New Hampshire has a long history of tourism dating back to the 19th century when people would visit to take in the state’s splendor such as the White Mountains and the Lakes Region. Lodging houses were built to accommodate these early tourists. Over the years, many of these expanded into large and luxurious inns and hotels. Unfortunately a dozen of these wonderful old hotels have succumbed to fire and demolition over the years now leaving only four of the large “grand” hotels. Of these four, only one, the Balsams, has operated continuously since its founding right after the Civil War (sadly that streak ended as of January of 2012 when the Balsams closed for renovations).
The Grand Hotels of New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s remaining grand hotels are:
- Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, Whitefield, New Hampshire
- The Balsams Grand Resort, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire
- The Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
- Wentworth by the Sea, Marriott Hotel and Spa, New Castle, NH
Other New Hampshire Historic Hotels
There are many other notable historic hotels in New Hampshire as well. While perhaps not as large as the grand hotels above, each of these provides luxurious accommodation with historic charm.
Eagle Mountain House and Golf Club (1879), Jackson, NH
The Eagle Mountain House first opened in 1879 with 12 guest rooms. It was destroyed by fire in 1915 and rebuilt with 94 guest rooms in 1916. A 9-hole golf course was added in 1931. The Eagle Mountain House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels.
Eastern Slope Inn (1937), North Conway, NH
Founded in 1937 the Eastern Slope Inn sits on 40 acres along the Saco River in North Conway. Amenities include an glass-enclosed swimming pool, indoor and outdoor spa tub, tennis courts, fitness center and more. The Eastern Slope Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College (1780), Hanover, NH
Founded in 1780 by General Ebenezer Brewster and expanded many times over the years. The Hanover Inn, on the campus of Dartmouth College, has 93 guest rooms, 2 restaurants and extensive meeting facilities. It is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotel.
Omni Bretton Arms Inn (1896), Bretton Woods, NH
Built as a private home in 1896, the Omni Bretton Arms Inn first opened to guests in 1907. The Inn was closed and used as staff housing for the Mount Washington Hotel in 1973. It was restored and reopened as the Omni Bretton Arms Inn in 1986. The Inn is part of the larger Mount Washington Resort and guests can take advantage of all of the resort’s amenities and activities. It is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotel.
The Wentworth (1869), Jackson, NH
Established as the Thorn Mountain House in 1869, by 1882 it had evolved into Wentworth Hall in 1882. Now the Wentworth Inn, the Wentworth is an elegant country inn in the European tradition. The inn offers fine dining, has an 18-hole public golf course next door, is across from the Jackson XC Nordic ski touring center, and near alpine skiing (within five minutes of Black Mountain and 20 minutes of Cranmore). The Wentworth Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Jackson Falls Historic District.