The Inn at Ormsby Hill
Table Of Contents
The Inn at Ormsby Hill is your ultimate choice for a Manchester, Vermont bed and breakfast getaway.
Our southern Vermont bed and breakfast is the premier romantic New England getaway to Manchester, Vermont. We are a truly romantic and luxurious Vermont bed and breakfast country inn - a perfect New England vacation destination for intimate getaways, honeymoons, celebrations and relaxing escapes. The Inn at Ormsby Hill is proud to provide AAA 4 Diamond service. We have been awarded the AAA Four Diamond distinction since 1999. One luxurious evening with us and you'll know why.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Yoshio Endo for sharing his own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
Romantic, Emotional, Beautiful, Loving night at a historical house. Relaxing, Retuning, Resetting, Readjusting your inner core of happiness which gets lost some times in the busy everyday routine.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
Romantic Historic Inn. All rooms have a fireplace and whirlpool tub. A real chill house.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
Relax and reconnect with your loved ones to realize you already had the answer to why life is so good.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
"Hidden Gem in Southern Vermont"
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
Birth place of Burton snowboard
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
Hiking, bicycling, fly fishing, canoeing, tubing, Hildene, Southern Vermont Arts Center, summer theater, Vermont Summer Festival horse show in July/August, antique shopping, Manchester Designer Outlets, short day trips to Woodstock, Quechee, Dorset, Weston, Bennington.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
Hildene - the former Lincoln Family summer retreat, now open to public - is within walking distance from our house.
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
The Silver Fork, Mistral's at Toll Gate, Chantecleer and Ye Olde Tavern
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference? How many rooms does your inn have?
We have 10 rooms - all rooms have a fireplace and two-person whirlpool.
Do you accept pets?
We don't accept pets.
The Inn at Ormsby Hill has some of the finest common space that you will find in an inn. With only ten guest rooms and given the quantity and quality of common space, you will never feel cramped for a space to call your own.
Our front living room, which is always quiet and peaceful, features a comfortable sofa and relaxing chairs for viewing the fireplace. The fireplace, with its connecting operational Dutch oven, and the hand-sewn beams are all believed to be circa 1764.
A second common room, referred to as the Gathering Room, well deserves its name. This is where the largest fireplace in the inn is located (just one of 14!), which features the original iron cooking ware, circa 1764. Walls feature floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, containing many first editions and nineteenth century books belonging to the Isham collection.
The Gathering Room always has music playing in the background. A six-board chest serves as the coffee table, surrounded by wingback chairs and an extremely comfortable sofa just inviting you to sit. Two leather wingback chairs surround a leather-topped library table, which Isham had originally used in his library.
The Conservatory never ceases to produce WOWs upon first viewing. It has a wonderful wood-beaded ceiling, with nothing but windows on two walls. The short wall, which is curved and faces east, is designed to make you feel as though you were on a river boat - but not just any river boat. This landlocked one has a fireplace with an ornately carved European mantel. It not only serves as our dining room but has a sitting area where you can watch the sun come up and the birds feed. It also affords access to a very large slate patio and a wonderfully large, authentic Colonial porch (complete with two porch swings), both offering wonderful views of the Green Mountains.
Hidden away on the second floor is a small room which is a quiet place, with a sofa and chair just to curl up and read a book. The back porch offers expansive views of the gardens, grounds and Green Mountains.
Our warm hospitality, attention to the smallest of details and countless romantic amenities are what separates us from other Inns and Bed and Breakfasts in Manchester, Vermont and beyond.
All Rooms Feature:
- Wireless Internet available throughout the inn
- Air conditioning
- Clock/radio/CD player
- Slim-line digital flat-screen TVs
- Hair dryers
- Luxurious bathrobes
- Candlelight for the Jacuzzis
- Night lights
- Magnifying mirrors
- Plenty of large, thick towels
- Wine glass/corkscrew
- Non-allergenic pillows and comforters
- Extra-firm posturepedic mattresses
- Fiberbeds - just like a featherbed but hypoallergenic
- Innkeepers' guide to the area & information about the inn
- Pharmacopia all natural bath products
Some Rooms Feature:
- Two-person steam-saunas
- Private decks
- Wood-burning fireplaces available year round
- Views of the fireplace from the jacuzzis
- Private refrigerators
- IPod docking stations
Dining At Ormsby
Breakfast at Ormsby Hill - Seasonal, Energizing, Delicious
Our beautiful Conservatory is the perfect setting to awaken your senses with a steaming cup of tea or fresh brewed coffee. Next, enjoy luscious local fruit, with an unexpected twist, a drizzle of coconut lime sauce, or maybe a trickle of green tea-mint syrup. A basket of fresh baked Japanese bread follows. These fragrant mini loaves are an Ormsby Hill exclusive, shaped and baked every morning by Diane.
The main course will delight you in more than taste. We use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and limit the use of excess sugar and fats. Vermont breakfast meats round off a delicious, fulfilling, guilt free meal. It is a great way to start your Ormsby Hill get-away.
A sample of our offerings include, peach and blueberry streusel, polenta souffle with rainbow chard, herbed cherry tomato strata, mascarpone stuffed French toast with berry maple syrup, light and airy lemon-ricotta pancakes, and apple cheddar quiche with a side of homemade berry applesauce.
We can adapt most of our breakfasts to accommodate guests with food restrictions. Please let us know your requirements when making your reservation.
Awards & Accolades
We are honored to be featured in the Yankee Magazine Jan/Feb 2012 issue under the heading There's No Better Time to Find a Romantic Inn. "If you're with a person you love and you're loved in return... there are a number of special places that define 'romantic'."
"...we offer a short list (6) of inns sure to thaw hands and hearts."
"You say you are searching for a sumptuous room with a fireplace and a Jacuzzi big enough for two, plus a gourmet breakfast lavish enough to last all day? Look no further ..." - Recommended Bed & Breakfasts of New England
The critics' choice:
"What a nice place to come home to" - Yankee, November, 2002
"The best in this area, Selected a 1997 Romantic Hideaway" - The Discerning Traveler
"Creating romantic sparks" - Snow Country
"It's a wow, just beautiful" - Recommended Country Inns
"Elegantly restored"- Vermont
"Beautifully appointed" - Country Inns Bed & Breakfast
"Impeccable and elegant, comfortable" - New England Snow Country
"A world-class inn in a spectacular setting" - America's Favorite Inns
"Takes the breath away" - Getaways for Gourmets
Let us be your choice too!
Awards: Vermont Bed and Breakfast
- Recipient of the AAA four diamond award since 1999
- Selected a 1997 Romantic Hideaway by The Discerning Traveler
- Our Ethan Allen Room was named a Waverly Room of the Year ("...for a beautiful use of Waverly in a traditional setting") in the December 1996 issue of Country Inns Bed & Breakfast
- Three times selected an "Editor's pick" - Yankee Magazine Travel Guide - 1997, 2000, 2001
- Jan/Feb 2012 Yankee Magazine as "one of six romantic inns to visit..." Boston Sunday Globe, May 2007
- HGTV If Walls Could Talk, April, 2003
- Colonial Homes, November 1997
We have been chosen by the following guidebooks:
- VERMONT: An Explorer's Guide - Christina Tree and Peter Jennison
- Best Places to Stay in New England - Christina Tree and Kimberly Grant
- Getaways for Gourmets in the Northeast - Nancy Webster and Richard Woodworth
- Weekending in New England - Betsy Wittemann and Nancy Webster
- The Fireside Guide to New England Inns and Restaurants - Betsy and Ross Wittemann
- Frommer's Northern New England
- Fodor's New England Guide
- Recommended Country Inns of New England - Elizabeth Squier
- Vermont Inns and Bed & Breakfast Inns - Editors of The New England Press
- The Annual Directory of American and Canadian Bed & Breakfasts - Tracey Menges
- The Discerning Traveler's Guide to New England - David and Linda Glickstein
- The Official Guide to American Historic Inns - Deborah Sakach
- The Complete Guide to Bed & Breakfasts Inns & Guesthouses - Pamela Lanier
- Bed & Breakfast Encyclopedia - Deborah Sakach and Tiffany Crosswy
- Complete Guide to American Bed and Breakfast - Rik Barnes
- Yankee Magazine's New England Bed & Breakfast and Inn Directory - Yankee Publishing
- Frommer's Wonderful Weekends From Boston
- The Unofficial Guide to Bed and Breakfasts in New England - Lea Lane
- Romantic Weekends New England - Patricia & Robert Foulke
- Journey to New England - Patricia Harris & David Lyon
- Vermont - Don Mitchell
- New England Snow Country - Barbara Radcliffe Rogers & Stillman Rogers
- Play Hard / Rest Easy - New England - Malcolm W. Campbell
- Lonely Plant New England
- Karen Brown's New England
A Brief History
The original building, built in 1764 by Thompson Purdy, and one of the oldest structures in Manchester, now houses the formal living room, the Gathering Room and the Library, Taft, Lincoln and Frances guest rooms. In the foyer of the old entrance is the smoke room where meats were hung and cured. It is believed that Ethan Allen hid in this "room" during the Revolutionary War.
Edward Isham, a prominent Chicago attorney who grew up and went to school at Burr and Burton in Manchester and then to Harvard Law School, purchased the Purdy House in the latter 1800s and added on the rest of the house as you see it today. Isham, who was enthralled by the Revolutionary War and the Green Mountain Boys, named the house Ormsby Hill after Gideon Ormsby, a Revolutionary War hero from Manchester.
After the great Chicago fire, Mr. Isham and Robert Todd Lincoln (son of President Lincoln) formed the law firm known as Isham, Lincoln and Beal. They became the best of friends, and Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Ormsby Hill (along with their friend, President William Howard Taft). Lincoln loved Manchester so much he asked Isham to sell him some land. Isham replied, "You're my best friend and law partner; you're NOT going to be my next-door neighbor." It wasn't until Isham died that Robert Todd Lincoln was able to purchase the land behind Ormsby Hill now known as Hildene.
After the Isham family stopped living at Ormsby Hill, a foundation was created by the family to bring underprivileged boys from New York City to experience country life and attend the local private high school called Burr & Burton Seminary. This was the role of Ormsby Hill until the early 1980s, at which time the foundation abandoned the property.
In 1987 it was purchased and converted into a five-room bed and breakfast. In 1995, five additional rooms were added.
In June of 2012, Yoshio and Diane Endo purchased the Inn at Ormsby Hill, which now consists of ten luxurious bed chambers including one which is completely handicapped accessible.
Within a short drive, the Manchester, Vermont area has much to offer.
We are very fortunate to have four important Vermont-owned shops for our guests to enjoy. Visit Orvis's flagship store complete with fly-fishing school and trout-filled ponds. This is also the home of the Vermont Country Store. Also visit Northshire Bookstore, a well-known family-run bookstore and Epoch 18, a gallery of Vermont artisans.
From golf - Glen Eagles at Equinox, Stratton and TaterHill, to skiing - Stratton Mountain and Bromley Mountain - to Merck Forest and Farmland Center - there are endless outdoor activities. The famous BattenKill River in which to fly fish or canoe is very close. Two local outfitters are: Fly Fishing Guide Service & Outfitter and Vermont Guided Fishing Vacations. Get off the beaten track with Backroad Discovery Tours. Our valley is also perfect for bicycling.
Vermont is known for its antiquing. (Antique Quilts).
Within a short drive you will find everything from white tablecloth dining to more casual dining. Some of our guests' favorites are: Chantecleer Restaurant, Mistral's at Toll Gate, The Silver Fork, Inn at West View Farm and The Perfect Wife.
Hildene is an estate built by Robert Todd Lincoln who summered at Hildene between 1905 and his death in 1926. Lincoln and our own Edward Isham became the best of friends and law partners, and Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Ormsby Hill. It wasn't until Isham died that Robert Todd Lincoln was able to purchase the land behind Ormsby Hill now known as Hildene. The 24-room home and gardens have been meticulously restored and are well worth the tour. The gardens, designed to look like a stained glass window, are known particularly for their peonies. From the end of the garden there is an impressive view of the valley and of Mount Equinox.
How To Find Us
Our bed & breakfast is located in southern Vermont. The Inn at Ormsby Hill offers easy access to Southern Vermont's best historical, cultural and natural attractions. We are within minutes of spectacular shopping, including quaint boutiques, art galleries and antique shops. We are 70 minutes to Albany International Airport, 146 miles from Hartford, Connecticut, 189 miles to Boston, and 204 miles from New York City—a perfect New England vacation destination.
From New York
- Route 87 North to Exit 23 then 787 North to 7 East (becomes 9 East at NY/VT border)
- Continue to 279 and proceed to 7 North
- Take Exit 3, turn left onto 313, then right onto Historic 7A North
- The Inn is 8 miles on the right
From Albany Airport
- Route 87 North to Route 7 East (Exit 7E, Bennington)
- Follow directions above from Troy*
From Buffalo/Rochester, New York
- Take I-90 to Exit 24 to 87 North
- 87 North to Route 7 East (Exit 7E, Bennington)
- Follow directions above from Troy*
- Route 30 North to Historic Route 7A in Manchester
- Turn left and travel south about 3 miles
- The Inn is on the left
- Route 2 West to I-91 North
- Take Exit 2 into Brattleboro, then follow directions above from Brattleboro
- Route 89 South to Burlington
- Take Route 7 south to Manchester
- Continue south on 7A
- The Inn is 8 miles on the left