A few years ago Michael, Orvis, and I were down in North Carolina, visiting our families for the Christmas holiday, when a substantial snowstorm made its way up the east coast, messing up our typical (at the time) one day all-the-way return trip. Our travel plans weren’t too flexible, as I had a wedding to shoot up in Maine on New Year’s Eve, so we decided to take the westerly route in an attempt to avoid most of the snow and traffic, knowing we’d need to spend the night somewhere near Scranton, PA since the driving would be so slow.
Given that we were traveling with Orvis, I began my search for dog-friendly hotels in the area, and was pleasantly surprised to see a certain ‘Hotel Fauchère‘ come up in the list of typical, nondescript chains. Of course, I immediately fell in love with the hotel via the website, and I was even more surprised when I determined that it would, in fact, be less expensive to stay at this charming, historic, Relais & Chateaux hotel with Orvis, simply because they didn’t charge a $100 pet fee like the bigger chain hotels. At first Michael wasn’t so sure, and I’m fairly certain he thought I was trying to pull one over on him – after all, I do love a nice hotel, especially a Relais & Chateaux – but in the end he agreed that it made sense to call and confirm the rate, and we ended up booking a room from the road at an even lower rate than the website guaranteed! It almost seems fated now, looking back, as our first trip to Hotel Fauchère served as one of the main inspirations behind Map & Menu. We wanted to be able to share our “hidden gem” experiences with hotels like these, that might not be on everyone’s radar, but are so much better than the lazily-convenient big chains to which we’re all too comfortable defaulting.
Hotel Fauchère was founded in 1852 by the renowned New York chef, Louis Fauchère, as a summer business venture. During the winter Fauchère would return to New York, where he served as Master Chef at the prestigious Delmonico Room, one of the most famous American restaurants in the 19th century. The beautiful Italianate building that we see today at 401 Broad Street was not built until 1880, after the original building was moved, then demolished, and over the years, the inn has seen many celebrated, iconic American guests through its doors, including Andrew Carnegie, JFK, Babe Ruth, Robert Frost, Mae West, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and many more! After its closing in 1976, Hotel Fauchère sat empty for nearly two decades, and was finally re-opened by its current owners in 2006 after an extensive five year renovation.
When making our most recent reservation with the hotel, it surprised us to hear that the staff had remembered us visiting the inn with our black lab! Upon checking in, I was offered a glass of wine and taken up to the room – a corner room on the second floor with a fantastic view of Milford’s Broad Street (we’d definitely recommend requesting a corner room, although your chances of getting one by happenstance seem pretty good, as we calculated that 8 of the 16 rooms are!). The bathroom was more spacious than that of our last visit, decked-out in local Pennsylvania marble (with heated floors!), and still stocked with my favorite Kiehl’s lotions & soaps! Michael & Orvis soon joined me from their walk, and Orvis immediately took his place at the windows, his favorite pastime at home, looking out on the town of Milford.
Our room was filled with an abundance of natural light from the ceiling to floor windows, and while Michael usually gravitates towards hotel bathrooms (he’s secretly on the hunt for the best), this time the in-room espresso maker grabbed his attention first! As is the style of the hotel in general, we loved the minimal yet elegant decor – an all-around wonderful room.
After this most recent trip to Milford & Hotel Fauchère, I’m already looking forward to our next road trip that might require us to stop for an overnight (or two!) at the hotel. Sometimes, there is just something special about revisiting a place where you feel such a familiarity and comfort level, and share such fond memories.