West Hill House Bed & Breakfast Inn
Table Of Contents
Comfort, Hospitality, Great Food......words guests use consistently when signing the West Hill House Guest Book.
Warren is just about in the middle of the State, 24 miles south of Montpelier, the State Capital, and 45 miles south east of the airport in Burlington. The Mad River flows north through the town with route 100 in its valley. To the east is the Northfield Ridge (our winter view) and the Green Mountains create the western boundary (our "backyard").
Lots of common space to enjoy for conversation, for quiet relaxing, for curling up and reading a good book. Nine guestrooms, all with fireplace, feature the comforts of home - and then some - good reading lights, down comforters, phones, DSL internet access, private bathrooms with lots of amenities, all with jacuzzi or steambath. Sumptuous breakfasts, afternoon and evening snacks are part of the package. Raiding the cookie jar is encouraged. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available for a modest fee (no BYOB).
Relaxing on the front porch in summertime, guests watch birds, chipmunks, tiny red squirrels, white-tailed deer and an occasional moose in an endlessly fascinating "critter show". Hiking, cycling, golf and shopping are favorite warm weather pursuits. Winter visitors ski at Sugarbush or Mad River Glen, snowshoe out the back door, enjoy sledding and other outdoor activities. The wood burning fireplaces in the common areas are popular gathering spots for guests.
The Inn is a gracious combination of the 150 year home with modern updates and expansions tastefully added to preserve the ambiance of the original building.
West Hill House is just minutes from the shops, artisans and marvelous restaurants of Warren and Waitsfield and in the midst of the many activities available in the Mad River Valley all year long, yet is on a quiet country road nestled in the hillside forest surrounded by its gorgeous perennial gardens. Your hosts Peter & Susan MacLaren invite you to stay with us to enjoy four glorious seasons for romance, relaxation and recreation. A huge collection of books, movies, games and comfortable chairs await you in our 3 large public areas and – in the warmer months – you can also relax on our deck, in our unique gazebo, in a hammock or on a chair down by the beaver pond.
Start Your Day with a Delicious Feast
Enjoy a full, hot breakfast served at our mid-century, 12-person dining table every morning.
Our sumptuous three-course breakfast starts with fruit juice, homemade breads or muffins, and a specially prepared fruit dish, followed by a tantalizing hot entrée to give your taste buds an early morning treat.
The menu of the day might include Sweet Pepper Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Casserole, Ginger Pancakes with Lemon Sauce, Pain Perdu (French Toast) with local Mad River Valley Maple Syrup, Asparagus filled Crêpes, or Granny’s Cheesy Soufflé.
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and hoe made treats are always available at the dining room beverage nook.
*During the ski season breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m., and during the rest of the year breakfast is at 8:30 a.m.
Dinner At West Hill House
Dinner for six or more guests is available at West Hill House upon request (24 hours notice is required).
We have also teamed up with the Common Man—one of the best restaurants in Central Vermont—to offer a special price for 3-course dinner on an evening of your choosing when you book a 2-night stay at West Hill House (some date restrictions apply, and dinner must be reserved when you book your room).
Weddings and Elopements
Our extensive gardens, birch gazebo, meadows and ponds provide a lovely setting for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners or Sunday brunches. We specialize in events for 2 to 80 guests - in the inn and canopied garden terrace, or our handsome red barn. The inn features three large common areas, an elegant dining room, and eight queen or twin/king bed guestrooms with fireplaces, A/C, private baths with Jacuzzi tubs and/or steam showers. Check our website or contact us for full details.
You’ve dreamed of the perfect Vermont wedding – let us help you make it a reality. On the wooded slopes of Vermont’s Green Mountains, sits West Hill House, a beautiful setting for your special day. It is our goal to do everything in our power to help you have a happy wedding day, one that you will have fond memories of 25 years down the road.
We can call on an extensive group of other wedding professionals in the Mad River Valley to provide whatever services you need, from the JP for the ceremony, the photographer, the flowers, the music, the wedding cake, even to the style of forks you decide to eat your cake with! Also we will be happy to recommend nearby inns for your other guests.
Our Spectacular Vermont Weddings Venue
Wedding Gallery Link for West Hill House Bed and BreakfastOur newly renovated all-season Handsome Red Barn is the perfect venue for up to 65 people. Because we book only six large events per year, we can provide you with personal attention and assistance to help make your day memorable and stress-free. We also offer smaller wedding celebrations for couples that prefer a quiet celebration with just the two of you or with a small group of friends and family.
We would be pleased to assist you with catering for your event. We work with excellent local partners for larger events and offer on-site catering for receptions, rehearsal dinners and “first morning” brunches for up to 24 guests.
Also, we are state licensed for the sale of beer and wine and would be happy to provide the beverages of your choice. Call or email us for more details. Please include the month and year you plan to marry, the approximate number of guests, and your contact details.
Be sure to check out the legal requirements that apply to weddings in the state of Vermont.
Receptions and Dinners
Memorable Vermont Receptions and Dinners in the B&B and in the Handsome Red Barn
In House Catering At The B&B
West Hill House B&B provides in-house catering for groups of 6 to 24 be it for a small wedding, a family reunion or a group of friends vacationing together. Prepared in our kitchen with quality ingredients and lots of TLC, we always take dietary restrictions and food allergies into consideration.
How about a meal with salmon en croûte, or eggplant parmesan, or fruited pork tenderloin, or perhaps a taste of France, sound good? Creating your own menu from our list of tasty catering suggestions or choosing a menu from our tried and true prix fixe menus means we can create a menu that suits your tastes and your budget.
Experience the pleasure of dining-out without having to leave the comfort of the B&B.
Catered Functions In The Handsome Red Barn
For larger groups up to 80 guests we have excellent catering partners who will be pleased to work with you to create the culinary experience you are looking for.
The Handsome Red Barn offers a great setting for dinner. Whether in summer or winter, enjoy the natural pine finshes that surround you, and look outside through the huge glass doors to see the sun setting on the house, or in winter the snow covered landscape.
We can work with you to set it up with round tables (for up to 72 guests) or rectangular tables, with or without an area for dancing. Music can provided using your iPod or CDs, or we can recommend a band or DJ to suit your taste.
For receptions either in the B&B or in the barn, our cave du vin offers a good selection of red, white and rosé wines from around the world and, because we want you to have a Vermont experience, we offer a variety of beers from Vermont breweries. Juices (sparking or still) soft drinks, and our crystal clear mountain water are always on hand. We will also be pleased to specially order specific wines and/or Vermont beers of your choice.
The Perfect Vermont Setting for Your Next Get-together
Our renovated 1850s house and adjacent red barn provide a beautiful and inspiring setting in the Green Mountains of Vermont for meetings and retreats. (We are also a perfect venue for weddings.)
We have a beautiful boardroom table available for up to 12 people, and the bright Sun Room can seat up to 16. In the warmer months, our covered Garden Terrace can seat up to 30. And the Living Room and Library can serve as additional break-out rooms.
For Really Big Groups
The Handsome Red Barn can host groups of up to 80 people. The meeting area can be set up to best suit the style of meeting or retreat that you are planning. WiFi, projection equipment, and refreshments are available.
Meeting room set-up is included in our very competitive prices. Catering is available, or we can make reservations for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
All work and no play is not always the best approach. If you and your group are looking for something fun to do, the Sugarbush ski and golf resort is right next door.
Kayaking, hiking, soaring, and many other activities are also close by and easily arranged. We can even arrange an on-site chair massage for your team to relieve any aches and pains.
Please call us for full details.
Gardens at West Hill House
About the Gardens at West Hill House Bed & Breakfast
The beautiful gardens at the West Hill House put on a three season display with flowers, and another one with snow.
The selection of perennials provides color from May till early October, and by then we are well into foliage season and the leaves on our maple trees have taken over the show! The numerous flower beds and rock gardens are intertwined with three ornamental ponds, stone walls and flagstone walkways.
The largest pond on the property dates to its farming days and from time to time hosts one or more beavers or migrating ducks. A large meadow sits between the Handsome Red Event Barn and the large pond, offering one of the many locations in the gardens for weddings ceremonies given the open vista towards the hills south of West Hill House.
A unique feature is a birch log gazebo, built from birch trees from the property, inviting you to a quiet place to relax, and which is also another favorite choice for wedding ceremonies.
Our total of nine peaceful acres with mountain views, meadow, ponds, gardens and woods provide a setting for relaxation and getting away from it all. Put your feet up on our front porch, the canopied garden terrace or the airy gazebo. Read a book or watch the “critter shows” as birds and chipmunks, deer and an occasional moose entertain you.
Relax, de-compress, enjoy!
The Mad River Valley is the perfect place to relax: beautiful scenery year round, no traffic lights, no fast food, and with all restaurants and lodging locally owned and operated. Tranquility awaits you, yet with so many things to do and see! Not to mention the many great restaurant choices close by for an enjoyable dinner each evening.
West Hill House is only one mile from Sugarbush skiing, golfing and tennis resort and adjacent to its Robert Trent Jones Sr. championship golf course – and just seven miles from the Mad River Glen co-operatively owned ski area. We’re off the beaten path, but close to the center of Warren and Waitsfield with all their restaurants, shopping and artisans, and in the midst of outdoor recreation beyond imagination. It’s a great base from which to explore and enjoy all of Central Vermont.
With warm weather hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, golf and tennis, soaring, spectacular foliage season autumn colors and wintertime downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and sleigh riding all nearby, Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley is a great place to visit at any season of the year! And don’t forget the Mad Marathon and the other events of the Vermont Festival of the Great Outdoors in July, then the month long Vermont Festival of the Arts in August.
Activities also include exploring local shops, artisans, quaint villages, covered bridges, galleries, summer concerts, and theater nearby. Enjoy local festivals such as the Vermont Festival of the Arts in the Mad River Valley, and Fourth of July Celebrations. You can visit the home of America’s best ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s and sample award winning cheese at the Cabot cheese factory. In the evening you can dine at one of the area’s many fine restaurants.
West Hill House is a member of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce and is a shareholder in Mad River Glen, America’s only cooperatively owned ski area.
The following are just a sample of activities. Please visit our website to see a full list of possibilities.
Skiing And Riding At Sugarbush
Sugarbush is home to the most diverse and celebrated terrain in the East, and it’s no secret that many of the world’s top skiers and riders began their careers here. It was Ranked #1 in Terrain Variety by SKI Magazine for 2010. The slopes are only a couple of minutes from our front door, and the ski shuttle will whisk you door-to-door if you prefer. Sugarbush also has the reputation of being the friendliest and among the least crowded of the top ski resorts in the north-east.
For something really special let us book you on a first-tracks tour that leaves from the base of Lincoln Peak, and gets you to the best terrain before the lifts start spinning. The path of the cat that takes you up the mountain will be determined by conditions-tours may go to the top of Heaven’s Gate, the top of North Lynx, into the Slide Brook Wilderness Area or elsewhere, based on the judgment of the guide. The tour includes an en route pastry breakfast from Timbers Restaurant, a movie to get the adrenaline pumping, Sugarbush guides and one or two cat-served runs. (First Tracks-trips are available for advanced skiers and riders only.)
Check our Ski & Stay Passports for some special deals. (Not available during holiday periods.)
Skiing At Mad River Glen
Mad River Glen is a ski area like no other. It is probably the only large co-operatively owned ski area in North America where the skiers own the resort. It’s a place where skiing remains an outdoor adventure in a pristine, natural setting. It is also home of the historic – and now restored – single chair lift. Best to come weekdays if you can, and we have special deals (although not during holiday periods) – check our Ski & Stay Passports for details. However even on busy weekends it is a lot fun given how friendly everyone is!
And don’t be intimidated: their slogan “Ski it if you can” means you need to get here to ski it, not that you need to be an expert! Hey – that’s us in the photo near the top of the single. (But no snowboards please.)
Soaring above the Valley
One of the most beautiful soaring sites in the United States is nestled in the Mad River Valley here in Warren. Spring, Summer and Fall are great times to take to the skies over the Valley. Sugarbush Airport, on the east side of the valley, is a well-known glider airport and home to Sugarbush Soaring. It’s sometimes the venue for National Championship Soaring events. The sailplanes are beautiful to see, up close on the ground, or in the air, gliding silently overhead.
The airport provides sightseeing rides – a particular joy during foliage time. For more timid souls, it’s a treat to go to the airport to watch the tow planes take the sail planes into the sky and let them go, to soar for miles before returning to touch down gently on the one runway. The viewing is up close and personal. The planes sit on the grass where visitors may peek inside, ask questions of the pilots and, perhaps, gather the courage to take a ride.
If you can’t imagine what it would be like, this fascinating video of soaring over the Mad River Valley will help you! We can make the booking for you.
Kayaking Down the Rivers
On a warm summer’s day where better to be than on the water?
We have made arrangements with Clearwater Sports to give you the opportunity to see the Mad River Valley from the water! They will provide all the equipment you need and full instructions. Then they will be your guides as you explore the river, or get you set up to go off on your own.
For a guided tour call us at least a week or so before your visit to reserve a spot on one of their paddling tours on the Mad River or on the Winooski River (depending on water conditions). For a group of 8 or more there can be a great barbecue waiting for your shore-side at the end of your trip downriver. Call us for details and pricing.
Hiking The Long Trail
Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trailis the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.
The trail runs right along the ridge above West Hill House. Casual hikers will enjoy the short hike south on the Long Trail from Lincoln Gap to Sunset Ledge. This is about a one hour trip including time to admire the view.
Serious hikers will appreciate the views from the top of Mount Abraham, third highest peak in the state. That’s a half-day hike north on the Long Trail from the Lincoln Gap. The photo is from the top of Mt Abraham looking west and is courtesy of guest Mary Jensen. It’s hard to describe how spectacular it feels emerging from the trees about 300 ft below the summit and suddenly having a view to the horizon in every direction. You can go back the way you came, or continue to Lincoln Peak and come down on the ski trail to the Sugarbush base and back to West Hill House.
Experienced hikers will want to challenge the gap-to-gap hike from the Lincoln Gap to the Appalachian Gap which takes about 8 hours. Don’t worry—we’ll meet you at the far end!
There are also many other trails to hike – check with us when you get here to discuss what best suits your hiking ambitions! For example have a look at the Stetson Hollow and Lincoln Brook hiking trail photo albums.
Hiking boots, water bottles which we will fill for you and an extra layer of clothing are important suggestions for happy hiking.
Sugarbush Resort has added to its network of legendary mountain bike trails! Whether you prefer high-speed downhill runs, North Shore-style free ride features in the park, long technical descents on your cross-county bike, or leisurely loop rides, Sugarbush Resort has it all. Check out the Mountain Bike Trail Map.
The trails are open every day from 10 till 4, and till 6 on Fridays and Saturdays. You can bring your own mountain bike or rent one here. And the good news is that you can ride the ski lift up the mountain with your bike and it’s all downhill from there – almost 1600ft of descent! The lifts are open daily through till the Labor Day weekend, and weekends through till October 17th.
Vermont Festival Of The Arts
The Vermont Festival of the Arts readies its canvasses each August. There are usually over 125 Events during August and through Labor Day. August is Art! Get Ready!
Perennial Festival favorites, such as Art in the Big Red Barn, Art in the Garden, Photo Show in the Round Barn, Mad River Valley Craft Fair, A Passport to Open Studios and the Vermont Young Musicians Award Concert, are always joined by some new ventures.
In some gastronomic minds, the Festival doesn’t truly begin until A Taste of the Valley, on the first Monday in August at Sugarbush Resort’s Lincoln Peak Village. A selection of Festival artists and crafters show their work in a fun street fair atmosphere interspersed with fine food from all the Valley’s restaurants and caterers. You can buy tickets from us, but this event sells out early so plan well ahead!
Below, we have posted detailed and up-to-date driving directions to our Warren, Vermont B&B. We live here and know the roads well - please read through our recommended directions and don’t let your GPS or mapping website lead you astray! Call us for more info if you’d like to arrive by private plane at the nearby Warren/Sugarbush airport or by Amtrack to Waterbury.
Our General Location
The Town of Warren is located in the middle of Vermont. We are 24 miles south of the state capital Montpelier and 45 miles southeast—one hour by rental car—of the nearest commercial airport (BTV) in the state’s largest town of Burlington.
The Mad River flows north through the town with Route 100 in its valley. The Northfield Ridge is to the east and the Green Mountains create the western boundary.
The best way to get here from almost anywhere (except for SW Vermont and upstate NY–see below for those), including all commercial airports such as Burlington (BTV), Montreal (YUL), Boston (BOS) and Manchester (MHT), is to drive to Vermont Exit 9 (Middlesex, VT) or 10 (Waterbury, VT) on Interstate 89 and take Route 100B or Route 100 respectively towards Waitsfield and Warren. After you pass through Waitsfield, look out for a CITGO gas station three miles south, on your right, followed by a green girder bridge that you will cross. Just over the crest of the hill, turn right onto the Sugarbush Access Road and drive for 3 miles to the intersection at the Sugarbush base where you will see the parking lot exit sign in front of you. Turn left onto Inferno Road and drive one mile to West Hill Road. Turn right at the “Y” and you will be here! (Note that the actual road sign for Inferno Road seems popular and is often missing!)
If you are coming from SW Vermont and upstate NY head to Rutland, VT then take Route 4 east to Route 100 North. Continue on 100 past the turn off to Warren about 2 miles further to the Sugarbush Access Road on your left, then follow the local directions above. This part of route 100 is a beautiful drive in daylight, but it is windy and goes through several small towns with reduced speed limits so take care after dark – and watch out for animals.