A sunshine-yellow 10-room inn within walking distance of Lake Winnipesaukee was voted the top resort hotel in New England and the No. 3 resort hotel in the contiguous United States by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine in its annual World’s Best survey released this week.
Pickering House Inn, located in Wolfeboro, a town favored by celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, opened in 2018 and beat out last year’s winner, the Rabbit Hill Inn and the insanely posh Twin Farms, to claim the New England title and land in the top five nationally.
Pickering House Inn is located in the historic Pickering homestead and its attached barn. Owners Patty and Peter Cooke saved the property from near-certain demolition and reimagined it as a luxury hotel. After a two-year renovation it debuted with oversize guest rooms, spa showers, and smart TVs. In 2020, they opened Pavilion restaurant. This year they opened Sky Boutique Spa. In 2019, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our goal was to create a world-class experience but in an authentic, unpretentious, intimate way,” Peter Cooke said in a statement. Travel + Leisure referred to the hotel as “quietly luxurious.”
Readers chose winners based on rooms and facilities, location, service, food, and value. Nightly rates at the inn range from $545 to $615.
Pickering House’s showing was a rare bright spot for New England on a national level in this year’s rankings. Boston was a no-show on T+L’s list of the top 15 city hotels. Boston (and all of New England) was absent from the magazine’s list of the top 15 cities in the United States.
The region’s top 10
Here’s the full list of Travel + Leisure magazine’s winners in the top 10 New England resort hotels category:
1. Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro, N.H.
2. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vt.
3. The Wauwinet, Nantucket
4. Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vt.
5. White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kennebunk, Maine
6. Brenton Hotel, Newport, R.I.
7. Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
8. The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, Newport, R.I.
9. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich
10. Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, R.I.