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Mount Washington Hotel

Coordinates: 44°15′26″N 71°26′22″W / 44.25722°N 71.43944°W / 44.25722; -71.43944
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Mount Washington Hotel
Mount Washington Hotel in 2011
Mount Washington Hotel is located in New Hampshire
Mount Washington Hotel
Mount Washington Hotel is located in the United States
Mount Washington Hotel
Location310 Mount Washington Hotel Rd.,
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, U.S.
Coordinates44°15′26″N 71°26′22″W / 44.25722°N 71.43944°W / 44.25722; -71.43944
ArchitectCharles Alling Gifford
Architectural styleRenaissance Revival
WebsiteOfficial website
NRHP reference No.78000213
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 27, 1978[1]
Designated NHLJune 24, 1986[2]

The Mount Washington Hotel is a hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, near Mount Washington. It was designed by Charles Alling Gifford. In 1944, it hosted the Bretton Woods Conference, which established the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The area, part of the town of Carroll, New Hampshire, includes the Bretton Woods ski resort nearby. It is located at the northern end of Crawford Notch, 6 miles (10 km) east of the village of Twin Mountain along U.S. Route 302.

In December 2015, the hotel and the Bretton Woods Mountain Resort were purchased by Omni Mount Washington LLC from the CNL Financial Group, of Orlando, Florida,[3] and will continue to be operated by Omni Hotels & Resorts under the official name of Omni Mount Washington Resort. It is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[4]


The hotel was constructed between 1900 and 1902 at a cost of $1.7 million (approximately $62.3 million today) by Joseph Stickney, a native of Concord, New Hampshire who had made a fortune before the age of 30 as a coal broker in Pennsylvania. In 1881 Stickney and his partner, John N. Conyngham, had purchased the nearby Mount Pleasant Hotel (a large early hotel demolished in 1939) from lumberman John T.G. Leavitt.[5] Subsequently, Stickney began work on his Mount Washington Hotel. He had envisioned the hotel to be a luxurious getaway for urban dwellers looking to escape the city.

Stickney brought in 250 Italian artisans to build it, particularly the granite and stucco masonry. Construction started in 1900 on the Y-shaped hotel, which opened on July 28, 1902. At its completion, the hotel boasted over 2,000 doors, 12,000 windows, and over eleven miles of plumbing.[6]

At the opening ceremony, Stickney told the audience, "Look at me, gentlemen ... for I am the poor fool who built all this!" Within a year he was dead at the age of 64 due to a heart attack.[7]

His wife, Carolyn Stickney, spent her summers at the hotel for the next decade, adding the Sun Dining Room with guest rooms above, the fourth floor between the towers, and the chapel honoring her late husband. Under its capable first manager, John Anderson, the hotel was a success. But the advent of income tax, Prohibition, and the Great Depression curtailed the hospitality business. In 1936, Mrs. Stickney's nephew, Foster Reynolds, inherited the hotel, but it closed in 1942 because of World War II. In 1944, a Boston syndicate bought the extensive property for about $450,000. The Bretton Woods monetary conference took place that year, establishing the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The owners were paid $300,000 for the loss of business and promised a daily room charge of $18 per person for the 19-day conference.[7] Subsequently, each bedroom carried a plaque outside its door identifying which country's representative at that conference had stayed in that room.[8]

The Mount Washington Hotel and Resort is one of the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains and includes an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, as well as the hotel's original 9-hole course designed by A.H. Findlay.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[2][9]

The hotel opened for its first winter season in 1999. Before that year the hotel would close to guests late in the fall and open in the spring. The entire hotel was overhauled before the winter, with efficient windows installed in the entire hotel.

In January 2009 the Mount Washington Resort completed a 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) addition that includes a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) spa and a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) conference center.

In November 2010 it was revealed that the hotel's then-owner, CNL, had sought to trademark the Mount Washington name, which upset area business owners. CNL said they were just directing their efforts against other hotels in the area that have the mountain's name and not other businesses that also have it.[10][11]


The hotel was featured in two episodes of the television series Ghost Hunters, when it was searched by the TAPS paranormal investigation team on February 6, 2008.[12]

There is a popular urban legend that the Mount Washington Hotel served as inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's novel The Shining (1977) and the subsequent film adaptation.[13] King is a native of nearby Maine and has set several of his novels in New Hampshire. Regardless, King and the Mount Washington Hotel themselves have discredited this legend, with King stating the hotel was based on The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.[14] Regardless, the legend persists, even being included in the Condé Nast Travelers' video "50 People Tell Us The Best Movies & TV Shows Set in Their States".[15]

Omni Bretton Arms Inn[edit]

Bretton Arms
LocationBretton Woods, New Hampshire
Coordinates44°15′26″N 71°26′40″W / 44.25729°N 71.44445°W / 44.25729; -71.44445
WebsiteOfficial website
Part ofMount Washington Resort

The Omni Bretton Arms Inn is a hotel in the larger resort which was built as a house in 1896. The Bretton Arms served as staff housing for many years.[16]

It has been separately named to the Historic Hotels of America program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Mount Washington Hotel". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  3. ^ John Koziol (December 3, 2015). "Omni purchases Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods Ski Area". New Hampshire Union Leader. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  4. ^ Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, a Historic Hotels of America member (Report). Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Mt. Pleasant Hotel, 1875–1939, WhiteMountainHistory.org
  6. ^ "The Infamous Ghost Picture in Mount Washington Hotel". The Haunted Places. October 8, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Joel J. Bedor, The Mount Washington Hotel & Resort -- a Heritage of Optimism; A Newcomen Society Address, 2003
  8. ^ Identified during visit to hotel in May 1990
  9. ^ Carolyn Pitts (June 1985). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Mount Washington Hotel (Report). National Park Service. and Accompanying 9 photos, exterior and interior, from 1980, 1988, and undated. (2.84 MB)
  10. ^ "Battle Brews Over Attempt To Trademark 'Mount Washington'". WMUR Manchester. November 11, 2010. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Hotel Owners Say Concerns Over Mount Washington Name Overblown". WMUR Manchester. November 12, 2010. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ Griff, Martin. "The Mount Washington Hotel is to be featured in Wednesday's episode of Sci-Fi TV Channel series Ghost Hunters". NJ.com. Published April 12th, 2008. Accessed March 8th, 2023.
  13. ^ Toll, Kate. "The Haunted Mount Washington Hotel – One of America’s Spookiest Hotels." Two Sisters Abroad. Published September 12th, 2021. Accessed March 8th, 2023.
  14. ^ Beahm, George (1998). Stephen King from A to Z: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Work. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 978-0836269147.
  15. ^ "50 People Tell Us The Best Movies & TV Shows Set in Their States" by Condé Nast Travelers on YouTube. Published October 23rd, 2019.
  16. ^ "Omni Bretton Arms Inn". Retrieved April 5, 2020.

External links[edit]