If you're not rich, your focus is hiking, and you just want to be close to the trails, you're better off somewhere else. AMC's Highland Center Lodge is marketed toward Yuppie skiers and well-to-do families for whom the White Mountains are an exotic foreign experience. Unlike Pinkham Center, it is not hiker-focused. It's set up like any "Grand Summit Lodge," but with some nature programs/displays added. There is one main lounge area to sit in, where you can cozy up to the propane fireplace. But don't get too comfortable. Around 3:30 they make you move so they can set up tables for their "Apres Adventure" wine bar. (Plastic folding tables and buckets of wine.) I'd have to say that $100 for a night in a bunkbed and a shared bathroom full of parents trying to appease their spoiled kids is not a value. The price includes breakfast (which is good) and dinner (which is poor--lukewarm and weird). There is no choice to opt out of the dinner (supposedly a $20 value). The building has a very industrial feel in spite of the LL Bean furniture. $100 a night to listen to metal doors slamming and kids running up and down the hall is not a value. (Hint: stuff a towel under your door and wear earplugs if you want to sleep.) The only things that helped cancel out the negatives were the AMC volunteers (wonderful) and the location. Note: another option on the same property is the Shapleigh Bunkhouse for about $50 a night, which is basically like paying to stay in a heated shelter with 13 other people and one bathroom.
- 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