Archive for the ‘West Hill House B&B’ Category

Farmer’s Market

June 15th, 2012 by Susan

Waitsfield Famers' MarketA must on our Sap-bucket list is our local Farmers’ Market which is held every Saturday morning from now until October 20th–rain or shine–on the Mad River Green in Waitsfield.

Local farmers bring a vast array of items including seedling plants, freshly harvested vegetables and fruits, cheeses, local meats, maple syrup, honey, eggs, jams and fresh baking–ummm I can almost smell the fresh pies! When you are at the market, be sure to visit the artisans’ booths where you’ll see beautiful intricate blown glass, colorful woven goods, hand crafted wooden items, finely turned pottery pieces and much more. Everything’s super and everything’s for sale.

If you are visiting the valley and had to leave your canine baby at home you’ll especially love the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market as dogs are invited to attend as long as they promise to stay on their leash and  be polite and friendly to everyone they meet.

Sap-bucket list

June 10th, 2012 by Susan

What’s on your bucket list?

There are so many wonderful places to visit and things to do in Vermont that we have created none other than our own Vermont Sap-Bucket list!

In the 6 years we have been in Vermont we have taken the opportunity explore this wonderful Green Mountain state. We’re excited when our guests ask “What’s there to do in Vermont?” because we are more than happy to fill them in on what’s what.

As our guests at West Hill House B&B, we will help you to plan your itinerary and activities by providing you with ideas based on your interests and driving routes that will show off the beautiful scenery.

So we invite you watch this space for our Sap-bucket list.

Healthy ‘Green’ Shopping Bags

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Person With Bag on Head

An questionable fashion statement.

Green is in – especially here in Vermont. Among other things, here at West Hill House we use “green” light bulbs, we have solar panels to preheat our hot water, we have rooms with individually adjustable temperature controls, we drive a hybrid car and, we use reusable bags for our shopping.

Every conference that we have been to in the last 10 years has given out conference material in a reusable bag. After our most recent conference our count is now 43 reusable bags with about 10 others having been already “retired” due to wear.

Bags

7 of 43

So what to do with all those bags? A friend made throw pillows and is thinking of making a quilt top which would use up some of her bags.

While he promised to use his new bag for its intended purpose, we got a photo of this young man’s first and somewhat questionable fashion use for his new bag.

We encourage the use of ‘green’ bags, just be aware that all kinds of germs can be transferred to you from your bag. Think of all the places your bag (or purse for that matter) has been recently; the floor of a shop, the soccer field, the locker room, a public washroom, or the floor of your car. If you use your bags for carrying groceries, remember that raw food can transfer germs to the bag as well as to other foods in the bag. Bags often end up on the kitchen counter where the germs are happy to go forth and multiply. Think green. Stay healthy. Wash your reusable bags frequently.

To Cape Cod and Beyond

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Cape Cod

Heading to the endless ocean at Nauset Beach

Heading to the endless ocean at Nauset Beach

Just a few weeks ago we headed off to Cape Cod to attend the PAII Northeastern Regional Conference. As our program did not start until late afternoon we decided to drive up the Cape and explore along the way.

We started our exploration in the town of Hyannis and by making a welcome stop for homemade ice creams at Katie’s, so many imaginative flavors it was hard to choose.

Peter loves the ocean so of course beaches and lighthouses were on the agenda. We stopped at the Veterans Beach in Hyannis and saw the Kennedy Memorial and the Cape and Islands Korean War Memorial, we walked the grounds at the Higgins Farm Windmill, stopped at The Cook Shop (yes, Susan bought a few items and could have stayed there for ages), enjoyed the view from the Highland lighthouse and read of the beach erosion which precipitated the moving of the lighthouse back several hundred feet from its original 1797 location. The view of the ocean from Nauset Beach near Orleans took our breath away and Peter could have sat there for ages. No land as far as the eye could see, no wonder early sailors were worried they would fall off the end of the earth.

So back to Hyannis for our PAII conference.

PAII? It stands for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, which is a great organization which speaks on behalf of its member innkeepers on issues that affect this sector of the hospitality industry. Annual and regional conferences offer innkeepers and aspiring innkeepers a chance to meet others in the industry as well as meet with businesses which provide services and products to the industry. The focus of the conferences is offering workshops covering many topics from decorating (with or without doilies), to bread making, to website design to social media. Innkeeers also get a chance to be updated on the Better Way To Stay  program which promotes B&Bs as a great alternative to the traditional hotel/motel accommodations.Parked Car

Theme speakers, whose messages touch each innkeeper in some way, set the tone at both the opening and closing sessions and get us charged up for the coming year.

Departing Hyannis for West Hill House B&B. The QR code in our window received numerous comments.

We’re home now recharged after a few days of relaxation and an action packed conference.

Thanks for a great conference, PAII!

It’s the money, not the principle of the thing!

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

So we were on our way to Cape Cod for the New England PAII conference and decided to break the trip with the night at one of Boston’s luxury downtown hotels. The entrance was grand, the staff was friendly, the room spacious and a nice treat for us but my gosh, I do believe that a B&B is a Better Way to Stay.

We were serenaded to sleep (not) with the sound of roaring traffic along with police and firetruck sirens oh and a couple of ‘rice racers’ trying out downtown streets. Boston night traffic seems to calm down about 3AM and start up again around 5AM so not much sleep to be had – and we were more than 12 floors above street level.

I know life in the big city is expensive – if we weren’t blown away by the $12.50 per device charge to connect with the internet, and the $25 per person buffet breakfast (which we opted not to indulge in) we just about had to pick our jaws up off the floor and mortgage the farm to pay the $46 per night valet parking, which we were informed about only at check out! (Valet parking was the only option if you had a car.) Do we not get out enough or does something not seem quite right?

A Better Way to Stay? You bet…We encourage anyone from Boston, New York, Hartford, Toronto or any other big city to come enjoy the peace and serenity of West Hill House. Quiet nights (unless you count the peepers down by the pond), free phone calls and internet, free parking even if you are here for an event and we have valet parking, and our hallways don’t disappear into a vanishing point. Oh and of course, breakfast is included!

Need a break from the hectic life of the city? The Rx is a trip to Vermont.

Picnic by the pond

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

West Hill House Bed and Breakfast

Grace & Charlie enjoy a picnic.

A basket filled with Vermont cider, cheeses, crackers, home made cookies and other goodies brings smiles to Grace and Charlie who welcomed the warm spring weather with a picnic by our pond. Spring has indeed sprung in the Mad River Valley. Signs of the season are all around us; chipmunks are sunning themselves on the rocks, peepers are singing our guests to sleep each evening and our beautiful gardens are coming back to life with brilliant daffodils now in bloom. We won’t even mind a few April showers. Sugarbush has opened the golf course, folks are out walking and cycling as well as hiking on the many local Green Mountain trails.

Though we can’t guarantee that there will be warm picnic weather when you come, we can guarantee that a warm welcome awaits you.

See you soon!

Moose at West Hill House – the movie!

March 23rd, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

We had a rare experience this evening when we noticed a lady moose drinking from our beaver pond. We watched her for about half an hour, took lots of photos and this video – click on the image to play it.

This is only the 3rd time we have seen moose on the property since we arrived 6 years ago, though we know from tracks that they are quite frequent visitors.

Relaxation Plus!

March 16th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Cat nap

Winter gives way to an early spring

Mountainside snow melts in the warm sun

The ground begins to thaw as we enter mud season

Crocuses, tulips, and irises poke their heads through the soil

Inside West Hill House B&B Smoky demos cat yoga and enjoys a relaxing nap.

Come join Smoky and Snowball, choose your own chair of course, and chill out.

For new bookings made after March 27th for between then and April 26th we are offering these two special deals:

  • Stay two nights and have the third night on the house! A 33% discount.
  • Stay one night and get the 2nd night at half price! A 25% discount.

These discounts are not available on-line. Please call us to book.

(may not be combined with other discounts)

 

 

Ski boots galore!

March 6th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

"We sure had a good day on the mountains."

After a busy day at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, guests’ boots rest by the fireside while their humans enjoy their steam showers and jacuzzis.

A breakthrough in LED light bulbs

February 26th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

We are sharing here most of a review we posted on the Amazon web site, as we are just delighted with these amazing LED light bulbs – a real breakthough.  As noted in the review, you can see them in operation in our kitchen.

Review of 900 Lumen 9 Watt LED Light Bulbs

I have tried many LED light bulbs over the last year or so claiming to be replacements for 50W + incandescents for use in normal fixtures, and this is the first bulb to actually exceed my expectations, and at a lower price than most of the competition.

The bulb is slightly whiter than warm white and it is bright – definitely brighter than a 60W incandescent bulb. In fact I have used the first two I ordered to replace 50W halogen flood lamps in our kitchen and these LED bulbs provide a brighter light even though they are not directional like the halogen floods – they spread light over about 180 degrees compared to a typical flood’s spread of 35 degrees.

These are the first LED bulbs I have seen that produce 100 lumens per Watt. So 900 lumens from 9W. By replacing two halogen floods I have more light with 18W than I had before with 100W. These specs also make these bulbs among the first to truly exceed CFLs in efficiency, thus the review title of a “breakthrough in LED light bulbs”. And of course they bring the other major LED advantage of turning on almost instantly at full brightness, not to mention the lack of any mercury related disposal issues if indeed they ever need replaced.

(These bulbs are not dimmable so if your application requires that capability you will need another product. I have also purchased two Philips 409904 Dimmable AmbientLED 12.5-Watt A19 Light Bulbs and if the weird appearance is not a problem these are an excellent choice if dimming is required and you need 800 lumens plus from the bulb.)

The guarantee is spectacular – if the bulb burns out during YOUR lifetime return it for a free replacement. Of course this is only as good as the life of the company as well, but it does indicate the confidence that the vendor has in their product.

Also intriguing is that the bulb looks almost like a regular A19 incandescent bulb, with a silvery coating on the bottom half. It lacks the very visible and massive external heat-sinks of similar products. It remains to be seen whether this lack of a visible heat-sink will impact the bulb life and/or long term performance.

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