madison-beach-hotelMaybe I’m biased, but empty nesters deserve fabulous travel opportunities. We’ve done more packing than UPS and toted more toiletries than Avon. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore a hidden gem right around the corner from where I grew up in Connecticut.

Twenty-five years ago, my husband and I celebrated our upcoming marriage with a rehearsal dinner at the Madison Beach Hotel in Madison, Connecticut. Little did we know then, that decades later, we’d be enjoying a fabulous empty nest opportunity in a gorgeous new resort and spa in the very same location.

The (new) Madison Beach Hotel is a New England treasure tucked on the edge of Long Island Sound. Completed in 2012, the beautiful 4-story, U-shaped structure boasts 33 oceanfront rooms with furnished balconies that will make you consider taking up residence. The special touches and charm of this impressive hotel reflect the owner’s long history and love of this special Connecticut town.

From the marble bath, beautiful writing desk, electric fireplace (in most rooms–PS: Yes, real would be nice, but when it comes to fire safety, who wants to trust other guests?), full length plantation shutters and lovely linens, The Madison Beach Hotel provides all of the New England details needed for a comfy stay. And they’ve embraced the complimentary concept with a free fitness center, free in-season kayak and bicycle rentals (I know, free rentals is kind of an oxymoron, but you get the idea.). My favorite perk? Free in-room WiFi. That’s right, a luxury hotel that doesn’t charge for in-room internet access. I’m the girl who will tote her laptop to a Starbucks before I’ll pay an upcharge for something that the Hampton Inn will give me for free.

If you’re looking for on-site dining options, The Wharf Restaurant won’t disappoint. A popular local dinner destination and happy hour favorite, the creative Yankee cuisine makes decision making difficult. Best to dine with those who share, or you’ll be second-guessing yourself throughout the meal. I’m still craving the apple-glazed pork chops. Thank goodness this empty nest travel destination includes treadmills. Even if I didn’t use them, it’s nice to know they’re there. Like all of the employees, staff members were pleasant and accommodating.

While a winter beach stay in Connecticut might not be the first thought for your travel planning, the price, the ambience and the amenities are absolutely right. At the time of this writing, special weekday rates began at $109 (this isn’t a typo!) with a weekend special of $249 for 2 nights with a welcome bottle of champagne. Who wouldn’t toast to that?

I’ve contemplated moving here for a month to write my next book. I’d write non-stop with inspiring shore views. My breaks would involve exercise, food and perhaps a few spa treatments. That is all. I’d return to Pittsburgh feeling fabulous and accomplished. Because who wouldn’t with an entire book under her belt and a month of pampering?

If it sounds unrealistic, you’re probably not an empty nest mom. My husband knows how to microwave a Lean Cuisine and he wouldn’t even have to babysit the dog. Bob the Chihuahua’s welcome at The Madison Beach Hotel. So is your dog if you reserve one of the pet friendly ocean view rooms. If my older kids showed up, there’s good news– 1. The Madison Beach Hotel has plenty of adjoining rooms, and 2. This time, they packed their own toiletries.

As a guest of the Madison Beach Hotel, my accommodations were complimentary as part of a media assignment for However, my comedy, compliments, and comments are always my own.

Photo Credit: Dom Miguel Photography

Dr. Nancy Berk is a clinical psychologist, award-winning humor writer and author of College-Bound and Gagged: How To Get Your Kid Into A Great School Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind.