77 Undermountain Rd, Salisbury, CT | 860.435.0030
Reopening just in time for Labor Day weekend, the 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 your time reading in your room.
The Rooms:The entire inn has been revamped, with 15 sumptuously decorated rooms by Matthew Patrick Smyth.
What to pack: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.
The Food: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.
Extra Credit:In nearby Goshen, Labor Day Weekend coincides with the old-fashioned town fair with activities like animal judging and an iron skillet toss. Later in the fall there are plenty of pumpkin patches and hay rides in the area, plus great antiquing and shopping. Privet House, owned by Richard Lambertson (of Lambertson Truex), is particularly wonderful.
452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard, VT | 802.234.9999
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. Woodsy, outdoor activities including cycling, canoeing, and picnicking (skiing in the winter) are all on offer.
Travel Time:A 1 hour flight from New York to Burlington, plus an hour’s drive to the hotel, or a 2.5 hour drive from Boston.
The Rooms:You’ll find 10 individually themed cottages dotted throughout the Vermont forest, which means that you might end up in a fisherman’s lodge, or a Moroccan respite with mosaics and a tented ceiling.
The Food:The chef prepares a fresh, set menu daily, and consults you on your preferences before you arrive. The customized meals and wine pairings are part of the all-inclusive package. You can eat at the Main House, or in your cottage.
Extra Credit:Twin Farms’ art collection, which includes pieces from David Hockney and Jasper Johns, is outstanding.
Take Note:This is a special place for a romantic getaway, not for kids.
50 Easton St., Nantucket, MA | 800.445.6574
This historic landmark hotel sits on a sprawling expanse right on the Nantucket harbor. You can sunbathe on the lawn, or head to a nearby beach (they’ll provide the beach chairs, towels, and kids toys should you need them), or better yet, hire a Barton & Gray yacht from the hotel’s dock. The hotel is known for Brant Point Grill (the seafood is excellent), along with its spa, but if you want to get out and go to town, they provide a car service.
Travel Time:A 3.5 hour drive/ferry from Boston or a 1 hour flight from New York to Nantucket.
The Rooms:Each of the plush rooms, suites, and cottages are light and airy with elegant beachy touches. Most have a fireplace, which makes them nicely cozy for off-season stays.
What to pack:You’ll want to spend most of your time in or near the water, so bring a bathing suit.
Kids:Bring them! This is a family oriented hotel that provides babysitting service referrals, DVDs for kids, a kids menu at the restaurant, and an “adventure guide” and beach toys at check-in.
109 River Birch Ln., Hawley, PA | 570.685.8500
It’s not unusual (or frowned upon) to spend the entire day in a bathrobe at this modern lodge in the Poconos, as the focus here is on the spa. Along with its 27 treatment rooms, there are saunas, steam rooms, soaking pools, and even a high-tech “hydro massage water wall” for working out any remaining kinks. And for those who don’t naturally gravitate to the massage table, there are exercise classes throughout the day along with hiking, biking, and fly fishing in the lodge’s secluded surroundings.
Travel Time:a 2 hour drive from New York, or a 4.5 hour drive from Boston.
The Rooms:The traditional décor here revolves around comfort. In any case, you’ll want to spend most of your time either in the spa or outdoors.
What to pack:You’ll need a bathing suit for all the hydro-treatments and soaking pools.
The Food:At TREE, much of the fare consists of the hotel’s own produce harvested from its sprawling garden. You might also catch a cooking demo at the Garden Shed, where the chef prepares meals straight from the vegetable patch.
1 Bluff Ave., Watch Hill, RI | 401.584.7000
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the ocean, this historic, Victorian hotel was rescued from demolition in 2005 and lovingly restored by husband-and-wife team, Charles and Deborah Royce. In just a few years, it’s become one of the East Coast’s most favored retreats, thanks to its modern rooms, water views, cabanas, surf lessons, and fleet of yachts. The seafood-centric, on-site restaurant is great, too, making for a pretty classic seaside stay.
Travel Time:A 1.5 hour train from Boston or a 3.5 hour drive from New York.
The Food:The Verandah is a big hit among locals as it serves up traditional seaside fare (and a great raw bar) overlooking Naragansett Bay and the Atlantic.
The Rooms:Ocean House is a classic along the Rhode Island coastline, but its recent revamp means that the rooms are all individually decorated in a homey, comfy style that has all the comforts you’d expect from a Relais & Chateaux property.
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