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The Highlands Inn
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Reviews (98)
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All reviewsliving roomgranolamany yearsmy wife and irestful weekendwhite mountainshome away from homebreakfast roomr rspent a weekbeautiful sceneryclose to towncan't wait to go backhot tubeach morningold friendswalking trails
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Reviewed September 10, 2012

Not much to add to the excellent and thorough review posted here by CAloha NJ. We found the new owners to be warm and fully committed to making sure this inn remains the haven and playground for those who need it, while adding their own touches over time. The pool is a great asset, as is the inn's distance from the main road, and the large woodland and pasture plot it stands on. The air is so clean, and the moon shines extra bright here ;) We were first time visitors but will be back when we need an escape to nature from the big city. If I were to make a couple of small suggestions, I would invest in new bed linen and pillows...and form a communal table in the breakfast room, for ease of connection. Couples sat in twos, which is fine, but one of the things that used to work well at Pearl's in Key West was the ease of making new friends over breakfast. The Highlands does great breakfast food by the way, and the little touches such as fresh flowers in the room, and stocking a communal fridge with water and soda made our stay even more pleasant in the stunning White Mountains. We wish the new owners every success!

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 1, which was both large and homely.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LadyRaGa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

You turn off the main road at a sign which says, "Highlands Inn. No vacancy." The phrase, "No vacancy," is carved into the sign and is as immutable as the Highlands name itself. An unpaved road winds through a heavily wooded area, passes "The Farm House," a 5-room guest house belonging to the inn, opens onto a meadow of wild flowers, and dead-ends at the Inn's main house with its lawn and view of the White Mountains. From the main road, all of the land you have traversed and its surrounding acreage belongs to the inn. It's a beautiful, natural setting in which intimate niches have been created -- a bench for two set amongst wild flowers, a couple of rockers on the porch of the Farm House, wooden Adirondack chairs aranged in a conversational group on the big lawn, a bistro table with two chairs waiting for some occupants. On the lawn, an arbor flanked on each side by beds of seasonal flowers sets the stage for a broad view of the White Mountains. In good weather, this is the place couples from everywhere take their vows to become legally married according to New Hampshire law.

Because the road to the inn is private, no traffic passes by, and no transients stop to seek lodging (thanks to the "no vacancy" sign). Serenity reigns. This is a place where women can be themselves, a place where they can shed their public personnas, a place to feel accepted, respected, valued, and safe.

The main house and the Farm House are both historic structures. That makes Highlands Inn an old-fashioned country place and thein lies its charm. If you are looking for a Hilton with marble floors and crystal chandeliers, ultra luxe mattresses and cable TV and telephones in every room, don't stop here. The Highlands Inn is like staying at grandma's house in the woods. There are no elevators and the stairs sometimes creek. Each room has its own bath, but it may be small and oddly shaped. Windows may stick here and there, but there are fans and room air conditioners to compensate. Some rooms have special amenities: a fireplace, a tub with a whirlpool, a spa. Some rooms are in separate cottages. Some are in the Farm House which accommodates guests with pets as well as those who want to cook. (It has its own kitchen.) I remember many friendly gatherings around the kitchen table, occupants of the Farm House sharing the events of the day, or recanting their personal coming-out stories, dogs happily settled by their owners. Yes, we made and still do make many friends at Highlands, canine, feline and human.

In good weather, a rainbow flag flies over the swimming pool which is flanked by lounge chairs and pool toys. Also available: a gas barbecue for those who want to have hot dogs for lunch. There are two hot tubs, one outside and one inside. Walking trails named after Hobbit habitats meander across the inn's woods and fields. If you can organize a volleyball game, there is a space behind the swimming pool for that activity. Nearby (off the property) is golf and tennis, a gondola ride up Cannon Mountain, a train ride up Mt. Washington, serious hiking trails in the White Mountains, skiing and snow shoeing, horseback riding, movies and summer theater, outlet shopping, farmers' markets, craft shops, a selection of restaurants in every price category, and a great bookstore in Littleton just ten minutes away. And for evening entertainment, the inn has a program of free musical events on selected weekends.

Inside the main house, you'll find a "great room" filled with easy chairs, reading lamps, games and books, a computer, and free wifi for those who bring their own devices. A stone fireplace is the center of warmth and socializing in the Winter months. The dining room has a wall of windows looking out onto busy bird feeders at which you can see hummingbirds, chicadees, woodpeckers, chipmunks -- all of the usual suspects of the New England countryside. We get an extra treat being able to share breakfast time, not just with the other guests, but with the critters outside as well. A homemade breakfast, included in the room price, is served each morning, with some variation from day to day. It is not eggs hollandaise or crepes suzette, but it is satisfactory. Remember, we are at grandma's with bed & breakfast rates starting at $110 a double!

Off the dining room in the far corner of the building is a flat, wide screen cable TV, some easy chairs, and a selection of DVDs to play there or in one's room. A good place to flop after a hard day of fun!

A refrigerator and microwave oven are available for use by guests. (You can keep your wine or beer chilled and bring those restaurant leftovers "home" to reheat for tomorrow's lunch or dinner.) The enclosed porch has extensive information about the area and its offerings and a selection of menus from local restaurants. Discount cards for some are available.

The owners of Highlands Inn, Gia and Jenny, are new, having taken over from Grace, who created this special place and ran it for many decades before retiring. We had qualms about returning to the inn, as so many of our memories were tied up with Grace's easy-going and hospitable ways. But not to worry: the inn is in good hands. The new owners are generous, warm, welcoming and eager to make guests happy. And Jackie, the inn's principal worker all these many years, helps bridge the transition. She cooks and serves breakfast, does up the rooms, fixes things that are broken, and keeps up on maintenance. If she has nothing to do, she is up a ladder or polishing the floors and walls. She is a Jack of all trades and contributes significantly to the workings and ambience of the inn.

The little amenities provided by the hosts, Gia and Jenny, testify to their thoughtfulness: a bowl of fresh fruit sits on a buffet in the dining room, pitchers of icy water and lemonade in the afternoon, some munchies, a welcome drink upon arrival, chocolate cake after a concert.

And, finally, there is the piece de resistance: a loving kiss and an exuberant wag from the resident dachshund, Ellie Joy. Who could ask for more?

Room Tip: Each room has its own character and amenities. These are well described on the inn's website.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CAloha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

This was our second visit to the Highlands Inn and it was even more restful than the first. We appreciate the comfort of the Inn, the relaxing rooms to just sit in and talk, the cool breeze on the porch and the pool. The new owners, Jenny and Gia, have just taken over this week and I noticed rooms were cleaner than our last visit. We enjoyed them and know they will respect the history of the Inn and add their own touches. We wish them well - we will be back to visit!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bug30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

My fiancee and & I spent 2 days at the inn. The best way to explain our experience is through listing our stay as "pros" and "cons".

PROS: 1. Grace the owner was super friendly with us at all times. She gave us a quick tour of the main inn, explained the various features they have, when/when things go on, etc. 2. She gave us extra dog linens for our dog and gave the dog treats at check in & out. Grace lent us a bowl for our dog to drink and offered to assist us whenever we needed. The Highlands is very dog friendly! 3. The breakfast food was good. My fiancee is a little more picky than I, but it was homemade & tasty. There is a variety of goodies but not an overabundance either. It was adequate and good. We were offered extra helpings of anything served both mornings. I had no problems. My fiancee did a little w/ the breakfast which I will explain in the cons. 4. The pool is nice. It was clean and warmed. There are plenty of lounge chairs, a deck with grill etc. The pool was the highlight of the stay for us. 5. It is very, very quiet and secluded. No distractions. A good getaway if one wants to be out of touch a while. There are beautiful grounds and the landscaping really is gorgeous with wildflowers & bird feeders.6. The inn has an extensive DVD / books/games library to borrow for entertainment. 7. There are some great trails to walk your dog. 8. The atmosphere of the inn is very laid back in my opinion this is also a con.

CONS: 1. Cleanliness of the room and farmhouse where we stayed; a musty, damp smell in the room (NOT related to our dog at all), two cobwebs in the corners of the room and one on the bathroom , hair in the shower, hair on the ceiling (yes, the ceiling) probably from previous guest blow drying their hair upward. The kitchen in the farmhouse was nasty until we cleaned it. Dirty floors, table with old sticky drips on it as well as drips on stove and counter tops. Many dishes had dried food, & drips on them. It was more than "lived in". I understand the communal concept of sharing with others, but the kitchen was a disgrace until I cleaned the surfaces and the fridge to use. Fridge was gross. Considering one is PAYING for staying there I do feel the kitchen and our room could have been cleaned much, much better. Again, I am not a snob, but it is not my dirt either! And we were the first to arrive in the farmhouse. The people behind us will appreciate what we did for sure. 3. The bathroom in our room is SMALL. It is nice not to share but is SMALL. To dry off from the shower we had to come in the bedroom to do so. 4. No real TV cable in room (not a big deal for us but may be for some); A VCR attached TV with DVD. 5. No internet in room (not a big deal as we have a mobile hot spot but may be for some travelers. 6. The porch had some garbage on it left from previous guests. 7.The AC did not work very well. Luckily it was not too hot during our stay. If it was we would have left. 8. Many trails were inaccessible b/c of tall grass. The inn boasts these trails on their website and many are great but all are not available at all times. This should be mentioned on their website. 9. The accommodations and buildings are old and outdated. Some of this is charm, but some is unrealistic again due to the price they charge to stay there. 10. The mattress is uncomfortable! Lumpy = back aches. Old & outdated. 11. Our room was never made up. Only clean towels dropped off and a quick bathroom garbage change. We specifically asked Jackie (help) to make up the room after she asked us if we wanted it made up. We actually hoped it would be cleaned a little! But she did not, even after we confirmed yes, please do! = wierd. This irritated my fiancee more than I, but for $160 a night it is not too unreasonable to expect a clean room, clean (shared) facilities and have the room made up. Too laid back.

Final thoughts: For all of this, I say the Highlands is overpriced and outdated. For $160 a night there are other beautiful B & B's in NH and VT that are dog friendly, clean, and have gourmet food. I highly recommend to Google and call around. I totally get the "lesbian" thing...as I like a quality GLBT place too, but to be honest it is for the "granola/treehugger" kind of lesbian (i.e." old school" hippie types) for one that does not care about cleanliness and fancy ammenites. If major PDA is a big deal for you, the Highlands is private, but nowadays, one can really go anywhere without the big stigma of the past (at least in the Northeast). I think the place is losing business b/c it is still thinking in the past instead of the future. With some good updates and staff work ethic changes, this place could shine. I hope the new owners (apparently new owners take over next week) read this post and consider it. We liked our stay, but overall wished we did not spend so much money to stay in what was like "luxury camping" for us. We wished we looked around more. We wish everyone well, but won't be back. For the "new generation" lesbian, we say: KEEP LOOKING and get something more for your money. We paid Provincetown prices for backwoods quality.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Sevilla90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2012

Thank you Grace! You always make us feel welcome. Have been to the Highlands about 4 times now. Each time is better than the last. I love the way the common rooms have an at home feel where you can expect to meet new friends and catch up on talk with old friends.
Breakfast is always a hot meal if you want and a selection of cold goodies -- fresh baked quick breads and fruit or granola with yogurt. Even better, you can have seconds! Also, unlike other B&Bs that ask you to clear out of the dining area when the meal is over, Grace invites you to use the space as it suits you for as long as you like.

We went up this time specifically to see Kate & CJ play in the Women's Concert Series. They are truly a pleasure -- the stories and music so enjoyable and touching that affect you on an emotional level.

I have and will continue to recommend this venue to friends.

Room Tip: If you are travelling with pets - you will need to choose the farmhouse or the cottage in the back. I stayed in the main in for the first time this trip and it was just as nice. Having stayed in all areas now, I can say that I prefer the farmhouse over all.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank M G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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