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An unconventional and extraordinary getaway, indeed
April 27, 2007 4:18 PM   Subscribe

It's Friday night, and us workaday schlubs deserve to fantasize about “an unconventional and extraordinary getaway,” don't we? Do you fancy an overnight stay in a 1968 decommissioned Coast Guard Sikorsky, pithily dubbed the Hotelicopter? Or maybe in the Treehouse, 35 feet off the ground and with a full bar? Winvian is a 113-acre resort in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills; dotting the grounds are eighteen cottages in whimsical themes. Like, an artist's studio, complete with blank canvas, watercolors and oils, just in case inspiration strikes. And a tomb-like structure named "The Secret Society" -- an homage to Yale's Skull and Bones temple (most of the 14 architects that designed the hotel's cottages are Yale alums). Win Smith Jr., the former Merrill Lynch exec and owner of Vermont ski spot Sugarbush, built the resort on his family's property to save it from becoming a high-rise development. No shortage of luxury-travel reviewers are salivating over Smith's "experiential retreat," just opened this spring. A daily rate starting at $1450 includes the continental breakfast nook, full breakfast, lunch, picnics, spa snacks, afternoon tea, cocktails, dinner, and after dinner petit-fours. The main building is a restored 1775 colonial with a cigar-and-brandy lounge, art gallery, and 130-variety wine cellar... and also boasts an appropriately gothic backstory. Who needs to pay the rent, anyway?
posted by pineapple (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Winivan seems kind of cool but I wouldn't pay $1450 a day to hang out with a bunch of other people that can afford $1450 daily rates. They should fill 17 of the cottages with genuine colorful eccentrics and long-bearded but pleasant smelling hermits that tell strange and exotic stories. Now that would be really cool.
posted by well_balanced at 4:45 PM on April 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those places let in outsiders? Pfff...I'd rather join the Yellowstone Club, a private ski resort for members only. When I get bored of that I can go to my private island or castle resort at Yellowstone Club World, which the NY Times calls a Club Med for the Multimillionaire Set. Of course, since initiation fees at the latter start at $3.5 million, I'll probably just vacation at Club Metafilter this weekend.
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:01 PM on April 27, 2007


I know just the kind of place well_balanced is talking about but i'm not linking...
posted by infini at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2007


I grew up in Litchfield, CT ... and know the area well. Many "high-end" retreats have been created in the area over the years. The Canyon Ranch, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump north over the border in Lenox, MA started the trend, soon followed by The Mayflower Inn & Spa (Washington Depot, CT) with others sprouting up in the past decade in the "Foothills of the Berkshires" (Northwestern Connecticut/Southwestern Massachusetts).

I am tickled that Travel & Leisure (from the link above) has their geography confused regarding their review of Winvian. Part of their headline:
"At the sprawling, colonial Winvian estate in northeastern Connecticut, a curious collection of small, highly idiosyncratic cottages is under construction, and a new hotel prepares to debut."
Litchfield County/Litchfield Hills is/are located in northwestern Connecticut.

BTW -- retreats in the area don't require one to "break-the-bank." Most notably is the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health also in Lenox, MA.
posted by ericb at 5:59 PM on April 27, 2007


Infini, Colonial Williamsburg doesn't count. You've actually piqued my curiosity though.
posted by well_balanced at 6:06 PM on April 27, 2007


They should fill 17 of the cottages with genuine colorful eccentrics and long-bearded but pleasant smelling hermits that tell strange and exotic stories. Now that would be really cool.

Do MacDowell Colony or Yaddo qualify for your reference?
posted by ericb at 6:37 PM on April 27, 2007


oh all right
posted by infini at 6:50 PM on April 27, 2007


There is a class of people who will never, ever need to interact with the likes of us.

What I'd like to know is where they get their money.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2007


What I'd like to know is where they get their money.

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime."

- Honore de Balzac
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:09 PM on April 27, 2007


There is a class of people who will never, ever need to interact with the likes of us.

...sez five fresh fish as he slurps a paste champagne, blood diamonds and coke off the belly of a courtesan (herself raised like a human veal on endangered whale meat and cat's milk) while he basks in the moonlight on the solid gold deck of his own frond of Dubai's Palm Islands. Consider your cover blown, sir.
posted by maryh at 9:58 PM on April 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


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