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The Lakeside Blog springs forth from the creative mind of Michelle Bruck at the Interlaken Inn, Lakeville, CT. She writes about events, great places to visit and cool things to do – in and around Lakeville & Salisbury Connecticut.

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You heard it here first!

On Sunday, October 30th, the Interlaken's "Dashing through the Snow" package will be featured in the Travel and Leisure section of the New York Times.  Yes, it is hard to believe I am already writing the "s" word - SNOW!  What pretty little particles it can be, coming out of the sky, especially if you are in a sleigh taking a ride through the beautiful Litchfield Hills with your sweetheart.  Even though snow flurries are in the forecast for the next couple of days here in New England, it will hopefully be at least another 6 weeks before it accumulates to form the perfect amount for the perfect sleigh ride!  But you can book the package now for a future date - either on-line or by giving us a call!  For more info about the package, click here.  It is one of our most popular packages over the winter months - I am sure that doesn't surprise you - I mean, a "sleigh ride"?  How unique and wonderful is that?!  Sounds like the perfect holiday gift!


The verdict is in!

So if you have been reading my blog (thank you very much, by the way!) then you will know that we recently finished the two prototype bathrooms up on the second floor in our Main Building.  One was a "plum" theme and the other was a "spice" theme.   Both have mosaic tiles, granite-topped vanities, shower stalls - both are wonderful new looks!  Both themes have been well liked by our Guests, but the one that was chosen for the rest of the second floor bathrooms is.....   (drumroll please....)

Interlaken Lakeville CT renovation

The "SPICE" theme!  This renovation will begin this winter.  If you want to get a preview and are staying with us soon, request either Room 139 (spice theme, two queen beds) or Room 140 (plum theme, one king bed) - let me know what you think!


Woodside updates!

So if you take this....

Interlaken pet friendly Lakeville CT

and add it to that....

Interlaken pet friendly Lakeville CT

you will have the new Woodside pet friendly building look set for 2012!  We will begin this renovation project next month - the first being the new bathrooms and then changing the carpet in each room over to this laminate flooring. 

If you have stayed in the Woodside building before then you know the current size of the bathrooms, so the new one will be much larger with a glass enclosed shower unit.  The prototype bathroom from above has been well received by all of our pet friendly travelers!  This bathroom change allows us to also add a back door leading to the back lawn area, where in the Spring we'll have a nice "doggy park" so Guests can relax outdoors and perhaps meet other pets and their owners.    As for the laminate flooring, that doesn't need much explanation as you can't beat the clean and cool look it offers. 

The Woodside building goes under construction in November but no worries pet travelers!  We are making another area on property pet friendly so that we can still accommodate you and your pup! 



This is the number of bars of soap created from the 66 pounds of soap that we collected from our Guestrooms and sent along to the Clean the World Foundation.  That is 3,254 bars of soap that will be distributed to children and families worldwide.  We have been a part of Clean the World since 2009 and are one of only nine hotels in Connecticut, and the only in the Northwest Corner to be a part of this wonderful program.

If you are not familiar with Clean the World foundation, here is some more information about this organization.


Clean the World Foundation, Inc. was founded in February 2009 by two individuals, Shawn Seipler and Paul Till.  Clean the World is a Florida not-for-profit corporation under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 


Clean the World has a two-part mission:

  • Collect and recycle soap and shampoo products discarded by the hospitality industry every day.
  • Through the distribution of these and other donated hygiene products to impoverished people, prevent the millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every day.


Clean the World implements its mission through

  • Collecting, sorting and processing discarded soap, shampoo conditioner and lotion product donations from participating hospitality partners
  • Collection of donated hygiene products from manufacturers
  • Recycling these product donations at its facilities in Orlando, Florida
  • Delivering these recycled product donations to domestic homeless shelters and impoverished countries suffering from high death rates due to acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease. 

Since its inception, Clean the World has been steadily increasing its services and operations to accommodate rapidly expanding community needs, awareness and donations, and has accepted in-kind donations of more than $1,000,000.  In the process, Clean the World has put over 4 million soap bars and 200,000 pounds of shampoo and conditioner back into human use, simultaneously eliminating over 380 tons of waste. 


Clean the World is supported by the generous contributions of individuals and organizations worldwide, through Hospitality Recycling Program fees, in-kind donations, and fundraising events. Over 95% of our cash donations and program fees go directly into program operations.


As of February 2010, Clean the World had 17 total employees.  Clean the World’s volunteers have donated over 4,800 cumulative hours of service to our cause, the majority of them enhancing employment marketability through on-the-job experience and extensive training. 

Recycling operations, how do we do it?

  • Clean the World works with our Hospitality Partners to train their staff on the soap and shampoo recycling process. Bins are provided for housekeeping staff to deposit collected soap and shampoo bottles. Bins are picked up weekly by Clean the World Staff. Online training videos, and housekeeping instruction posters are also provided.
  • Clean the World staff transports the collected amenities to the Clean the World Recycling Center. Two Recycling Methods are used: Re-batching and Sterilization

Recycling and Safety Mission Statement

Clean the World is committed to maintaining an environmentally and hygienically safe recycling process. As the world’s first, high volume soap recycler, Clean the World ensures that all bars of soap recycled and distributed domestically and abroad are completely safe and will not harm the end user due to disease or pathogens that can be transmitted if proper re-purposing does not exist.

About Re-batching

Re-batching applied to 10% moderately to heavily used bars. Soap is cooked to remove all impurities. Soap is re-formed into 2-ounce bars.

About Soap Sanitization

Our proprietary and patent pending sanitization process is applied to 90% of the slightly used bars. The soap soaks in a sanitizing solution and is then treated with a steam/pressure combination.  Clean the World then tests the soap’s pH level and cools it for packaging.

Is it Effective?

To test the recycling process, Clean the World hired Tri-Tech Laboratories – a Florida State certified testing facility. TriTech provided infected soap that was run through the standard Clean the World recycling process. The treated soap was tested for sterilization levels. The result was the complete elimination of all the pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aerogenes, Salmonella typhymurium, Staphylococcus aureus.


The Perfect Getaway

So I had stopped watching the weather forecast several days ago as I just didn't want to know when this absolutely amazing weather we have been having was going to come to a close. It has been a wonderful stretch of sun, and warmth, and blue sky - just perfect to truly enjoy the fall season.  I ventured out late afternoon yesterday to "walk the property" - which actually meant a walk down to the lake to see if colors had popped since I was there just 3 days ago. 

I couldn't help but take a picture of this on my way over!

Interlaken October Fall Foliage CT

It was the perfect day for a stroll to the lake...

Interlaken October Fall Foliage - Lakefront CT

So I arrive and see this!  WOW - the color did pop in just a couple of days.

Interlaken Fall Foliage Lakefront CT 

I then spot a couple relaxing and just had to wander over to check on them....

Interlaken CT The perfect getaway

So this was the highlight of my walk, meeting this nice couple from Darien, CT.  And this is what you do after you just road the Harlem Valley Rail Trail on your bike for 21.4 miles!  R E L A X !  They said their ride was a scenic one, and they didn't even realize they had gone the whole way down to Wassaic until they were practically there.  What a day to be out on a bike!  I then had to ask them what other fun things they did while here on their three day package and it seems like they did all the things I keep blogging about!  YES, they did go to the local wineries, including the Cascade Mountain Winery in Amenia, NY.  YES, they did visit Ellsworth Farm in Sharon, CT and had some cider and their yummy cider donuts.  YES, they did dine in Morgan's on Sunday - one had the Seared Georgia White Shrimp with parsley pesto, slow roasted tomatoes and thin spaghetti, while the other enjoyed the Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with parsnip puree and fennel-potato-wild mushroom hash dish.  YES, they did take a canoe ride around this gorgeous lake.  NOT YET, though, was the answer for "did you go hiking?"- but it was a possibility for the morning.  What a relaxing vacation they were having - no specific plans, no time restraints - just doing whatever they felt like doing, and enjoying the great outdoors.  Sounds perfect to me.  Sound perfect to you?  There is still plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful season exploring this part of Northwest Connecticut.  Give us a call or book on-line!


Just wait...

until I am covered in color!

Interlaken Lake Wononscopomuc CT wedding site

Lake Wononscopomuc in Lakeville, CT. 

Get married next to me.  Take a canoe ride on me.  Sit by me and read a book.  Picnic next to me.  Come visit me!

Take advantage of our Fall Foliage package this coming weekend - you will fall in love with this area! 


Picture perfect

It is an absolutely gorgeous day in New England.  Perfect.  Perfect to visit the farm markets, go for a hike, explore a vineyard, take a bike ride, go for a walk, get married (Congratulations Eric and Donna!), take a canoe ride, play tennis, go apple picking, buy some mums, go for a drive and admire the colorful mountains, explore a corn maze, the list of fall fun goes on and on.... the winter will be long and cold so now is the time to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather!

The property is looking good! 

Interlaken New England Foliage packages

Look at that sky - AMAZING!

Interlaken Foliage New England packages

Interlaken New England Foliage packages

Now this Guest has the right idea!  I didn't list "take a nap in the sunshine" as something to do, but how lovely does that look?

Interlaken New England Foliage

Getting married and thinking of a fall wedding?  Here is what you can expect! 

Interlaken New England Fall Wedding

Cocktail hour is usually held right here, weather permitting of course (and it is certainly permitting this weekend)

Interlaken New England Foliage packages

One last look before I head inside...

Interlaken Wedding Courtyard CT Foliage

So think about coming up to New England for a visit!  We've even created a Fall Foliage Package to make it easier for you - we include some assistance with your gas to get here and include some assistance to taste the harvest of fall in our dining room.  Come and join us - we'd love to have you share in this wonderful season with us!


A Culinary Challenge

If you are looking to take your key employees somewhere for them to "get to know each better", build better communication and have some fun along the way, Interlaken is the perfect place to accomplish just that!

A couple of weeks ago, a Senior Management Team from an electronics company in Connecticut came to us for this very reason, and walked away a "stronger, more cohesive unit".  In addition to their dinner, a bonfire and a Radical Race, the team also took part in the Culinary Challenge.  Given it involves food, you know I was there snapping some photos!  

Interlaken Culinary Challenge - team building CT

The Culinary Challenge is very similar to the many reality shows on TV but rather than just watching those shows you and your group are actually the ones performing in it!  Your group is divided into teams, you are given directions and the "secret" ingredient from our Executive Chef and then the time pressure begins!  The group must work together making a dish using that secret ingredient and our pantry items - the items are judged on presentation, use of ingredients, taste, timeliness, among other things. 

 Interlaken Culinary Challenge CT - team building

Interlaken Culinary Challenge - Team building CT

For this group, the secret ingredients were Maine Diver Scallops and Sunchokes (the root of a sunflower - ever had one, let alone heard of one?)  A dessert also needed to be prepared, and looking at these photos again I am wondering why I was not a judge!  Each team was judged accordingly and a winner was chosen!

Interlaken Culinary Challenge - team building CT

The planner that arranged this trip for this group made some wonderful comments about their team building time with us:

The food was outstanding! I work in Human Resources so I am aware that no matter what you do you cannot please everyone. This is not the case at Interlaken. You can please everyone with the food! There was nothing but rave reviews after each meal.

The bon fire was key to our team building experience. This was such a well done…event. It is not often that you can consider a bon fire an event but at Interlaken it really is. When I walked out of the front door and saw the torches leading the way to the fire my jaw dropped. That is just another finishing touch that I will think of as the Interlaken touch going forward. Our managers from Asia who were attending had Smores for the first time and they loved it.

The team building events were hilarious. The ping pong ball challenge was by far the hardest and most embarrassing but very fun. The culinary challenge was a great time too. It’s not too many Executive Chefs who will take time out of their schedule to play games with guests. This was great.

The entire trip was a success.  Thank you so much for helping our team become a stronger more cohesive unit. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We have so many options to build your team into a better unit - contact Kristy Barto at kristy@interlakenninn.com for more details! 


Seven day forecast

Seven days of this!

Interlaken Autumn Sky

Sunshine! Puffy clouds! Blue Sky! Warm days, cool nights! 

The forecast for this coming Columbus Day weekend could not be better!  If you haven't made plans to take advantage of this long weekend, now is the time!  We still have rooms available for Friday night and Sunday night - and if you wanted to stay a full three nights (Fri/Sat/Sun) our lakeside cottage is still available.  (Now wouldn't that accommodation make for the perfect little getaway weekend?!)

  Imagine taking a hike on the Appalachian Trail and viewing the wonderful colors the season is starting to give us.  Or rent a bike and take a ride through the golden-colored trees over at the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  Pick some apples over at Ellsworth Farm in Sharon, CT.  Take your kids to the 56th annual Fall Festival over in Salisbury, CT and vote for your favorite Scarecrow.  Visit our private lakefront and take an evening canoe ride around the perimeter, then join us in Morgan's for dinner while you listen to the sounds of Scott Heth.  

The weekend is going to be perfect - don't let it pass you by!


No longer a mess!

Remember a few weeks ago I posted the "What a mess" blog, along with this photograph?

Interlaken Inn Renovation 2011 CT

Well, the mess is cleaned up and it's now time to introduce our new "plum" themed prototype bathroom!

Interlaken Renovation 2011 CT


The other one is just as nice - rich "spice" colors complete that look!  Please ask to stay in Room 140 (King bed) if you want to see the plum option, or Room 139 (two Queen beds) if you want to check out the spice bathroom. 

One look will be chosen and the rest of our second floor main building will be renovated this winter.  This isn't the only renovation happening, check back often for more updates!

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