May 08, 2009

Why settle for points when you can have presents?Inventive hotels are rewarding ultra-loyal guests with increasingly lavish tokens of esteem. Sparkling wine stays fizzy at Hôtel de la Cité (Place de l'Église; 800/845-4274; doubles from $435) in Carcassonne, France, where repeat visitors receive a silver-plated grape-shaped bottle stopper atop a locally made Crémant de Limoux. San Francisco's Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa (1075 California St.; 800/227-4683; doubles from $365) commissioned an exclusive Tiffany porcelain jewelry box for returning patrons. Twin Farms in Vermont (Barnard; 800/894-6327; doubles from $950) thanks its regulars with a ceramic creation by noted Quechee potter Miranda Thomas. And at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (300 S. Doheny Dr.; 800/819-5053; doubles from $350), VIP patrons find custom-tailored silk pajamas at turndown. Sometimes the best things in life are free.
—Shane Mitchell

Twin Farms

Check into one of 20 idealized log cabins (crackling fires and a downy comforter on the hickory-twig bed; hot chocolate and handmade marshmallows) on this 300-acre retreat. Centered on a 1795 farmhouse, Twin Farms has wildflower meadows, apple orchards, pine forests, a lake, a private ski run—the works.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

The $38 million facelift this Beverly Hills classic completed in 2012 may just be the best cosmetic work to come out of La-La Land. The complete renovation aimed to combine the hotel’s signature floral motifs with a new sense of California cool–natural elements and hues, added privacy for events and celebrity guests, and a bit more whimsy. The spectacularly huge floral arrangement that dominates this hotel’s small lobby hints at the opulence of the 285 rooms and suites, which have a glamorous 1940’s vibe, tempered by pops of teal or coral. Most have spacious marble bathrooms and balconies big enough to read the morning paper on. There’s a see-and-be-seen scene at the rooftop pool, where Hollywood bigwigs review scripts over Bellinis and divas disappear into poolside cabanas for their afternoon massages. If you don’t run into your favorite star while waiting for an ultra regenerating facial, you probably will at the lavish Sunday brunch at Culina, Modern Italian, the hotel’s new restaurant.

Scarlet Huntington

Formerly Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa

Originally a Georgian-style luxury apartment building constructed in 1924, the 12-story Scarlet Huntington hotel is located atop Nob Hill, which offers views of the bay, the downtown skyline, Grace Cathedral, and Huntington Park. Each of the 136 guestrooms is individually decorated, but all include antique dark wood furniture and plush fabrics such as damask and velvet. Also, because they were initially apartments, the rooms are spacious and thick-walled. Additional hotel features include the Big 4 Restaurant, which serves contemporary American cuisine, and the Nob Hill Spa. Free to guests, the spa has an infinity pool, fireplaces, saunas, and 10 treatment rooms.

Hôtel de la Cité

Former bishop's residence tucked into the ramparts of a medieval citadel, with unparalleled access to the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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