The Mount Washington Hotel sits in the centre of the Mount Washington ski resort at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, close to the Appalachian Trail.

The Mount Washington Hotel sits in the centre of the Mount Washington ski resort at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, close to the Appalachian Trail. Its significant claim to fame is that it hosted the International Monetary Conference of 1944, and its Gold Room is preserved exactly as it was that July day when agreements were signed that would establish the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and set the gold standard at $35 (£18) an ounce.

The conference revived the fortunes of the Mount Washington, which had fallen into disrepair during the Depression and the Second World War.

Originally the hotel was a summer retreat for wealthy Bostonians, but it is now open all year round. Various renovation projects over the years have remained true to the original structure while embracing modern plumbing (there is a whirlpool bath in every suite), and connecting each of the 200 rooms to the internet.

Perched on the edge of the rugged Presidential Range of New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, the hotel is a luxury retreat from which guests can explore the natural beauty of the area on foot, skis or horseback. At the end of an energetic day, residents can relax and enjoy the view from The Princess Lounge (named in honour of the first owner's wife, who married a French prince after his death), or take a dip in the heated outdoor pool.

As a mark of the Mount Washington's splendid isolation, the basement hall, which runs through a shopping arcade, includes a former speakeasy hidden in a grotto, and an official US post office with its own postcode.

LOCATION

The Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, Route 302, New Hampshire 03577 (001 603 278 1000; www.mtwashington.com). Time to international airport: the nearest are Manchester in New Hampshire and Portland in Maine. Boston's Logan Airport is three hours away by car. Transfers can be arranged, but most guests hire a car.

COMFORTABLE?

The opulent Renaissance revival architecture includes several Tiffany windows, and there are panoramic views from practically every nook of this vast building. The Tower Suites are themed, and some of the Corner Vista rooms have working fireplaces.

Freebies: Guests receive a free pass that entitles them to use the sauna and whirlpool, the indoor and outdoor swimming-pools as well as hire snowshoes when needed.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Standard doubles cost from $180 (£95) per night without breakfast.

I'm not paying that: If you don't need quite such luxury, try the nearby Bretton Arms Country Inn, also run by the Bretton Woods resort (001 603 278 1000; www.mtwashington.com). Doubles cost from $129 (£68) without breakfast.

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