Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms - A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries - 27 East

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Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms – A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries

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Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms – A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries

Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms – A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries

The secluded Japanese Furo at Twin Farms. Claude Simon Langlois photo

The secluded Japanese Furo at Twin Farms. Claude Simon Langlois photo

The library at Twin Farms, just one of the bespoke places found throughout the Vermont resort. Hannah Selinger photo

The library at Twin Farms, just one of the bespoke places found throughout the Vermont resort. Hannah Selinger photo

Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms – A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries

Travels With Hannah: Twin Farms – A Resort Filled With Private Discoveries

The Timber Camp room. Claude Simon Langlois photo

The Timber Camp room. Claude Simon Langlois photo

The Timber Camp room at Twin Farms. Hannah Selinger photo

The Timber Camp room at Twin Farms. Hannah Selinger photo

Twiggs at Tree Farm. Hannah Selinger photo

Twiggs at Tree Farm. Hannah Selinger photo

A night view. Hannah Selinger photo

A night view. Hannah Selinger photo

author on Nov 26, 2023

To explain the kind of service one receives at Twin Farms, the Relais & Châteaux property in Barnard, Vermont, that opened in 1993, I would first have to tell you what happened when I arrived on a January afternoon. It was the day after a ferocious snowstorm. My husband and I had driven from eastern Long Island in a 2014 BMW wagon, without snow tires or four-wheel-drive. Any New Englander — myself included — could have foreseen the mistake inherent, but we made it all the way to the winding road just a mile out from the property, until the car lost its grip and we careened into a snowbank.

There is no cellphone service in that area of Vermont. I climbed out the driver’s side because my side was stuck in an embankment. Soon, a man in a Subaru Outback drove past. He wore a beige vest and a flannel shirt and a baseball cap. His chocolate Lab, he told us, was a quarantine dog that did not much care for people. He offered to help us to the property. The only catch? My husband would have to drive the car while this stranger sat in the rear to mind the fussy dog.

Twin Farms, then home to just 20 suites (this summer, the property added eight additional treehouses, which hover a minimum of 14 feet above the ground) welcomed us graciously. We were swept into the main dining room, offered wine — the all-inclusive experience spares no detail, including bespoke food and drink at every turn — and a seat before the roaring stone fireplace and warm lunch. The man in the Subaru disappeared, and with it our memory of the incident. But there was still the matter of our car and luggage, which we reported to the hotel.

No matter. At the end of lunch, less than two hours later, we were escorted to our room, the 1,000-square-foot Timber Camp, a freestanding cottage with a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace at its center. Most surprising, perhaps, was what we found at the door: our car, rid of its snow, parked beneath the cottage’s carport, bags unloaded, waiting for us. As we dined in comfort, the staff had dug our stuck vehicle out of its hiding place and brought it back to us, completely unharmed.

Such is the wonder of Twin Farms. Service is delivered wordlessly and before you can ask for it. Should you wish to go skiing, as we did, staff will outfit you with skis and helmets and drive you to the top of the small-but-fun mountain, where you can take private runs with your partner for a few hours on a bluebird morning.

Fortunately for us, we were able to experience the delight of Twin Farms’ robust culinary program: A hike into the woods, where, in a raised-floor canvas tent, outfitted with a wood stove, we enjoyed a hot meal with all the trappings: tablecloth, silverware, a bottle of wine. At night, we ate in the main dining room, where chef Nathan Rich’s multi-course seasonal menu felt remarkably alive, despite January, despite New England.

A second dining venue — once Twiggs Pub — would reopen following a renovation, just a few months after our departure. Guests can now dine at the more casual Twiggs, with its Argentinian wood-fired grill, house-made pastas, and local cheeses.

On our second full day, my husband and I decided to embrace Twin Farms’ winter scenery. We signed up to go sledding down the sloping hill that leads from the main building all the way down to the winter sports hut. Outfitted in snow pants and helmets, we let ourselves go, two forty-somethings slipping forward as if set on springs. Faster and faster we flew. I dug my boots into the snow to redirect toward a patch of low brush to slow me down.

In the bruising dusk, we retired to our room, slipped into robes and enjoyed a crackling fire and a local cheese board — the staff is happy to feed you wherever you may find yourself — before our appointment at the Japanese furo. Appointments are booked in advance, an hour at a time. Inside, a hot bathhouse is private, hot, and secluded in the woods. Surrounded by windows and shielded by leaning trees, we could have been on another planet, and yet, here we were, not steps from our cottage for two.

From the first moment until the very end, Twin Farms was like this: full of private discoveries, bespoke moments, tranquil perfection. Guests are gifted tiny, handmade wooden puzzles — tough to assemble but rewarding in the end. Common rooms are filled with curios that make you want to sit and stay a while. The property smells lived-in, like the fire has always been well tended, like a meal has always been looked after here.

Eventually, it was time to leave, this time in our own car, and not in a Subaru occupied by strangers. The only true tragedy in any trip to Twin Farms is in wondering if you’ll ever make it back. In another year, during another season, we hope to round those gates again, for another adventure in the woods of Barnard, Vermont.

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