|Minimum Stay||3 - 5 nights|
The Notch House has been recently renovated into an eight-bedroom, four season, vacation estate. The house, built in 1860, was the first vacation home on Lake Willoughby and is ideally perched on the south end hillside, centered between Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor, the two mountains that form the dramatic Willoughby notch. In addition to the majestic house, the property includes a one-bedroom guest cottage, a barn and a private path that leads down to the beautiful, south end coves and beaches. The property, surrounded by over 7,000 acres of Willoughby State Forest, is completely private.
Available for weekly rentals, the Notch House is a perfect venue for reunions, weddings and family vacations. There is a large chef’s kitchen, a bar, and a dining room that can comfortably seat 16 - 20 guests. The sitting rooms in both the main house and the cottage feature field stone fireplaces.
DETAILS:: The Notch House was completely renovated in 2010, but maintains its vintage charm with antique lighting, furnishings and wallpaper throughout. The circular drive, lined with majestic elm and maple trees, will lead you up massive, old granite steps to the wrap-around porch – perfect for reading, relaxing or enjoying a glass of wine. The living room has a large fieldstone fireplace and a grand velvet-cushioned couch set, for cuddling up on chilly nights. The dining room is equally elegant with antique crystal chandelier lighting, and can easily seat 20 at its matching claw-foot tables. Step down from the dining room and enjoy the outdoor fieldstone patio while grilling a summer meal or enjoying the view of Willoughby Gap. Continue across the lawn and down a wooded path for a refreshing dip in the lake.
THE KITCHEN:: In the Chef’s kitchen you will find everything you need to cook for a big crowd: stainless steel fridge and dishwasher, industrial Garland stove with 6 burners, 2 ovens and a raised griddle top with broiler. Counter space is plentiful, with native maple butcher block on either side of the stove and Vermont soapstone surrounding two antique sinks – a porcelain farmer sink with drain board and a double bay soapstone sink. Custom maple cabinets are stocked with dishes, cutlery, pots and pans. You and your friends will want to sidle up to the adjacent bar, with wrap-around copper top and antique lighting, and the three-bay stainless sink with pull-out faucet make dishes a breeze.
THE AREA:: Lake Willoughby, also known as the Lucerne of America, is considered by most as being the most beautiful lake in Vermont. Located in the town of Westmore, a short disance off 1-91 and 30 miles north of St. Johnsbury, this body of water is known for its crystal clear water, natural sand beaches and great fishing. Short paths from the Notch House lead to the trail heads for both the Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah hiking trails as well as the base of the CC road for mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Access to Kingdom Trails, named the Best Mountain Biking Trail Network by Biking Magazine, is less than ten miles away. The Northeast Kingdom has been listed in the North American and international editions of '1,000 Places to See Before You Die', the New York Times best-selling book by Patricia Schultz. In 2006, the National Geographic Society named the Northeast Kingdom as the most desirable place to visit in the country and the ninth most desirable place to visit in the world.
We had a wonderful time at the Notch house. It is such a beautiful place, and we were all impressed with the careful restoration as well as the time and effort obviously put into the renovation. I loved the wall colors and the gardens are lovely! Everyone, young and old, found enjoyable things to do, and the bedroom arrangements were very comfortable. We hiked, mountain biked, kayaked, swam, and made many big meals for everyone. Thank you for the opportunity to share such a beautiful home.
My extended family gathered at the Notch house this Thanksgiving for a long overdue reunion. The house was absolutely gorgeous with plenty of space for all of our family to relax, hang out in the kitchen, cook together, wander with the kids by the lake, play games together, watch movies by the fireplace, etc. We enjoyed the bar area where the grown-ups could hang out and talk and laugh once the kids went to bed. The long dining room table was perfect for all 20 of us to have Thanksgiving dinner together. It was an incredible stay, complete with a beautiful layer of snow to play in the backyard with. I highly recommend the Notch house, and we look forward to staying again in the spring or summer so we can get out more to explore the lake and mountains in warm weather.
My husband and I rented the Notch House for our wedding, and we absolutely enjoyed our time, as did our guests. While the week was bound to be special due to the nature of the gathering, the house and property set a tone and stage for something truly magical. Having our loved ones -- friends and family members normally scattered across the globe -- tucked in rooms surrounding us, and the ability to make every meal a family style occasion, was so gratifying. Watching each new house guest arrive on Friday night was exhilarating, maybe even more so than watching our wedding guests arrive Sunday evening. Our time at the Notch House was so special, and we enjoyed every bit of it. The warm weather was perfect for swimming, the beach, and the path leading to it, gorgeous, and the property perfectly held our ceremony (in the lower garden, by the rock), and reception. Since we scheduled our wedding for Midsummer's Eve, under the full moon, at this lovely location, we knew it would be romantic, but couldn't have possibly imagined that our wedding night would end with a bonfire held until 2am, followed by swimming under the moonlight, between those beautiful cliffs, surrounded by fireflies and loons, at 3am. Gorgeous.
Everyone commented on the beautiful details and materials in the house, how obvious the love in every last corner and cupboard. I think everyone's favorite was the bathroom in the master suite, which was also my favorite. I also loved the peppermint soaps and shampoos - how very clever of Polly, to even create a scent for each guest's memories of their time at the Notch House. Our friends, many of whom were meeting for the first time, enjoyed themselves so much they repeatedly asked for a "wedding reunion" each year. I'm sure Polly hears this all the time, but our friends are all now planning on renting the property for one occasion or another in the near future.
We stayed at the Notch House for New Year's Eve and the weekend. There were 8 adults who are used to biking together in the summer and have travelled together quite frequently. We found the house to be comfortable, warm and welcoming. We cooked our meals there in the large well-equipped kitchen. The house was awesome in that we could hike or ski right out the door on the many trails and the forest right nearby. We did have some outdoor activity each day and came back to make a nice, roaring fire.
The only downside to the house is the inadequate seating in the living room near the fire. The seating is old and quite frankly not very comfortable. There were only 8 of us but even with that number we had trouble all sitting around the fire. We did use chairs from the dining room but there were not comfortable. If we had the 18 people that the house sleeps, this would have been a bigger problem. This is probably not such an issue in the summer but with a big group in the winter or fall (cooler weather), it can be a challenge. Otherwise the house is wonderful and overall we enjoyed our visit.
We could not have been happier with our time at The Notch House. We had a small weekend long wedding party with our closest friends and family. The house was absolutely perfect! Many of our guests commented that the owners had "thought of everything" and they were right! Every little detail was perfect. The kitchen was beautiful and equipped with everything we needed to entertain our group of 16 (and 2 babies). The house was comfortable and beautifully decorated. The fireplace was cozy and a great spot to gather and play games or chat. There was plenty of space so no one felt crowded. The grounds were beautiful and the location was amazing. I would highly recommend this location and hope to find a reason to return in the near future!
House and property are spectacular, my family and friends had one of the best NYE. Polly is the nicest person, really quick with all the replays thru out the process of renting and during the stay!
Thank you Polly!
After renting the Notch House for our wedding, we cannot recommend it enough! Words can't describe how perfect The Notch House was for the event -- the beautiful house filled with so many friends and family, the perfect tiny house that felt like our own newlywed retreat, the beautiful field for camping, the lawn with gorgeous flowers and the epics swims in the lake just a short walk through the woods -- it was all so magical and I don't think there could have been a better spot for it to all happen. We are so in love with the Notch house and Lake Willoughby and very much hope to rent the property again in the future for family reunions and anniversary parties! Polly, the way you and your family has managed and decorated the home and property are simply magnificent and the land itself has such positive, wonderful feelings that really bring people together. We'll be back!!
Lakes, hiking, boating, sailing, fishing, swimming, mountain climbing, ice climbing, ice fishing, ice skating, mountain biking, biking, foliage, golf, skiing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, reunions, weddings, retreats
Please ask about discounted rates for a 5 night stay.