Shhh...50 Secret Hotels
Published: June 2009
By Jill Fergus, Shane Mitchell, Malia Boyd, Christopher Petkanas, Kimberly Brown, Erika Lederman, Richard Alleman, Libby Morse, Philip Watson, Maggie Alderson, Amanda Jones, Chris Rubin, Carol Barden, Catherine Doyle, Catherine Calvert, Mark Ehrman, Gillian Cullinan, Carolina Carreño, Victor Barcimanto, Paul French, Heidi Lender, Alexandra Penney, Helen Pipins
The places we didn't want to tell you about
Most travelers have a favorite hideaway. An Italian pensione that never makes its way into the guidebooks, a breezy beach resort that stays just under the radar. You know: a place you hold so dear that you'd faint if it ever appeared in a national magazine. Get out the smelling salts. We bribed our contributors and stylish friends to tell us their true finds. Now, our gift to you: 50 of the world's most fabulous unknown hotels. Just keep them a secret.
Guana Island British Virgin Islands; 914/967-6050, fax 914/967-8048; doubles from $640, including all meals. A Land Rover whisks you up a road past a pond inhabited by flamingos (Guana's also a nature conservancy). Your destination: a hilltop cluster of seven cottages cooled by the breezes. Hide out in a hammock on the powder-sand beach or engage in one of the quirkier island activities: spider fishing, which involves wandering around a field and luring critters out of their holes with blades of spider grass.
Las Ranitas Boca Paila Rd., Tulum, Mexico; 800/538-6802 or 303/674-9615, fax 303/674-8735; doubles from $170. Built on a swath of isolated Caribbean sand, Las Ranitas has 18 tasteful cabanas with big beds, hammocks, and handwoven Oaxacan fabrics. In the dining room, there's French-Mexican food and an endless supply of margaritas. You won't see any high-rises or beach peddlers on the Mayan Riviera, but if you're culturally inclined, the Tulum ruins are only six miles away.
Puri Ganesha Villas Pemuteran, Bali, Indonesia; 62-361/261-610, fax 62-361/261-611; doubles from $250. Former interior designer Diana von Cranach has long kept her low-key Balinese getaway, three hours north of the Kuta hubbub, under wraps. There are just six villas, each with a private pool, sheer-curtain-draped beds, a kitchen (where the staff prepares breakfast to order), and a beachfront terrace. On the horizon: two-week packages featuring meditation, stress-control, and cooking classes using ancient Ayurvedic methods.
Ras Kutani Ras Kutani, Tanzania; 800/595-3628 or 303/546-0516, fax 303/546-0875; doubles from $390, including all meals. With 18 bungalows scattered along a jungle lagoon's white beach, Ras Kutani provides the ultimate post-safari pit stop. The open-air rooms are ingeniously built of local materials and decorated with coconut-shell towel racks, African-print pillows, and handwoven matting over the cool sand floors.
Rae's on Watego's 8 Marine Parade, Watego's Beach, Byron Bay, Australia; 61-2/6685-5366, fax 61-2/6685-5695; doubles from $320. Even though Byron Bay looks like an exercise in planning blight, the surrounding area has a special place in the hearts of Australians: its beaches and subtropical hinterland produce a soul-soothing effect. The place to stay is on Watego's Beach at Rae's, a guesthouse redolent of the Greek islands. Rooms are light and airy (choice pick: the top-floor penthouse). The food is also good, with Thai flavors enhancing the sea fare.
Dunain Park Inverness, Scotland; 44-1463/230-512, fax 44-1463/224-532; doubles from $220. A prime example of Victorian Scottish baronial, this handsome 11-room house run by the Nicoll family is set in six acres of pine trees and gardens just outside Inverness, at the edge of the Highlands. Canopied beds and fires crackling in the grate are not uncommon in these parts—but it is unusual to find such wonderful cooking, with fresh fruits and vegetables from the walled garden.
Hunter's Country House Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa; 27/4457-7818, fax 27/4457-7878; doubles from $190. On South Africa's Garden Route lies a group of fairy-tale thatched cottages, hidden in a grove of lemon trees. Decorated in genteel English style, with lots of dark wood, floral-print fabrics, transferware, treenware, and brass, the 100-year-old Hunter's is just like home. That is, if your idea of home comes with impeccable service and the Tsitsikamma Mountains as a backdrop.
Malabar House Residency Fort Cochin, Kerala, India; phone and fax 91-484/221-199; doubles from $70. If you've never spent a night in a colonial villa at the heart of an ancient trade capital, check into the Malabar House, one of India's loveliest addresses. Across the street from the subcontinent's oldest European church, the 12-room hotel was home for centuries to wealthy spice traders. Almost as stunning as the guest rooms—with their carved pillars, terraces, and gardens—is the courtyard plunge pool, surrounded by ancient walls.
Kasbah Asmaa Rte. Mhamid, Amazrou, Zagora, Morocco; 212-4/847-241, fax 212-4/847-527; doubles from $62. The funky little Kasbah Asmaa's lantern-lined pool and flower-filled garden provide respite from the dust and heat of this southern Morocco town. There was such demand for the original 10 rooms that 23 more were added this year. The hotel organizes camel treks into the Sahara, but most guests prefer to lounge in the shade of date palms until dusk, then dine under a tent amid oversize pillows and rose petals.
Korakia Pensione 257 S. Patencio Rd., Palm Springs, Calif.; 760/864-6411, fax 760/864-4147; doubles from $109. Moroccan chic graces a desert oasis thousands of miles from North Africa. Korakia's 20 rooms are the ultimate in spartan luxury—and privacy. Though only four blocks from Palm Springs' main drag, the inn's Moorish architecture, Middle Eastern decoration, and two pools make it feel like a far-flung hideaway. Traditional sweet mint tea accompanies afternoon snacks.
Lake Austin Spa Resort 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd., Austin, Tex.; 800/847-5637 or 512/372-7360, fax 512/372-7362; three-night packages from $890 per person, including all meals. Don't plan on losing weight at the 40-room Lake Austin, the new standard in spa sinfulness. Guests can bring their own wine into the dining room. Coke and candy machines stand next to the gym. There's even cheese at the salad bar. And how about those barbecued ribs, served on the lakefront deck?Work it off with hikes and sculling on the lake (if you want) or take a trip to the grocery store with the in-house dietitian, who will teach you to shop nutritiously.
Roaring Pavilion Villa & Spa St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica; 800/387-2726 or 416/968-2374, fax 416/968-2204; rates from $3,500, including all meals and treatments. You'll never want to emerge from your personal spa at Roaring Pavilion, a private villa for up to eight guests on James Bond Beach, outside Ocho Rios. A resident therapist is on call for unlimited massages, facials, and body treatments in a garden pavilion. Bliss out as Arthur or Jacqueline slathers you with papaya and avocado concoctions and herbal oils. Then retreat to the main house for a dip in the pool or a snack of lobster À l'armoricaine, whipped up by chef Yvonne.
Therme Vals Vals, Switzerland; 41-81/926-8080, fax 41-81/926-8000; doubles from $108. The real reason for choosing Therme Vals is not the hotel's rather faded sixties interiors, but its magnificent spa. Designed by Peter Zumthor, it's a Modernist structure set against the sublime beauty of the mountain village of Vals. Think cool, gray granite pools and baths. What Gucci would be if it were a spa.
Esbelli Evi Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey; 800/547-1211 or 90-384/341-3395, fax 90-384/341-8848; doubles from $80. Whitewashed walls are covered with Turkish artifacts, and opulent kilims are draped over Ottoman divans and stone floors in this ancient seven-room house carved into the side of a cliff. If staying in a sixth-century cave sounds primitive, fear not: there are modern bathrooms, designer beds, and heat; jazz is played on the rooftop terrace. Venture farther underground to explore troglodyte cities, where the persecuted Cappadocian Christians survived for decades.
Kirawira Camp Western Serengeti, Tanzania; 800/361-8024 or 303/473-0950, fax 303/546-0875; doubles from $630 per night, including meals and game drives. Reminiscent of a Ralph Lauren ad, Kirawira's 25 tented rooms have mahogany floors, scatter rugs, queen beds, and bathrooms laden with porcelain and gold. In the open-air library you can watch wildlife before retiring to the dining tent, where you eat in style from Limoges tableware.
Matetsi Water Lodge Zimbabwe; phone and fax 27-11/782-3410; doubles from $700, including meals and game drives. This magical lodge consists of two camps, one on the Zambezi River, the other on the grassland. At the Water Lodge, swing open the doors to your suite, with its own plunge pool, and listen to hippos munching on grass nearby. At the Safari Camp, tented chalets have three walls of glass, so you can lie in bed and watch the procession of animals to the water hole. The rooms are private enough that no one—except the animals—can look in.
Mukutan Retreat Laikipia, Kenya; 404/888-0909, fax 404/888-0081; doubles from $1,000, including meals and game drives. Italian author Kuki Gallmann's Mukutan Retreat—on a cliff overlooking the Great Rift Valley—is a taste of untamed Kenya, mixed with drop-dead elegance. The ranch and three guest cottages have stone and carved-wood furnishings and a wild, wild view. Reserve now—Mukutan's sure to be exposed next year, when Kim Basinger portrays Gallmann in the film version of her memoirs, I Dreamed of Africa.
Domain of Killien Carroll Rd., Haliburton, Ontario, Canada; 705/457-1556, fax 705/457-3853; doubles from $186 including breakfast and dinner. Two and a half hours north of Toronto—and unknown even to most of that city's residents—is a retreat on 5,000 acres containing pristine Canadian forest, with lakes and trails ideal for picnics. There are five comfortable rooms in the main lodge, but the seven lakefront bungalows are worth the splurge. In winter, cross-country ski trails glisten under northern lights and echo with the call of wolves.
Inn at Langley 400 First St., Langley, Wash.; phone and fax 360/221-3033; doubles from $199. Cows outnumber people on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle in Puget Sound. Accessible only by ferry, Whidbey's main town hasn't changed since the sixties, when it was a popular hippie vacation zone. Everything runs on island time, including the laid-back Inn at Langley, right on the beach. The 24 guest rooms in the monastic cedar shake-and-shingle building overlook the sea. There isn't much to distract you, other than renting kayaks in town for expeditions through the Saratoga Passage.
Plettenberg Park Robberg Rd., Plettenberg Bay, South Africa; 27-44/533-9067, fax 27-44/533-9092; doubles from $330, including all meals. Plunked on a cliff overlooking the roiling Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Park is the place for a romantic retreat. The white Modernist stucco-and-glass building is furnished with African artifacts and sisal rugs. Linger on the white-sand beach, swim in the rock pool, or just sit on your terrace and marvel at the dramatic, windswept setting, a 495-acre private nature reserve on South Africa's Garden Route.
Cape Lodge Caves Rd., Yallingup, Australia; 61-8/9755-6311, fax 61-8/9755-6322; doubles from $107. In the heart of the Margaret River region, the new Cape Lodge is the perfect base for winery-hopping. Surrounded by 10 acres of forest scattered with ponds, the lodge consists of a 1920's homestead and an old gatehouse. The dining room is a divine open space with soaring ceilings and exposed beams. Furnishings in the 18 suites are sleek and modern—lots of beige and gray—and the owner drives around in an antique silver Porsche Roadster.
Chico Hot Springs Lodge 1 Chico Rd., Pray, Mont.; 800/468-9232 or 406/333-4933, fax 406/333-4694; doubles from $85. In Montana's celestial Paradise Valley, this century-old lodge has 95 rustic guest rooms and two outdoor hot-springs pools (one is at 104 degrees, the other at 98) that will prove addictive. Don't be surprised if you never make it to Yellowstone, just 30 miles away. Chico's amiably raucous saloon is a watering hole for local landowning celebrities, such as Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid.
Freshwater Point 56 Nobelius Dr., Legana, Tasmania, Australia; phone and fax 61-3/6330-2200, fax 61-3/6330-2030; doubles from $81. Stylish Jan-Creed Thomas runs this sheep farm on the Tamar River in northern Tasmania. The 1820's homestead is a charmer, but families will want to take over one of the three cottages, each with a kitchen. When strolling through allées of century-old weepingelm trees on the massive lawn that rolls right down to the riverbank, keep an eye out for the sheep that wander the grounds. Freshwater Point is gorgeous year-round, but particularly stunning during the warm-weather months, November to February.
Le Mas de Peint Le Sambuc, Arles, France; 33-4/90-97-20-62, fax 33-4/90-97-22-20; doubles from $194. An immaculately restored bull farm on a wind-raked plain in the heart of the Camargue provides the powerful location for this one-of-a-kind guesthouse. Accommodations achieve a rare, knowing blend of simplicity and sophistication. And you couldn't possibly ask for warmer or more knowledgeable hosts: Lucille and Jacques Bon provide the keys to one of France's most difficult-to-unlock regions.
Hostería Las Balsas Bahia Las Balsas, Villa la Angostura, Neuquen, Argentina; phone and fax 54-2944/494-308; doubles from $250. Rugged Patagonia meets the savoir faire of Paul Smith at this stylish inn overlooking the blue-green waters of Lake Nahuel Huapí, in Argentina's Lake Region. The 15 rooms are individually decorated with antique beds and dried flowers. An array of outdoor activities—hiking, horseback riding, fishing, skiing—makes Las Balsas a dream for sports lovers.
Sunset Resort Old W. Harbor Rd., Washington Island, Wis.; 920/847-2531; doubles from $72. Regulars at this fourth-generation family-owned and -operated resort claim to get weak in the knees as they drive down the ferry ramp onto Washington Island, just thinking about the coffee cake. Not to mention the specialties brought from the old country, such as Icelandic pancakes (thin crêpes, rolled in powdered sugar) and Norwegian grilled toast, a French toast cousin that's dipped in crumbs and fried on the griddle. But the real attraction is evenings on the shore, where guests of this 11-room lodge can sit in the breeze (scented by Door County's wooded headlands) and watch the sun set over Green Bay and the grand arc of the Wisconsin coast.
Locanda San Vigilio Near Verona, Italy; 39-045/725-6688, fax 39-045/725-6551; doubles from $285. With Lake Garda lapping the 16th-century foundation and an ancient olive grove out back, the 14-room Locanda San Vigilio is molto romantico. Dine alfresco on the pebbled terrace, dabble in watercolors on the lakefront loggia (Winston Churchill did), sip grappa in the adjacent marina tavern, or climb the cobbled pathway to explore the placid Bay of Sirens. Then again, you could just fling open the shuttered windows in your room to watch the sailboats race by on the lake below.
Albergo Internazionale 79 Via Sistina, Rome; 39-06/6994-1823, fax 39-06/678-4764; doubles from $184. In a smart location—literally steps from the Spanish Steps and the legendary Hotel Hassler—this 42-room Roman hideaway offers old-world charm, modern comfort, and great rates for rooms with wisteria-veiled terraces. A massive breakfast is served in two formal salons lit by Murano chandeliers.
And Hotel 40 Yerebatan Cad, Istanbul; 90-212/512-0207, fax 90-212/512-3025; doubles $60. In the Old City, a block or two from Sultanahmet and Hagia Sophia, the And Hotel is so obscure even its name is obtuse. Ask for the fourth-floor room: clean, a bit small, but with modern fixtures and a glass sliding door that frames the domes and spires of Hagia Sophia. As dawn breaks and the mosque's loudspeakers call the faithful to prayer, you'll be as close to a hotel epiphany as you've ever been. The And also has a rooftop restaurant with a 360-degree view of the Old City and the Bosporus. The breakfast buffet, with such treats as rose jam, is served there. In the off-season, get ready to negotiate—the price of a room will go as low as $30 a night for two people, including breakfast.
Auberge Saint-Antoine 10 Rue St.-Antoine, Quebec City, Canada; 888/692-2211 or 418/692-2211, fax 418/692-1177; doubles from $202. The reception area, with its worn hardwood floors, exposed-beam ceilings, and fat-with-down sofas, is your first clue that you've found bliss in chilly Quebec. The warm chocolate-chip cookies waiting in your room are the next. But the 31 rooms themselves, each decorated differently with dignified desks and whimsical beds, offer incontrovertible proof.
Devereux Boutique Hotel 267 Remuera Rd., Auckland, New Zealand; 64-9/524-5044, fax 64-9/524-5080; doubles from $82. In the posh suburb of Remuera, the Devereux offers a touch of the exotic. Each of the 11 rooms in this refurbished brothel represents a different part of the world: the Orient Room has antique kimonos and an opium-den headboard; the Cairo Room features a lion-head chair and papyrus art; the Taj Room is filled with vivid silks and carved wood.
Hôtel au Relais du Louvre 19 Rue des Prêtres-St-Germain-l'Auxerrois, Paris; 33-1/40-41-96-42, fax 33-1/40-41-96-44; doubles from $140. You can attain one of life's goals—uncovering the perfect romantic Parisian getaway—at the Relais, a trim little First Arrondissement town house bright with flowered fabrics and polished antiques. Check into a room under the eaves, lean out the window, and be dazzled by the endless view of tumbling rooftops, tall church steeples, and, just beyond, the Louvre.
Hotel Bohème 444 Columbus Ave., San Francisco; 415/433-9111, fax 415/362-6292; doubles from $129. The Bohème is a set piece, done up to take you back to the fifties. The 15 rooms are small but delicious, painted in colors you can taste (mint, persimmon), upholstered with vintage fabrics, and stage-managed to the tiniest detail, including a razor-sharp unpainted pencil next to the phone. Hallways are lined with black-and-white photos of jazz musicians, beat writers, and artists.
Jing Jiang Hotel 59 Mao Ming Rd., Shanghai, China; 86-21/6258-2582, fax 86-21/6215-5588; doubles from $200. While service is mediocre at best (though for China it's considered excellent), this all-suite hotel is a real Shanghai surprise. Dark browns and inlaid woods permeate the 24 suites; the Art Deco-style lobby is filled with etched mirrors, marble floors, and frosted-glass sconces. No tacky fountains, ornate chandeliers, or gold taps here—we're talking slick and sophisticated.
Searcy's Roof Garden Bedrooms 30 Pavilion Rd., London; 44-171/584-4921, fax 44-171/823-8694; doubles from $209. A longtime insider's secret, these 11 rooms without a lobby are tucked into the top of a building near Sloane Square-and yes, there is a roof garden. You'll be happy to linger in the room, done up in classic chintzes, with a cast-iron tub. A continental breakfast of hot croissants and orange juice is brought to your door; then it's time for a quick trip to Harvey Nicks, just down the road.
East Wind Inn Mechanic St., Tenants Harbor, Maine; 800/241-8439 or 207/372-6366, fax 207/372-6320; doubles from $138. Rooms with a view and the angelic fragrance of the sea are the essential ingredients for a perfect inn. Days at 26-room East Wind, in a quiet seaside village on the St. George Peninsula, begin with coffee on the harborfront porch and end with fresh seafood served in the candlelit dining room. With each passing moment you'll feel farther and farther away.
Old Inn on the Green Rte. 57, Village Green, New Marlborough, Mass.; 800/286-3139 or 413/229-3131, fax 413/229-8236; doubles from $175. A discreet route to Tanglewood passes through the tiny town of New Marlborough, where the Inn on the Green is a charming alternative to the Berkshires' ritzier hotels. And it's just what a New England inn should be—white wraparound porch, rickety wooden staircase leading up to five bedrooms. (If you prefer a modern take on rustic chic, check out Gedney Farm, the inn's 12-room sister up the street, in two converted turn-of-the-century barns.)
Simpson House Inn 121 E. Arrellaga St., Santa Barbara, Calif.; 800/676-1280 or 805/963-7067, fax 805/564-4811; doubles $175. Santa Barbara's Simpson House Inn is a gem, surrounded by an acre of English gardens. Its 14 rooms (spread through the Victorian main house, cottages, and renovated barn) are decorated with hand-painted wallpaper and European antiques, including Louis XIV beds. But what most distinguishes this B&B is the hands-on attention of owners Glyn and Linda Sue Davies.
Tuscany Inn 22 N. Water St., Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; 508/627-5999, fax 508/627-6605; doubles from $200. Innkeeper Laura Brana goes out of her way to make you feel at home in her 1893 ship captain's house, known to savvy Vineyard vacationers as the cost-saving substitute for the Charlotte Inn. Take cappuccino, sherry, and homemade biscotti in a library filled with overstuffed sofas and chairs. While you might be tempted to sleep late, don't miss Brana's incredible buttermilk-blueberry pancakes. The best room is No. 1, at the top of the staircase.
Casa Luna 11 Pila Seca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; phone and fax 52-415/21117; doubles $85. If you can live without room service and a newspaper outside your door, you'll adore Casa Luna, a 300-year-old Spanish house in San Miguel's town center. Eight enormous rooms with stone fireplaces surround a flower-bedecked courtyard. It's all the creation of Dianne Kushner, a former psychotherapist who gave up her practice to move to Mexico and and start this remarkable bed-and-breakfast.
SMALL EUROPEAN HOTELS
Hotel De Witte Lelie 16-18 Keizerstraat, Antwerp, Belgium; 32-3/226-1966, fax 32-3/234-0019; doubles from $225. Molded out of an aristocratic 15th-century mansion, this 10-room hotel is now a cool confluence of white-slipcovered chairs and sofas, thick Iranian carpets, and ever-changing arrangements of fresh flowers. The teak terrace of room No. 10 is fabulous in warm weather. A sensational breakfast of charcuterie, cheese, eggs to order, and pastries is included in the rate.
Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus Place du Forum, Arles, France; 33-4/90-93-44-44, fax 33-4/90-93-34-00; doubles from $135. Giddy beds fashioned of swirling wrought iron, leather club chairs, and vintage corrida posters contribute to the deliciously louche character of an institution adored by Henry James, Picasso, and Simone Signoret. During the bullfight season in Arles's Roman arena, grab a stool in the memorabilia-stuffed bar for a pastis with native son Christian Lacroix.
Green House 17 Österlånggatan, Stockholm; 46-8/237-392, fax 46-8/203-098; doubles from $286. Sweden's greatest jewel is known only to a few faithful regulars who book its six rooms months in advance. In Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town), near the Royal Palace, the Neoclassical Green House is like a 15th-century mansion filled with lovely art and antiques from across Europe. Room service is limited, but the restaurant downstairs (of the same name) is well known among local epicures.
Hanseatic Hotel 150 Sierechstrasse, Hamburg; 49-40/485-772, fax 49-40/485-773; doubles from $162. It would be easy to walk right past the Hanseatic; a discreet brass plaque is the only indication that within this former merchant's house lie 12 of Hamburg's most sought-after rooms. Although there's no restaurant, breakfast, snacks, and early-evening drinks are served in the lounge. Don't leave without sampling the homemade apricot jam.
Hunter's Hotel Newrath Bridge, Rathnew, Ireland; 353-404/40106, fax 353-404/40338; doubles from $71. An ancient coaching inn amid the greenery of County Wicklow, Hunter's—run by five generations of the Gelletlie family—is squeaky-floored, Georgian-windowed, and scented by old woodsmoke. Tea in the back parlor overlooking a large garden full of flowers is alone worth the journey.
Hôtel Le Grimaldi 15 Rue Grimaldi, Nice, France; 33-4/93-16-00-24, fax 33-4/93-87-00-24; doubles from $79. Living the high life in Nice without high prices used to be difficult until Le Grimaldi opened this spring. Just a five-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais, the hotel has 23 rooms in a Belle Époque building, all plaster swags and balconies and snappy blue awnings. Inside, past the gleaming, glamorous lobby, guest rooms are smartly dressed in Provençal fabrics, with luxurious baths.
Buckhorn Inn 2140 Tudor Mountain Rd., Gatlinburg, Tenn.; 423/436-4668, fax 423/436-5009; doubles from $115. Blackberry Farm may be the Smoky Mountain inn that gets all the attention, but if you like gracious Southern living without flash, the genteel Buckhorn is happy to oblige. Whether you're hiking the inn's nature trail or just taking in the view of misty Mount LeConte from one of the rocking chairs on the flagstone terrace, you'll find it hard to believe that the cacophony of Gatlinburg is only six miles away. Be sure to book a table in advance for the inn's excellent dinners.
Elimo Hotel 75 Via Vittorio Emanuele, Erice, Italy; 39-0923/869-377, fax 39-0923/869-252; doubles from $137. Set back from Trapani on the west coast of Sicily and pitched at a cloud-scraping 2,300 feet, Erice is so ravishing that lovers of the medieval town would sleep on a cot for the privilege of visiting it. Luckily, that's not necessary. The Elimo is a modest, friendly, efficiently run establishment that doesn't intrude on Erice's thick, brooding atmosphere.
Roemerhof at the Romantik Hotel Tennerhof 26 Griesenauweg, Kitzbühel, Austria; 43-5356/631-810, fax 43-5356/631-8170; doubles from $156. Although the Tennerhof is the luxury-seeking skier's favorite, the secret here is to come in summer and stay in the less-expensive but just-as-Tyrolean annex, the Roemerhof. Enjoy long walks in the countryside, then head to the Roemerhof's café for a glass of Grüner Veltliner (a dry white Austrian wine) and some Kaiserschmarren (sugar-dusted pancakes) before you tuck yourself under the eiderdown.
Sleeping Lady 7375 Icicle Rd., Leavenworth, Wash.; 800/574-2123 or 509/782-1040, fax 509/548-6312; doubles from $220, including all meals. Owner Harriet Bullitt is an avid environmentalist who caters to both the artistic set and the Audubon crowd at her converted youth camp in the Cascade Range. Stay in private cedar cabins which are clustered around courtyards and set among ponderosa pines. Lying in your log bed, you can hear the river running right through the camp and the sounds of the hundreds of migratory birds that congregate here.