As the temperature starts to dip, John and I plan to jump in the trusty Subaru (www.subaru.com) and take heaps of road trips around this glorious country that is America. Here, a handful of our favorite escapes where you can cozy up by the fire with a cool cocktail and kick back and relax in style. Some high, some funky, but all absolutely fun…
I—Jason, that is—have been visiting the charming B&B-style Blueberry Hill Inn outside of Middlebury, Vermont since I was a little boy and my mom was earning her master’s degree at the nearby Bread Loaf School of English. I can remember lots of rollicking, picnic-style dinner parties on the inn’s stunning property with the flowers at full gallop. I love returning here in the fall for the wonderful communal herb-filled dinners and hiking the exceptional landscape before sitting by the fire with a glass of BYOB white wine. P.S. And get ready for an incredible breakfast next morning!
The rooms at the Colony in charming Kennebunkport, Maine are packed with glorious florals, so, of course, John and I are smitten with this white elephant of a hotel perched smack upon the glorious rocky coast. We like to sit back and read The Hotel New Hampshire and The World of Interiors upon the porch whilst sipping classic Waspy cocktails such as Southsides and watching sailboats ply the sparkly waters. Slightly tatty and yet absolutely fabulous.
Dorothy Draper’s masterpiece in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia is a favorite annual pilgrimage—and not because of the resort’s myriad activities, including the superlative spa and exceptional dining options. Rather, John and I lap up the incredible colors, the mixes of patterns, the window treatments shaped like giant bows, the plaster baroque wall clock in the lobby, the busts, the floral fabrics that segue into trellis, and the list goes on and on. If you are a fan of prints and patterns, a visit to The Greenbrier is an absolute must.
Dramatically situated above a postcard-perfect glistening lake in upstate New York, the Mohonk Mountain House is a hiker’s dream as the views of the surrounding Shawangunk Mountains, aka, The Gunks, are stellar. The Victorian-era edifice is an architectural masterpiece, too, and you can wander the lengthy halls and imagine yourself stepping back in time. Finish off the day with a classic Swedish massage in the resort’s spa. Remind us to tell you about the time we went for New Year’s and we all arrived in the dining room with mom in tuxedos and vintage YSL, and we were the only ones really “dressed.” Ah, but we had more fun than anyone else there! P.S. Catch the property in the classic film The Road to Wellville with Anthony Hopkins.
For over a decade John and I had a cozy escape high in New York’s stunning Catskill Mountains, but before we finished renovating our former schoolhouse retreat we would check into the nearby Mountain Brook Inn in Bovina to check on the progress. After we moved into our weekend escape, we would still frequent the Mountain Brook for owner Gary Simmons’ rollicking Saturday-night only dinner parties—such amazing memories of dinners there with my parents and other friends. Looking onto a babbling brook and surrounded by pine-shaded woodlands, the inn is absolutely funky but also decidedly charming and atmospheric. A favorite.
Bloody expensive, but our most favorite intimate “resort” in the world. A former Rockefeller Adirondacks camp perched on the incredibly scene Saranac Lake, The Point is the epitome of relaxed, relaxed, relaxed chic. Communal dinners might be black tie or a stupendous BBQ al fresco whilst you are wrapped in wonderful blankets paired with stellar Bloody Marys under a nascent moon. Take an electric boat for a ride, hike the knockout woods that wrap this uber-private retreat, request a late-night move with a bowl of truffled popcorn, or read beside the fire in the main lodge. John and I have met some incredible folks here (who all flew in on their private planes!) during our multiple visits (we were writing magazine stories—hence how we got to travel to a place beyond our pay scale). If you want to splurge on a long weekend away, this is the place to do it.