The Glen House

by  Laura Motta | Dec 3, 2019
Firepit and deck at The Glen House
Firepit and deck at The Glen House / Courtesy of The Glen House

At 6,200 feet, New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington is the tallest peak in the Northeast. Skirted by dense National Forest and cut through by one of the most grueling stretches of the Appalachian Trail, this rugged section of the White Mountains has been a favorite vacation spot for skiers, hikers, and leaf peepers for generations. 

With the exception of the grand dame Mt. Washington Hotel — a historic luxury property now run by Omni — which is on the Mt. Washington summit, much of the area’s lodging is focused around the cute nearby town of North Conway. Those who wanted to be closer to the mountain itself, and all of the the top-notch outdoor thrills that come with it, had fewer options. Enter The Glen House, a modern take on the notion of a mountain lodge, which opened in 2018. 

What’s Inside

Guest room at The Glen House / Courtesy of The Glen House

Hotel Type: Neat-as-a-pin boutique mountain hotel with sunny, uncomplicated rooms and an unbeatable view of Mt. Washington. 

Number of Rooms: 68 rooms overlooking Mt. Washington or other surrounding peaks.

Bars and Restaurants: The Notche Grille has a wide terrace with views of the summit, while the cozy lobby bar has a fireplace and serves cocktails and small bites. 

Hotel Trivia: The original Glen House opened as a hotel on this spot in 1852 and was destroyed by fire and rebuilt three times — in 1884, 1924, and 1967 — before it current incarnation was built and reopened in 2018. 

What It Looks Like

Dining room at The Glen House / Courtesy of The Guest House

The Design: The Glen House bucks typical notions of what a New England wilderness lodge should look like. You won’t find any plaid flannel or heavy wood here. Bright with natural light and peachy-pale colors, the property feels modern but still in-sync with its rustic surroundings.  

The Rooms: Rooms are airy and comfortable and done in soothing tones, though they lack extravagant comforts. Many have furnished terraces with mountain views — great for sitting with a cup of coffee and watching as Mt. Washington's famously unpredictable weather rolls in. 

The Public Spaces: The lobby bar is an important focal point. With Midcentury-inspired furniture and a stone fireplace topped with a charming — and cruelty-free — artistic rendition of a mounted moose head, this is a great place to gather after a day of sightseeing. Weather permitting, step out onto the hotel’s back deck to gather around a cozy outdoor fire pit. This is especially great for groups traveling together. 

Accessibility: Elevators, accessible rooms, and a mostly step-free lobby mean access for guests with mobility challenges. 

What It Feels Like

Lobby at The Glen House / Courtesy of The Glen House

The Mood: Glen House feels like a crossroads, and its lobby is busy with guests planning hiking and skiing excursions, and booking trips to climb Mt. Washington. This gives the property a sense of constant activity. Of course, there are also guests who prefer to chill by the fire pit or the fireplace, but chances are good that they’re either just leaving for — or returning from — an outdoor adventure. 

Who Stays Here: Families and couples (both younger and older) use The Glen House as a quiet mountain retreat, but you’ll also see groups of friends, decked in their outdoor gear, getting ready to hit the trails.  

You’ll Love It If: You like the idea of cozying up inside the borders of a vast National Forest, or if you crave mountain adventure. 

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You: Because of its position within the White Mountain National Forest, The Glen House sits slightly apart from the region's touristy shopping and hotel districts. You’ll need to drive about 15 to 30 minutes to reach “civilization,” i.e. a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops. 

What You’ll Get 

Pool at The Glen House / Courtesy of The Glen House

Fitness: A small fitness center will cover the basics, but doesn’t have a lot of elaborate equipment. The beautiful saltwater swimming pool is indoors, heated, and has mountain views. It’s the perfect way to soak away a day’s worth of hike- or ski-related soreness. 

Four-Legged Guests: This hotel is dog-friendly. Contact the property ahead of your stay so they can reserve a canine-friendly room for you. A $20 per day fee includes the use of a doggie bed and bowl, and a cleaning fee.  

What You’ll Pay

Average Rates: Expect to pay $130 to $200 per night for your stay.

When to Stay for Less: While rates on summer weekends can easily top $250 per night, you can save big on weeknights (Sunday through Wednesday). Summer weeknights can dip as low as $150 per night, and winter weeknights are a steal and can often be be booked for less than $100 per night. 

Resort and Other Fees: Expect a nightly lodging tax, but this property does not charge a resort fee. 

Know Your Neighborhood

Area History: Situated within the town of Gorham, the hotel sits within the boundaries of the White Mountain National Forest, which sprawls across the New Hampshire boarder into Maine and encompasses more than 1,200 square miles. 

Important Local Attractions: The Mt. Washington Auto Road is situated directly next to the hotel, and is the easiest way to ascend New England’s highest summit. The 7-mile road ascends more than 4,600 feet and you can drive with your own vehicle (rates start at $31 and include an audio tour and a bragging-rights bumper sticker) or take a guided trip up ($36 per person). On the way, you may see breathtaking views, or just experience breathtaking weather. A small museum, historic buildings, and gift shops await you at the top. 

Just three minutes up the road from The Glen House you’ll find Wildcat Mountain, which has some of the highest annual snowfall in the region. There are trails here for all ages, but Wildcat is known for being a favorite among experienced and expert skiers, all of whom can enjoy brilliant views of Mt. Washington on the way down. 

A stay at The Glen House also affords guests easy access to dozens of hiking and nature trails, some of which wind directly by the hotel. You’ll also be a stone’s throw from New Hampshire’s Presidential Range, the chain of climbable mountains that includes Mt. Washington, as well as the summits named after Presidents Adams, Madison, Jefferson, and Eisenhower. 

Getting There and Getting Around: The Glen House is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from New Hampshire’s Manchester regional airport, which is serviced by American Airlines, Southwest, United, and Delta. The closest international airport is in Portland, Maine and is about a two-hour drive from the property. If you’re driving from Boston, expect at least a three-hour drive.  

Couple drinking champagne
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