What’s It Like To Visit A Members-Only Resort? Find Out How You Can Do It.

Well-tended trails, bubble chair and low traffic trails are benefits of Hermitage, a private ski resort in VT.
Credit: Hermitage

On March 12 — zero degrees, wind whipping — my ski companion who had never ridden a bubble covered, heated-seats six-pack commented, “This lift is a spoiler.” Anita doesn’t do well in the cold, but thanks to the Barnstormer these two seniors skied for two hours before heading in for Mimosas and lunch in the Hermitage Clubhouse at Haystack Mountain, VT.

No, we didn’t pay the $85,000 joining fee and $8,500 annual dues to ski what she called “best conditions I’ve skied this winter.”

We were guests of Hermitage. Anyone can enjoy this delightful private ski area as a guest of a member of the Hermitage Club. You also have access by booking a room at one of the Hermitage properties in the Deerfield Valley area — White House Inn, Wilmington; Inn at Sawmill Farm or Hermitage Inn, in West Dover; Snow Goose Inn, Dover; Brook Bound Inn or Vermont House in Wilmington.

There’s a limit of one ski-guest package a year so think about snow conditions and check out these lodgings.  Consider a two-four day ski-and-stay for a unique experience — un-crowded slopes, no lift lines, and VIP treatment. (You can also be a guest by considering membership.)

Delightful Day, Warm Experience

Base lodge at Hermitage features great food, comfortable and space.
Credit: Peter Hines

As we arrived, I was directed to guest parking from whence a shuttle van ferried us up to the Clubhouse. We booted up in a carpeted guest area with cubbies for our boot bags, picked up our skis from the rack, and boarded the Barnstormer.

This Doppelmayr express lift accesses the summit in six protected-from-the-wind minutes. By the way, even though a sticker says, “open the bubble before the station”, you don’t have to lift a finger — bubble and footrest go up automatically at the unload platform! Talk about senior heaven!

We found packed powder on Upper and Flying Dutchman and side trails, Ventura Highway (a green roller coaster), and my blue favorite of the day Last Chance.

While the Witches Triple, which accesses some wide steeps, was running, I didn’t revisit my favorite trails there because we needed the warm Barnstormer lift — our experiment of not pulling down the bubble didn’t last too long — viva la difference!

Hermitage Club inhabits the Haystack Mt. as seen across the Deerfield Valley, VT.
Credit: Hermitage

We sampled a fabulous brunch spread of lunch and breakfast items — waffles, omelets, raw bar, salads, meats, potatoes, etcetera. We topped fresh berries with real whipped cream for a great dessert — yum.

After another run we skied the Tunnels Trail to the learning area below the lodge. What fun to see little kids safely learning on wide trails away from the schussboomers!

“The vast majority of our members are families with children; they love skiing, and they love skiing together. They are comfortable that their kids are safe on the mountain and appreciate the sense of community and a feeling of going to a second home,” explained Brendan McGrail, director of communications for The Hermitage Club.

With 46 trails, 194 skiable acres, 5 chairlifts, handle tow, separate beginner-area, 1,400-foot vertical, magnificent Clubhouse, valet service and more, it’s easy to see why families love this special area, and, if you have the swag, it’s worth checking out! Learn more at hermitageclub.com and bring the grandkids!

Club house, aka Base Lodge, at night. Note corduroy.
Credit: Hermitage

One Comment

  1. Jim McGuire says:

    Stoped in yesterday January 15, 2019

    March 18 2018 Sign on door — LOCK UP TIGHT–looked like a ghost town.
    Understand they went belly up!
    Guess there are just not enough $$$$$ in the East Ski world. The cost will
    buy a lot of says –ANYPLACE
    But the place looked as fantastic as the photos on their web site! Concept is good but it was a hard nut to crack.

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