Take a Journey to Somewhere in Time at New Hampshire's Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa

Long ago, when I was a lot younger than I am now, I went to the movies to see "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.  It was a time-traveling love story that not only left me wishing I had more tissues in my pocket but with the impression that there could be nothing more romantic than a big grand hotel like the one in the movie.  "Somewhere in Time" was filmed at the 1887 Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan and the name is definitely spot-on however I'm very happy to say that it isn't the only grand hotel in America nor is it the only one with an interesting history - it's just the only one with that particular name!

Fortunately for me, there are other grand hotels with grand names all their own and I don't need to go all the way to Michigan to find one. Instead I can just head north as there was a time when New Hampshire was the "go to destination" for travelers wanting to escape the heat of summer in the cities. Between 1885 and 1910, at the height of the era for grand hotels, there was a greater concentration of grand resort hotels in New Hampshire's White Mountains than anywhere else in America. According to the New Hampshire Historical Society, "The railroads spurred hotel development in the 1850s, although even prior to that time travelers would often undertake the long and uncomfortable stagecoach ride north. The White Mountain hotels originated with the first highway taverns and inns of the 1820s and 1830s. Nathaniel Hawthorne, a frequent traveler to the region, characterized these as "at once the pleasure-houses of fashionable tourists and the homely inns of country travelers." 

Hotels like the Crawford House, Fabyan House, Profile House, the Maplewood, the Waumbek, and the Glen House each could accommodate up to 400 guests at a time as they offered comfort and elegance to the thousands who would make the trip from Boston, Providence, New York, and other major East Coast cities, generally via rail travel, to spend the summer enjoying the beauty of the White Mountains. Unfortunately, though, they were all made of wood and eventually they all burned down usually from an errant spark from one of the very trains that brought the guests north - a fact that I learned on last year's ride through Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Thankfully not all of the resort hotels in the White Mountains met the fate of the ones listed above and there are still five hotels that can today claim the title of Grande Dame - Wentworth by the Sea in Newcastle, Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, The Omni Mount Washington Resort Hotel in Bretton Woods, the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, and the oldest of them all - the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, a very New England-esque town of approximately 2,300 on the northern edge of the White Mountains.

The above postcard is from 1915 when The Mountain View House, as it was called then, was in its heyday and could could accommodate over 200 guests but it's beginnings were much more humble than what you see there.  The story of the The Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa actually began on a dark and stormy night in 1865 when a stagecoach on its way from Boston to Montreal hit a large mud puddle and overturned in Whitefield.  The driver told his two passengers to walk about a 1/2-mile up a dirt road to a farmhouse and seek shelter there for the night as it was going to take some time to fix the coach.

Arriving long past the residents had gone to bed for the night, the travelers were nonetheless welcomed by the owners of the farmhouse - William and Mary Jane Dodge - and went to bed not knowing the sight that was going to await them when they awoke the next morning.  Following a delicious home-cooked meal, the couple walked out onto the porch and were so taken with the view of the Presidential Mountain Range (and the Dodge's hospitality) that they asked if they could stay on a bit longer.  The Dodges agreed and the accidental overnight stay turned into three weeks followed by a return visit for several months the following summer!

Upon the travelers' return visit, the light dawned for the Dodges as they realized that they could make money offering comfortable lodging, good food, and a grand view to other travelers so in 1866 they opened a modest country inn and the Mountain View House was born.  Over the years additions and expansions were made as word of the inn traveled until by the summer of 1884, they could accommodate over 100 guests.  During 1911 and 1912 construction continued and soon the Mountain View House had joined the elite ranks of New Hampshire's grand hotels offering rooms and a spectacular view to over 200 guests.

For over 100 years the Dodge Family ran The Mountain View House making it the oldest resort to be owned and operated continuously by the same family living on the same property. In 1979 though, the economy took a downturn, the cost of gas went up, and travelers stopped making the drive to northern New Hampshire choosing to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere. Faced with all that, the descendants of William and Mary Jane Dodge sold the property ending their long history of family hospitality.

Following the sale of the hotel and all of its acreage to Mountain View Associates, it wasn't long until the doors of the grand old hotel were closed due to poor financial returns in 1986.  Soon everything that wasn't nailed down was auctioned off (with the exception of one item which I'll tell you about later) and the property sat empty and neglected until 1998 when a young entrepreneur named Kevin Craffey, a general contractor from Duxbury, Massachusetts, saw that the property which included a 9-hole golf course, clubhouse, and conference hall was for sale while looking through a Sunday edition of the Boston Globe for a resort home in Martha's Vineyard. Craffey and his wife became fascinated with the idea of owning the Mountain View and worked diligently to obtain the property and take on the monumental job of restoring it to its previous splendor. Twenty million dollars and untold hours of labor later, the newly renovated and renamed Mountain View Grand opened its doors in May 22nd, 2002 with members of the Dodge Family in attendance and once again offered travelers one of the best views in New England.

The Moon Rising Over Mount Washington

National Register of Historic Places PlaqueHistoric Hotels of America PlaqueIn 2004 the Mountain View Grand was added to the National Register of Historic Places and then in 2005, the Grande Dame changed owners one more time when it was purchased by Great American Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, which owns a unique collection of historic hotels, including Le Pavillon, in New Orleans, Louisiana, The Cincinnatian in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Charleston, South Carolina. The new owners added an indoor pool and a health & wellness center as well as other guest amenities that made the resort even more grand than it already was. In 2010, the Mountain Grand View Resort and Spa became a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and joined their place amongst the more than 235 hotels that "have faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity in the United States of America."

The Gazebo and the Golf Course

... and let's not forget that view that started it all, shall we??

The very first time I saw the Mountain View Grand Resort listed in my handy-dandy Annual Directory of the Historic Hotels of America, I knew that I had found my own version of the Grand Hotel and that I was no longer going to have to figure out when I could fit in a trip to Michigan. Instead I could simply drive 200 miles north past the beauty of the Presidential Mountain Range and I'd be doing a little time-traveling of my own.  It was just a matter of when. I visited their website and signed up to receive E-Mail Promotions and News and every time a new e-mail arrived I'd say to myself, "I really need to get up there!"

The VerandaFinally the opportunity to make the trip to New Hampshire presented itself so I packed up the car with my Nikon, my oldest daughter, and my mother and we started out on a rather blustery and cool day in October.  Wanting to see how the foliage was going, we drove across New Hampshire's very scenic Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) then north through Crawford Notch (where we actually saw a female moose munching on grass and surrounded by picture-snapping tourists!) to approach the hotel via Route 3. Shortly before we got to Whitefield, the Mountain View Grand could be seen in the distance and I excitedly pointed it out to Amanda saying, "That's our destination for the night!" Amanda looked towards the east and turned back to me, "We're staying at the Overlook Hotel??" Ah teenagers. Where I saw a grand hotel like the one in "Somewhere in Time", she saw the haunted hotel from "The Shining" instead. Great, first she thought I had taken her to the Bates Motel when we spent a night in the Berkshires and now she thought I was taking her to the hotel where Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) slowly went crazy!

Just a short while later we arrived at the Mountain View Grand and made our way across the beautiful porch and inside to the lobby. Had we been arriving back in 1915, the scene below would have met us:

Instead, we walked into a lobby that was modern but still retained the feeling of stepping back almost 100 years in time.  It was warm, it was welcoming, it was perfect! 

A view of the lobby

The staff at the registration desk were as warm and welcoming as the lobby was as we were given the keys to our room as well as a map of the property and the offer to have the car valet parked.  Knowing I was going to want to get outside with my camera as soon as possible I declined the offer and was given a parking permit and directions to self-parking.

Following a short conversation with Gene Ehlert, Marketing Manager for the Resort and Spa, who welcomed us to the hotel and told me about a covered bridge in the area that I might like to see (I'm pretty sure Amanda groaned and rolled her eyes at that!), we made our way to the third floor and Room 308.

Stairway to the first floor from the lobby
Guests have two options at Mountain View Grand - they can either climb the stairs (which we did several times) or they can take a ride on the oldest operating elevator in the State of New Hampshire. In keeping with the hotel's history and adherence to the rules of being on the National Register of Historic Places, the elevator is the original manual operated one which requires the Bellman's assistance. Manufactured by Park Manufacturing, a North Carolina company that has provided its customers with the most modern elevators on the market every year since 1898, the elevator gets inspected once a month to make sure it's in top working order and takes new employees a week or two to learn how to operate before they're no longer "missing" the floor that they need to stop on. Needless to say, I thought it was pretty cool!

The Mountain View Grand offers several different options when it comes to accommodations from classic guest rooms to luxury suites.  Our room was a Grand View Guest Room with two double beds and it was quite spacious with beautiful views of the western mountains including Mount Lafayette of the Presidential Range and Cannon Mountain which is part of the Franconia Mountain Range and nearby the site of the former Old Man in the Mountain.

Room #308 at the Mountain View Grand Resort
Sink in the Bathroom of Room #308 at the Mountain View Grand ResortThe Bathroom in Room #308 at the Mountain View Grand Resort

All of the rooms at the hotel are equipped with free WiFi internet, cable television, luxurious triple-sheeted bed linens (I check for that these days!), huge closets, and custom bath products.  Additionally they provide nightly turn-down service complete with a delicious chocolate left on your pillow and if there's something you need that you may have forgotten, just let the front desk know and they'll get it for you. Should guests wish to make arrangements for anything special in advance, they can do so via the On-Line Concierge where one can find In-Room Massages, Dining Reservations, Spa Services, Resort Activities, and lots more to make your stay as special as you want it to be.

 A Welcoming Fruit Platter

A really nice and thoughtful touch by the hotel was a delicious fruit platter that was left in our room along with several bottles of water and a card welcoming me to the Mountain View Grand. Amanda scarfed down most of the raspberries before I had a chance to even blink (she couldn't help it, they were that good!) but I did manage to get a picture before she did too much damage!

Leaving my Mom relaxing in our room, I drug Amanda along with me to move the car to the guest parking area and take a few pictures of the resort.  It was rather chilly and windy with a low predicted that night of 23 degrees but it was still a gorgeous late afternoon made even more so by our surroundings.

The Back of the Mountain View Grand Resort
The back of the Mountain View Grand Resort
The gazebo and clubhouse with the White Mountains in the background.
A view of the Gazebo and Clubhouse to the left
Horsedrawn Carriage Ride
Guests enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride up Mountain View Road

Going back into the building, I wanted to check out some of the other areas of the hotel so while Amanda went back to our room to make sure the Internet worked, I prowled around a bit and put the Nikon through its paces.

The Fitness Room provides guests with state-of-the-art cardio equipment including elliptical trainers, steppers, bikes and treadmills as well as weight machines that work all of the major muscle groups and even tell you when you're doing it wrong!

There is also a yoga/dance studio that is absolutely beautiful!

Across from the Fitness Center, guests can find the indoor pool whose murals were painted by a local artist over a four-month period.  There are 42 "hidden objects" - some of which are fairly easy to find and some that may forever remain hidden to all but those with the sharpest eyes!

The Sauna by the Indoor Pool

Along with the pool and jacuzzi, guests can enjoy the warmth of a sauna.

Heading back up to the main level of the hotel I stopped in at the Eisenhower Library which, yes, is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States.  President Eisenhower used to come up to the Mountain View Grand and stay at a house located on the property but at night, after most of the other guests had gone to bed, he would come up to the main hotel and spend some quiet time reading in the library, his favorite room at Mountain View Grand.  He did that so as not to "disturb" the other guests that were there enjoying their vacations but as popular as he was amongst our military, I would be willing to bet that those veterans who also stayed at the Mountain View Grand from time to time would have been more than happy to be disturbed by Ike!

It's very easy to see why this beautiful room was President Eisenhower's favorite with its stately yet cozy decor - not to mention its marvelous view! Just a quick note, Eisenhower wasn't the only President to stay at the Mountain View House; the others that the hotel hosted are both Roosevelts, Coolidge, Hoover, and Cleveland.

The Eisenhower Library
View from the Eisenhower Library
Joanna's Sunroom

Off of the Eisenhower Library is Joanna's Sun Room (named for the owner's wife) which is the perfect spot for smaller business meetings though I've got to think that beautiful view might be just a bit distracting if the meeting is too boring or goes on too long!

Out the door and down the hall just a bit ...

Hallway near the Dodge Parlor

... is a display containing some of the local history as well as mementos from earlier times at Mountain View Grand.  It's definitely worth spending a few minutes looking over the artifacts kept inside, especially if you like history as I do! 

The Artificat Cabinet

The next stop along the hall is the Dodge Parlor where guests can simply sit and relax with a cup of coffee or tea or glass of wine or play a game of checkers or any of the other board games that are available at the front desk.

Doorway to the Dodge Parlor
View into the Dodge Parlor

On the wall is a collection of photographs showing the Mountain View Grand as it has looked down through the ages. Like the display in the hallway, these pictures are most definitely worth taking the time to take a look at to see just how much the hotel has - and yet hasn't - changed over the years.

The dining room table in the Dodge Parlor

Exiting the Dodge Parlor via the French doors, guests find themselves on one of the best spots at the Mountain View Grand - at least in my humble opinion - the veranda!

The Veranda
The view from the veranda

During warmer months guests can dine on on New England-inspired tapas-style cuisine while taking in the view laid out before them . In cooler months, you can settle in with a warm sweater and a nice hot cup of coffee or tea - or if you'd like something a little warmer to enjoy the view by, the bar in the Tavern is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight. 

Sunsets in the White Mountains

Being a major fan of porches and rockers, I could have happily sat outside on the veranda for a very, very long time and enjoyed the view - especially as the sun started to set!

The Gift Shoppe

Back inside there's a nice little gift shop located across from the front desk where guests can find something nice to take home or entertain the kids with if by some odd chance they've run out of things to do at one of the Mountain View Grand's Children's Programs which include activities that range from nature hikes to frog hunts to maple syrup-making with all sorts of fun things to do in between.  

A look inside the gift shop.

As nice as it was inside the hotel, I really wanted to get back outside and take some pictures as the sun was going down so I bundled up as best I could and went out to take in the view - which truly is grand! 

Even though it was getting quite chilly, bundled-up guests were still enjoying the horse-drawn carriage rides. I could only imagine how popular the sleigh rides are in winter!

As I was watching the sun set behind the mountains, I spent some talking to another guest who was enjoying the view and a glass of wine and she told me that her children had given she and her husband a stay at the Mountain View Grand for their anniversary and that they were absolutely loving it!  Not that I have anniversaries, mind you, but I wish my kids would take a page from that particular book if they ever get stumped on a gift idea! 

Back inside the warmth of the lobby, Amanda and my Mom had come downstairs so that we could have dinner but first I had to take a few more pictures! 

There are numerous dining options for guests at the Mountain View Grand including the Main Dining Room which is AAA Four Diamond rated and the resort's most formal option, the Club House which overlooks the golf course and the outdoor pool, the Veranda in the warmer months, and a very special place that I will tell you more about in a bit as well as The Tavern which is where you can wear casual dress and dine on delicious New England food.

My Dad always said I had champagne taste and a beer budget so as much as I would have loved to sit in the Main Dining Room and enjoyed dinner along with a spectacular view of the mountains that was something that was just going to have to wait until another visit - preferably when I don't have a teenager who has even more expensive taste than I do sometimes with me!

The Tavern was very warm and inviting and comfortable with what I thought were very unique wall lamps! They fit the theme of the room which seemed to almost border on a hunting lodge but I'm sure looked more like an early American tavern the likes of which some of my old New England ancestors may have had a meal at on occasion.

Lots of things looked really good on the menu and having had a chance to look at it on-line before we went north I had a pretty good idea of what Amanda was going to order and I wasn't wrong!  I know that kid too well!

Amanda loves salmon when she can get it so she ordered the Pan-Seared Atlantic Salmon - a fresh filet garnished with Maine lobster meat and imported brie cream, accompanied by roasted shallot potato pancakes.

I opted for major-league comfort food: Chicken Pot Pie - a New England classic with all white meat chicken simmered in velouté with onions, carrots, celery and sweet peas, served in a brass pot and garnished with fresh puff pastry.

My mother wasn't too hungry so she ordered a bowl of New England Clam Chowder which came in a cute little soup tureen but my mother isn't used to the whole "I need to take a picture of your food before you eat it" thing like Amanda is so I didn't bother her.  You'll just have to take my word for it that it looked good! 

Even though dinner was filling, Amanda and I both decided dessert was in order so she had the Root Beer Float Cake while I had English Caramel Bread Pudding.  Both were delicious!

The entire waitstaff at The Tavern was courteous and friendly and very professional anticipating our every need and being there with more water to top off our glasses or more coffee if it looked like the cup was getting close to being empty.  I noticed that they were very attentive to all of the guests and everyone in The Tavern at the same time we were there really seemed to be enjoying their dining experience while the staff was enjoying their jobs.  It was a really delicious meal and the atmosphere and staff made it even more of a wonderful experience.

Following dinner, we went back up to our room via a set of stairs that was located across from the Eisenhower Library and spent a little time perusing the shelves of books that were at the end of the hallway on the third floor. There were benches in some of the hallways which I suppose some might think odd but I thought it was a nice touch as there was also a lot of artwork lining the walls and it might be nice to sit on a comfy bench across from a beautiful painting and just set a spell.  Either that or it was the perfect place to rest and catch your breath after climbing up all those stairs!

It took me no time at all to fall asleep once my head hit the pillow and I'm pretty sure that I slept like the proverbial rock as the temperatures outside dipped down below freezing while our room stayed warm and cozy.  Even though several staff members had alluded to the possibility of ghosts in the hotel, I didn't notice a thing until the sun began to brighten our room the following morning. 

Leaving Amanda still in bed and my mom watching the morning news, I showered and dressed then went out to see about getting some more pictures before breakfast.  After all, I really had barely scratched the surface the evening before! 

The wind had died down from the day before and it was a practically-perfect-in-every-way kind of morning as I snapped a picture of the gazebo with the Franconia Mountains in the back then made my way down the road past Presidential Hall, the resort's Conference Center which is perfect for corporate meetings and events as well as wedding receptions.

From there I wandered across the street to the Club House which borders the Mountain Grand View Resort's very scenic 9-hole golf course which is open to the public. The Club House boasts a lounge, dining room, beautiful outside deck and locker rooms, as well as a shuffleboard court, a children's play area and a beautiful outdoor swimming pool. The gate to the swimming area was unlocked so I let myself in so that I could take a few pictures.

The pool was absolutely gorgeous as it reflected the blue skies and classic yellow Club House! 

From the Club House I went back up the small hill towards the hotel and past the golf course which was empty except for a course maintenance person or two.  As beautiful of a day as it was shaping up to be, though, I'm sure the course wasn't empty for long! 

At that point I was starting to get hungry and figured that Mom and Amanda were also so I went in and we went to The Tavern for breakfast.  Amanda and I decided on the breakfast buffet that had so many delicious options it was hard to chose what to eat next while Mom had a waffle with fresh strawberries. Coffee or tea and juice were included with the price of the buffet and I'm pretty sure Amanda drank more orange juice than she'd had all year!

On the way out of breakfast I got a quick shot of the bar in The Tavern where complimentary  coffee and tea is available to guests as well as alcoholic beverages after 11:00 a.m. 

Check-out time was at 11:00 a.m. but that was also the same time that a Historic Tour was available so Mom & Amanda opted to sit in the lobby and wait for me to take the tour.  Before the tour started I stopped and talked to the concierge who found directions to the covered bridge that Gene had talked to me about the previous day.  It was tricky as she said that it wasn't one that most guests asked for directions to but she did a great job looking it up and giving me a map so that I would be able to find it after the Historic Tour.

Myself and two other guests were the only ones taking the tour that day but our guide didn't skimp on the details and we spent over an hour visiting places in the hotel that we may or may not have been to already. We started the tour in the Dodge Parlor where our guide (I really wish I could remember his name!) gave us a history lesson on the how the Mountain View Grand got its start and then we proceeded to the Eisenhower Library, the Health & Wellness Center, and the Indoor Pool before making our way to places in the hotel that I had yet to get to.

On the Lower Level of the hotel there's a 17-seat movie theater where guests can kick back and enjoy any of the 500 titles that are available on DVD at the front desk.  You just check to see if the theater is available at the time that you want it, pick a movie, and the front desk will start it for you.  Staff even brings you popcorn during the movie!  There is also a scheduled movie time when guests are invited to come down and watch whatever title the hotel happens to be showing.  Our tour guide told us that a family that was planning a reunion at the hotel soon had made arrangements to reserve the theater so that they could watch a DVD of home movies while they were there so special requests are most definitely accepted!

Across the hall from the movie theater is a game room with an air hockey table, Foos ball, ping pong, and a pool table for guests' enjoyment.  You won't find any arcade style games though as it's the owner's belief that games are meant to be played with another person and not an electronic partner.  As I mentioned before, there are also board games that can be checked out at the front desk.  I had to smile as our guide told us that he had called the pool table a billiards table one time and was soundly corrected by one of the guests on the tour. He said that up until then he had never known there was a difference and I suggested that he watch "A Music Man" which would teach him "the difference between a gentleman and a bum!" Needless to say I had Robert Preston's version of "Trouble in River City" stuck in my head for most of the rest of the tour!

Our next stop on our tour was a place in the hotel that I knew would really appeal to my friend Barb who is a major lover of all things wine.  I could just imagine her walking into The Wine Cellar and thinking she had just arrived in heaven or the closest thing on earth to it!

Dining at a table in the slate-lined Wine Cellar with its 9,000 bottles of wine is available to all guests who are using the Fine Dining Option and, like many things at the Mountain View Grand, there are several choices available to guests.  Either you can sit at a romantic table for two next to the wine itself (it's cool down there so dress appropriately!) -

- an option that includes The Nook, a very romantic table for two in a more private area that has been the site of many a marriage proposal. 

Or you can sit at the Chef's Table where the resort's chef will prepare a meal of culinary delights right there in front of your very eyes. A few seasons back, the Mountain View Grand's chef appeared on Hell's Kitchen and came in third place.  He was offered something special for his achievement and when asked what he wanted, he said that he would love to have a place where he could prepare meals table-side.  From that request, the Chef's Table was born.  According to our guide, the cost is the same to dine here as it is to sit in the Main Dining Room and only costs extra if you have a special request for the Chef that isn't on the menu and then you only pay for whatever the extra food may have cost.  Yet another thing to add to the "When I Go Back" list!    

Coming back up from the Wine Cellar I managed to get a few pictures of the Main Dining Room which is very elegant but in a warm and welcoming way! 

Our next stop was the room that once upon a time was the main dining room for the resort but is now the Crystal Ballroom.  The 5,500-square foot room has been beautifully restored and has been the choice of hundreds of brides for their receptions.  It's easy to see why, too!

The room is capped by a hand-painted interior dome that is held aloft by beautiful pillars over a solid maple dance floor.

The room seats up to 275 guests, none of which will have to feel they've been put into a corner as there are no corners.  Our guide told us that the room was originally designed that way so when guests of the caliber of the Rockefellers and such were there, they wouldn't feel slighted by being seated in a corner.  Everyone was treated like high society no matter where they sat!

Over the middle of the dance floor is the one item that I mentioned that was not sold at auction when the Mountain View Grand closed its doors in the 1980's.  In spite of all the hotel went through as it sat abandoned and empty including graffitied walls and broken windows, the beautiful crystal chandelier was never damaged or touched.

Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a prettier room and I can only imagine that any bride who held her reception there would really have to feel like a princess or queen for the day.

Just outside of the Crystal Ballroom is the Grand Fountain Terrace which was being set up for a wedding the day that I was there. 

The gazebo in the terrace is a 100-year old chapel-style that is available to couples from early spring through fall and provides the backdrop for what has got to be the most beautiful wedding ever.

Bridge and Stream at the Wedding Gazebo

To make things even more storybook and romantic, brides arrive at the Grand Fountain Terrace via horse-drawn carriage and then walk across a picturesque bridge over a gentle waterfall and stream before proceeding down the aisle to meet their grooms.  Talk about picture-perfect!

From the elegance of the Crystal Ballroom we made our way to our final stop on our tour, the Tower Spa.  Making our way up to the fourth floor, we walked quietly through the spa where guests can really be pampered with over 60 different available spa treatments so that we could climb to the top of the tower where a 360-degree breathtaking view can be found.

From this angle you can see the 121-foot wind turbine that the resort installed in September of 2009 which has made the resort 100% wind-powered and earned it a place on the EPA's Green Power Partnership as well as the Canadian flag which is flown in honor of the 15% of the resort's guests that are from the Great North.

In addition to the stunning vistas, there's one more thing that the Tower offers - a Kohler Sōk Tub which is an infinity-edge tub with a gentle rhythm that soothes the senses. The tub is designed for couples to enjoy a caressing soak while enjoying the view from 5 stories up but if you aren't part of a couple, you can have the view and the champagne-like bubbles all to yourself too!  My only question was how guests manage to get back down the stairs once they're so relaxed from the spa treatments!

View from the second floor to the back grounds

The other thing that I wanted to point out from my Tower view is not the Mountain View Farm, the tennis courts, the Schoolhouse, the Activities Center, the croquet/bocce lawn or any of the other spots that make up the resort but the older looking building in the middle of the picture.  That is the original farmhouse that those first stranded travelers came to on that dark and rainy night back in 1865.  It has been moved and preserved and now serves as the dormitory for foreign students who come and stay at the resort to learn a hospitality trade. I think it's pretty darned awesome that it's still a part of the Mountain View Grand and that people took the time to preserve and move it in order to keep it there.

At the end of my tour led by a young man who loves history as much as I do (kudos!), I came back to the lobby to gather up Amanda and my Mom but before we left I took one more picture of a gentleman playing guitar next to the grand piano.  I'm sure that the glow in the middle of the picture is simply a reflection from the windows but it's rather nice to think that maybe it's the spirit of William or Mary Jane Dodge who are just checking in on things at the hotel that they started so very many years ago; a hotel that caters to its guests in a manner even more grand and glorious than it did back in its former glory days of the early 1900's.

With so much more to see and do, a single night's stay at the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa is simply just not enough time but I was more than happy to have had the chance to at least see a bit of the grandeur and experience some of the hospitality that makes this Grande Dame hotel a place that travelers want to return to again and again.  Like those first accidental guests back in 1865, I'll be making a return trip myself one of these days and I'll definitely be staying longer. After all - let's not forget that view!


  1. Aaaaahhhh.... What an amazing place!

    I also love Somewhere in Time! But only in the romantic sense. I enjoy the modern amenities far too much to want to have lived in another time.

    As much as I would enjoy sipping wine, I would love having dinner at the Chef's table far more than dining in the wine cellar. And I'd definitely be out on that spectacular veranda as often as I could!

    The beauty of the mountains and the spectacular balance of colors.... you've captured them perfectly!

  2. What a gorgeous place! I think the main question I have to ask is, how does a much bigger place compare to the intimacy of the smaller places that you have stayed in lately? Do you have a preference?

  3. Good question, Claire! To be honest, I've thought about that myself recently - especially after my recent trip to Tennessee - and regardless of size, what it comes down to is how the staff makes you feel as a guest and the personality of the place you're staying.

    I have to admit I have developed a major affinity to places that have a historic background - no matter whether it's a small bed & breakfast or a grand hotel like this one and just don't much care for the "cookie cutter" hotels anymore.  If I could, I would love to spend at least one night in each and every hotel in my Historic Hotels of America Directory as no doubt they all have personality in premise and staff that makes you feel like you're not someone just passing through but a valued guest that they would love to see again.

    Now THAT would be something to write about!

  4. Linda, a great post! I would love to stay here...or even just EAT here...smile. And your pictures are amazing. Well done.

  5. What an amazing place and oh my those views!

  6. Oh wow, Linda, you sure know how to pick them!! What an absolutely stunning place and I oohed and aahed over every picture. I would want to live there permanently, never mind just staying a couple of nights. And the view!!!! If there was ever a "God's Country", that would be it. Of course I was also fascinated with the history behind the hotel. Such a shame the family couldn't continue to run it but so wonderful that it was able to be renovated and know splendor once again.

    Make sure you come over to read about our Halloween themed weekend in Niagara Falls:-) xoxo

  7. I'd be happy with just the gazebo!
    what a place
    I love the porch

  8. Looks beautiful....but I don't think anything can quite compare to the Grand, and the utter serenity of going to an Island away from modern troubles. Just the scent of the fresh water lake, the delicious fudge, and of course the horses-- it brings peace to the soul. And the luxury of the Grand Hotel's porch...incomparable! :)

    1. I've got no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Grand is most definitely that but for those of us who can't get to Mackinac Island and experience the beauty of the area ourselves, the Mountain View Grand is a most wonderful alternative and truly a White Mountain treasure.

      That said, I've got my fingers crossed that someday I'll be able to write about the Grand from a firsthand visit!


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