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New Hampshire Travel>>>Henniker Motel, Henniker NH

Henniker Motel Makes for a Surprisingly Pleasant Stay in Henniker, N.H.
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Photo of Henniker Motel, Henniker NH
Henniker Motel

Article and photos by Eric H.

File the Henniker Motel in Henniker, N.H., as one of those "I was pleasantly surprised motels."

From the exterior, the plain-looking, aging motel sign and rather familiar, generic looking two story lodging structure with a balcony on the second floor suggested nothing more than a one or two-star motel. But then again, the nighttime rain and fog on this late summer night could have made the Ritz Carlton look sub par.

Our initially tentative feeings about the motel changed in a hurry. The hotel owner greeted us so warmly in the check-in area -- much needed after driving an hour in sometimes torrential rain from Lebanon NH where we traveled to visit my wife's ailing brother recently admitted to Hitchcock Dartmouth Hospital. (he is fine now, thank goodness!). After checking in, we entered our spacious, clean room with very comfortable beds, an updated bathroom, coffee maker, refriergator and microwave oven.

After a personal best night's sleep in perhaps this generation (rainy nights and lots of driving will do that, I suppose), I peaked out the window in the early morning to see a beautiful, misty scene of hills, mountains and perfectly manicured grounds -- in retrospect, no surprise, given the Henniker Motel's rather isolated location at the base of Pat's Peak Ski area. But in another regard, this incredibly pleasing rural scene exceeded all expectations as driving past Pat's Peak area in the past hadn't grabbed us the way a Mt. Washington or Mt. Mansfield would with their high peaks and often dramatic surrounding scenery.

Photo of New Hampshiure countryside at Henniker Motel
What a nice way to wake up -- a room with a view at the Henniker Motel!

Added bonuses at the Henniker Motel: a very good indoor pool, a cozy fireplace living room with television and comfy sofas and an outdoor patio that overlooks that overlooks Mt. Kearsarge.

That the Henniker Motel resides around some scenic foliage routes in the fall, skiing and snowmobiling amenities right up the road in the winter, and nearby swimming (at Sunapee Lake)) fishing, fly fishing kayaking and mountain biking makes for an ideal destination only 20 minutes from the state capital of Concord. Additionally, we have found Henniker as an ideal, little New Hampshire town -- cute with a walkable downtown offering local shops, restaurants, nice views of the Contoocook River and the leafy presence of New England College. Henniker has refused to bow to chain development, too, so just about all the businesses you'll see here are locally-owned, including an old-time variety store and pharmacy.

Checking out of the Henniker Motel, we drove to the bottom of the mountain to have a fabulous pancake breakfast at the rustic Intervale Farm Pancake House. Everyone in town seemed to show up here, thus lending a close-knit community feeling, filled with conversation and the coffe and (real) maple syrup flowing. What a nice way to end this mini-vacation!

While many others can hardly wait to return to old New England standbys like Cape Cod or the White Mountains, we'll place on our "A" list destinations like Henniker that please the traveler by just being itself. The Henniker Motel certainly serves as an ideal launching pad for visiting this nice, "normal" town with so many healthy, outdoor recreational activities and scenic countryside. And it just goes to show, you can't always judge a motel by its cover!

Henniker Motel
61 Craney Pond Rd.
Henniker, NH
Tel. (603) 428-3536

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