I’ve had the good fortune to go on several road biking vacations in the past few years, and I think they are among the very best active trips in existence.
I’ve also had the good fortune to visit Twin Farms, one of the country’s most highly acclaimed luxury resorts a couple of times over the years, and I can say from firsthand experience that it is awesome, as good as the rave reviews and Forbes 5-Star rating this Relais & Châteaux member gets.
The 2017 Travel + Leisure magazine awards just named it the best lodging in the Northeast U.S. and number fifteen on earth.
This fall, at the most desirable tourism time of year to visit Vermont, a lucky few will have the opportunity to combine both of these experiences into one, with a guided cycling retreat at Twin Farms run by high-end NTSQ Velo. NTSQ stands for Never the status quo, quite appropriate for these trips.
This “Ride. Stay. Eat.” package combines active fitness on some amazing country roads (I regularly ride near Twin Farms so I know the area very well), with the over the top lodging, service and amazing food the resort is famed for. Canada-based NTSQ Velo operates premium five-day, four-night cycling retreats in premier North American riding locations, always capped at an intimate twelve guests, and with high end carbon Cervélo bicycles included (if you don’t bring your own). After NHL star, Stanley Cup winner, and former Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference attended one of the NTSQ Velo retreats at in California wine country at L’Auberge Carmel, he said “I enjoyed staying in the same bed every night, not having to travel with my bike, and the ridiculously good food. You could push on some sections of the rides, but it’s not a total grind, so you can enjoy the rest of your day. The detail, from the food and the airport pickup to the assortment of ride snacks, it was outstanding.”
“We want you to have your best experience both on and off the bike,” says Cody Royle, Brand Director of NTSQ Velo, via a release. “You can ride Vermont’s stunning scenery by morning and take in the entire Twin Farms experience in the evening.” NTSQ Velo’s founder Travis McKenzie was formerly global events manager for Lululemon and a former competitive cyclist himself. One of his NTSQ partners is Chef Jonathan Cartwright, who has cooked for Queen Elizabeth and President Bush and coordinates the retreat dining with Twin Farm’s chef Nathan Rich, an avid cyclist himself, who has cooked for countless millionaires, billionaires and A-list celebrities.
Daily rides are fully supported and guided, and guests use a Polar GPS with routes pre-loaded into it. The package also includes two full custom cycling kits, massage and daily laundry service – the idea is to make you feel like a participant in the Tour de France, just with much better food.
Twin Farms is arguably the world’s finest all-inclusive resort, with top shelf spirts, high quality wines chosen nightly to accompany stellar chef dinners, and all sorts of amenities and activities from a traditional Japanese style bath to sooth aching muscles to a private pond with stand-up paddleboarding and fly fishing to its own extensive trail network for hiking, mountain biking cross country skiing and snowshoeing. They also have a private beach and watersports center on a bigger lake nearby. It has its own downhill ski operation in winter just for the handful of guests, and rates even include airport transfers – from two hours away. Go when it’s not the retreat and they offer a slightly cushier cycling experience – you can borrow resort bikes, ride mostly downhill into nearby Woodstock, Vermont’s top tourism town, stroll the galleries, have lunch, and if you don’t feel like riding back you can get picked up by SUV.
Lodging at Twin Farms is mostly in swank and comfortable individual house-like cabins, each with a unique theme and original artwork from renowned artist such as Jasper Johns, part of the multi-million-dollar personal collection of the family that owns the resort. It is just one of the most special places you can vacation anywhere, and even better with the bike retreat. All experience and fitness levels are welcome, and package rates for the retreat, to be held September 11-15, 2017 and May 20-24, 2018, begin at $7,500. This is the second NTSQ Velo retreat at Twin Farms, after much success there last year.