The term “leaf peeping” is a bit misleading. It suggests sneaking a quick look at something, or craning your neck out the car window in passing before moving on with your day. More accurate is the term “leaf immersion.” You don’t want to just get a glimpse of the fall foliage, you want to stroll through it, reside among it, be embraced by it. That’s tough to do from inside a moving car. Luckily, there are hotels that unite guests with the great outdoors — a union especially powerful in the fall. From a historic inn tucked into Vermont’s Green Mountains to a stately hotel in Quebec with panoramic mountain views, these are the best hotels for amazing Quebec and New England fall vacations this season.
Blantyre — Lenox, Massachusetts
Where better to take a New England fall vacation than in the heart of the Berkshires? The fall experience at Blantyre in Lenox begins when you first roll down the driveway. Fallen trees have been carved to look like birds of prey and other wildlife, immediately immersing you in nature. The main hall of this mock-Tudor mansion features Gothic revival arched wooden doors, oak paneling, and leaded windows, all overlooking a terrace that’s perfect for some serious fall foliage viewing. The 100-acre hotel grounds are full of private trails for all skill levels, with maps available to plan your day accordingly.
Where: 16 Blantyre Road, Lenox, MA 01240, US
The Lodge at Spruce Peak — Stowe, Vermont
The Lodge at Spruce Peak is the perfect base for vacationers looking for a little adventure to go with their leaf immersion. At the base of Mount Mansfield in northern Vermont, the lodge is surrounded by woods and offers the best possible views of the lush area. Apart from the views themselves, you can also take advantage of the season by hiking, going canoeing, fishing, or bouldering, or even taking a zipline ride through the trees courtesy of the nearby Stowe Mountain Resort. If you prefer something a bit more leisurely than zip lining, the resort also has a golf course onsite with mountainous backdrops that beats any average country club.
Where: 7412 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672, US
Mayflower Inn and Spa — Washington, Connecticut
This quiet corner of western Connecticut has got all the colors of the fall foliage season. Located in the bucolic Lichfield Hills, the Mayflower Inn and Spa manages to be stately and cozy at the same time. Its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a garden, and the Steep Rock Reservation is just a five-minute drive away, with trails offering panoramic views of the hills.
Where: 118 Woodbury Road, CT-47, Washington, CT 06793, US
Omni Mount Washington Resort — Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
At first glance, this hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, looks more like a palace than a hotel. A longtime favorite retreat for presidents and literary figures, the Omni Mount Washington Resort is one of the country’s best examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture, and was even named a National Historic Landmark. Completely surrounded by trees, there are picturesque views from pretty much everywhere in the hotel. The property is also known for its nine zip lines strung between the hemlock trees — you know, for when you’re not just chilling at the spa. The hotel even offers a three-hour canopy tour that brings you across several zip lines and sky bridges.
Where: 310 Mount Washington Hotel Road, Bretton Woods, NH 03575, US
Four Columns Inn — Newfane, Vermont
This hotel straddles the line between luxury and quaint, historic charm. Located in the small village of Newfane in Vermont’s Green Mountains, the Four Columns Inn looks like a condensed version of Jefferson’s famous Monticello. Abutting a river and woodlands, and home to several gardens, the inn has no shortage of ways to experience the outdoors. There’s also a restaurant with farm-to-table food, and a spa with an earthy aesthetic that incorporates elements of the natural world.
Where: 21 West Street, Newfane, VT 05345, US
Hidden Pond — Kennebunkport, Maine
Located near Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, Hidden Pond combines the best of both of Maine’s two worlds — coastal living and wilderness. Just two miles away from the beach, the lodging is secluded amid balsam and birch trees, and has a collection of one- and two-bedroom cottages linked by a dirt road. There’s also a main lodge with a stone fireplace, with direct access to a pool area and porch bar. The Tree Spa, where guests can receive spa treatments in tree houses, is probably the hotel’s most standout feature.
Where: 354 Goose Rocks Road, KEnnebunkport, ME 04046, US
Le Bonne Entente — Quebec, Canada
Although located in Quebec City, Le Bonne Entente makes you feel like you’re at a countryside retreat. Quebec’s fall colors are among the most vibrant in North America, and La Bonne Entente, sitting on a pond overlooking a small woods, allows you to immerse yourself in nature while also enjoying a more pampered experience. It’s also known for its delicious autumn restaurant menu that includes dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients.
Where: 3400 Chemin Sainte-Foy suite Amerispa, Quebec City, QC G1X 1S6, Canada
Fairmont Tremblant — Quebec, Canada
There’s really no better place in Quebec to view fall foliage than from the mountain village of Mont-Tremblant. About two hours north of Montreal, this hotel is perched high above the village. The Fairmont Tremblant has some of the best views of the region you’ll find anywhere in Quebec, as well as convenient access to several hiking and biking trails. The hotel also offers complimentary guided walks on Sunday mornings.
Where: 3045 Chem. de la Chapelle, Mont-Tremblant, QC J8E 1E1, Canada