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Your Chopper Is Waiting. And Ready for Sleeping

by Pavia Rosati

Inside the Hellicopter Cottage, a restored 1968 Sikorsky HH37 Sea King Pelican helicopter. All photos courtesy of Winvian.

It's our next installment of Hello Again, a series about the world's most interesting hotels produced with the Lincoln Motor Company. We're checking into Winvian, an elegant Connecticut resort that turns treehouses, novels, and helicopters into five-star hotel rooms.

LITCHFIELD HILLS, Connecticut – Winvian, in Litchfield Hills, is a hotel like no other. In a quiet and preppy corner of New England, owner Maggie Smith has created a cozy retreat that includes the kookiest collection of hotel suites in the United States. Opened in 2007, the 113-acre property consists of an historic main house that's a study in tradition and decorum, an excellent restaurant presided over by Daniel Bouloud-trained chef Chris Eddy, a beautiful spa with an extensive menu of treatments and grounds that encourage lazy meandering — The White Memorial Foundation forest abuts the northern border, for one.

The real draw, however, are the 18 cottages scattered throughout the compound, each with a quirky theme informing its design. Ranging from 950-1250 square feet in size, each cottage has at least one wood-burning fireplace — but the similarities among them end there. Fifteen different architects worked on the cottages with complete freedom, resulting in a richly varied range of adventurous design.

The Cottage

One of the cozy cottages.

The design mandate clearly did not call for subtlety. The Golf Suite doesn't merely house golf balls as drawer pulls, but sports a curved floor covered in carpet made to look like a green on which you can actually play. So, putt as you please —at Winvian, the suites are intended to be fully immersive experiences.

Perched atop a cluster of branches 35 feet above the ground, Treehouse Cottage is a Lost Boy's dream rec room, complete with vintage license plates decorating the walls, a pull-out sofa, and a seemingly endless supply of board games. The bi-level suite comprises a bedroom and three-sided fireplace on the first floor, and a living room and an outdoor deck on the second.

CT Yankee, designed by Malcolm Appleton, was inspired by Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Purely whimsical medieval touches throughout include a dark wood, four-poster bed, high-backed wing chairs embroidered with heraldic crests, a herringbone-tiled fireplace, and, in the bathroom, granite slabs evocative of Stonehenge. Plus, flagons of ale are just a room-service call away.

The literary theme continues in the Library Cottage by architect Mac Rood, with two stories of shelves and ladder access to a second-floor reading nook. Books by Connecticut authors are featured prominently, and guests are encouraged to borrow (and lend) their own tomes. The two-sided leather Chesterfield sofa facing the river rock fireplace provides an ideal place to read, and when it comes time to sleep, there's a hidden bedroom behind the living room bookshelves, like something straight out of a storybook.

Adventurous Design

Hellicopter cottage bar.

The spectacular Helicopter Cottage by Malcolm Appleton is the dominating element on property. The restored 1968 Sikorsky HH37 Sea King Pelican helicopter has been transformed into a five-star accommodation sure to enchant aviation geeks with its original switches, co-pilot seat, gaskets, levers and gauges. The interior has been fitted with a bar and an entertainment center, while a barrel fireplace serves as the centerpiece of the adjacent living room.

With elegance and a hint of magic in mind, Winvian has capitalized brilliantly on an unspoken but very clear design motto: There's nothing they can't turn into a five-star hotel room.


155 Alain White Road
Morros, Connecticut 06763 


New England Guide

This post was sponsored by Lincoln Motor Company."

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