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“A great base for Crawford Notch activities”

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Highland Center Lodge at Crawford Notch
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
442 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
“A great base for Crawford Notch activities”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

This was a great lodge to base from for the Crawford Notch area. The rooms were sparse, but clean and efficient. There are no TVs or air conditioners. We were there in August, and the temperature was comfortable. The windows open fully and there are box fans if you need them (we did not).

The lodge hosts a beer/wine/snack reception each evening. Dinner and breakfast are included in the rate. Dinner is family style (you will be seated with other guests), and the meat is hearty. They cater to both vegetarians and carnivores. We really enjoyed the two couples that we dined with. Everyone was sharing hiking stories and experiences. Breakfast was great. The blueberry muffins were awesome. The room rate is per person so it can add up with a family; however, the included meals help take the sting out. They have both bunkhouse and private rooms. I did a private room so I can’t comment on the bunkhouse. The lodge also hosts evening movies and activities. There is a playground and a variety of hikes (of all skill levels) within walking distance of the lodge. Don’t miss Mt. Willard. Overall, a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank BLT1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Longview, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I honestly can't say enough about this place. It is the perfect place for a nature vacation with families of all ages in a beautiful part of the Northeast. The cost to stay here is per person per night and your stay includes 2 meals a day and FREE use of a plethora of LL Bean equipment from snow shoes to backpacks to rain gear to hiking shoes. There is something for everyone here from toddlers to seniors.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jody C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
142 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We stayed here over Memorial Day weekend with our kids, ages 16 and 12. It was great -- we had a comfortable queen bed, the kids shared a bunk bed, and we had a private bath for a very reasonable price. We checked out the rooms with shared bath, which were on the opposite wing of our floor -- they seemed fine as well, and we might stay there next time, but I'm not sure you could get the queen/2 bunks combo -- may have just been bunk beds there.

Be aware that if you book a room that has more beds than you need, you'll be charged for those extra beds -- we didn't understand this and originally booked a larger room than we needed, but they let us scale back to a smaller available room when we questioned the extra charge.

The food (and variety) was excellent, with lots of interesting vegetarian options as well. The info on when the dining room closed, and whether it was come-anytime buffet or show-up-at-6-sharp table service was incorrect, however, probably because it was a holiday weekend. However, if we hadn't figured this out in advance, it would have messed with our plans -- would have cut our day short to get back by the 6 pm service, for example, so be sure to check.

There were a lot of families with small kids staying there when we were there, but they weren't noisy or disruptive, so we didn't mind. Also some older couples who seemed perfectly happy with the accommodations.

There was a nice happy hour every day, as well as interesting bird walks, nature talks, a "hoofs and horns" presentation for the kids, and a family movie. The common rooms were very large and comfortable, There were several nice walks and a cool natural playground right at the Lodge. As AMC members, we also borrowed free rain pants from the LL Bean equipment room for our daughter. The staff was very helpful planning our day. I even treated myself to a massage at the Mt. Washington Resort spa up the road, and felt very smug that I was staying at a more homey spot nearby at a fraction of the cost. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Be sure to avoid booking a room that has more beds than you need, because you'll be charged per...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank pjfrommass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lowell, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Use to love this place...now it has become a camp for screeming school kids. As an AMC supporter I am sure this is a business decision based on economics but was this the original intent for the center? Beware if you want to enjoy the serine, rugged, spiritual beauty of this magical place...I hope wiser heads prevail and a new direction is taken. If not, you should at least warn those who are expecting AMC and not YMCA.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Bruce I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AMC L, Manager at Highland Center Lodge at Crawford Notch, responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Thank you for both your support of the AMC and your candid feedback. I am very sorry to hear that your recent stay did not meet your expectations. We strive to make the Highland Center a superb facility for a relaxing retreat and family getaway. Additionally, part of AMC’s mission is to offer educational programming. Our highly successful “A Mountain Classroom” program works closely with schools to provide youth with the opportunity to gain an appreciation of the outdoors. May is a busy month for school groups, and as you point out, they can sometimes be quite lively. I welcome you to contact me directly so that I can provide personal assistance in selecting dates that would better suit the experience you are seeking. My direct phone number is (603) 278-3825, and my email is rmccarten@outdoors.org. I hope that you are willing to try us again in the near future.

Rick McCarten
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
238 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We stayed as part of a large group at the AMC Highland Center Lodge, and it was great. Our room had a queen size bed, a bunk bed, and room for a pack n play crib for our baby. The room rate included breakfast and dinner (both buffet style and all you can eat), and while it wasn't fancy, it was clean and a great place to stay. The lodge itself has a game room, library and TV room for people to hang out, as well as a main "living room" type area on the first floor. The play structure is amazing, and perfect for kids (and adults) to explore and learn to scramble up rocks. Both kids loved being able to run all around the lodge and we felt comfortable letting them explore. Great activities for families and hikers, and free equipment from LL Bean to borrow during your stay.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 3rd floor seem to be bigger.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Freya H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Our spur-of-the-moment "ghost hunting" trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire brought us to the AMC Highland Center, and what a wonderful discovery! The Center is not a typical hiker's/outdoorsman's retreat, the building is large, clean, and modern with the feeling of an upscale hunting lodge. The accomodations were more than adequate, the staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and the food was delicious, plentiful, and at an amazingly reasonable price. Though the Center appeared to be rather full, the staff was able to house us in a private, family-friendly room that was very comfortable. We participated in a snow-shoe tour of the maple sugaring on the AMC grounds and in our borrowed snow-shoes set out to explore the surrounding area (all day activities and use of snow-shoes and other outdoor clothing and footware is free!). We definately recommend the Center as a place to stay as a base for exploring the surrounding sites, as an area resource for information about everything from the weather to local legends, and as a warm and friendly place to return to at the end of the day!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank miacapretta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Logan, Utah
Level Contributor
91 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Stayed at the AMC Highland Center Lodge while participating in an avalanche training course which utilized one of the lodge's conference rooms. I opted to stay in the bunkhouse for two nights. The price was right--as a non-member I paid about $55/night with breakfast AND dinner included.

I just want to say that for those used to a "wilderness lodge" feel from mountain club accomodations, this is not that. The Highland Center is located right on route 302 (you can see the cars pass by). The grounds are spacious and pretty in the snow, just below the mountains, and the lodge itself is very tidy and modern-furnished. However just note that the paths/walkways are not graveled and in winter/early spring they were both icy and muddy. The playground adjacent to the lodge made me wish I was 8 years old, it looked like a kid's dream playground. The lodge/center is located just a few minutes from the Mount Washington Cog Railway and several USFS trailheads but is still a 45-minute drive from Pinkham Notch.

Like another reviewer mentioned, the great room in the lodge, where most folks hang out before and after dinner, was extremely crowded on a Saturday night, with children running around and climbing on the furniture. This is not a lodge for a quiet stay, I don't think.

Dinner was amazing, I couldn't believe how much food and of such quality for the small amount I paid. Soup, salad, fresh handmade bread, entree and dessert--if I wasn't backcountry skiing I would have gained 5 pounds in the 3 days I was there. The kitchen staff seemed very accomodating to special dietary requests. Breakfast was complete and had enough to satisfy everyone.

The bunkhouse was good for its price. For my 3-day stay I received just 1 towel, probably would have been given another if I had asked. There was no storage in the bunkroom, so I had a little moat of ski gear surrounding my bed. Perhaps build in some shelving? There were also only 2 showers and 2 toilets for a building that holds about 16 persons--it was OK while I was there because only 6 of us were in the building but with more it would be crowded. There was a nice kitchenette with a small refrigerator I utilized. Missed the 8-inch drop outside the door in the dark and nearly broke my ankle, so just watch out.

Lodge manager, hike leader and young man at the front desk with a ponytail were all very polite and helpful. Some other staff seemed distant and even a little grumpy. Bad time of year?

Overall, well worth the price I paid. Not sure about the private rooms though since I didn't stay in one. Beautiful main lodge, very modern with good interpretive programs it seems. Likely a very nice place for a family to stay.

Room Tip: If staying in the bunkroom, pick a bed away from the doors, lest you be awakened by each guest enter...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank CamilleInTheWoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Highland Center Lodge at Crawford Notch

Property: Highland Center Lodge at Crawford Notch
Address: Route 302, Crawford Notch, Bretton Woods, NH 03574
Location: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Bretton Woods
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Bretton Woods
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AMC's Highland Center at Crawford Notch, our newest four-season lodge and outdoor education center, offers a broad range of accommodations and walk-on programs, along with backdoor access to a variety of outdoor activities. The Highland Center is an ideal starting point for day hikes, paddling, snowshoe treks, and longer back country trips in the White Mountains. All-inclusive lodging packages are offered year-round and include meals, free walk-on nature programs, and free use of the L.L. Bean gear room. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Highland Center Lodge At Crawford Notch Hotel Bretton Woods

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