The new and renewed Snowvillage Inn
Seven years ago when Kevin Flynn sold the Snowvillage Inn after owning it for eleven years, little did he think kismet would prevail to turn despondence into delight. In the seven years after Kevin’s departure, two different owners transformed the Snowvillage Inn into a wedding venue with a commercial kitchen with a new bar and a contemporary interior scheme. Today, gone are the deep hues. A new open design and warm colors have opened the first floor to offer wandering educators not only spaciousness but a welcoming atmosphere that blends the inside with the gorgeous views outside.
Kevin never stopped thinking about the Snowvillage Inn after he left. He tried to buy it back in 2010 but lost it in an unsuccessful bid at auction where it went to two gentlemen who loved the interior design aspects of innkeeping. When they decided to sell the inn about a year and a half later, Kevin jumped on the chance and in June 2012 purchased back the Snowvillage Inn with a commercial kitchen, beautiful bar and newly decorated for half of what he paid in 1994. This time around Kevin is joined by his enthusiastic partner, Jen Kovach, who blends her artisan skin care business, Garden Dreams, in beautifully with the inn. Any couple can be innkeepers, but those with a genuine interest in the goodness of their guests plus an understanding of the details involved in haute hospitality are the exceptional ones. Kevin and Jen are exceptional innkeepers.
“Sometimes I feel like I never left,” said Kevin on my recent visit. “Then I turn a corner and bump into a wall that didn’t used to be there, and I remember things have changed,” he finished. Jen says Kevin is truly happy being back in an environment he always loved, and adds that she’s really enjoying learning about the art of innkeeping.
Kevin & Jen
It’s been several years since I visited the Snowvillage Inn, so the changes and updates created by the interim innkeepers since Kevin left were new to me. There’s a wonderful new spaciousness to the common areas on the first floor, and the warm yellow colors add to the openness of the floor plan. The living room blends beautifully into the bar area and the dining room offers a new brightness. Windows all around offer beautiful views onto the grounds and to the mountains beyond, almost eliminating the walls and inviting the outside in. True to its legacy, there are still touches of the perennial Swiss décor as the wooden chairs with cut outs remain.
Perhaps the biggest change at the Snowvillage Inn is the food. Chef Brian Anderson, formerly of the Rangeley Inn in Maine, has joined the Snowvillage Team and his culinary prowess and dedication to fresh and local is nothing short of magic. A new menu offers a tendency toward bold Asian and Indian spices with dishes like Wasabi Tuna and Tandoori Chicken. When blended with farm fresh vegetables and delicate sauces, the outcome is an explosion of flavors and culinary adventure. Brian’s wife, Sue, rounds out the team as a jack-of-all-trades, helping in the kitchen, bartending when needed and managing the dining room. With an intimate knowledge of Brian’s dishes, she does an excellent job of helping guests find the perfect dish for their tastes. Tuesday Locals Nights have grown in popularity quickly as a specially priced menu allows diners to try an assortment of dishes for an affordable evening of fun. By the way, everyone’s a local on Tuesday!
The Snowvillage Inn offers 17 guest rooms in three buildings. Inside the inn rooms in contemporary colors like sea blue, celery green and light grey offer fuss-free designs and comfortable beds. Built in desks in some rooms add to the convenience. The Chimney House includes a comfortable living room of its own. Each room here sports a gas fireplace and private baths. Pine paneling is prevalent throughout. The Carriage House also offers a private living room and eight rooms designed with more traditional styling. Both the Carriage House and Chimney House are perfect for couples or families traveling together looking for private space. The Carriage House is ideal for families, and smaller dogs are welcome here too.
The Chimney House
Snowvillage Inn, at dusk
Just five minutes from Crystal Lake and within 20 minutes of North Conway’s tax-free shopping and Mt Washington Valley’s outdoor adventure, the Snowvillage Inn offers the perfect destination for anyone seeking fine food and accommodations along with plenty of perfect hospitality in one of New England’s premier vacation destinations.
When You Go:
Snowvillage Inn, 136 Stewart Road (also known as Fire Ln 37), Eaton Center, NH 03832, 603-447-2818, www.snowvillageinn.com. Rates range from 125-$275 nightly including breakfast for two.
From Boston, it’s about 125 miles. These directions work well:
Start by leaving Boston via US-1 N/Tobin Bridge/Revere and drive about 14 miles
- Exit right onto I-95 North and continue about 38.5 miles
- Exit left at Exit 4, NH Rte 16 North, and continue about 55 miles
- Exit right onto NH Rte. 25 East, and drive about 5.5 miles
- Turn left onto NH Rte. 153 and continue about 10 miles
- Turn right onto Brownfield Rd. (at Eaton Beach on Crystal Lake) and drive 1 mile
- Turn right onto Stewart Road – Snowvillage Inn is a half mile up the road on the right
Marti Mayne is the B&B Editor for Wandering Educators.
All photos courtesy and copyright Marti Mayne