USAFamily Travel

Immersive wellness at Omni Mount Washington Resort

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The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H.

The century-old Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire's Bretton Woods is known for its rich history -- it's one of the last grande dame hotels still in operation in the U.S. But far from being stuffy and formal, the 200-room hotel offers the kinds of year-round attractions that have enticed my family to vacation there many times over the years.

In winter, we've skied, gone snow tubing and taken sleigh rides at Bretton Woods Mountain Resort, located across from the property. In summer, we've tried everything from pony rides and ziplines to chugging up Mount Washington on its vintage cog railway. The property even has a seasonal kids club with activities designed to keep young guests entertained during a stay.

So it was fitting that when given the opportunity to do a wellness weekend at the hotel with my now young adult daughter, she and I jumped at the chance.

Our weekend began with aromatherapy massages using products by Naturopathica, which supplies the hotel's 25,000-square-foot spa. We also took advantage of mini-facial treatments and skin consultations, after which we relaxed in private lounges, saunas, steam rooms and an outdoor Jacuzzi.

Like many mother-daughter bonding weekends, this one offered plenty of yoga, led by an experienced teacher and geared to newbies and experienced practitioners alike.

'Forest bathing'

We also joined in an activity called "forest bathing." We set out with a guide for a morning walk through the woods that make up much of the property's extensive grounds. The idea is to walk in near silence, basking in the beauty of the surroundings, listening to the rushing Ammonoosuc River along the way and pausing to touch tree branches, snowdrifts or budding leaves (depending on the time of year) as you go. 

The hotel offers several dining and cocktail venues. We tucked into surf and turf at Stickney's, with its friendly, publike atmosphere, and dined on fresh seafood at the tonier main dining room, with its massive chandelier and floor-to-ceiling windows. 

We also stopped in at the Cave, a bar notable for its stone walls and live entertainment, and enjoyed a quiet afternoon drink at the Rosebrook Bar, which features wall-to-wall windows overlooking the resort grounds. 

The property is in the process of expanding its wellness offerings with a series of Women's Wellness Immersion weekends, to be available two to three times a year, focusing on nutrition, social connections and practical self-care tools to use in everyday life. Details are still in the works.

Casting a wider net, the hotel also offers nine- and 18-hole championship golf courses, stables with horseback riding and carriage rides, mountain biking, red clay tennis courts, fly-fishing, hiking, canopy tours and, for kids who need a break from the outdoors, an arcade and game room. 

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