Adventure Suites: Fun and Unique Lodging in North Conway
A Thoroughly Incredible Themed Room Hotel!
By Jared Shien and Callum McLaughlin
Judging by just the lobby, Adventure Suites Hotel looks rather like any other charming New England ski lodge. Everything is smooth, beautiful hardwood, with a crackling fireplace and cozy armchairs. However, the illusion of normalcy does not last long.
As soon as the Front Desk Host shows you to your room, which could be anything from a jungle-themed suite with a hot tub where guests can gaze on a sky of artificial stars on the ceiling or an indoor forest where people can sleep in a tree, the rooms there are far from the expected twin bed and a bathroom affair.
“We attract a lot of folks looking for a unique vacation experience,” says Kathy Bennett, the Marketing Representative for Adventure Suites Hotels. “There are suites like the Victorian spa that attract a lot of couples and there’s The Club suite, which is a great suite for young adults who are looking to experience live music, dance and celebrate.”
During our first night in North Conway, we stayed in The Club suite, which more than lived up to its name. It has a full DJ turntable, strobe and disco lights, and a stripper pole in a cage (which according to the Front Desk Host who gave us a tour can “really take it”). Not to mention a hot tub, which almost all the suites have.
This suite seemed primed and ready for a gaggle of friends looking to take the typical, dull house party up to the next level.
“It’s rated one of the best theme hotels in the world,” says Bennett, “and they’re all designed and built these suites over twenty years to give guests a truly over the top experience.” And with glowing stairs and a disco ball, over the top it truly is.
The Haunted Castle
The next night we stayed in the Haunted Castle Suite, the biggest and most outrageous of the suites. As the name implies this suite is essentially a haunted house you can stay in.
There’s an animatronic woman in a cell by the stairs who screams in agony when you pass her (though not every time you pass her, presumably to retain the element of surprise), a spinning gothic throne, three bedrooms with enough beds for eighteen people and projected ghosts that come out of the walls.
“The Haunted Castle Suite is the only programmed experience like that in the world,” says Bennett. “It’s not just staying in a room that looks like a haunted castle, it’s a fully programmed so that you’re really interacting with the effects in the room.” And this suite is certainly not for the easily frightened.
The surround sound effects truly make even the most reasonable person suspect that there is someone or something in the room with them. At one point a sound effect that made it seem like someone was breathing down the back of my neck unsettled me to the point where I decided to relocate to the bedroom, only to drop my book in shock when the cabinet jumped out at me and screamed.
Dragon’s Lair Suite
And according to Bennett, the Adventure Suites Hotel is just getting started. “Most recently we’ve hired a famous steampunk artist to design a mechanical dragon for our Dragon’s Lair Suite.” The Adventure Suites Hotel is certainly unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and if you’re interested is definitely something worth checking out.
There are enough lavishly designs suites of all different themes that everybody is sure to find one that appeals to them. Whether it’s partying or castles full of screaming ghosts there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Activities in North Conway, New Hampshire
With all of the fun and novelty at Adventure Suites I wouldn’t be surprised if you never want to leave your room, but if you ever decide to, there are plenty of interesting things to do in the area.
Aside from the Adventure Suites, the North Conway area is known for its natural features. The tourist town lies at the foot of 6,288 foot Mount Washington (the tallest mountain in the Northeast United States), as well as many other smaller peaks on the White Mountain range.
These mountains make for beautiful scenes and offer great hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Mount Washington is also a big attraction itself, as it offers a challenging but doable hike to its peak during the warm months (you can also drive to the top or take the Mount Washington Cog Railway), as well as a nature and weather education network focused on the world record winds that are recorded at the Mount Washington Observatory on the mountain’s peak in 1934.
Flying Down the Slopes
North Conway offers some of the best skiing in the area highlighted by mainstays Attitash Mountain Ski Resort and Cranmore Mountain Resort. Both resorts offer lodging, lift tickets, ski, and snowboard rentals, restaurant and cafe options on the mountain, lessons for novice skiers and riders and are both only a short drive from the Adventure Suites.
For the non-downhill types (like myself), the North Conway/Jackson area also offers plenty of cross country skiing and snowshoeing. During our visit, we spent a pleasant morning snowshoeing in the hills of nearby Jackson with Jackson Ski Touring.
On our snowshoe tour, we took a short hike and learned a lot about the local plants, wildlife, and history of the region. I think snowshoeing is often an overlooked winter activity, but walking through the woods among the beautiful snow-covered trees is definitely something I would recommend doing.
North Conway is also home to a few small museums that highlight some of the activities in the area. The Weather Discovery Centre is a fun interactive museum that focuses on local weather patterns, and that famous world-record-breaking Mount Washington winds.
The Center is also affiliated with the Mount Washington Observatory and gives visitors a little taste of what life is like at the top of the mountain.
The New England Ski Museum is another great option for winter lovers and history buffs. The mission of the museum is “to collect, conserve, and exhibit elements of ski history for research, education, and inspiration,” and the museum backs this up with artifacts from Olympic and Military skiers as well as informative exhibits about the sport’s past.
Both museums are located in North Conway and are a short drive from Adventure Suites and many other accommodations.
Nothing helps take the edge off after a long day of skiing and hiking quite like a tasty, inviting dinner and North Conway offers many great dining options. Those interested in a wide selection of craft beers, specially crafted cocktails, and an international classy street food menu should check out Barley & Salt Tap House & Kitchen.
The wide-ranging Barley & Salt menu takes you all over the globe, from American classics like wings, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes to Vietnamese Pho, and Korean Tacos. Barley & Salt also takes advantage of the local New England brewery scene, with a constantly changing menu of over 30 craft beers from New England, and all over the US and Canada. Barley & Salt is conveniently located right near the Settlers Green outlets in North Conway.
Table & Tonic
Our second night in North Conway took us to local farm bistro Table + Tonic. This rustic eatery is owned and operated by Heather Chase who sources many of the herbs and vegetables from her local organic farm, Mountain Flower Farm.
Heather is passionate about organic and local food, and this passion is on display in the decor and menu of Table + Tonic.
The artwork made from reclaimed wood and metals by local artist Jesse Mixer along with the retro-finished photos taken from out back give the restaurant its functional farmhouse feel, and its seasonal menu and unique cocktails (made with herbs from the farm) lets you know that you’re eating fresh.
Table + Tonic is also but a small part of Chase’s small local empire that also includes Be Well Studios (a yoga and holistic health studio next door), and The Local Grocer (a local, organic cafe and grocery store also located next door).
After you’ve finished dinner at Table + Tonic, a walk across the street to McGraths Tavern is a must. The tavern was purchased in mid-2011 by brother and sister Seammus and Caitlin McGrath from Peabody Massachusetts. “Even though we lived down in Mass, we would always come up here to ski in the winter,” Seammus tells me loudly over the live music, “We loved coming to North Conway so much as kids, we knew that we would end up here.” The tavern offers a host of delicious American style food cooked up by Seammus and his kitchen staff, as well as award-winning cocktails, beers, and live music.
Best of all, McGraths Tavern is across the street from your haunted lair, or your disco party room, or whichever fun and unique room you’ve chosen to stay in at the Adventure Suites.
Visit the Adventure Suites website here.
The writer’s visit to the Adventure Suites was sponsored, but the opinions are their own.