Where to stay in New England

Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine

What’s so special?

Tourists swoop on New England each autumn to witness the glorious displays of colour on show in the region’s vast forests. You can enjoy it all away from the crowds in the 60-acre estate that makes up Hidden Pond, in Maine.

How they rate it

The estate is listed as one of Condé Nast Traveller’s favourite places to stay in America. It “offers ‘rustic’ with a difference… Forget soggy tents and mouldy camp shacks, this place has 36 stunning one- and two-bedroom clapboard cottages beautifully orchestrated by some of the state’s top designers.”

The single-bedroom bungalows have “vaulted ceilings, gas fireplaces, outdoor rain showers and sleek bathrooms”. The two-bedroom option also boasts a kitchen. There are swimming pools, beaches for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and trails for biking and hiking.

The menu

The restaurant, Earth, offers handmade pasta and diver scallops, swordfish or crispy duck, served in “an outdoorsy setting”.

The cost

The hotel is open from May to October and costs from £285 a night. Find out more at www.hiddenpondmaine.com or call 00 1 888 967 9050.

Christmas Farm, New Hampshire

Christmas Farm, Jackson, New Hampshire

What’s so special?

Located in the White Mountains range in the state of New Hampshire, Christmas Farm Inn & Spa is the ideal base for anyone planning a hiking trip around the numerous national parks in this part of America. The first hiking trail in the US was established here in 1819 and it is possible to hike all the way from the tops of one of the 48 mountains to the shore, seeing the colours change as you go.

How they rate it

“This typical New England inn offers rooms and cottages styled in traditional colonial décor, with country quilts and gingham prints,” says Lonely Planet Traveller. The rooms – based in the former hay loft – “are full of character, with exposed centuries-old wooden beams and peaked ceilings”.

There are also small indoor and outdoor pools to relax in too. “In the contemporary carriage house, the 12 suites have two-person whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces and private balconies,” says Fodors.com. “The gardens are spectacular.” And after spending a day in the great outdoors, you can relax with a treatment at the hotel spa.

The menu

The restaurant serves “good, simple fare”, says Fodors.com. Dishes include traditional clam chowder, barbecue ribs and braised lamb shank.

The cost

Rooms cost from £130. Find out more at www.christmasfarminn.com or call 00 1 800 443 5837.

Treehotel, Sweden

Leaf peeping in Europe

If you want to enjoy the autumn colours a little closer to home, the Treehotel (pictured) in the remote forests of the Luleå River Valley in northern Sweden will leave you with great memories. “Where better to peep at leaves than suspended in a tree itself?” asks Aaron Millar in The Independent.

There are six “utterly eccentric, treehouse cottages including a metallic flying saucer, a hanging mirror cube and a giant bird’s nest”. For the best views go for The Cabin, “which has an outdoor roof deck and floor-to-ceiling windows”. Prices start at SEK4,700 (£407) per night including breakfast (Treehotel.se).

For an even better view, why not take to the skies in a hot air balloon? “Soar silently 6,000ft above the rolling fields of Tuscany and Lombardy in northern Italy, watching the pink and amber embers of autumn take hold of the vineyards and villages below.” Get Your Guide (Getyourguide.co.uk) offers one-hour balloon flights from Lodi, near Milan,
for £203 per person. The price includes transfers and a glass of champagne. 

“The golden hues of autumn sparkle a little brighter in the fresh arctic light of northern Norway.” Enjoy the view with a cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle, “stopping en route to explore the firecoloured foliage of Hjørundfjord, a narrow inlet surrounded by the Sunnmore Alps and yellow fields of chanterelle mushrooms”. Hurtigruten (Hurtigruten.co.uk) has a seven-day Autumn Gold voyage in October for £873 per person full-board.

Merryn

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