At the last minute we decided to book our Thanksgiving at the Highland Center. It was filled so they put us out in the bunkhouse for the first night. Very clean and nice out there, but one person snoring in the open concept made for a tough night's sleep. Not really a fault of the Highland Center but rather anytime you sleep in an open concept. They found space for the 4 of us in the lodge for the next two days. The staff of employees and volunteers went out of there way to be sure we got everything we needed. (me/wife and 10 and 11 year old) I took off for a day to work and my wife and kids stayed. The electricity went off for 24 hours and a foot of snow came down. The building generator keep enough lights on for games and crafts in the hallways and meals were still prepared perfectly during that time period. In fact my wife thought it made the experience all the more fun. We were encouraged to take advantage of the short hikes offered and the staff took us down to the LL Bean room and fit the whole family with hiking boots/snow shoes and all the other cold weather "stuff". They "fit us" as if we were buying everything, but of course it is a loaner room and there is no charge for the use of all this equipment while you are staying there.....and they have lots and lots of loaner LL Bean equipment. Thank you LL Bean.
I took one of the guided hikes on Sunday and the guide (Jed) went out of his way to be sure he made it fun. He even went first and shook some of the snow off the trees that were leaning over the path.
Mind you this is not a full service family lodge. It has shared bathrooms and you need to keep an open mind to keep the famliy busy. Going for a special weekend like Thanksgiving was a positive as there were less "hard core" hikers and more famlies so board games and building snowmen where fun group activities.
We'll do this again next year!
- 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