Accomodation is very limited in the Brownington / Barton / Orleans area with no brand names and only a few bed and breakfasts at $100+ per night. Having read previous Tripadvisor reviews I chose the Pine Crest motel and cabins to spend a week while attending a timber framing project at the Old Stone House Museum near by.
Jay, the owner / operator is very accomodating and gave me a number of options over the phone and choice between the motel and cabins. His cancellation policy impressed me, call before you arrive and there is no cancellation fee. I chose the motel end unit (#6 - Eagles Nest) hoping for a nice quiet spot with plenty of room.
On arrival I had a quick look at the "cabins" which were close together, quite small and had a number of guests booked in. I stuck with the motel room with lovely pine decor, two single and one double bed, larger TV and large propane heater (temperature in the 40s at night)
The room was very clean, quite big, had large windows, contained a fridge and microwave, sit down table with a pull out bench seat, bath with a shower and satelite TV. None of the unts or cabins are air conditioned. The room was lacking in shampoo and cleanex? They also do not have phone service in the rooms. The only lock on the door was the door nob so a security latch might be added to make guests feel a little more secure.
It is in a lovely location with lots of hills, winding roads, a stone bride, river running through the property and a swimming pool which was not open yet.
The highway (#5?) runs right in front of the motel and bends around near the cabins and is busy during the day with limited traffic at night. It is so close that most vehicles are heard and ear plugs were required to sleep. The motel was very quiet even when a number of new customers stayed on the weekend. Most were just passing through and gone early in the am.
My only major complaint to the owner was that all three large windows did not have curtains that blocked the sun, the motels large light, etc.. They were almost a see through fabrick and even when a bed sheet was put over them the light could not be blocked.
WiFi is advertised and although they have two seperate systems I spent many hours trying to make mine work (strong signal but would not connect?) I could use the internet for brief periods of time then loose it as it said the server could not recognize my computer. After working with Jay with no success he mentioned that there was a library in Orleans with free WiFi in the parking lot. After a quick five minute drive I was able to use the internet there with no problem. Orleans is the only local spot to get "diesel" fuel also.
Coming from Ontario (Canada) I did find some of the local traffic procedures a little confusing. Some roads have adequate speed signs while others rely on signs very near the towns to let you know the speed limit. In one case I asked three different residents what the speed was and got three different answers? You also have to be carefull about "pedestians" crossing whether on their own or at small signs posted on the side of the road. From what I was told "any" pedestrian has the right of way no matter where they are walking across the street and it is up to the driver to stop and give them the right of way. Of course there are no traffic lights in this area.
Any one in this area should make a point of visiting the Old Stone House museum in Brownington, the site where our Timber Framer Guild project built and held a barn raising to replace one which burned many years ago. The "museum" is actually a small town that has been kept in its original condition and was the location of the first school in the area. The large four story granit "house" is the center piece and contains a wealth of antiques ranging from the toy room, tool room, library, civil war collection, etc.. It is just across from the lookout from which you can view lake W? which looks right into Quebec and is the perfect spot to view the sunset.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rustic country charm on the winding beautiful Barton river with crystal clear water and said to be some of the best trout fishing in the Northeast Kingdom. Family owned and operated with old school values and service for you pleasure. A great place for you to stay and explore the beauty of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. In the middle of the lake country we are just a couple of miles from Crystal Lake, Lake Willoughby, Lake Seymour, Salem Lake. For our winter visitors we are equally distance from Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts and minute away from the VAST trail snow mobile trail. Nearby enjoy many hiking and biking trails. ... more less