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Sugar Hill Inn Dream Cottage in NH White Mountains

Decorated with stylish rustication and filled with luxurious details, Sugar Hill Inn’s spacious Dream Cottage is indeed a New Hampshire dream.

Sugar Hill Inn begins with an advantage – its location in one of New Hampshire’s prettiest towns, Sugar Hill, in the heart of the White Mountains. The inn is worthy of the setting, and surrounding it are several cottages, the star of which is the well-named Dream Cottage.

The name fits. From first sight, the white clapboard cottage with its broad front porch overlooking the flower gardens is a dream. Inside, a knotty pine-clad cathedral ceiling soars to a dormer with a Palladian window and a balcony-like mezzanine where we could picture a string quartet serenading us in the evening. But the selection of CDs on the bedside table worked just as well.

The front wall leading to the porch is almost solid glass, with 8’foot windows and door, all covered by thick drapes that kept out the morning sun until we invited it in.

The room doesn’t need the high ceiling or glass wall to give it a spacious feeling – it size does that, but without losing the sense of a cozy retreat. A fieldstone fireplace and chimney anchors one end, faced by a cushy sofa covered in chocolate-brown sueded fabric.

The woven rug in earth and sky tones – pale blue, ochre yellow and terra cotta – sets the outdoors mood, and the same colors are picked up in bedspread. The divinely comfortable bed is a blacksmith’s version of Adirondack style, its head and footboards a design of bent pine branches complete with cones and clusters of pine needles – all in iron. Lamps and sconces carry the same pine cone design throughout the room without its ever seeming too cute or quaintly rusticated.

As attention-getting as the room with its tasteful rustic/chic décor, it’s the bathroom suite that left us in awe. The shower is a small room the size of an ordinary bathroom, lined in gray and brown slate, its floor paved with small water-worn beach stones. It’s fitted with a rain shower and two hand-held shower heads. A door at one end leads to a small Finnish sauna.

The main room of this bathing suite features a double jet tub (with heavenly lavender mineral bath salts) and twin-sink vanity. Windows over the tub open onto bedroom, or can be closed entirely and its glass covered with wooden slat shades.

Each of the two sinks in the long polished stone vanity has its own lighting, outlets and Green Nature amenities and hand-cut blocks of lemongrass soap by a NH artisan. The recessed skylight over the sinks gave diffused natural light to the area.

Dark willow baskets of spare towels, natural wood and stone, in addition to the ironwork bed and lamps give the entire cottage a smart and stylish rustic feel that deftly avoids “Ye olde Adirondack.”

Breakfast, included with the cottage, began with an artistically arranged plate of fresh fruit and berries, served on a table dressed in white linens and fresh flowers. Warm cream scones followed with a pot of Twinings tea (my companion’s coffee arrived at the table almost as he did). I ordered cinnamon-raisin French toast, which was served with lightly poached apples, applewood-smoked bacon and a little pitcher of maple syrup (real, of course – this town is called Sugar Hill for a good reason). Tim’s scrambled eggs were light and creamy, evenly cooked, sprinkled with fresh herbs and drizzled with melted Harman’s aged cheddar.

Sugar Hill Inn is on Route 117 in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire; tel (603) 823-5621; www.sugarhillinn.com

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