Mother’s Day plans are on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to better times — and give the moms in our lives the gift of a getaway.
While most New England hotels and resorts are temporarily shuttered, many are offering enticing gift certificates, with bonuses, for future stays. And what a nice thing for your mother to anticipate: a pampering getaway to soothe her after the crisis has passed. She will love it, and you’ll be helping local New England inns, hotels, and resorts, which have been hit hard during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
For ultra-pampering, you can’t beat the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine (207-799-3134, www.innbythesea.com). Mom can spend her days walking pretty, mile-long Crescent Beach, relaxing in the spa, or joining a small group on a bird-watching or garden tour. If she’s still a bit skittish about crowds, have her book one of the lush, contemporary suites, with separate living and dining areas, full kitchens, and ocean view terraces or decks. (Maybe she’ll invite you to come with her!) We like the strong philanthropic ethos of this Silver LEED-certified resort, considered one of the most giving in the country. Initiatives include book donations to local schools, habitat restoration, support for organizations that preserve the natural environment, and a unique foster dog program. Currently, if you purchase a $100 gift certificate, you’ll receive an additional $25 property credit gift card. They’re also offering a 15 percent discount on summer bookings, June through September. The resort is currently closed, but there is a reservation person taking phone calls from guests and moving reservations forward.
We bet any mother would love a stay at any of the Connecticut-based Delamar properties; all located in historic buildings respectfully turned into modern, sophisticated, artsy hotels (www.delamar.com). At the waterside Delamar Greenwich Harbor, she can relax in her plush room, get spa treatments, dine at the hotel’s elegant French restaurant L’Escale, and hop on a loaner bike to pedal around downtown Greenwich. The Delamar Southport is a more intimate experience, a 45-room boutique hotel located in a small village filled with former sea captains’ homes. The Delamar West Hartford sits at the edge of upscale Blue Back Square, walking distance from West Hartford Center with its cluster of shops and restaurants. Purchase a gift certificate, good at any of the properties, and 50 percent of your sale will be donated to employees, who have been hard hit during the closing. To purchase contact Linda Kozelska at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 203-413-3514.
If your mother loves the Berkshires, consider a gift certificate to the 1896 House Country Inn in Williamstown, built in a former milking barn from the 19th century (413-458-1896, www.1896house.com). There’s a choice of rooms, from comfy, no-frills to larger suites. Be sure to suggest dinner at their casual and convivial ‘6 House Pub. Currently, they’ll double your money. If you purchase a $30 gift card, you’ll receive $60 toward a one-night weekday stay or if you purchase a $50 gift certificate, you’ll get $100 toward a two-night weekend stay. Each comes with a 10 percent discount voucher for the pub.
A trip to Nantucket? Of course, any mother would love that! Buy a $100 gift card and receive a $25 bonus to be used for accommodations, spa treatments, and dining at any of the Nantucket Island Resort properties, including The White Elephant, The Wauwinet, Jared Coffin House, the Cottages at the Boat Basin, and the Nantucket Boat Basin (800-475-2637, www.nantucketislandresorts.com). During these challenging times, Nantucket Island Resorts is also continuing to support the Nantucket Food Bank, and PASCON, an island-based nonprofit program for persons facing life-threatening illness.
As a COVID-19 special, the Manor on Golden Pond overlooking Squam Lake in Holderness, N.H. (800-545-2141, www.manorongoldenpond.com), is offering 15 percent off gift certificates (in other words, you pay only 85 percent of the face value of the certificate). The voucher is good for accommodations, dinner in the Van Horn Dining Room, spa treatments, and their Fork in the Road Cooking School.
Locals and visitors alike are clamoring to return to the friendly, family-owned Woodstock Inn Brewery in Woodstock, N.H. (603-745-3951, www.woodstockinnbrewery.com). The property, which includes 40 comfy rooms spread across five buildings, three dining areas, a bar and on-site brewery, is always a bargain, and a little bit more so now. For every $50 gift certificate you purchase, you’ll get a $5 bonus card. The offer is good through May 20, and available online only. Later this spring, enjoy a special brew, crafted in collaboration with other New Hampshire breweries, and know that 100 percent of the sales will go to the New Hampshire Hospitality Relief Fund.
After the anxiety-ridden, stressful, shelter-in-place period, your mother might really enjoy a visit to the throwback village of Grafton, Vt., with over-the-river-and-through-the-woods charm. The rambling, historic 1801 Grafton Inn (802-234-8718, www.graftoninnvermont.com), one of the oldest in the country, has comfy, hang-out living rooms, two dining areas, and luxurious rooms. Buy a $250 gift certificate now, and you’ll get $50 bonus bucks to spend on lodging or dining. Book now through May 15. Feel-good factor: The inn is owned by the Windham Foundation, whose activities support the preservation of Vermont’s small towns.
We’re hoping that Kennebunkport, Maine, will be hopping again this summer with visitors. Reserve a space now by purchasing a gift certificate for a stay at the 1802 House (207-967-5632, www.1802house.com). The rooms are immaculate, the owners are friendly and professional, the homemade, three-course breakfast included in the room rate is delicious, and it’s within walking distance to downtown Dock Square, filled with restaurants and shops. Right now, you can get an additional $50 added to every purchase of $200 or more in gift certificates. Call directly to arrange the special. The elegant Inn at English Meadows in Lower Kennebunk Village (207-967-5766, www.englishmeadowsinn.com) is offering the same deal: $50 bonus with every $200 gift certificate purchased. The offer is valid through May 31, and can be ordered online. The highly-rated inn, housed in an impeccably-restored mid-1800s Greek Revival mansion and located a half-mile from Dock Square, mixes bright contemporary touches and lush amenities with historic elements.
Gift cards galore
Not sure where she wants to travel when it’s safe to do so? Check out the gift certificate program available through the New England Inns & Resorts Association (www.newenglandinnsandresorts.com). You can buy gift certificates in any denomination, which are good at more than 300 resorts, inns, B&Bs, and motor lodges across the region. They ship for free and are currently offering a free six-month subscription to Yankee magazine with each order.
Beasley Media Group Boston has set up Operation: Gift Card to get the word out on local restaurants and businesses who are offering gift cards for purchase. Currently, there are more than 100 lBoston-area restaurants and businesses listed (www.985thesportshub.com/2020/03/16/operation-gift-card).
At www.hotelgift.com, you can purchase gift certificates to more than 200,000 hotels worldwide. Most are located in popular destinations, including Boston.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at email@example.com