Named for the giant chunks of granite that form its imposing façade, this 1890 Dutch-style mansion stands out among Litchfield County, Connecticut's colonial clapboards. The informal grandeur of the place is impressive, and so is the setting under a canopy of maple trees on the shores of Lake Waramaug. The inn, which has been in operation since the early 1900's, was renovated top to bottom in 2003. The lobby seems almost airlifted from a snitzy Swiss ski chalet, with cathedral ceilings, giant stone fireplaces, and wonderful views of the lake—the second biggest in the state. The 20 guest rooms scattered throughout the main lodge, carriage house, and hillside cottages have a modern-meets-rustic charm, combining twiggy furniture and retro-style freestanding fireplaces with new fixtures, inside the baths and out. The inn's New American kitchen is helmed by localvore Paul Bernal, known for his award-winning wine list and such dishes as pan-roasted duck breast accented with caramelized quince. Guests wanting to spend time outdoors can explore the many marked trails that form a web over nearby Pinnacle Mountain.
Insider Tip: The inn gives repeat guests 10 percent off every future stay.
Coziest Room to Book: Tucked back into the woods, the spacious and private Fieldstone Cottage has a king bed, whirlpool tub for two, working stone fireplace, and views of the lake. Be sure to inquire about the inn's daily and midweek specials.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.