For our summer family trip this year, I decided on Vermont. Our first stop was Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain. As soon as I walked on to the grounds of this gorgeous resort, it made me feel as if I was on the set of ‘Dirty Dancing’. The main reason I felt that way was the hotel offers much more than just lodging and a meal. It is a destination in itself with a large variety of activities and amenities for all ages being offered.
The Ultimate Guide to Staying at Basin Harbor Club and Resort
Are you familiar with the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’? It is about a summer getaway and a family resort. The hotel that they feature has acres and acres of gorgeous grounds and even more activities for all ages plus elegant restaurants.
In that movie the kids were able to do one outdoor activity after the other and were fully supervised while adults had tons of time to enjoy on their own.
Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain in Vermont made me feel just like in that movie as soon as I walked in. That was even after exploring thoroughly their website (as I do with every place I visit). It was appealing, but it honestly doesn’t do the place justice.
It is no lie when they say, “It’s a destination of its own.” You can easily spend weeks here without getting bored.
Lodging Options at Basin Harbor Club
BHC is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. We arrived right as they celebrated their 129th season. And I learned that it’s still run by the same family since the day of inception. It has been five generations of the Beach Clan in charge of it.
Guest Rooms – The first thing to do as soon as you arrive is to visit the reception at the main building and the main dining room. It is also where you find the guest rooms. They are small rooms, perfect for couples.
Lake cottages – This is the best place to stay. They make the experience of staying right on Lake Champlain unforgettable. They were built during the 1920’s and 1930’s around the 6th largest lake in the US. They have been remodeled a couple of times but they still have the style that they had back then. You get to choose between one, two and three bedrooms.
Interesting fact – There are no TVs on the rooms but you can even borrow (for free) different board games at the reception. But if you REALLY want a TV, they rent them out for $10 a day.
What To Do at Basin Harbor Club
The hotel is right next to one of the most beautiful and inviting lakes in the region so they had to have a lot of options to enjoy it.
- Paddle boards – This was our favorite activity.
- Diving and swimming – They even offer a diving board in the middle of the swimming area of the lake and a trampoline.
- Boating – Boats can be rented by the hour.
- Pedal boat – These can be taken out around the swimming area.
- Escape tour – It happens every day, a boat goes out on Lake Champlain and in it you learn about the history of the Resort and Lake Champlain and the surrounding area.
- Kayaking and Canoeing
There is also a pool that you can visit for more water fun.
- Golf – This is one of the most popular activities for adults. They offer an 18-hole championship course with over 6,500 yards. Their golf course was the first in Vermont to become a sanctioned Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Golf Course. There are clinics and lessons available for anyone that wants to learn.
- Tennis – There are tennis courts spread all over the property. They offer clinics and lessons as well.
- Soccer Field – This was one of the best fields we’ve seen so far in the US on hotel grounds.
- Biking – The cars are limited to certain areas so it is extremely safe to take a bike and got for a ride with the family.
- Hiking and Walking – With so many paved walkways it became one of my favorite activities to do.
- Games – If you go for a walk along the property you will feel on the set of Alice in Wonderland with oversized Adirondack chairs and huge chess pieces.
- Fitness Center – It is equipped with top of the line machines and a basketball court. If you prefer group classes they also have them available.
Basin Harbor Club offers kid’s programs from three years old up to teenagers. I am one of those lucky moms that have kids who prefer to spend time with me than to go on activities with other kids while we travel. I hope it never ends! However I was able to check out some of the different activities that happen in the camp and it looked like a lot of fun.
Weekly and Daily Activities
You can get an updated schedule for these at the front desk. They are different every week.
They can also arrange tours to nearby attractions within 45 minutes from the property.
Dining at Basin Harbor Club
BHC says that they offer “cruise style dining”. So you basically get tons and tons of delicious foods to taste and devour. I am not exaggerating when I say that there is food for everyone, vegetarians, and people with allergies, even for picky eaters.
Most of their ingredients come from the local farms on the area.
The Main Dining Room is the only place here you can have breakfast. It’s also one of the prettiest places to eat at on the property. It is buffet style and you get tons of options, including a few that aren’t your typical breakfast choices.
Now you have two options. First is Red Mill Restaurant, the most casual one and the most fun in my opinion, mainly because off the large play areas for kids that it offers. This time the menu is a la carte that includes many options for kids.
It’s also a pub style restaurant where you can enjoy a bar setting.
The second option is the Ranger Room. It overlooks the pool area and is buffet style. We preferred this one because it is very convenient and quick to pick up some food before our afternoon adventures.
For dinner you get three options The Red Mill Restaurant, Main Dining Room and North Dock. But don’t get fooled because of the amount of options, they all get packed so make a reservation.
Red Mill Restaurant – This is the one we chose. There is a menu to choose from and a play area where kids can spend some time while the food is ready.
Main Dining Room – If you want to eat here you need to be properly dressed. They take tradition of the formal dinner very seriously in it. Even the good options are very different from the one on the other two restaurants.
North Dock – It is known for their Lobster dinners and Harbor Fair Night (ask about the days when it happens).
Meal Plans for Everyone
You even get to create meal plans according to how much you want leave the hotel. Your options are:
- BB – Breakfast only
- MAP – Breakfast and dinner
- FAP – All three meals – This is the one we did.
Harbor Night Fair
This is a tradition at Basin Harbor Club it happens usually on Tuesdays and it includes an outdoors buffet, tons of games and activities for families to do including a hay ride.
Eco Friendly Resort
They work had to maintain and improve their eco friendly status. A few of the ways they do this are:
- Their golf course is the first Vermont to become a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program which includes site assessment and environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, water and resource management, outreach and education.
- Member of Green Hotels in the Green Mountain State.
- Fresh Food Farm
- Striving toward Environmental Sustainability
- Composting all food waste
- LED light bulbs to conserve electricity
- Low flow toilets reducing the water waste
- The outdoor pool is heated by solar panels
- Electric Auto Program
- Efficiency Program including solar and bio-fuel
- Forestry Plan
- Renewable Plan
Pet Friendly Hotel
They not only accept furry friends but they also offer special areas and amenities for them such as:
- A swimming area for dogs
- Biscuits made in Vermont
- Pick up mitts
- Well-behaved pets may join their people in cottage accommodations $15 daily, per pet.
Dog walking/sitting services.
Information for Visiting Basin Harbor Club and Resort
The resort is only open from mid May until mid October.
Address: 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes