Country Getaway: E. B. Morgan House, Aurora, New York
The stately lakeside inn was built as a family residence in 1858 by wealthy capitalist E. B. Morgan, a cofounder of the New York Times. Now owned by Wells College, it was recently reimagined by American Girl doll creator Pleasant Rowland—part of a one-woman beautification campaign in a bucolic Finger Lakes town. The most welcoming nook? The back porch, furnished with plump-cushioned wicker chairs and overlooking lawns that descend to the water’s edge.
Great Value 431 Main St.; 866/364-8808 or 315/364-8888; aurora-inn.com; doubles from $175.
Secret Island: Aldeia da Cuada, Azores, Portugal
On this westernmost European archipelago, an abandoned 18th-century village of tumbledown stone cottages was renovated into a folksy rural getaway against a jaw-dropping landscape. Ancient basalt paths lead to waterfalls and deep calderas known as the Seven Lakes, and the greenness of the valley resembles J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Grab a loaf of bread and a wedge of cheese from the dairy in the town of Fajázinha and set off on a morning hike to find your picnic spot of choice.
Flores; 351/292-590-040; wonderfulsland.com/cuada; doubles from $80.
Historic Estate: Coworth Park, Berkshire, England
Love is in the air at this reinvented Georgian manor on 240 acres of private parkland 45 minutes west of London. In fact, the very sentiment is spelled out in capital letters in the contemporary light fixture over the bar. The 70-room property pays homage to genteel rural pursuits with polo ponies on the lawn and equestrian-themed artwork; guests can doff their muddy Wellingtons after a ramble in the woods, then thumb through The Book of Idle Pleasures while soaking in a deep copper tub.
Blacknest Rd., Ascot; 44-1344/876-600; coworthpark.com; doubles from $365.
Hight-Style Spot: Soho House, Berlin
The creative energy is palpable at this boho 40-room boutique hotel, set in a 1928 building that once housed the Communist Party archives; it’s now the most fashionable address in the Mitte district. While certainly not the largest quarters, the attic rooms—with fire engine–red bed frames and rain showers—have a quirky, La Bohème feel. Also on site: a 30-seat cinema, a rooftop bar, and House Kitchen restaurant, the most desirable reservation in town.
Great Value 1 Torstrasse; 49-30/405-0440; sohohouseberlin.com; doubles from $130.
Beach Retreat: Rancho Pescadero, Todos Santos, Mexico
Live the life of a refined surf bum at this wellness-focused Baja California resort owned by an American former CEO who traded the corporate world for a simpler existence by the shore. Most of the 27 suites face the Pacific; shaded daybeds, swimming pools, and mangrove trees dot the grounds. There’s a yoga class at 9 a.m. each day in an oceanfront pavilion, and guests get complimentary use of bicycles, surfboards, and boogie boards for cavorting on land or sea.
Great Value San Juan de Dios; 910/300-8891 or 52-1612/135-5849; ranchopescadero.com; doubles from $200, including breakfast and daily yoga classes.