Let's Get Away
25 Excellent Eco-Friendly Weekends.
(page 4 of 9)
Photo by Gershon Saxe
(at Robinson’s Farm)
4 hours from White Plains
It will forever be known as the “Robinson’s place,” but new owners Tory and Barry Milstone reopened this old farmhouse as a B&B in January 2008. Five just-redone guestrooms dressed in lots of quilts, rag rugs, pen-and-ink drawings, Turkish towels, and luxurious bedding are eclectically tasteful. A rinse beneath the rain showerhead in the dark slate tile shower in Stan’s Room transports you to a hidden waterfall. Behind the house, an elaborate four-story 1915 red barn (purported to be the tallest barn in Vermont), formerly housing cows and lots of hay, now accommodates 14 chickens—“the girls.” You can see them muttering and laying during a personal tour of the property. I’d venture to say that this is the only B&B in the world with an antique carousel horse in the dining room where a sumptuous breakfast, including backyard ingredients such as syrup tapped from property trees, produce from the kitchen garden, eggs from happy hens, and an occasional trout from the river across the street, is served.
Photo by Gershon Saxe
What Makes It Green: The Milstones, who routinely host mega-pot-luck parties and “movie nights” with films projected onto the side of their barn, commission homemade organic body products (in refillable pump bottles). Kitchen waste is fed to the chickens, napkins are cloth, cleaning products are all-natural, fluorescent lights are on timers, and food comes from the backyard or “just down the street.”
Visit Green: The Farmhouse is closer to Bridgewater (less than a mile) than Woodstock, so walk to the renovated 1814 mill where artisans like world-famous potter Miranda Thomas (whose bunny, bird, and floral motifs have won over U.N. dignitaries and heads of state) and her husband, furniture-maker Charles Shackelton, preside over busy workshops. “Simon enticed us to move here,” said Thomas, referring to down-the-street neighbor, glassmaker Simon Pierce, whose own workshop is 10 miles away in Quechee. Inspired by the best, you can DIY by signing up for Tory’s Knitting Weekend: $795 includes two nights’ lodging, Saturday lunch and dinner, snacks, expert instruction, and a goodie bag stocked with yarn, patterns, knitting amenities, and everything you’ll need to complete a project.
Greenbacks: Bed, breakfast, and daily snacks: $125 to $210.
RECLAIMING THE CITY
70 Park Avenue Hotel
New York, NY
The Kimpton Hotel Group is serious about saving the earth. Over the past few years, its ecological programs worldwide eliminated 974 bathtubs full of toxic cleaners from the water supply, recycled 1.25 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of cardboard, preserved more than 18 football fields of sustainable agriculture, and recycled more than 52,000 coat hangers, preventing the use of more than 1.8 tons of steel and metals.
The Muse splashed down in that honky-tonk known as the theater district. A remodeled lobby and Nios restaurant and wine bar opened in April, and the art-deco rooms in shades of white, black, and gray lend a serene and sophisticated air to the tourist cacophony right outside the door.
70 Park, within view of Grand Central Station, is on that dignified boulevard preferred by Eva Gabor in Green Acres. Travertine floors and walls in the lobby, with muted earth tones in each small but elegant room, this hotel is provenance of a gentler age.
What Makes Them Green: Kimpton has its own “EarthCare” practices and standards that include low-flow water systems, energy-efficient lighting, non-toxic cleaning products, reusable mugs, organic foods and beverages, in-room recycling, and some of their hotels donate used soaps and amenities to charities along with a host of other initiatives.
Visit Green: Take Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal; both properties are a short walk away.
Greenbacks: Rooms in both hotels run $279 to $499 per night.