By Tom Eastman
BRETTON WOODS — The White Mountains region is home to five resorts dating back to the Golden Era of Grand Hotels, four of which are currently open for business and the fifth — the Balsams Resort — awaits restoration by developer Les Otten.
In addition, the Mount Washington Summit Road Co. has started construction on a 67-room hotel on the west side of Route 16, near the site of the former Glen Houses that once overlooked the base of the "Road to the Sky," with a targeted spring 2018 completion date.
The five "grand hotels" still gracing the area are:
• The Omni Mount Washington Resort, U.S. Route 302, Bretton Woods: Conceived by industrialist Joseph Stickney, this National Historic Landmark opened in 1902 and hosted the 1944 International Monetary Conference — be sure to visit the Gold Room, where the signing of the formal documents took place. Amenities at the 200-room resort include 25,000-square-foot spa and salon, recently renovated 18-hole Donald Ross golf course, fine and casual dining, and across the street, one of the longest zipline tours in New England. www.omnihotels.com; (888) 444-OMNI.
• The Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa, 101 Mountain View Road, Whitefield: Originally a farmhouse and expanded over the years as a lodging establishment, this North Country landmark underwent a $20 million restoration in 2001. It features 141 guest rooms, grand tower spa and salon, an indoor and outdoor pool, a nine-hole golf course and fine dining. www.mountainviewgrand.com; (855) 837-2100.
• The Wentworth, An Elegant Country Inn, 1 Carter Notch Road, Jackson. A grand hotel in the European tradition, the Wentworth was built as a wedding gift from a father to his daughter and son-in-law. The house evolved into a multi-structure complex. It was restored in 1982 and features 61 guest rooms. There is fine dining, a piano bar and renowned wedding facilities. www.thewentworth.com; (800) 637-0013 or (603) 383-9700.
• The Eagle Mountain House, 179 Carter Notch Road, Jackson. When it first opened in 1879, the original Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club offered 12 guest rooms, which were modest beginnings for what would be one of New Hampshire's premier resorts. It now features 96 guest rooms and fine dining along with a nine-hole golf course. www.eaglemt.com; (800) 966-5779 or (603) 383-9111.
• The Balsams, Dixville Notch, 1000 Cold Spring Road, Colebrook, The Balsams Grand Resort has been nestled in Dixville Notch since 1886, and over the years became an iconic destination. Developer Les Otten has big plans for both the resort and the ski area. www.thebalsamsresort.com; (603) 255-2500.