WOLFEBORO — Pickering House Inn, a 10-room luxury inn located in the heart of Wolfeboro, quietly opened in 2018 after a two-year renovation of the historic Pickering homestead. Just three years later, it has been named #1 Resort Hotel in New England and #3 Resort Hotel in the Continental U.S. in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 readers’ survey.

The annual awards program recognizes the top hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, airlines, spas and more around the globe, based on the results of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. Readers rated hotels on the following characteristics: rooms/facilities, location, service, food and value.

Owners Peter and Patty Cooke opened Pickering House Inn with a vision to create a unique hospitality experience in Wolfeboro. They renovated the Pickering homestead and attached barn to retain the property’s historic charm without sacrificing top-of-the-line features such as oversized guest rooms, spa showers and smart TVs. The couple soon introduced reservation-only farm table dinners in The Barn at Pickering House, cooking classes in the inn’s kitchen, wine tastings, and other special events to add to the Pickering House experience while providing opportunities for the community to enjoy activities at the inn.

In December 2020, the Cookes joined with Chef Jonathan Hudak to open PAVILION restaurant. In July 2021, Sky Boutique Spa opened in the same historic building next door to the inn, creating an upscale enclave at the gateway to downtown Wolfeboro.

“Our goal was to create a world-class experience but in an authentic, unpretentious, intimate way,” explains Peter Cooke. “Guests tell us that they love staying at Pickering House because they feel at home. They love luxury, but they also appreciate the welcoming comfort they get when they come here.”

The Cookes say that the Travel + Leisure honor came as a complete surprise. “We are honored that our guests took the time to share their experiences and that we are ranked among the most exceptional properties in the world,” says Patty Cooke. “Even before we lived here, we felt Wolfeboro was an exceptional place. We are thrilled to have brought a new level of hospitality to the town to help visitors fall in love with this special area. A guest told us that we had created a ‘new’ New Hampshire and we love that phrase. To us, it means a celebration of the outdoors and relaxed comforts, without sacrificing sophistication.”

The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 is featured in the October issue of Travel + Leisure, on newsstands Sept. 17.

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