With its lakeside-lodge decor, crackling fireplaces, private beach, and walking-distance location to downtown Wolfeboro’s quaint shops, Wolfeboro Inn might just be the perfect Winnipesaukee escape. “You’re surrounded by Belknap Mountain, the tall trees, and Wolfeboro Bay in the distance,” says Lucy Van Cleve, director of sales and marketing at the inn. “It captures the essence of a New England escape.”
Kim Swan is an accidental hotelier. She is a real estate agent first, but she loves renovating and turning over inn properties – and sometimes holding on to them. Swan purchased The Danforth in 2009. The previous owners had converted the 1823 mansion into a B&B about 20 years before, and Swan updated the décor. “I do not call myself a designer, I’m not educated in design” Swan says. “But it’s an absolute passion of mine.” She reconfigured some of the rooms to add more common space, and updated the color scheme. Last year, all the bathrooms were renovated.
York Harbor Inn has grown considerably since brothers Joseph and Garry Dominguez first opened it over three decades ago. “We hoped to take the original inn building, fix it up, create a really strong restaurant clientele, remodel the 12 guest rooms, and then possibly look to open another property somewhere,” says innkeeper Garry Dominguez. That other property turned out to be closer than anticipated – right next door. This enabled them to expand the number of rooms, and add a ballroom and a large parking lot.
A stay at Hidden Pond is a true vacation getaway. The 36 “rooms” are actually “these beautiful individual cottages, amid a 65-acre garden,” notes General Manager Justin Grimes. “You have the contrast between secluded wood enclaves and the coastal beach right at your fingertips.”
The Colony Hotel is a rarity – it’s not part of a chain. The 125-room property has been in the Boughton and Banta families since 1948. The establishment includes three buildings, plus two vacation rental style houses. According to General Manager John Martin, there are nine different room types, because the sprawling red-roofed main building, which dates to 1913 or 1914 (it’s debated), was constructed during an area when guests would bring servants with them, who would have smaller rooms.