To say you’ll sleep like a king at the Royal Inn (19 Nathaniel St., Torrington, 860/489-4400, www.torringtonroyalinn.com , $65–150) is probably pushing it, but you will find the cheapest accommodations for miles around, with rooms under $100 even during summer weekends. Each room includes a microwave and refrigerator to help stretch your restaurant dollar a little further as well.
There are 60 guest rooms and two suites at
Yankee Pedlar Inn (93 Main St., Torrington, 860/489-9226, www.pedlarinn.com , $80–130), each with hand-stenciled walls and canopy beds, plus plenty of modern amenities like Internet and fax services available upon request. The inn’s restaurant serves traditional steaks and seafood in a handsome room complete with rough-hewn beams and a frequently lit fireplace.
The colonial-style Litchfield Inn (432 Bantam Rd./US 202, Litchfield, 860/567-4503, www.litchfieldinnct.com , $150) is actually a recently built hotel with modern amenities (and a few older-style ones, like the fireplaces found in some of the rooms). The on-site restaurant, Bistro East, serves quite good modern American fare.
The thirteen brightly decorated guest rooms at
Cornwall Inn (270 Kent Rd., Cornwall, 860/672-6884, www.cornwallinn.com , $170–240) are filled with cozy bathrobes, cable TVs, wireless Internet, and feather beds. The meticulously kept gardens around the inn include an outdoor pool, and the restaurant features fireside meals in a tastefully restored dining room.
The collection of cottages that has sprouted over Winvian (155 Alain White Rd., Morris, 860/567-9600, www.winvian.com , $750–2,300) resort is like a window into the id: a treehouse that sways slightly in the breezes; a beaver lodge with birch trees for bed posts; a 7.5-ton Sikorsky helicopter dropped into the middle of a living room. Each was designed by a different architect who was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design without restriction. As whimsical as the cottages are, however, they are just the beginning of what makes this resort unique in New England.
At dinner, semi-private tables in a warren of rooms in the main house receive a procession of sea urchin, foie gras, rack of lamb, and other imaginings of chef Chris Eddy, who was trained by Alain Ducasse and Daneil Boulud. A 5,000-square foot spa pampers guests with four-handed massages and Eve Lom facials — a multi-step deep-cleansing ordeal offered to American travelers only here and at one other spa in New York. And the setting in the Litchfield Hills  fronting 4,000 acres of conservation land is nothing short of magical. The experience isn’t cheap (cottages range from $1,250 “a la carte” to $2,300 per night — which includes food and booze), but it’s not one you are likely to have anywhere else.