Some of us fell so deeply in love with road trips during the pause that we’ve declared them a permanent part of our travel repertoire. That said, our favorite destination will forever be a cosseting inn, full of personality and charm. They reign as the ideal day’s end after hours burning rubber on the highway. Hop behind the wheel and steer your way to some of these 5-star hideaways.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
Storybook Twin Farms embodies the spirit of New England with its leafy lawns, surrounding mountains, verdant gardens, and quintessential collection of architecturally notable buildings. The former country home of writer Sinclair Lewis and canny journalist Dorothy Parker, this all-inclusive, adults-only refuge also personifies their creative legacy through its next-generation, whimsical, art-abundant interiors by laudable Jed Johnson. Look for pieces by David Hockney and Jasper Johns (among others) on the walls. A member of Relais & Châteaux, the resort reigns as an epicurean’s mecca, as well. Chef Nathan Rich draws from the farm and regional partners for menu-less dinners, picnics among the grounds, and progressive farm lunches. Dip into the pond, relax in the diminutive spa’s Japanese furo tubs, kayak, bicycle, ski (in winter), take a bee tour, or volley on the tennis court.
Room to Book: Eye-popping and opulent, each unique, antique-abundant room and cottage captivates. Go for The Aviary, a bi-level glass and steel masterpiece that both melds into and contrasts with the surrounding natural environment. You’ll swoon over the bedroom’s stone hot tub, positioned in front of the fireplace.
Château du Sureau, Oakhurst, California
For those missing Europe, this European-intoned retreat, located at the gateway to Yosemite National Park, eases that pain and longing for far-flung travel. Founded by an Austrian intent on bringing part of her Old World élan to northern California, this castle-like hotel and its compound reference the French countryside. With just 10 rooms (plus a gorgeous villa), it celebrates the fragrant herbs of Provence, naming the suites for them and incorporating their images and scents in various ways. Dine in the acclaimed Elderberry House Restaurant, repose at Spa du Sureau, wander the lush grounds where benches, swings, bocce ball, and a life-sized chess board await. Each evening, toast the day in the romantic gazebo.
Room to Book: Each room provides a slice of European splendor. Opt for the Villa du Sureau which has two bedrooms.
Keswick Hall, Charlottesville, Virginia
Brimming with historical gravitas, this circa 1912 mansion amid the bucolic, mountainous terrain of the Virginia hinterlands, reopens in August after a multimillion dollar renovation. It features architectural elements by Hart Howerton, lighting by L’Observatoire International, and landscapes by Nelson Byrd Woltz, a triad meant to meld modernity to the past with style. Ensconced amid 600 acres, the posh retreat will feature a new signature temple of gastronomy, Marigold, helmed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. With a new guest wing, the hideaway also has reimagined resort grounds with red clay tennis courts and an infinity pool complete with cabanas. Hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, wine tasting (try the owner’s own Keswick Vineyards), and forays into the vibrant town of Charlottesville tempt and can be arranged by the concierge.
Room to Book: The Presidential Suite, with combined 1,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor space, has a separate entrance, balcony, and spa-like bathroom. Frette Sheets and custom Red Flower amenities seal the deal.
Lake Placid Lodge, Adirondacks, New York
Just the term “Great Camp” sounds like an invitation to fun. Recalling the era when blue blooded families of yore summered in rustic cabins amid the forest and lakelands, Lake Placid Lodge summons the Arts and Crafts architectural tradition prevalent in this mountainous region. On the site of an original circa 1882 cabin, the elegantly rough-hewn lodge stands out as the only resort directly occupying the shimmering lake’s shores. Profuse with local, artisan-made furnishings, the lodge has only 30 accommodations, of which 17 are freestanding cabins. Enjoy the nightly boat ride on the lake, hundreds of hiking trails, complimentary canoes, lawn games, and gastronomic adventures in the acclaimed restaurant, Artisans.
Room to Book: Owl’s Head Cabin makes the grade for its romantic seclusion, 2-person jetted tub, dry sauna, and large stone fireplace.
Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley, Arizona
On the verges of Scottsdale in a place called “Paradise” because it boasts 294 days of sunshine a year, atmospheric Hermosa Inn woos travelers enamored with the desert’s otherworldly moods and sights. An historic inn built by famed cowboy artist Lon Megargee in the 1930s, this tony, understated haven invokes the feeling of visiting a friend’s own impressive, yet comfortable, hacienda. With Lon’s original artwork establishing a bygone mood and sumptuous furnishings throughout, the adobe inn also has gardens, an inviting pool, and two distinctive restaurants. For a private, candlelit party, rent the rustic wine cellar which has capacity for 12 guests. Around the Scottsdale area, partake of hot air balloon rides, hiking, horseback riding, desert jeep tours, gourmet excursions, and night sky watching adventures.
Room to Book: Indulge in a Deluxe Casita for its airy spaces and capacious bath.
Wylder Tilghman Island, Tilghman, Maryland
In 1898, watermen (commercial fishermen particularly adept at crabbing) ruled the roost in Maryland. Today, their legacy lives on in the Chesapeake Bay’s crab loving culture and its scenic coastal playground beloved by seafood aficionados and water sports buffs. Enjoy the vibe at Wylder Tilghman Island. Born from an 1898 original boarding house and situated on a three-mile isle, it encompasses nine acres of 5-star waterfront wonderland. With 50 characteristic rooms, the bay-facing refuge offers the best of Chesapeake traditions. You’ll bike the pathways, canoe and kayak, take chartered fishing trips, swoon over idyllic sunset cruises, learn to sail (or show off your tacking and jibbing skills), and gobble up your share of crab, oysters, rockfish, and more at Tickler’s Crab Shack, the hotel’s quintessential eatery.
Room to Book: Relax in the Waterfront King Suite for the views.