by Anna Chisholm
Were Alice to stumble down a rabbit hole today, the wonderland she'd discover would surely resemble Connecticut boutique resort Winvian. This whimsical world of magical, individually designed cottages peacefully exists amid 113 acres of wild woodland in the state's Litchfield Hills.
Owner Maggie Smith and her daughter Heather, ably assisted by Yale School of Architecture graduate David Sellers, enlisted 15 architects to wave their magic design wands and bring life to their original idea. Today, the 18 cottages that are the fruit of their labors, each one named after the idiosyncratic design concept that defines it, surround Winvian's antique-filled, colonial-style farmhouse.
Secret Society, Treehouse (pictured below), Beaver Lodge (pictured at right), Charter Oak and Helicopter are just a few of the titles to pique the interest of any adventurer looking for a truly innovative departure from the typical hotel experience.
Treehouse is quite possibly your wildest childhood fantasy come true—minus the creepy crawlies, of course. Double-storied and decked out with every luxury amenity imaginable, it's a piece of abstract architectural ingenuity suspended some 35 feet up in the treetops. Charter Oak literally brings the outside indoors (a giant oak tree grows gloriously through its core), while Helicopter, based on a Connecticut Coastguard chopper, is bold and totally bizarre—the perfect venue for a Mad Hatter's tea party.
Throw in a 5,000 square-foot spa, manicured lawns that blend into unruly and atmospheric woodland and a traditional fine-dining restaurant where Alain Ducasse protégé Chris Eddy serves up impeccably fresh Italian-French inspired cuisine (and you've got the perfect recipe for a ridiculously relaxing treat.
To book online visit Mr & Mrs Smith, rack rates start at $1,450 which includes all meals and beverages.