Some may love staying in the city on the weekends, but waking up to rolling fields, seaside vistas, and fresh-from-the-farm cuisine is not to be missed. Here are nine spots within a few hours drive of NYC that are well worth any bridge-and-tunnel traffic you may have to brave to make it there.
The Inn at Windmill Lane
With just seven meticulously curated suites and three private cottages, this exclusive inn, tucked away behind privet hedges in Amagansett, is the epitome of high style and relaxed serenity.
What’s new: Celebrate a big birthday or special occasion with your whole family or a group of friends in the new 21 House, a 3,800 square foot, four-bedroom private home, which comes complete with a dining room, living room, and full gourmet chef’s kitchen and grilling patio. Plus, the house even has its own spa treatment room.
What not to miss: Not interested in braving the restaurant waitlist? Inn guests can order straight from top Hamptons restaurants via an in-room iPad. But don’t expect Styrofoam containers: The Inn will re-plate the food on beautiful chinaware and serve to guest's door for an intimate dinner. Beach-bound visitors can hop on a bike from the fleet of Bowery Bicycles the hotel has on property and take a gourmet beach picnic basket.
Rate: Starts at $935 a night.
No two rooms are alike here and there’s no fussy chintz to be found either: 18 individually-designed cottages (a different architect masterminded each one) set on 113 acres of tranquil farmland in Litchfield, Connecticut, including a 5,000 square foot sun-drenched spa.
What’s new: Take a dip in the new 40-foot swimming pool that overlooks the rolling farmland–replete with pigs, sheep, chickens, organic gardens, and greenhouses.
What not to miss: Thirty-five feet above the forest floor, the woodsy Treehouse cottage is worthy of the name. Interested in aviation? Nab the Helicopter cottage–which features a full size chopper smack in the middle of the living room. Or amble up to the 18th century farmhouse for dinner at The Kitchen: chef Chris Eddy’s creations are about as farm to table as you can get. Before bed, indulge in the ultimate summer ritual: roasting s’mores around a bonfire.
Rate: Starts at $459 a night
White Barn Inn
The quaint bustle of Kennebunkport is just a few minutes away from this 26-room Relais & Chateaux property, where the look is sun-drenched American elegance. Three waterfront cottages are particularly special–each with private outdoor spaces with views of the Kennebunk River.
What’s new: Now open all year round, you can order food from The Bistro (the Inn’s more casual dining option) and have it delivered.
What not to miss: Occupying two restored barns from the 1800s, the rough hewn beams, crisp white linens, and floor-to-ceiling picture windows are paired with an ever-changing, locally-sourced menu courtesy of newly-appointed Chef Derek Bissonette.
Rate: Starts at $515 a night.
The Press Hotel in Portland, ME
Each of this new hotel’s 110 guest rooms take inspiration from old-time newspaper journalism from vintage-style desks to an interior color scheme reminiscent of the color of a newspaper. (Think black and white marble accented by stained walnut.) The historic building—which housed the Portland Press Herald from 1923-2010) has oversized windows in every room, affording tons of natural light and fresh Maine air.
What’s new: The hotel just opened in May, so it’s all pretty fresh off the presses, so to speak. But the 1,100 square foot Penthouse Suite is well worth the splurge: it features a huge roof patio and views out over the Portland Harbor, Old Port District, and surrounding islands.
What not to miss: Enjoy the truly unique, locally produced artwork throughout the hotel, including a floating vintage typewriter installation and letterpress woodwork behind the check-in desk. Even the wallpaper lining the hallways is made up of Portland Press Herald headlines.
Rate: Starts at $269.
This 30-room getaway in quiet Washington, Connecticut has recently undergone hotel-wide upgrades, courtesy of the new London-based owners, Grace Hotels. The classic, shingled country estate is set amidst 57 rolling acres of pond and woodland. Rooms feature luxury details: four-poster beds, Frette linens, house-made granola, and a range of pillows and in-room fragrance choices.
What’s new: For the most customized spa experience you can ask for try the new Elemental Wellness Therapies. After responding to a brief questionnaire to determine your unique biochemical needs, your therapist will select the appropriate marine plants, medicinal clays, organic herbs, and essential oils just for you.
What not to miss: At 20,000 square feet, the Spa House is a rather divine haven of relaxation. Just an hour spent on one of their chenille-covered lounge chairs can erase months of stress – which is why in-the-know New Yorkers flock here for weekend detoxes. Meditate in the spa labyrinth or take a stroll and recite a sonnet or two in the Shakespeare Garden.
Rate: Starts at $510 a night.
Refurbished and reopened earlier this year, the 37-room inn (once a summertime haven for high rollers like Sinatra) is situated on high on a hill, giving visitors sweeping views of the waters around Shelter Island. Each bright, airy room is stocked with 400-thread count sheets, Turkish towels, sun hats, and C.O. Bigelow bath products.
What’s new: The Inn’s Red Maple restaurant, named for the enormous tree at the center of the outdoor terrace, offers a seasonal menu of both small plates and more hearty meals. Sip your evening drink on the stunning porches; both wine and beer are available on tap.
What not to miss: Go home with some hip surfer clothes: the retailer Wampum has an outpost in the hotel during the summer, with exclusive items made just for The Chequit. If you like a good lie-in, opt for breakfast in bed and your fresh choices will arrive to your door in a sweet little bag.
Rate: Starts at $195.
Recently reopened after an extensive renovation by new owners (it’s now a part of the Lark Hotel group) this 17-room hotel is in the heart of historic Newport, Rhode Island, and draws from the glamorous age of Deco, Beaux Arts, and Rococo. Think ornate light fixtures, mirrored surfaces, gold accents, and a mix of rich, saturated colors like gold, fuchsia, and purple as well as graphic, peacock-y patterns on rugs, walls, and linens.
What’s new: Cue up in the billiards room, where a black velvet and white lacquer pool table is stocked and ready. A hushed courtyard contains an elegant croquet practice green. And be sure to make time for some leisurely “G and Tea” time on the deck.
What not to miss: Stock up on your preppy basics from Vineyard Vines, the official outfitter of the hotel–guests can get an exclusive discount. Also, wake up with an appetite: their rather “small plate” breakfast selection is extensive.
Rate: Starts at $169.
Hidden Pond Maine
Tucked in balsam and birch groves not far from the bustle of Kennebunkport, sit 20 perfectly appointed bungalow cottages that look like they came straight from the most gorgeous home décor catalog.
What’s new: This is the second year that the “farm-to-fork” Earth restaurant has been helmed by Chef Justin Walker, who owns a 17-acre farm down the road and draws heavily from the freshest, most local ingredients—including fresh lobster from his father-in-law’s boat and goat milk ice cream created using the milk from the Walker Family Farm. Earlier this summer, Hidden Pond opened a second dining shed, which can accommodate up to 12 people, great for a private family celebration.
What not to miss: A treatment at the Tree Spa, where a trio of tree-top treatment rooms, is connected by a catwalk woven through the trees. Treatments incorporate ingredients picked fresh from Hidden Pond’s garden including rosemary, mint, and lavender. Stroll the garden yourself and pick what you like, including flowers to bring back to your cottage—or stop by the farm stand on the property for some pre-picked items.
Rate: Starts at $779.
The Arnold House
This 10-room inn, opened in the heart of the Catskills by husband- and-wife team Kirsten and Sims Foster, is both a throwback to simpler times (there are no flat-screen TVs or Bluetooth stereos here) while still coddling you with little luxuries like Sferra towels and robes, Pendleton blankets, and Malin + Goetz bath products.
What’s new: In the nearby town of Callicoon (well-known for its great Saturday farmers’ market) every Wednesday nights is a different concert. If you stay at the Arnold House for two nights during the week (one night being the Wednesday night of the performance) they’ll send you off to Callicoon Center with some folding chairs and a picnic basket of fried chicken, mom’s potato salad, a slice of pie and a growler filled with one of the local brews.
What not to miss: Lend a hand in the creation of your own dinner! Guests can meet the chef as he walks the rows looking for inspiration for his specials that night and even help him harvest the food or do some prep work!
Rate: Starts at $169.