Inns and Country Houses

Pitcher Inn, Vermont
When the inn was burned in a 1993 fire, the owner handed each of the guest rooms to a different designer. So while the public spaces have a traditional vibe, the rooms go for something much kickier, with, say, mountains, Calvin Coolidge, or trout as themes. It may be silly, but the staff is still serious about service. 275 Main St., Warren, Vt.; 888/867-4824 or 802/496-6350; doubles from $300.

Kingsbrae Arms, New Brunswick
The cushiest inn in Canada's Maritime Provinces, the Kingsbrae is set in an 1897 manor house in the sweet seaside town of St. Andrews. The inn will even lead you back to nature: right next door is Kingsbrae Garden, 27 acres of plantings with ponds, footpaths, mazes, and a lovely café. 219 King St., St. Andrews, N.B.; 877/529-1897 or 506/529-1897;; doubles from $400, including breakfast and dinner. Reopens early May.

Hotel Dvorak, Czech Republic
What could be more inspiring than getting intimate in the shadow of a castle?The frescoed Renaissance tower of the Cesky Krumlov castle, achingly ornate and well preserved, practically leans into your bedroom. At night, the rustling headwaters of the Vltava River far below your window lull you to sleep. 101 Radnicni, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; 42-0337/711-020;; doubles from $80.

Friendly Meeting Chapel, Australia
Heaven is a night spent in the simple gabled sanctuary of bluestone and brick on a cosmopolitan lane in gracious North Adelaide. Only one couple at a time has access to this 1879 meetinghouse, which once housed the Ancient Order of Foresters' Friendly Society. 141 Tynte St., N. Adelaide, South Australia; 61-8/8272-1355;; $146 per night, including breakfast.