Jackson NH Hotel Innkeepers
GARY & SANDRA PLOURDE
When we grabbed the reins of the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa in 2010, it was everything we expected it to be, and much more. We have had a tremendous welcome from our hotel guests and have been warmly embraced by the local community. It is safe to say that we have had our share of challenges, but we approach them with a can-do attitude and genuinely do whatever we can to ensure that our guests are happy and really enjoy their stay. We have been blessed with their support, good wishes and meaningful feedback. We thank you all! We thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves to all who are fond of the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa, but whom we have yet to meet. We are the Plourde family: Gary, Sandra, Sofia, Quintin and Golden Retriever Cookie.
How We Got Here
Gary was born and brought up in Maine, served in the U.S. Army, studied at the University of Maine, University of Salzburg, Austria and the London School of Economics. After graduating, he embarked on an international career in the hotel industry, living in London for many years, then Croatia and South Africa, working for major hotel chains like, Forte Hotels, Le Meridien, Marriott and Starwood.
Sandra was born and brought up in Kiel, in northern Germany, studied hotel management and began her career working at the St. James Court, a five star hotel in London. She later worked for a leading European Tour Operator, Airline Representation firm and Destination Marketing company.
We met in London, where we both lived for many years and knew each other for 7 years before getting engaged. Sofia was born in London, and soon after we moved to Zagreb, Croatia where Quintin was born. Three years later we packed up again moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Gary worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts representing the Westin, Sheraton and Luxury Collection brand of Starwood in SA. Sandra concentrated on giving our children a head start…and lots of ice cream!
As a team, we have many years of experiences working in the travel and tourism industry, namely sales, marketing and operations of hotels; tour operating and destination marketing. We thought we would like to use our experiences for our own business. For a number of years we had been looking for an inn to call our own, and a place to settle down with the children. What we wanted was idealistic. It had to be special…and we found it. Or rather, it found us!
In our search, we were contacted by Earl Wason, a broker representing George and Mike Tolley, owners of the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. “Is this for real – it’s too perfect to be true”, said Sandra. “We could never afford it”, said Gary. But, we were idealistic, and so were the Tolleys, about finding a ‘family’ to take over the Jackson NH Hotel and bring back the warmth and charm to the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. Over time, agreements were made, papers signed, and we made our move to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
So, here we are. We arrived in the middle of ‘high-season’, luckily with a house full of guests. We introduced ourselves to the community and to many quests. We have learned more about the area, started our kids in the little Grammar School down the road, jumped into the business of keeping an inn. Yes, this includes things like unplugging toilets late at night, as well as sharing memorable moments in the inn, poolside and around the fire with a variety of newlyweds, romantic couples, groups of friends and families – all making memories at the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. Fortunately, there were many great experiences and we have had a super time and a great induction to innkeeping.
An estate like the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa requires a lot of TLC, and there was much work to do. We set forth to make a dent in the long list of projects and improvement, among them new roofs and carpets, improved heating and air conditioning, some new furniture, painting, grounds keeping and much more. We are fortunate to have a great team, so we are making good progress with the work, as well as looking after our guests. We have had many good comments posted on sites like Trip Advisor and, again, we want to thank all of you who have shared your feedback.
Ideally, we would like to share with you all our plans for the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. These have taken us many months of long hours and research to formulate. But, we will spare you! However, you may like to know our vision for the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. In the future, we will update you on the current initiatives, programs and packages we will offer, and on any improvements we have made.
The Christmas Farm Inn & Spa is a deluxe lifestyle leisure and event resort dedicated to providing a quintessential New England experience. We offer first-class accommodation, authentic country cuisine and exceptional caring service. In the Spirit of Christmas, we celebrate the simple pleasures of life every day: friends, family, fun, love, adventure and wellbeing.
The Christmas Farm Inn & Spa is a place where people want to be!
- We are dedicated to providing enriching, authentic experiences; traditional comfort; relaxed and elegant surroundings; healthy country cuisine; and genuinely warm and friendly service.
- We are proud to be a center for adventure, exploration, personal discovery, inspiration and wellness in a spectacular, natural and beautiful setting.
- We are engaged in our community; support our local economy and enterprise; celebrate our local arts and culture; and share the charms and treasures of our destination.
- We are guardians and care takers of our environment and encourage others to enjoy the wonders of our destination in a fun and responsible way.
Thanks for taking an interest in our lives and our plans for the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa. We look forward to welcoming you in the future and sharing the memories that you will create here.
Gary, Sandra, Sofia, and Quintin Plourde