Far beyond the blanket of cell phone reception, in central Vermont, Twin Farms (TwinFarms.com) lets you fulfill every honeymoon fantasy without ever having to set foot on a plane. A dramatic escape from the Big Smoke, the property hides in a reticulation of townships -- some ramshackle, others brimming with storybook charm -- where the interstate highways slim down into twisting gravel roads.
This isn't your typical country inn. The property maintains a collection of elegant cottages and farmhouses, each one a meditation on a different theme. Log Cabin promises all the trappings of pioneer charm. Treehouse includes light birch branches above it and an intriguing English colonial vibe. Our favorite is Studio, with its soaring ceilings, a stone-encrusted hot tub, a lofted bedroom nook with its own fireplace, and a sizable collection of modern art (hello, Frank Stella and David Hockney, just to name a few).
The estate, however, truly wows when it comes to food: farm-fresh dishes sourced daily, cooked perfectly, and never overwrought by try-hard techniques or sauces. Every ingredient sings.
Bending the definition of all-inclusive away from swim-up pool bars, Twin Farms feels like an immersive culinary experience. The concept is simple: Once you're on the property, the skillful staff promptly relieves you of the burden of choice. Meals are like mini-events prepared without menus (guests are encouraged to note likes and dislikes before arrival), and wines are paired accordingly.
Days are spent engaged in any type of sport the weather allows: complimentary downhill skiing and snowshoeing in winter; pond swimming, guided hikes, and fly-fishing in summer. And no matter the season, guests can relax in the "furo," a large Japanese-style soaking tub set in its own private structure in the woods.
It's the Stave puzzles, however, that may be guests' favorite pastime. On the bookshelves of every suite, these unique jigsaws are hand-carved in the most maniacal way to challenge all preconceived notions of assembly. None of the brainteasers come with an image of the final product, adding an extra layer of frustration. The staff jokingly refers to the larger puzzles (300 pieces or more) as vacation ruiners, so here's a hint: The finished product doesn't necessarily make a rectangle or square.
Put these items on your Twin Farms to-do list as well: the decadently fluffy pancakes at breakfast stuffed with whatever the heart desires, a game of pool in the pub, an aromatic massage in the dedicated spa, a romantic dinner in the hidden wine cellar, and an afternoon of blissful nothingness thumbing through luxury magazines while gently wrapped in a cotton bathrobe.
The best way to reach the property from anywhere in the Northeast is by private vehicle. Rent a Range Rover Sport SVR from any Hertz specialty dealer to round out the exclusive experience, and ride through the countryside in style. Capable of negotiating the rugged backroads of Vermont, no matter the season, this second-generation car is the vehicular version of a stay at Twin Farms: Every whim and scenario has been anticipated, with motion detection, easy off-roading, and accelerators and breaks befitting the NASA shuttle.