The Central New Hampshire area has an excellent variety of places to stay - from cottages to resorts. Here are a few of my recommendations.
The Lazy E Motor Inn Resort and Conference Center is the perfect family getaway destination. Located in Weirs Beach, right on Lake Winnipesaukee, the Lazy E has six motel units, three efficiencies, five cottages and a four-bedroom Lake house. Our cottage was right on the water.
Photo, left: The Lazy E
The cottages have everything that a family would need: sink, stove, refrigerator, cooking supplies. The front of our cottage had a deck overlooking the water. There�s also a sandy "beach" area for the kids to play in.
In the communal area, there was a fireplace with chairs around it. Owners Les and Linda Schuster offer an outdoor hot tub, a horseshoe pit, gas grills, boat and canoe rentals, and scuba diving! The Schusters are friendly and accommodating � in fact, you might want to head into the office a little early to check out. We found ourselves lingering and chatting for quite awhile on our last morning there.
At Gilcrest Cottages and Motel in Thorton Gary and Julie and Piehn greet you like old friends. In fact, a sign outside the office reads, �Strangers are just friends we haven�t met yet�. Located on the banks of the Pemigewasset River, the Gilcrest offers motel rooms as well as cottages. We stayed in the Flume Cottage, a cute and cozy cabin with a stone chimney. Inside was just as cozy with a patchwork quilt on the bed, table and chairs, TV, dresser and a fireplace. Of course we had to have a fire that night. Our cottage also has a coffeemaker and fridge.
Photo, right: Gilcrest Cottages and Motel is located right on the Pemigewasset River.
The Piehns took over the Gilcrest in 2001, carrying on a tradition begun in the 40�s.
"We have been busy renovating a place that has withstood much history and years of families and friends vacationing together," Julie said. "We refer to Gilcrest as "a nostalgic escape from everyday living".
Many other people seem to feel the same way. The Piehns have had a number of older visitors tell them that they remember coming to Gilcrest when they were kids.
Since the establishment is right on the Pemi River, we could have launched our canoe there, if only we had brought it with us. At least we could enjoy the view of the river � and we did.
Speaking of views - while driving up (and up and up) Steele Hill to Steele Hill Resort, Sanborton, we kept thinking that the view couldn�t get any better � but it did! Our suite on the third floor of Steele Hill South had a balcony, and a view that looked out over Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Winnisquam, and the White Mountains.
It was a difficult to not spend all of our time out on the balcony all of the time, but the cool New Hampshire nights helped us retreat into our rooms.
Not that our suite wasn�t nice. It had just about everything you could ask for � whirlpool bath, plasma TV, gas fireplace, kitchen (with dishwasher!), washer and dryer.
Along with the room came pool privileges, which my husband enjoyed immensely. The indoor pool (they also have an outdoor pool) is more like a small water theme park with a slide and glass enclosure.
We had dinner one night at the Hilltop, the resort�s restaurant. We had a salad, French Onion Soup and New York Strip Steak, and everything was excellent. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, and from our table we could watch the sun set over that wonderful view.
Lazy E Motor Inn Resort and Conference Center
The Lazy E is open year-round, but the cabins and Lakeview Cabin are only available from April to the end of October.
Steele Hill Resort
Steele Hill is open year-round and offers a variety of accommodations.
Some of the suites and rooms at Steele Hill South are accessible by stairs only � be sure to check when you reserve a room.
Gilcrest Cottages and Motel
The Piehns offer special events, like S'mores Cookouts.
Looking for something to do while in the area? Check out my articles:
Central New Hampshire Attractions
Scenic Train Rides in New Hampshire
Photos: Copyright 2007 Nathan D. Reynolds