In 1928, Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis and his famed journalist wife, Dorothy Thompson, purchased a farm in the hinterlands of Vermont. It wasn’t long before the newlyweds realized they had found their perfect home on a 300-acre property beset with rolling hills, orchards and picturesque views in every direction—all for just $10,000.
Over the next few decades, the celebrity couple’s Vermont hideaway would play host to the most refined get-togethers in New England, with guest lists that ranged from close family and friends to acclaimed literary and political figures. Guests would descend on what would be known as Twin Farms for a day of activities and taking in the sights which was usually followed by a Viennese meal and dark spirits by the fire. But amidst the parties and serene afternoons, the couple came to realize that each season offered something truly special—and winter was certainly no exception.
Today, John Graham, Managing Partner at Twin Farms, and his team endeavor to recapture the magic of Lewis and Thompson’s Vermont winters by curating events and talent to inspire the season. Like the guests who visited the estate over half a century ago, the idea of the experience at Twin Farms is that one can be as proactive (or inactive) as he or she wishes. Activities at the adult-only resort include snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating, cooking classes, musical performances, spirits tastings and of course, my favorite, sitting in front of the wood-burning fireplace watching the snowflakes fall. The ideal romantic getaway, cold weather months at Twin Farms are part of an overall experience that embody the heart of the season, in what Graham and his partners call the “Art of a Vermont Winter.”
While the scenery alone makes the trip worthwhile, the backbone of the Twin Farms experience is the idea of “feeling at ease.” They do this by offering guests an all-inclusive package, encouraging one to feel as though they’re in their second home, an experience that extends year-round. Menus are created daily by Chef Nathan Rich and wines are carefully selected for each meal from the estate’s 26,000 bottle collection. “All-inclusive allows for effortlessness. It allows us to focus entirely on the guest experiences, as each individual guest wishes to enjoy their stay,” Graham said. “No wasted energy on processes and systems that keep score; inclusive allows for generosity to permeate every aspect of the experience. We think that generosity is the key to true hospitality.”
The estate—located in Barnard, Vermont—is just five hours from New York City, and the property itself now features 20 different accommodation options. Each room features a specific theme that is matched in its architecture, ambience and artwork. With every detail carefully thought out, including the estate’s museum quality art collection (seen throughout the sumptuous suites and cottages). In addition, the staff serves at the guest’s leisure, providing as much or as little assistance as one would prefer. Overall, Twin Farms captures a laid back, rural mentality with butler sensibility steeped in the tradition of Lewis and Thompson’s sophisticated escape. “The experience is everything at Twin Farms,” said Graham. “Personal, warm, relaxed and truly comfortable.”