Location: Chittenden, Vermont
Size: 32 rooms and more than 20 guesthouses
Meeting Space: More than 10,000 square feet
Access: Secluded in central Vermont, approximately three hours from Boston
In the 1870s, the Mountain Top Inn and Resort was not much more than a single barn in the middle of a turnip field.
It was William Barstow, an associate of Thomas Edison, who first saw the potential in the land as a place to gather with friends and soak in the Vermont scenery. Barstow purchased the farm as a gift for his New York socialite wife, and the couple began work renovating, improving and adding to the original barn building so they could soon welcome in visiting friends and family.
The couple eventually turned the place into a full-service inn and tavern, attracting the eye of William and Margery Wolfe, who purchased the inn in 1945 and continued improvements while maintaining the historical integrity of the original building. In 1955 a visit from President Dwight Eisenhower during a long fishing expedition with friends made headlines and put the little inn on the map. Even a small fire in 1977 couldn’t dampen the inn’s resolve, and it quickly bounced back after a restoration that included traditional post and beam construction.
Since then, the inn has grown to include 32 rooms within the main lodge and more than 20 guesthouses spread throughout more than 700 acres, where stunning features like a glass “silo” staircase and walls of windows look out over the expansive property, welcoming visitors to this much-loved inn and resort.
A small group of passionate investors purchased the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in the early 2000s, turning the property into one of Vermont’s top destination resorts while preserving the beauty and history of the property. Images of Eisenhower’s fishing expedition still line the halls. Guests and meeting groups can enjoy this historic ambiance while taking advantage of the resort’s many on-site activities, which include trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.
The Mountain Top Inn and Resort has more than 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The Mountain Top Event Barn, for up to 200 guests, offers three floors of flexible banquet space between the loft and the main floor, and is home to a dedicated kitchen as well as the Mountain Top Spa and Salon, Fitness Center and Sauna. The Mountain Top Beach Pavilion, for up to 75 guests, sits lakeside on a private beach and is open from May through October. The Southside Lobby, for up to 50 guests, and the Mountain Top Restaurant, for up to 75 guests, are great options within the main lodge, and the Mountain Aire Lodge, for up to 20 guests, and the Jewel at Meadows Edge, for up to 20 guests, offer private spaces for smaller groups with room for breakout sessions and dining functions.
The Mountain Top Inn and Resort features a full-service restaurant and catering kitchen with a dedicated staff. The catering team offers numerous menus and specializes in crafting customized menus to accommodate the dietary requirements and preferences of parties of from two to 250. The team works with planners on everything from selecting the perfect snacks to organizing elaborate buffets or multicourse dinners. They can create culinary experiences for groups that include wine and beer pairings, New England clam bakes, backyard barbecues, farm-to-table holiday buffets, Mexican fiestas, Italian buffets with pasta bars and more. Alcohol is available.
Each of the meeting spaces at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort comes with complimentary wireless internet service, flat-screen TVs, LCD projectors, screens, flip charts, sound systems and DVD players. The staff is also happy to help arrange for team-building activities and exercises such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and paintball biathlons. The resort operates an on-site ice skating rink that opens in December and runs through the winter season. Other activities include sledding, clay shooting, disc golf tournaments, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and a variety of lawn games. Kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals are also available.
At the Resort
Meeting guests don’t have to travel off-site to find entertainment before or after events, as this 700-acre resort offers abundant options. From mid-May through September, the resort’s heated pool and hot tub are open for guests to enjoy; the 740-acre lake with private beach provides a great option for a day of boating, swimming or relaxing with a picnic lunch on one of the lounge chairs. The resort operates a state-of-the-art fitness center on the lower level of the Mountain Top Event Barn alongside the spa and sauna, but guests looking to get a workout in the sun can hit the outdoor tennis courts or volleyball court for a quick game or two.