Travel tips, great accommodation and where to stay in New England, USA: Ten incredible inns you must visit

Sea Street Inn, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The gateway to Cape Cod in Hyannis, this new inn was opened by an energetic, driven New York couple who opted for a sea change. With impeccable taste, this small boutique inn near the sea has been newly renovated, with top of the range bedding and furnishings for maximum comfort, while common rooms have been designed as a welcoming lounge and gallery space with rotating artists. The piece-de-resistance, their crowning jewel, is the food. Innkeeper Adrian D'Ambrosi retrained as a chef, and the four-course breakfasts served from their kitchen are Michelin-star worthy. Guests even get one of Cape Cod's best lobster rolls at check-in.

Beach Breeze Inn, Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

While the location on a Falmouth beach looking over Vineyard Sound straight to Martha's Vineyard is nothing to quip about, the hotel itself is a beautiful, beshingled 1858 Victorian building that's been restored lovingly, with spacious, comfortable, light-filled rooms. Communal spaces and a sunny kitchen encourages friendly banter with other guests, who are usually repeat visitors. Outdoors, a sparkling pool with striped deckchairs beckons, and at nights, a firepit fitted with a s'mores kit and red wine.

Hilltop Inn, Newport, Rhode Island

A stone's throw from the famous Newport mansions, this stately old home was built in 1905 for a doctor and his family and was later purchased by the first female justice of the Supreme Court in Rhode Island. Renovated and turned into an inn in 2007, it sits on top of Newport's highest point. Rooms include a fireplace and huge king-sized beds, the highest I've slept in since a kid, with Italian linens and floral bedding. The bathroom is actually larger than the bedroom with a huge whirlpool tub and double shower, and the whole area is the office of the original owner. A delicious breakfast featuring fresh local berries and quiche is served in a sunny breakfast room overlooking the well-kept garden, and freshly baked cakes are left out for guests in the afternoon.

Adair Country Inn, White Mountain National Park, New Hampshire

A dedicated couple run this beautiful old inn in New Hampshire (whose undivided attention to guests make this a very special experience), within the borders of the White Mountain National Park, heart of leaf-peeping country. It was built in 1927 by an attorney as a wedding present to his daughter and her hat collection is preserved on bookcases on the second-floor landing.

In the basement, a huge, cosy, slate-floored recreational space is hosting a party during my visit. The rooms have splendid views of the grounds, which were designed by Central Park's architect Frederick Law Olmsted and include a tennis court. Spacious rooms are decorated with antique furnishings and include a fireplace. Dinner is served nightly at a very reasonable price, and don't try to resist a nightcap at the inn's tiny, atmospheric speakeasy-style bar.‎

The Glen House, Mount Washington, New Hampshire

The Glen has only been open for a few weeks when I visit; therefore it has all the mod cons that the historic hotels do not. Rooms include massive televisions with quick-response remote controls, modern showers with great drainage; the king-sized beds have USBs and power sockets next to them.The service is friendly and helpful, and the downstairs restaurant has a modern menu, with cocktails utilising local distilleries. Best of all, it's situated right at the base of Mount Washington, which makes it very handy for accessing the famous Mount Washington auto drive.

Bar Harbor Inn, Bar Harbor, Maine

You feel privileged to be staying right in the middle of town along the beautiful harbour, watching boats bob in the water as the sun sets behind them. Rooms are large and elegant, each with their own balcony featuring views over Frenchman's Bay and the Porcupine Islands. The shingled Oasis Club was built in 1887 and was the centre of social activities during summer. Now it offers top-tier service for guests, which includes some of New England's best classic dining with dishes such as a lobster pie and an unforgettable blueberry pie, using Maine's famous blueberries. There's also a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi and spa services.

Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport is one of Maine's most beautiful and historic seaside villages, and Nonantum Resort, situated directly on the Kennebunkport River, was opened in 1884 and was built on an old trading site for Native Americans. One of its unique selling points is it has its own miniature lighthouse, watching over lobster boats and picnic yachts on the river. Cosy rooms have their own pot-belly fire and riverside views. The resort has its own pub, which serves excellent cocktails, and a great restaurant where you can get a hearty lobster dinner served with clam chowder, rice and fresh asparagus.

The Salem Inn, Salem, Massachusetts

Three landmark houses in Salem's historic district include the Curwen House, an Italianate revival home built in 1854 by descendants of the Corwin​ family who were involved in the Salem witch trials of 1693. The federal buildings are filled with restored antiques, and are particularly atmospheric on a dark, wintry autumn night during Halloween after you've been on a nightly ghost tour – so if you're easily spooked, ask if you can avoid staying in room 17. Just sayin'. The inn offers breakfast and complimentary wine and cheese receptions, and will gladly refute any tales of resident ghosts.


Grand Summit Hotel, Sunday River, Maine

This old-fashioned, lodge-style accommodation is in the heart of Sunday River, where there's loads of great hiking including along the famous Appalachian Trail. The rooms include a handy kitchenette, but there's also great food and service at the restaurant, which is decked out like a campsite, with fairy-lit antlers and logs hanging from the ceiling. Although this is a ski resort, during summer the hotel has access to a wide range of summer activities in the Sunday River region.

Omni Mount Washington Resort, New Hampshire

This is one of the classic, grand resorts of the national park system in the US. Sitting atop a hill, whitewashed with cherry-red roof, this postcard-perfect resort is a must-visit in New Hampshire, even if you pop in for lunch to soak up the amazing views from one of its 14 restaurants. The hotel sprang from opulent times, when there was no such thing as taxes, and dozens of trains would deliver guests every summer. There's also a pretty neat speakeasy called The Cave in the bowels of the hotel, from which guests could keep an eye out for police entering the long driveway, giving them ample time to dispose of their liquor before the cops darkened the doorstep.