January 1, 2016

Stowe inn is renovated and renamed

Provided. This is one of the guest rooms at Field Guide.

Lark Hotels has completely renovated the former Ye Olde England Inne at 433 Mountain Road in Stowe and reopened it under the name Field Guide.
Lark Hotels is a growing collection of boutique hotels. Field Guide is its first hotel in Vermont and its first non-coastal property. Thirty accommodations, comprised of 17 standard guest rooms, 10 luxury suites, and three private-entrance cottage suites with kitchenettes make up the inn.
The inn has undergone several major renovations in its 100-year history. After a successful run of 30 years, Ye Olde England Inne was shuttered in early 2014 when it fell into foreclosure. At that time its assessed value was listed by Stowe town government at $1.6 million. The 2.5-acre property was sold at auction to a commercial property developer from Calais for a price tag of $800,000.
Fourteen years ago, Lark Hotels CEO Robert Blood first fell in love with Stowe while vacationing there with his wife. Fast forward to 2014. When he learned Ye Olde England Inne had been sold at auction, he contacted the real estate developer who had purchased it to see if he’d be willing to sell. Blood planned to spend $2.7 million to renovate, furnish and redecorate the property.
Rustic, woodsy elements evocative of Vermont combine with a fun, modern mix throughout the rooms and common spaces. Rachel Reider, a Boston-based interior designer, has won awards for many Lark Hotels. According to Lark’s literature, Reider “creates designs suitable for all seasons, fusing unique textiles and finishes with a rich, sunset-inspired palette.” The rooms range from 200 square feet to suites of 800 square feet, so it can accommodate a range of customers, from single travelers who don’t want to spend a lot of money to those seeking a luxury experience.
Furnishings at Field Guide evoke shapes and textures found in nature, such as custom live-edge wooden headboards, bathroom walls of reclaimed wood, and silver-leaf tree stump end tables. Cardboard and papier mâché animal heads, old trail guides, antlers, and whimsical vintage Vermont pieces are also part of Reider’s décor. It’s more modern lodge than country inn.
“Field Guide was conceived and curated for active, curious adventurers who seek the relaxed, modern, and playful style that has become our signature,” said Blood. “We fell in love with the bones of Ye Olde England Inn and are excited to share this next chapter with our guests. The hotel is just minutes from the slopes, trails and [the]main village, and almost any other activity you can imagine.”
It’s been over 30 years since the inn changed ownership. In 1983 Chris and Lyn Francis purchased what was, at the time, a ski lodge called Sans Souci. Originally from England, the couple re-created it as a British-themed inn called Ye Olde England Inne with a restaurant and pub called Mr. Pickwick’s. The inn and restaurant were a favorite with many, and guests returned year after year to stay at the inn.
Chris Francis helped launch “The British Invasion,” a four-day celebration of British motorcars and all things British which became a mainstay Stowe event. Last year was the show’s 24th year; it’s the largest all-British motorcar show in the U.S., attracting over 600 British motorcars from the U.S. and Canada every September. It’s emblematic of the many reasons to stay in Stowe.
Local residents and guests at Field Guide can look forward to the reopening of the inn’s restaurant and pub. Plans are underway for Field Guide’s own restaurant, slated to open in early 2016.
Tivoli radios with Bluetooth, 40″ LED Smart TVs with Apple TV, iPads loaded with area information, and a fire pit area for conversation near the pool are just a few of the amenities available. A daily breakfast of small plates, a Lark Hotel signature, is included in the room rate. And every afternoon there are alluring sweet treats in the lounge for all to enjoy.
Lark Hotels is a collection of boutique hotels located in vacation spots along the eastern seaboard from Portland, Maine to Newport, Rhode Island. They also own and operate the Blue Door Group in Mendocino, California. Field Guide is its 12th property and more are underway. A description of Lark Hotels states that they “embrace the locations they are in, but in playful, unexpected ways. Think ‘sense of place’ with imagination and a touch of mischief.”
Field Guide is located at 433 Mountain Rd., Stowe VT 05672. For more information, call 802.253.8088. Find them online at www.fieldguidestowe.com. v

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