While you may never see the manager and especially the owner behind the scenes at a hotel or resort, the people who make all the decisions about your favorite distinctive inns can make or break that stay. One of the unique and wonderful aspects of visiting an inn or B&B is that the owner is on site and can be an integral part of a perfect New England getaway. While innkeepers are often behind-the-scenes, getting to know their stories makes your time at their inns just a little more fun. Thus, we’ll bring to you a series of stories over the next few weeks highlighting interesting tidbits about the Distinctive Inns of New England's innkeepers, and what they love about being your hosts.
Meet Judy and Phil Hueber of Chesterfield Inn
Raised on a dairy farm in Hardwick, MA, Judy attended and graduated from Smith College with a degree in English. Hailing from Syracuse, New York, Phil attended Princeton University and earned an undergraduate degree in Politics and Economics, then later added a graduate degree in Accounting from New York University. Judy and Phil met at the New England Conservatory when they were both 16 years old while playing the trombone in a state-wide high school wind ensemble. “I thought he was the cutest guy I’d ever seen with his long blonde hair down to his shoulders,” confided Judy recently. “He thought that I was such a good trombone player that he was afraid to talk to me,” she added. They married and pursued very different careers before getting into innkeeping. Judy was in customer service at TIAA-CREF and Mutual of New York. Phil was in sales and marketing at Majers Corp in Stamford, CT.
Both Judy and Phil sought out and stayed at inns ever since they were in their twenties. They both loved to entertain, and realized that after two home renovations where they completed most of the work themselves, they had what it took to be innkeepers. Phil and Judy attended an innkeeping seminar with innkeeping experts/consultants Bill Oates and Heide Bredfeldt. Then they began traveling around New England looking for the perfect inn to buy. Bill Oates introduced them to the Chesterfield Inn, just 2.5 hours from Boston, and they purchased it in 1987.
They had two sons, now aged 21 and 23. Both were raised at the Chesterfield Inn and have been seen from time to time completing various snow shoveling and other maintenance jobs.
When asked what they like best about innkeeping Judy will speak for the two of them explaining it’s the people; both guests and staff, and the fact that every day is different. Judy has many favorite stories about what makes innkeeping so special, which we’ll share with DINE travelers. Like the stories shared by Claudio and Roberta in the MEET THE INNKEEPERS story about the Camden Maine Stay, many of Judy’s favorite moments involve kindness shown to guests.
“One of our happiest days was when we brought our first born son home from the hospital, with all of the staff lined up at the front door so that they could see the newest member of the Chesterfield Inn family. Later that night, Phil took the baby into the dining room and introduced him to everyone having dinner. What a proud papa!”
“We had a long time regular guest, an older lady who traveled on her own. She would take up conversation with whoever would sit near her in the dining room. We had to be careful where we seated her because some of our guests were there to be together and didn’t want to have to talk to anyone else. Anyway, she was had very liberal views and loved to talk about politics and religion; she sometimes made outrageous statements just to get people involved in the conversation. One night, she was seated near some local friends of ours, they started talking and she ended up joining them for dinner and paying their bill.”
For more wonderful stories shared by Judy about heartwarming times at the inn, visit the Distinctive Inns of New England blog.
Do Distinctive Inns of New England innkeepers dine at the inn? Not always, but when they do, Judy says their favorite options at the Chesterfield Inn are the Rack of Lamb with Dijon Walnut Crust and Merlot Demi-Glace topped off with Maple Crème Brulee.
When You Go
Chesterfield Inn, 20 Cross Road, West Chesterfield, NH 03466, 800-365-5515, 603-256-3211, www.chesterfieldinn.com.
Located just five miles from the Vermont border and Brattleboro, VT, the Chesterfield Inn is the perfect option for your romantic getaway, couples culinary caper or some plain old R&R.
Just two and a half hours from Boston, click here for directions.