Contemporary alpine lodge at the base of the Tetons.
Stats: 124 rooms; 57 condos; 3 restaurants; 3 bars. Competitive Edge: Ski-in, ski-out access, plus excellent outdoor concierge services. Rooms to Book: Premium Kings, for their stone fireplaces and terraces overlooking the mountains. Don't Miss: Après-ski s'mores at the hot springs-style whirlpools. Cost: Doubles from $675.
Victorian mansion and estate in Dry Creek Valley, a mile
from the historic center of Healdsburg.
Stats: 22 rooms; 1 restaurant; 1 bar. Competitive Edge: Romantic and atmospheric—a welcome contrast to the area's more contemporary offerings. Rooms to Book: Nos. 203 and 204, for their balconies, fireplaces, and period furnishings. Don't Miss: Chef Jesse Mallgren's seafood tasting menu. Cost: Doubles from $350, including breakfast. No guests under 12.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at KoeleLanai, Hawaii
Sprawling country manor recently bought by Four Seasons and renovated to the tune of $50 million, set in the hills 20 minutes from the beach.
Stats: 102 rooms; 3 restaurants; 1 bar. Competitive Edge: An up-country world unto itself, with horseback riding, hunting, and a Greg Norman-designed golf course-plus access to the beach facilities at its sister property, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Rooms to Book: Those in the main lodge have wood-burning fireplaces. Don't Miss: The excellent macadamia-crusted venison loin in the dining room. Cost: Doubles from $345.
Romantic early-20th-century house filled with antiques and fabulous fabrics, near the Shenandoah Valley.
Stats: 18 rooms; 1 restaurant; 1 bar. Competitive Edge: Edge Chef Patrick O'Connell's legendary cuisine, in a tranquil small-town setting. Rooms to Book: Nos. 5 and 7, for private balconies overlooking the courtyard garden. Don't Miss: Visiting the newly restored 1740 tavern across the street, which houses shops that sell jewelry and home decor. Cost: Doubles from $650, including breakfast.
Newly renovated 1920's institution on the Upper East Side,
near Madison Avenue shopping.
Stats: 70 rooms; 1 restaurant; 1 bar. Competitive Edge: The smallest of the city's top hotels with a residential feel. Rooms to Book: Nos. 10C and 11C, for wood-burning fireplaces. Don't Miss: A complimentary shoe shine before leaving to pound the pavement. Cost: Doubles from $575.
Little Palm Island Resort & SpaLittle Torch Key, Florida
Luxe thatched-roof bungalows on a private 6-acre island,
accessible only by boat or seaplane.
Stats: 30 suites; 1 restaurant; 2 bars. Competitive Edge: One of Florida's most romantic and secluded retreats. Rooms to Book: For privacy, the Mockingbird Suite; the Willet Suite is set between the beach and the pool. Don't Miss: A guided flats-fishing excursion. Cost: Doubles from $1,760, including meals. No guests under 16.
Sprawling red-brick compound on 5 acres, only 2 blocks from the main gondola.
Stats: 179 rooms; 1 restaurant; 2 bars. Competitive Edge: Fabulous facilities, including Chefs Club by Food & Wine. Rooms to Book: We prefer Deluxes in the new wing, for their romantic fireplaces. Don't Miss: The Champagne & Chocolate Truffle Decadence Body Facial, a champagne scrub followed by a chocolate mask and massage, in the Remede Spa. Cost: Doubles from $499.
Former citrus ranch set on 500 acres at the foothills of Santa Ynez mountains; fresh from a $150 million overhaul.
Stats: 27 rooms; 14 cottages; 2 restaurants; 2 bars. Competitive Edge: Attention to detail—from hand-selected olive trees to private outdoor rain showers and sunken hot tubs in most rooms. Rooms to Book: For added privacy, ask for the creekside Honeysuckle or Willow. Don't Miss: Hiking the San Ysidro Trail to the waterfalls. Cost: Doubles from $795.
Elegant yet family-friendly resort on a cliff 150 feet above the Pacific.
Stats: 393 rooms; 2 restaurants; 2 bars. Competitive Edge: Classic Ritz luxury and tons of activities, from waterfront fitness classes to sailing at Dana Point. Rooms to Book: Ocean Views are pricier, but worth the upgrade. Don't Miss: Watching the sunset with a glass of champagne from the hotel's Adirondack chairs. Cost: Doubles from $475.
Antiques-filled 4-story landmark mansion on a wildlife-filled barrier island.
Stats: 16 rooms; 2 houses; 1 restaurant; 1 bar. Competitive Edge: An unplugged retreat (no Internet or cell service) with an 18-mile-long white-sand beach. Rooms to Book: The east-facing Porch Suite, for its morning light. Don't Miss: A guided tour of the island's diverse fauna. Cost: Doubles from $475, including all meals.