New Hampshire is synonymous with classic country inns each reflecting their distinct personalities shaped by topography, property history, and innkeepers. Adair Country Inn & Restaurant, situated within the borders of White Mountain National Park in Bethlehem, is a perfect example surrounded by its very own 200+ acres of meadow and forest land interlaced with a network of old carriage roads and hiking trails.
The magnificent 3-story Georgian Revival home you see today was built in 1927 by attorney Frank Hogan as a wedding present to his daughter Dorothy Adair. This was a monumental achievement for somebody who grew up in poverty during the late 19th century not able to receive formal education past eighth grade. Yet Frank earned his law degree and formed Hogan & Hartson, one of Washington, D.C.’s major law firms at the time gaining acclaim successfully defending Edward Doheny in a Teapot Dome case during the 1920s. Doheny gave Hogan $1 million cash above his agreed upon fee as appreciation for keeping him out of prison. George directly spent it on constructing Adair giving birth to his signature quote of “the ideal client is a rich man when he’s scared”.
Sitting on a grassy knoll overlooking the Presidential Mountain Range on the horizon, the house and back patio is also perched above Frederick Law Olmsted designed grounds and gardens flanking a tennis court below providing the perfect respite during warmer months. Adair’s massive granite block foundation carved from a local quarry is prominently on display in the slate floored basement recreation room & lounge outfitted with a large fireplace ideal for warming up after a long day of skiing. A 1929 Oliver Briggs Boston billiards table sits to one side while a small bar reminiscent of a 1920’s speakeasy, and a 42-inch flat-screen TV perfect for curling up with a movie from the inn’s large collection occupies the other half.
Vintage books and photos are on display throughout the property and Dorothy’s hats remain well preserved to this day lining the second floor stairwell landing bookcases giving you the feeling that the Adairs’ stepped out for a moment and will be returning shortly. Each room is named after a local mountain and furnished with period antiques, spacious bathrooms, and gas fireplaces in most. In addition to a generous afternoon tea that’s served in the elegant living room, the inn offers packages enhancing particular aspects of your stay like picnic baskets packed to your specs for a day of hiking and Rafting Getaways.
Even before this 9-room house opened in 1992 as an inn quickly achieving 4 Diamond status, Adair hosted many distinguished guests including presidential hopefuls, Supreme Court justices, governors, senators and actress Helen Hayes.
The property’s most recent innkeepers, husband and wife team Cindy Foster and Tom LaPointe, capitalize on their combined 35 year experience in hospitality & customer service to keep the inn running smoothly with a personal touch exuding an extra refined yet unpretentious ambiance.
“Personal attention and one-on-one interactions with our guests are what we truly value here at Adair”, says Cindy. “In our otherwise increasingly impersonal world, Tom and I do everything we can to ensure all guests feel as though they are staying with close friends or family.”
Although they have staff helping them out, Cindy and Tom are integral to the day-to-day experience. Cindy is sure to greet you in the morning at breakfast to make sure everything on your day’s itinerary is set while in the evening you’ll be sure to sample her bar tending skills whipping up cocktails to order. Tom’s talent in the kitchen was put to immediate use when they took over Adair developing the inn’s signature pop-over recipe.
Photos courtesy of Adair Inn & Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored visit.