morning I noted that my room’s WiFi seemed to be on the fritz. Not only did the staff promptly investigate the issue, but they suggested switching me to a different room entirely. I eagerly accepted it as a chance to see more of the hotel (all in the name of research, of course).
My new lodging for the night, an upgrade to the Eaton Suite, wasn’t just a larger room, but it felt like an apartment, complete with a separate living room and fireplace, an additional WC and a private terrace. I already knew that my night was set: room service, fireplace and a shameless block of reality TV. Perfection.
But first, to justify my plans to loaf around all evening, I needed to stretch my legs. Despite being warned of the steep hills with little shoulders, I made the descent down to the quaint commercial area, also known as Washington Depot, on foot. I consider myself an intrepid walker, however, I wouldn’t make that trip again without wheels.
I made the most of my time in town with a browse through the selection of books and cards at Hickory Stick Bookstore and a light lunch at Marty’s, a charming cafe and coffee shop just a few doors down. Note: if the zesty Italian tuna salad sandwich is the daily special, order it.
Back at the Mayflower, I headed to the spa house for a Vinyasa yoga class. It was less rigorous than my usual routine, and I welcomed the more meditative pace. It put me in the mood for another trip to the steam room, followed by an hour or two, or three (who’s counting?) reading and dozing in the Garden Room, a quiet sanctuary decorated in all-white with a wall of windows overlooking the hiking trails and lake.
The rest of my evening in my suite was a relaxed and happy blur. I ordered the satisfying grilled shrimp from room service, which I heaped on top of the kale salad, roasted vegetables, and ginger carrots and I’d picked up earlier at The Pantry, a beautiful little gourmet lunch spot in town.
As I ate beside the fire, I could hear old parlor tunes drifting up from a piano being played somewhere downstairs. I couldn’t have felt further from New York City, yet I knew that when tomorrow arrived, I’d be rested and recharged enough to go back.