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Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog


Lake Life Without a Boat: Experience Series

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The Center Harbor Inn is your key to living the lake life, and as they say; Life is better at the Lake. But don’t take our word for it, get out there and experience it for yourself. With direct access to Lake Winnipesaukee we bring the experience to you. Start your day off with our continental breakfast, grab a locally made bagel and fresh roasted coffee and head to your balcony where you can start out the morning with peace, serenity, and views of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Inn offers watercraft rentals that include: kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats. You don’t need a motor boat to enjoy life at the lake, it’s all about taking advantage of what is right in front of you. Spend the first part of your day exploring Halfmile and Mile island, the nearest of the 260 islands around Winnipesaukee.

After a long morning of exploring the islands you must have worked up an appetite for lunch. So, walk across the street and grab a table by the windows at Mug By the Bay restaurant or go to Bellies – N – Butts for some Texas style BBQ take out and enjoy some savory ribs back on your deck overlooking the lake.

Head back down to our nearly 200ft of sandy beach, grab a lounge chair, and settle in with a good book for a few minutes. After all you are supposed to wait 30 minutes after eating to start swimming again. Wade into the water for a refreshing swim and head out to the raft to bask in the sun for a bit.

After a long day of being in the sun, go back to your room; take a nap, shower, and refresh for dinner. Center Harbor offers many dining options; walk to Lavinia Dining for a delicious meal inspired by local ingredients and a tasty IPA in the pub. For something more low key go to the EM Heath Supermarket to pick up some choice grilling meats and head back to the Inn to enjoy dinner using one of the lakeside grills we offer overlooking the bay.

Post dinner, feel free to sit by the fire pit where there is always a fire going. Enjoy conversation amongst other guests who love the lake as much as you do. Don’t forget to do a late night hot tub session, there is nothing better on a cool summer night. After a long day, get ready for bed, sleep, wake up and repeat, lake life.

Dock Your Boat at the Inn

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Imagine waking up to beautiful views of Lake Winnipesaukee and grabbing a to go bag of locally baked bagels and freshly prepared coffee from our continental breakfast. Then picture yourself walking down to the hotel docks to board your boat for a day of cruising the pristine waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. One of the true natural gems of New England, a day of basking in the sun, tubing across the wake or waterskiing adventure will never be the same after your time on this amazing lake.

Where else in the Lakes Region can you bring your boat on vacation without paying an overpriced nightly mooring or dock fee? The Center Harbor Inn is the ideal destination for the avid boater. Right off our nearly 200 feet of sandy beachfront is a dock system that offers 16 Slips with an additional 8 Moorings further out. This unique hotel amenity allows guests to bring their own boat or rent one and keep it right on the property. The town boat launch is just a few hundred yards away and the inn also has an arrangement for trailer parking during your stay. When it comes to boating getaways, the convenience available at the Center Harbor Inn is unmatched on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Docks are currently available at $50 a night, and moorings are offered free of charge on a first come first serve basis. Even better, any guest staying for four or more nights qualify for our Boater’s Delight Package which includes the dock slip for free. At the Center Harbor Inn you can truly embrace all that Lake Life has to offer.

Watercraft Take Float

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The waters along the beachfront at the Center Harbor Inn are bobbing with excitement. Our recent shipment of brand new watercraft has arrived and guests are sure to be delighted. Featuring six Abaco Single Kayaks, two Abaco Double Kayaks, four Jimmy Styks Scout Paddle Boards and two Pelican Pedal Boats, the new fleet offers a variety of options for anyone looking to launch from our sandy beach and explore Lake Winnipesaukee.

This exciting new addition sets the Center Harbor Inn experience apart from other lodging options along the Lake. Each reservation includes one free half day rental of a watercraft of the guest’s choosing based upon availability. The new water activities program also offers additional half day rentals for $20 and full day rentals for $35. Enjoy a one-stop shop for your ideal lakeside getaway. Get out on the water with your friends or family and make the most of your trip to scenic Lake Winnipesaukee.

A Taste of Something Local

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Coffee and bagels have always made for a good pairing. This statement is particularly true if you are on vacation and looking to kick off a fun-filled day by the lake. As construction neared completion on the Center Harbor Inn, management looked to re-envision the continental breakfast offering. Too often a hotel’s continental breakfast is underwhelming and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. After much consideration, the team decided that the key to a positive continental breakfast experience was sourcing select, quality items from local vendors.

Coffee is king and we wanted our guest to be happy with their early morning beverage. The inn partnered with Wayfarer Coffee Roasters to deliver the perfect cup of joe. A local roaster based out of nearby Laconia, Wayfarer struck a deal to supply a variety of freshly roasted beans and even came onsite to calibrate the handpicked grinders and train the staff. With the breakfast area just steps from check-in, any new guest will be greeted by a welcoming aroma of hand-roasted, freshly made coffee. The partnership also supplied homemade granola and signature energy balls to the breakfast counter at the inn. If you are looking for a power snack before a big hike, we highly recommend the energy balls.

For some additional local flavor, the Inn struck a deal with Winnipesaukee Bay Gulls. This local bakery is widely known as the best bagel shop in the Lakes Region. Just a few minutes down the road from the hotel, Bay Gulls handmakes a variety of bagels and delivers them for the enjoyment of our guests. Imagine a delicious sesame bagel with a piping hot cup of locally crafted, dark roast coffee. Are we getting hungry yet?

While the selection might be limited, the continental breakfast at the Center Harbor Inn packs in a few local staples that are sure to impress. Kick off your morning by tasting the local flavors and enjoying the sunrise on your deck. It’s hard to imagine a better start to your lakeside vacation.

Ribbon Cutting at our Winnipesaukee Hotel

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Center Harbor Inn.

On Friday, January 20th, the Center Harbor Inn held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the new facility after nearly a year of aggressive renovations. Originally a series of vacation cottages dating back to the 1920’s, the main lodge building on the property was erected in 1968. The Inn offered comfortable hotel rooms with private decks on a sandy Lake Winnipesaukee beachfront just walking distance from the shops and restaurants in Center Harbor. Over the years, however, the facility experienced a prolonged period of deferred maintenance and was no longer positioned to do justice to its unique and valued location.

Following a lengthy negotiation process, the hotel group that operates Steele Hill Resorts was able to purchase the inn this past March. With the support of town officials and local businesses, a major renovation project kicked off to completely revitalize the hotel. Conneston Construction spearheaded the contracting services using architectural plans from Stewart Associates Architects and interior design input from Frances G Hodges Interiors. The renovation involved stripping the building down to the studs and completely rethinking the structure. Key changes included the addition of Douglass Fir clad beam work to frame out the new decking system, new accent gables to break up the roofline and two large decorative cupolas along the center of the main lodge.

The interior work echoed the appearance of the exterior with an emphasis on both modern and rustic features. Inside the main lodge, bathrooms were completely gutted and fully tiled. The addition of modern glass panel dividers, new plumbing fixtures and custom hickory vanities finished off these spaces. All new carpeting, custom furniture and beautiful floor to ceiling, hickory headboards with floating shelves dressed out the upscale, lakeside accommodations. The addition of amenities included complete refurbishment of the nearly 200 feet of sandy beachfront and the construction of a beautiful, 4-season outside hot tub facility overlooking the lake surrounded by heated pavers offering direct access to the building. Interior improvements also included the addition of an all new fitness center with an adjacent sauna facility.

With the completion of this extensive renovation, the hotel will now offer an upscale, lakeside hospitality experience allowing guests to enjoy wading into the relaxing waters of Lake Winnipesaukee from the sandy beachfront or walking into town to experience all that Center Harbor has to offer.