These are all within driveable striking distance of major cities, with the hope that you can speed through check-in as quickly as possible.
Castle Hill Inn590 Ocean Ave., Rams Head | 401.849.3800
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 Inn77 Undermountain Rd., Salisbury | 860.435.0030
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 Inn954 Old Post Rd., Bedford | 914.234.7800
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 Grace Mayflower118 Woodbury Rd., Washington | 860.868.9466
Formerly known as the Mayflower Inn & Spa (before being acquired by the Grace Hotels), this is one of those resorts that is a consistent siren song for worn-out New Yorkers. Overstuffed chairs, feather-topped beds, and softly printed toile wallpapers are design hallmarks here, which all add to the feeling that you’ve descended upon the guestroom of your most hospitable aunt. In short: You won’t want to leave. The spa is one of Connecticut's best, though for those who are more inclined to be outside, the resort sits on 58 acres. There’s a tap room for casual eats, as well as a more formal restaurant, The Mayflower Dining Room. There's plenty of antiquing and good eating in the surrounding villages. (Don't miss Privet House.)
Twin Farms452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard | 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. Indoors, Twin Farms’ art collection, which includes pieces from David Hockney and Jasper Johns, is outstanding. You’ll find ten 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. Meanwhile, 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. Take note: This is a special place for a romantic getaway, not for kids.
The Ritz-Carlton Naples280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples | 239.598.3300
Admittedly not one of the most exciting getaway options, the Ritz in Naples is a classic, large-scale resort experience without the international flight. You can check in and pretty much never leave, with seven different dining options, beach sports, extensive spa and a really great kids program called ‘Nature’s Wonders’ that features an in-house aquarium and classes on natural sciences, sea creatures, and ecosystems for ages five to twelve years old.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa28500 Overseas Hwy., Little Torch Key | 800.343.8567
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 Lodge98 S. Fletcher Ave., Amelia Island | 904.277.4851
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.
Blantyre16 Blantyre Rd., Lenox | 413.637.3556
Originally built in 1901, Blantyre was modeled after the owner’s family’s ancestral Scottish castle, complete with ivy-covered turrets, towers, and gargoyles. It didn’t become a hotel until 1981, when the house was restored by Ann Fitzpatrick Brown—and reinstated as a tribute to the Gilded Age. The décor here is fittingly lush, i.e. exactly what you’d expect to find in an English country manor. You’re supposed to spend your days relaxing in overstuffed armchairs by the fire, before descending to the dining room for canapés and champagne, and then a long, formal dinner (the dining room calls for jackets for gentlemen, and something a bit dressy for ladies). While high season here is spring-through-fall (in fact, the hotel was only winterized in 2005), if you come during the colder months, you’ll find a quieter stay—plus, they provide equipment for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating. The Edith Wharton House, an estate the writer built, then lived and wrote in for many years, is just a mile away and open daily for visits. If you’re willing to go two miles, you’ll find The Shakespeare & Company playhouse, which hosts evening performances on weekends.