Twin Farms, November 2018

Old Jan 26, 19, 8:16 am
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Twin Farms, November 2018

Twin Farms

Map| 4 Reviews | 75% Recommended

Twin Farms

452 Royalton Turnpike Barnard, VT US 05031

Twin Farms, November 2018 (38 Photos)

Twin Farms

Booking

Twin Farms has always (at least to me) occupied at North America bucket list position in my mind. Amangiri and Blackberry Farms are probably two others on that list. I’ve long looked at it, but in my mind it seemed stupid expensive, at least for a cottage. I know it’s all inclusive but it still just seemed stupid expensive… Life seems busy and my parents as well given that there are 5 other grandkids that they like to spend time with. However, I got the clearance for 4 nights right after Thanksgiving so my wife and I went about negotiating our destination. Options included the Caribbean (she has always had her eye on Parrot Cay) vs Twin Farms. In the end, I allowed her to make the decision so she picked Twin Farms, with her reasoning being that “I’ve put a all my warm weather clothes already.. I was a little concerned because I wasn’t really sure what we would do at Twin Farms, given that it was kind of between seasons (too late for fall, too early for winter)… fortunately for me, Twin Farms was running a 4th night free promo, which coupled with the citi prestige 4th night free made the property almost affordable… Almost…. I picked the studio cottage, given the desire for a hot tub.. I will say that kudos to TF in that the per night rate on their website had the last night as the most expensive; though they didn’t play any weird pricing games with the promo and took that night off….

Pre-Arrival

I exchanged emails with the property beforehand and they always answered promptly. They ask that you fill out a preference form beforehand, which asks for dislikes in food (listing things like veal, squab, lamb, etc etc etc) and likes.. I would say that there was pretty solid and fairly responsive.. The spa reached out to us to schedule appointments, which we did. They also asked us our arrival time, and invited us to join them for lunch… They did instruct us to not use gps and to follow the directions on the website, so I printed them out and promptly left them on the printer.. 

Arrival

After an easy flight from BWI to MCT, we hopped into our rental Tahoe and made the drive to Twin Farms. It’s an extremely easy drive, clocking in at under two hours and pretty much almost all highway except for the last 20-30 minutes. Following the GPS, we arrived around TF probably around 1045 AM. Given that It was still early we elected to drive down into Woodstock and walk around. Woodstock is quite a cute little town, and I would say it’s worth spending a couple hours in. Of note, if you follow the instructions from TF, you will drive through Woodstock if coming from the MCT area. When we arrived at the gate we buzzed and they asked our name and then opened the gate… After about a ¼ mile drive, we arrived in the front courtyard where we were met by two members of the staff. They took our car/luggage, welcomed us with champagne, and then showed us around the house. After the first of many delicious meals, we got a tour around property via one of the AWD Siennas and then shown to our studio cottage

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Room

The studio cottage is I think the second largest cottage… and from what I recall one of the original to when the property opened.. it’s got two fireplaces and one of those big copper tubs, as well as a hot tub. The bedroom is lofted as well.. waiting for us in the cottage was a bottle of champagne (that I don’t believe we ever opened, some chocolates, and a Twin Farms puzzle (that we never put together)… We enjoyed the cottage very much, however, I will say that it’s probably time for a bit of a refresh. Some of the woodwork needs to be freshened up, and the palette is a little retro 90s of cremes and light colors. My other criticism is that the lighting really needs some work; for example in the closet type area there’s no direct lighting so the closets were very dark (made it hard to see inside my suitcase). Finally for as large of a bathroom they provided, the shower seemed in comparison quite small. Still it’s a great room, with the hot tub being larger than it appears on the website pictures. The person who showed us around did tell us that there’s a plan to hot tubs to some of the other properties so that should be a welcome change. . IMG_0037.jpgIMG_0038.jpgIMG_0039.jpgIMG_0044.jpgIMG_0047.jpgIMG_0052.jpgIMG_0041.jpgIMG_0046.jpgIMG_0050.jpgIMG_0051.jpgIMG_0053.jpgIMG_0055.jpgIMG_0100.jpg

Dining

What can I say.. just delicious… every morning there was a different benedict dish… so every morning I felt the need to try it.. breads each morning delicious… the soufflé pancakes were good but just not our taste.. lunch was awesome… soups great.. everything just delicious… highlights: goatcheese crostini, campfire sundae, caramelized onion soup. I would say the only dish that fell flat to us was a chicken cordon bleu dish; but at the same time it was served to us after our spa treatment in the Twiggs pub. In terms of drink, the house champagne is Dellamotte.. which I think we managed to plow through a bunch of. There’s also a good amount of options for liquor drinks. Every night features a wine pairing with dinner.. giving that we aren’t huge wine drinkers we typically stuck to the champagne but we did try small pours. I think that they were fairly high quality and I did look up one Chardonny on wine searcher and it had a list of $120.. and I asked my local liquor store about getting a bottle and was told that likely not given that it’s highly allocated.. I also liked that they had a good amount of Vermont liquors to try (Barr Hill, Mad River Whiskey). I would say one negative mark is that I made a mention that my wife like sparkling rosé a lot in the pre-arrival form but we were never offered any (so we had to slum it with just champagne).. I’m not sure if it’s because the rosé champagne is on the reserve wine list, but I’m sure that they could have stocked up on a cremant de rosé or something that would be at an appropriate price point..  Since food pics aren’t allowed anymore, please see this album for some https://imgur.com/a/KG0U0I5.

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Activities

My biggest worry was that there wouldn’t be anything to do because it was shoulder season. Fortunately the night we arrived it snowed 18”, so that opened up a lot of possibilities to us.. We snowshoed every day.. the first day none of the trails were groomed yet when we went out so it was quite a nice time… They also created a couple of sledding runs which we also took advantage of. Unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough snow to provide adequate downhill conditions, and I think that the hotel is really de-emphasizing that aspect because of the amount of labor involved to offer that activity.. We also took advantage of Twiggs pub and played pool..  we only used the Furo once, given that we had our own hot tub but do note the “unspoken rule”- if there’s a towel hanging outside that means privacy please.. Of note, during our tour there was talk of adding a proper pool and spa. In addition, with the addition of hot tubs to most cottages, there was also talk of converting the furo to cottage accommodation.

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Spa

It’s a small spa and all we had were massages but they were both quite good. There’s a adequate exercise roomIMG_0059.jpgIMG_0060.jpgIMG_0061.jpgIMG_0062.jpgIMG_0066.jpgIMG_0067.jpg

Service

Well here’s the meat and potatoes of the review I think… First of all, 18” of snow fell our first night.. now I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same… Snow- that should be Vermont’s wheelhouse right? Well apparently since it was so early in the year it was pretty warm and the snow was really really wet and heavy… and they weren’t prepared for that much (think forecast was like 5-8”).. anyway, apparently the snow knocked out power and it stayed knocked out for almost 72 hours. Fortunately, the hotel has adequate backup generators so we didn’t notice that lack of power at all.. However, the snowfall also knocked out internet, phone, and TV as well. The location of Twin Farms is such that there’s also only cell service if you hold your phone in a certain orientation in a certain location.. so we were truly truly isolated.. in addition, much staff either got trapped or couldn’t make it in.. so all in all it was a perfect storm… so my feeling is that the service we got wasn’t probably up to the standard that they usually deliver.. so here are my thoughts. 1) service seemed to be reactive not proactive.. for instance, if you ask for anything, they will give it to you.. however, it was rare that they offered something.. like after we came in from sledding or snowshoeing it would be great if there was someone circulating to offer hot tea or hot chocolate… the main house could really have benefited from someone standing at the bar area during the day who would anticipate needs and deliver.. I don’t think that even in normal circumstances this is the case.. 2) Dining room service was very good… they did learn our preferences for water eventually but I feel that it was server dependent; not written down anywhere for them to learn.. One of the servers knew we loved cookies and arranged for us to have a basket delivered for breakfast for us. They were also very good at accommodating requests; a grilled cheese to accompany our tomatoe soup; lobster roll for our lunch basket.  3) the snow did create a communication problem with the phones knocked out- for example when we arrived for our massage treatment one of the therapists hadn’t shown up and they were unable to contact her. So we elected to defer our treatments at that point and went snowshoeing…. However, an hour later apparently the therapist showed up so the manager trekked out to find us and see if we wanted to have treatments (which we did). In addition, since it was noon at that point, they arranged for us to have our lunch upstairs in Twiggs, which was very thoughtful and nice. 4) housekeeping excellent! Also the greatest luxury is absolutely included laundry. Put in the bag in the morning, it’ll show back up at night.. Overall I would rate service as very good and am willing to bet that if there weren’t extenuating circumstances then it would be excellent. It seemed that the GM, exec chef got trapped off site for a bit but did eventually make it (and then the GM stayed over).

checkout

Favorite thing about this trip was how inclusive it was- the only extra were spa treatments. Indeed, since I had paid for the trip at booking, it basically felt free on check out..  They also prepared a to go lunch basket for us, which was great

 

Overall

We loved it. We value privacy, good food and privacy and Twin Farms delivered on that. it’s an easy trip for us and even though it’s stupid expensive we would definitely go back..

Twin Farms, November 2018

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FlyingDoctorwu is offline  
Old Jan 26, 19, 8:41 am
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A very nice report! Almost affordable is a nice description. But OK, you get some room for it.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 10:16 am
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Was your bedroom in a upper level of the cottage?
Great trip report. I have wanted to stay at TF, but as we have a vacation home in the Adirondacks, it wouldn’t be much different. Except of course, for the meals, laundry, and cleaning, hot tub and pool table. Perhaps I just need to hire staff for a day or two!
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Old Jan 26, 19, 3:20 pm
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really appreciate this and great to hear another forum regular loved it

"Dr" - good attention to detail and or internet search, curious how common

inclusive is convenient. have had trips where folio only spa, gift, transfers

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 27, 19 at 10:54 am
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Old Jan 26, 19, 4:00 pm
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We stayed seven nights, experienced four different lodgings. Given that we fly from SFO, I would not stay fewer than six nights. We were a bit of a novelty among staff because we stayed so "long." There simply is no point to a one-night stay. According to staff, most guests opt for three to four nights.

How common is what, Kagehitokiri?
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Old Jan 26, 19, 4:08 pm
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room photo # 5 : "Dr" rather than "Mr"
although perhaps email identified
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Old Jan 26, 19, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post
We stayed seven nights, experienced four different lodgings. Given that we fly from SFO, I would not stay fewer than six nights. We were a bit of a novelty among staff because we stayed so "long." There simply is no point to a one-night stay. According to staff, most guests opt for three to four nights.

How common is what, Kagehitokiri?
4 different Rooms at one stay sounds stressful
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Old Jan 26, 19, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
4 different Rooms at one stay sounds stressful
It was the only way to stay seven nights as it was foliage season. Not at all stressful, rather, interesting because we were able to experience four of the amazing cottages. They packed and moved us, no effort on our part. First four nights in the dog house, I forget name, might have been The Cabin.
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Old Jan 26, 19, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
room photo # 5 : "Dr" rather than "Mr"
although perhaps email identified
It is Dr , he is one , and note , also in his “ handle “ .

Thanks for the insightful TR , FDW . Will have to figure how to factor in a stay after their refresh , hopefully sooner than later .. along with Amangiri in the other corner !! It is our hectic travel schedules
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Old Jan 26, 19, 11:54 pm
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Wonderful photos and thanks for the review! Hopefully the new Auberge property opening in Utah will be similar, adding to another North America wishlist experience.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:34 am
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Originally Posted by KatW View Post


It was the only way to stay seven nights as it was foliage season. Not at all stressful, rather, interesting because we were able to experience four of the amazing cottages. They packed and moved us, no effort on our part. First four nights in the dog house, I forget name, might have been The Cabin.
The Log Cabin. One of our favorites.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 3:36 am
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So glad you got into Woodstock! It’s our favorite little New England village.
Thank God for generators.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
A very nice report! Almost affordable is a nice description. But OK, you get some room for it.
One of my colleagues just got back, on my recommendation. He however, before booking, asked me if I thought it was worth it.. I told him I thought it was stupid expensive but worth it... he however, didn't have the 4th night free promo or Citi and he traveled on the weekend so he paid probably close to what I paid for his room that I paid for my cottage...

Originally Posted by LinLant View Post
Was your bedroom in a upper level of the cottage?
Great trip report. I have wanted to stay at TF, but as we have a vacation home in the Adirondacks, it wouldn’t be much different. Except of course, for the meals, laundry, and cleaning, hot tub and pool table. Perhaps I just need to hire staff for a day or two!
Indeed the bedroom was.. it was nice having everything included...

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
really appreciate this and great to hear another forum regular loved it

"Dr" - good attention to detail and or internet search, curious how common

inclusive is convenient, have had trips where only spa, gift, transfers
I think they probably grabbed that from my email correspondence.. plus if you google me there are a lot of me's out there..

Originally Posted by KatW View Post
We stayed seven nights, experienced four different lodgings. Given that we fly from SFO, I would not stay fewer than six nights. We were a bit of a novelty among staff because we stayed so "long." There simply is no point to a one-night stay. According to staff, most guests opt for three to four nights.

How common is what, Kagehitokiri?
four nights was great; I wouldn't stay just one.. or ever two.. 3 would be the min for me...
Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Wonderful photos and thanks for the review! Hopefully the new Auberge property opening in Utah will be similar, adding to another North America wishlist experience.
your welcome! Dunston Hot Springs is probably next only my wish list for NA bucket list type experiences...

Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
So glad you got into Woodstock! It’s our favorite little New England village.
Thank God for generators.
We had a nice time in Woodstock; my colleague stopped by Simon Pearce for a tour.. it's from here that most of the glassware for the resort comes...

FDW
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Old Jan 27, 19, 10:59 am
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some examples of reactive service may be for privacy. i recall reports for other properties where that seemed to be the case. but clearly the best amans for example figure out guest's privacy preferences then deliver accordingly

cant recall whether past twin farms reports were same, and or if weather was also a factor this stay

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 29, 19 at 5:41 pm
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