When it comes to a family reunion, how could there be a better location than a family owned resort? After all, if anyone knows family fun and hospitality too, it’s those who’ve who’ve grown up with generations of family reunion expertise at New England’s family-run hotels, resorts and inns. And ’tis the season for vows to get together more often. Let 2014 be the year you make good on those resolutions to organize the crew for a New England family reunion, leaving the details in the capable hands of a family run inn or resort. With generations of experience in hosting reunions, there are a number of family run properties that can design a package to accommodate any family, large or small all within a one-tank ride from Boston.
Try one of these family run resorts for your next family reunion
Purity Spring Resort in East Madison, N.H: Named among the top kid-friendly resorts by minitime.com, Purity Spring has been operated by the Hoyt family for over a century. Steven Hoyt,Purity’s Lodging Manager and a fourth generation hotelier, recalls that his resort has been hosting one family’s reunion every year for 72 years straight, accommodating over 200 members of the family at one point. Purity, which boasts its own alpine ski area and XC Snowshoe Reserve (King Pine) and a pristine lake, includes activities like waterskiing, canoeing and mountain biking with every room stay during the summer months, at no extra charge. If your family wants the summer camplike experience, stay in one of Purity’s cottages. If it’s a more luxurious reunion you’re after, stay at The Inn and order a massage. Purity Spring Resort’s famous lakeside breakfast cookouts and lobster bakes have been happening weekly since the 1960s, and it’s all within easy reach of all the family fun offered in Mt Washington Valley, NH.
The Dunes on the Waterfront in Ogunquit, ME: Located on the banks of the tidal river in Ogunquit, Maine, The Dunes on the Waterfront has been a “home away from home” for beachgoing families since the mid 1930s. The secluded 12 acre resort is owned and operated by the Perkins family, whose lineage traces back so far that Ogunquit’s bustling Perkins Cove owes its name to their heritage. “It’s my favorite place in the world,” says Katherine Saunders, who vacations at The Dunes on the Waterfront every summer with her parents, husband and daughter. “Everything is unchanged from when I was coming here as a little kid. I absolutely love coming here.” The Dunes offers a host of onsite activities, from shuffleboard to stand up paddleboarding, and is just a trolley ride away from downtown Ogunquit and Ogunquit Beach. With nineteen private New England style cottages, even large family groups can spread out comfortably and enjoy peace and quiet between big family meals, including authentic Maine clambakes or lobster dinners catered by local eateries.
Basin Harbor Club, Vergennes, VT: In May, 2014, Basin Harbor Club will mark its 128th season welcoming families to the shores of Lake Champlain in Vergennes, VT. Five generations ago, the resort was a working farm for vacationing citydwellers; now, the Beach family runs a resort brimming with many days’ worth of activities and adventures for all generations. The resort has 28 guest rooms, 14 suites and 74 cottages, many of which were built expressly for families who visit every summer. For large family gatherings, their Homestead Reunion Package includes lodging and meals for up to 32 people with à la carte activities like narrated lake cruises, water skiing, and private campfires to keep your family reunion humming. Basin Harbor Club has its own reunion coordinators, experienced in planning everything from hayrides to dinner cruises to relay races. In 2008, the Larson family, including five brothers and sisters and a group of inlaws, co-purchased the Snapdragon Inn in Windsor, Vermont. “We all got our hands dirty as a team, as a family,” says Michelle Larson, head innkeeper. The family spent the next two years gutting and completely renovating the historic brick building. “It’s funny, because this building was literally designed and built [circa 1815] as a gathering space for a big family,” adds Larson. “And here we are, 200 years later, hosting family gatherings.” Snapdragon can accommodate up to 23 people, with common areas downstairs equipped to handle everything from a karaoke party to a baby shower. Every year, the Larson family puts together an entertaining Holiday video, featuring aunts, uncles, cousins, babies and brothers and sisters. And every evening, the inn is filled with the aroma of Grammy Chazzy’s cookies — an old family recipe.
Looking for a few more options for your next family reunion? You’ll find family reunion packages from these and other New England inns and resorts, including perhaps one of the most famous family-owned resorts, the Trapp Family Lodge at www.newenglandinnsandresorts.com/family-reunions.