City Guide: Quick Getaways

Flamingo Estate Wylde Grey City Guide: Quick Getaways


These are all within driveable striking distance of major cities, with the hope that you can speed through check-in as quickly as possible.

East Coast

Castle Hill Inn
NEWPORT / Rams Head

Castle Hill Inn

590 Ocean Ave., Rams Head
 

While we’re big fans of this hotel all-year-long, it’s pretty great when the weather warms up. Grace Kelly’s favorite private beach is on premises—along with a 19th-century lighthouse—and you can rent the hotel’s yacht to picnic on a nearby island. Whether you opt for a room perched on the hill (beware, the walls in the hotel-proper are thin), a chalet by the harbor, or a beachside cottage, they are all beautifully appointed (and individually decorated) with stunning water views. Perks vary from room to cottage, including gas fireplaces, under-floor heating, whirlpool tubs, and private beaches/harbors. The two hotel restaurants—which source ingredients from on-property—are some of Newport’s best.

The White Hart Inn
LITCHFIELD COUNTY / Salisbury

The White Hart Inn

77 Undermountain Rd., Salisbury
 

The recently re-opened, historic White Hart Inn, located right on the town green in Salisbury, Connecticut, is poised to retake its place as a central fixture of town life after closing for five years. For one, the historic Tap Room will once again serve local spirits, as it has for literally two centuries. Plus, the new restaurant will lean heavily on local produce from nearby farms and growers. While there’s plenty to see and do in the Connecticut countryside, the Inn itself is set up to provide a cozy, luxurious getaway should you choose to spend most of your time reading in your room. If you want to get out, you can walk to the Appalachian Trail straight from the inn, so bring your hiking boots. The beautiful Bash Bish falls are also within striking distance: You’ll be in Hudson River School country, so breathtaking views are a given. There’s always a lot of fun, family friendly stuff going on in the nearby villages (hay rides, animal judging, iron skillet tosses), and great antiquing and shopping. Privet House, owned by Richard Lambertson (of Lambertson Truex), is particularly wonderful. Meanwhile, British Chef Annie Wayte of Nicole’s and Café 202 fame is taking the helm at the restaurant. For this new venture, she’s logged some serious time in the vicinity building a network of local farms where she’ll be sourcing all her ingredients.

The White Hart Inn
LITCHFIELD COUNTY / Salisbury

The White Hart Inn

77 Undermountain Rd., Salisbury

The recently re-opened, historic White Hart Inn, located right on the town green in Salisbury, Connecticut, is poised to retake its place as a central fixture of town life after closing for five years. For one, the historic Tap Room will once again serve local spirits, as it has for literally two centuries. Plus, the new restaurant will lean heavily on local produce from nearby farms and growers. While there’s plenty to see and do in the Connecticut countryside, the Inn itself is set up to provide a cozy, luxurious getaway should you choose to spend most of your time reading in your room. If you want to get out, you can walk to the Appalachian Trail straight from the inn, so bring your hiking boots. The beautiful Bash Bish falls are also within striking distance: You’ll be in Hudson River School country, so breathtaking views are a given. There’s always a lot of fun, family friendly stuff going on in the nearby villages (hay rides, animal judging, iron skillet tosses), and great antiquing and shopping. Privet House, owned by Richard Lambertson (of Lambertson Truex), is particularly wonderful. Meanwhile, British Chef Annie Wayte of Nicole’s and Café 202 fame is taking the helm at the restaurant. For this new venture, she’s logged some serious time in the vicinity building a network of local farms where she’ll be sourcing all her ingredients

Bedford Post Inn
NEW YORK / Bedford

Bedford Post Inn

954 Old Post Rd., Bedford

For hard-earned weekend getaways, hop on MetroNorth to find yourself in the midst of this historic properties’ rustic grounds in little more than an hour. The eight, surprisingly spacious rooms (many have exposed beams, reclaimed wood furniture, and walk-in showers) are outfitted with all the modern trappings of a luxury hotel—Frette sheets, claw-foot tubs, and a room service menu—without sacrificing the inn’s understated aesthetic. Pry yourself from the comfort of your plush bed and working fireplace to take advantage of on-site yoga and other wellness-centric happening (guests can enjoy complimentary classes). For casual snacking and relaxed farm-to-table meals, The Barn serves up a seasonal menu in a no-frills, homey atmosphere. For a more inventive dining experience, head to Altamarea Group’s Italian eatery Campagna, where you can feast on a la carte, hand-made pasta dishes or a thoughtful prix fix menu designed by award-winning chef and restauranteur, Michael White.

The Mayflower Inn & Spa
LITCHFIELD COUNTY / Washington

The Mayflower Inn & Spa

118 Woodbury Rd., Washington

Formerly known as the Mayflower Inn & Spa (Grace Hotels acquired it last year), this is one of those resorts that is a consistent siren song for worn-out New Yorkers.

Twin Farms
VERMONT / Barnard

Twin Farms

452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard

Originally a country home for journalist Dorothy Thompson and her novelist husband Sinclair Lewis, this adults-only, all-inclusive luxury hotel still has the feel of a bohemian writer’s retreat.

The Ritz-Carlton Naples
FLORIDA / Naples

The Ritz-Carlton Naples

280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
FLORIDA KEYS / Little Torch Key

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

28500 Overseas Hwy., Little Torch Key

Lush tropical plants tower over the thatched-roof bungalows on the private white sand beach of this luxury resort on Little Palm Island. No phones, TVs, or kids under sixteen make it a romantic, secluded retreat with not much else to do besides lounge or learn how to deep sea fish or sky dive. The resort’s SpaTerre offers delicious sounding treatments inspired by the area, like coconut sugar scrubs and margarita-infused pedicures. They also offer massages on the beach for optimal relaxation.

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge
FLORIDA / Amelia Island

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge

98 S. Fletcher Ave., Amelia Island

This place oozes Nantucket-style, shingle-lodge B&B charm—only you’re on the beach in Florida. Small antique-y rooms feature oversized tubs and flannel blankets while rocking chairs are set up in front of a brick–lined fireplace in the reception room where you can take your evening drink and hors d’oeuvres during social hour. The ‘innkeepers’ make you feel like you’re a guest in their house, and we hear the homestyle breakfast is a real highlight

Blantyre
THE BERKSHIRES / Lenox

Blantyre

16 Blantyre Rd., Lenox
 

West Coast

Belmond El Encanto
SANTA BARBARA / Mission Canyon

Belmond El Encanto

800 Alvarado Pl., Mission Canyon

Perched on an olive tree-studded hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean, the Belmond El Encanto is more than deserving of its Forbes five-star accolades. The ninety-two room hotel (consisting of Craftsman-style suites and freestanding bungalows) re-opened in 2013 after undergoing a comprehensive renovation, which added a pool and tricked-out fitness studio to the grounds. Thankfully, the historic property’s architectural integrity and immaculate gardens were kept intact. Complete relaxation is the name of the game at the full-service spa where guests and day-trippers are pampered by way of water therapies, steam rooms, and local ingredient-inspired, seasonal treatments. When planning his California-coastal menu, Executive Chef Leo Andres Ayala takes full advantage of Santa Barbara’s bountiful produce offerings—including herbs from Ayala’s on-site herb garden and cheese made from the milk of the Belmond’s resident dairy cow, Ellie.

Villa Mara
CALIFORNIA / Carmel Valley

Villa Mara

2408 Bay View Ave., Carmel-by-the-Sea

Staying at Villa Mara feels like staying in a luxurious private home—one that’s beautifully designed, adults-only, and 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean. There’s really no better place to land in Carmel, whether you’re there for a week or for a weekend: The location is notable for its proximity to the beach, yes, but also for being just far enough from the part of town that can feel crowded with tourists. In the mornings, the guests-only hotel bar serves juice shots, pastries, quiches, and excellent coffee. In the evening, it’s a relaxing place to gather for a cocktail or a glass of wine. Secluded firepits and cypress trees give the property magical—and elite—coastal grandmother vibes

Korakia Pensione
PALM SPRINGS / Historic Tennis Club

Korakia Pensione

257 S. Patencio Rd., Historic Tennis Club
 

It feels more like Tangier than Palm Springs at this family-run pensione that channels the rustic romance of Morocco and the Mediterranean. Villas are filled with hand-carved wooden furniture, with lemon and olive trees right outside your window. Fountains, fire pits, and colored glass lanterns decorate the outdoor courtyard where group yoga and evening screenings of old movies happen (there are no TVs or phones otherwise). Ask for the Moroccan villa.

Europe

Adare Manor
IRELAND / County Limerick

Adare Manor

Adare, County Limerick
 

Having recently undergone extensive renovation, this 1840s neo-Gothic hideaway—just thirty minutes from Shannon airport—sits on 842 acres of manicured gardens, lush rolling fields, and medieval ruins; it’s reason alone to travel to Ireland’s verdant southwest (although the dozens of nearby historical sites, lively pubs, and quaint villages don’t hurt, either). Each individually designed room is palatial in size, decked out with authentic mahogany Georgian-era furniture, sumptuous fabrics, nineteenth-century artwork, and a roaring open fireplace to ward off the inevitable Irish chill. The generously sized marble bathrooms are finished in vintage wallpaper and include deep stand-alone tubs, many of which overlook the grounds. As far as dining goes, there are two solid options on the property, but the Oak Room is hard to beat. The elegantly appointed Drawing Room is the perfect spot for morning coffee or a pre-dinner aperitif by the fire, while the subterranean David Collins–designed, vault-ceilinged Tack Room is the spot for wine and whiskey connoisseurs (Guinness lovers, too) to retreat for a few drinks. Activity-wise, choose from golfing, fishing, archery, and horseback riding, alongside dozens of country hikes and cycle trails. The spa (stocked with 111SKIN) is a tranquil space to indulge and unwind after a long day, accompanied by the comforting scent of autumnal fig that pervades the entire property

Ballyfin
IRELAND / County Laois

Ballyfin

Ballyfin, County Laois
 

A mere hour from Dublin, this lavish, lovingly-restored, Regency mansion has a pretty insane land-to-guest ratio. While there are only twenty bedrooms (beautifully appointed with four-poster beds, antique furniture, and open fireplaces), they sit on a lush, 600-acre estate replete with rolling fields, lakes, and plenty of Irish wildlife. This will matter to you if you ever opt to leave the house, which is inarguably epic—it boasts an incredible art collection, a well-stocked library, and billiards room, along with one of Ireland’s best organic farm-to-table restaurants with much of the food grown on the estate itself (guests are encouraged to collect their own breakfast eggs). Booze enthusiasts can avail of wine and rare Irish whiskey tastings (also known as “uisce beatha†or the water of life in Gaelic) hosted by the in-house sommelier in the cozy Cellar Bar. Should you want to stretch your legs, there are acres of immaculate gardens, rolling fields, lake fishing, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery, falconry, and easy access to golf, not to mention an indoor pool and spa (try the healing Irish seaweed bath, a centuries-old traditional skin remedy). The nearby Slieve Bloom mountains are covered in trails and slopes ideal for hiking, biking, or just soaking up the region’s natural beauty.

Ballymaloe House
IRELAND / County Cork

Ballymaloe House

Midleton, County Cork
 

Spread across 400 bright green, undulating acres of farmland, this country house in rural East Cork looks straight out of central casting. Owned and run by the Allens–the reigning first family of the Irish food scene—Ballymaloe House itself is matriarch Myrtle Allen’s former family-residence-turned-hotel. Staying here feels like coming home, the accommodations are supremely comfortable with Irish linen sheets, vintage wallpaper, and fresh vases of wildflowers delivered daily. The on-site restaurant features a menu inspired by the nearby world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School, and showcases the best of Irish produce, most of it sourced within a few miles of the house itself. The full Irish breakfast, including warm scones fresh from the oven and traditional delicacies like black pudding and kippers, washed down with several cups of strong tea, is a quintessential Irish experience not to be missed. We recommend booking in during the annual summer Litfest, a week-long food and drinks literary festival with industry speakers that have included Madhur Jaffrey, Alice Waters, and Francis Mallmann among others. Cooking enthusiasts will relish booking into the cookery school for workshops on everything from bread-baking to Asian cuisine, with all the ingredients foraged by the students themselves from the immaculate walled gardens and fields that surround the school and house.

Asia

HOSHINOYA Kyoto
KYOTO / Nishikyo-ku

HOSHINOYA Kyoto

11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku

This stunning ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in the west of Kyoto is for those looking to unplug and relax. You get to the resort by boat, and the ride over on the river between the mountains is just breathtaking. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a welcome song of chimes and led to one of the luxury ryokan style rooms overlooking the water. In the morning, have a Japanese breakfast in the room before joining in on breathing exercises. This is a really unique place

Amanemu
MIE / Shima

Amanemu

2165 Hazako Hamajimacho, Shima
 

Located in Ise-Shima National Park, just above Ago Bay (home to some of the most unreal pearls in the world), a visit to Amanemu feels a little bit otherworldly. The property, just three hours by train from Kyoto, is dotted with hot springs, and its minimalist rooms are done up in the ryokan-style, include soaking tubs (with separate faucets for cold, hot, or mineral hot springs water). The surroundings are just as tranquil—think, wood, bamboo, and stone structures marked by low-hanging tiled roofs and sliding screens, plus beautiful hand-carved traditional motifs. There’s an outdoor infinity pool, which you’ll be hard pressed to actually get out of (it’s pretty incredible for stargazing), and a 22,000-square foot spa with outdoor onsen baths, a yoga studio, and four treatment rooms tucked into the forest. Meals are taken at at the aptly named Restaurant, where a team of 12 chefs trained by the Masanobu Inaba of Conrad Tokyo spotlight the region’s izakaya-style seafood offerings and bento boxes of sashimi and tempura come lunch.