I’m still on a post-vacation high from my trip to Basin Harbor Club last week, so thought I’d share one more post about our visit. In addition to all the fun we had on the lake, we had four full days to spend together as a family without to-do lists, camp schedules, or (hallelujah!) meals to cook– just good, quality family time. Well, a revolving version of “family” anyway. My husband works in Burlington, so he came back and forth, and my dad, who was visiting from Florida, spent an afternoon with us as well. Having this ever-changing group of family ranging in age from eight to 65 really reinforced how easy it is to be at Basin Harbor with a group of divergent interests, and made it clear why it’s so well-loved as a destination for family gatherings.
Most guests that I met last week were there to mark a celebration of some kind– an anniversary or milestone birthday– with their family. It seems cliche to say that Basin Harbor has something for everyone, but that really is what makes it such a perfect spot for multi-generaltional travel. Families seem to float through the day, reconvening for meals, heading off in separate directions for tennis or a painting class, or just hanging out at the waterfront.
The one- and two-bedroom lakeside cabins at Basin Harbor make it really easy for families to be together while also having a space of their own. There are studio, one- and two-bedroom cabins, all with authentic summer-cottage charm and swinging screen doors, as well as hotel rooms in the main lodge. We stayed in a one-bedroom cabin with a pull-out couch– plenty of room for our family of four, especially since everyone was pretty spent after a full day of fun.
We had planned to go sailing with my dad while he was visiting, but had to cancel our trip due to threatening skies, and instead spent the afternoon on the waterfront flitting from one activity to the next. No pressure, no cooking, no entertaining, and very little advance planning…just three generations of family enjoying time together. That’s my kind of family reunion! I love this photo of the boys and my dad in the harbor, doing their own thing, but doing it together.
Part of the reason that Basin Harbor is so dialed into making sure that parents, grandparents and kids all have a phenomenal experience is likely because it is a 3rd generation family-owned resort. For 127 years, the Beach family has been living on property and welcoming guests to their incredible corner of the world. Family activities at Basin Harbor were not contrived by a marketing team in some office, they were born from a family of Vermonters celebrating their own traditions on the lake every summer. I ran into Pennie, the owner, out walking her dogs one morning. They are there, on the property, every day talking to guests and checking in on things.
We’ve had experiences staying in hotels that don’t quite measure up to the promises made on their website, leaving a sense of disappointment. Basin Harbor was the opposite– at every turn we were pleasantly surprised. One small example– on my son’s 10th birthday, I snuck off after dinner to request a candle for his dessert. “Already taken care of,” my waiter assured me. Not only that, but his birthday cake was delivered with flashing blue L.E.D. lights for his bike– a thoughtful and perfectly appropriate gift for a 10 year old boy– especially at Basin Harbor where we rode our bikes everywhere. By the end of our stay, I realized that the cumulative effect of all these little surprises are what elevates Basin Harbor from a great vacation to absolutely exceptional family experience.