Welcome to day 9 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society. (More about heterotopias and liminal spaces.) Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” ― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
I mentioned earlier that there are six motels/hotels that we (spouse and I) stay at over and over, in Savannah, Boston, Middlebury VT, Orleans MA, Boothbay ME, and Ogunquit ME, and I profiled the one in Savannah, the Holiday Inn on E. Bay St., in that post.
Today, let’s check out — or check into — The Middlebury Inn, in Middlebury, Vermont, home of Middlebury College.
The Middlebury Inn is actually both an inn, in an historic building with a lovely lobby, quirky old elevator with a staffed operator, and tea service every afternoon, and a motel adjacent, where pets are allowed. We’ve stayed in both sections, the motel when travelling with dogs and the inn when not. I didn’t take photos of the motel, though, except a blurry one of the dog on the carpet. The rooms are not all that different from those in the inn.
The lobby is airy, cozy, welcoming.
Here’s an upstairs corridor in the inn:
Some room shots, in different rooms over three years:
As usual, for us and I imagine other travellers, location is key, and the Middlebury Inn is right in the middle of this small college town, across from the town green and Episcopal church,
… a short walk to the supermarket, to Fire and Ice (our favourite restaurant in town),
… and to the downtown/Otter Falls/Frog Hollow area, with the Edgewater Gallery (we have a few pieces of art in the house from Edgewater),
… more restaurants and coffee shops — Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe, 51 Main, Storm Cafe, The Diner —
the Vermont Book Shop, a stationers, a small cinema, an old-fashioned Ben Franklin’s 5&10, clothing shops (I buy clothes and Christmas gifts at Sweet Cecily), and other boutiques.
It’s also walkable to the Marble Works businesses, which includes the Stone Leaf Tea House that we love love love,
… and to Danforth Pewter, where many Christmas gifts for friends and family have been purchased over the years (ornaments and earrings, mostly).
Otter Creek Brewing is just a short drive away.
And probably most importantly, the Inn is centrally located for walking/hiking the Trails Around Middlebury, which is what occupies most of our time when we’re visiting the area.
Below are some photos from some of the TAM trails over the years, all hiked between end of the October and the beginning of December. (I have no idea what Middlebury looks like in the spring or summer. For us, it’s a fall-winter tourist town.)
The [Middlebury] Class of ’97 Trail
Johnson Trail (all 24 Nov. 2016)
Chipman Trail (first, 24 Nov. 2016; the rest, 2 Nov. 2015)
Battell Nature Park (first three, 24 Nov. 2016; last 31 Oct. 2015)
Otter Creek Trail (29 Nov. 2013)
Wright Park (27 Nov. 2016)
Murdock Nature Preserve (1 Nov. 2015
Means Nature Preserve (24 Nov 2016)
Jackson Trail – obviously a favourite
As always when travelling, what’s nice is coming back to the comforts, even luxuries, and the privacy of the hotel, motel, or inn. At the Middlebury Inn, that pleasure is doubled when returning for a little nap in the room before afternoon tea in the spacious and well-lit lobby.