(Contributed by Jennifer Sung) It wouldn’t be a surprise if your international summer plans were interrupted by Covid-19 (whose plans weren’t?), but it’s not too late to still get away and explore your own backyard, giving you the chance to traverse the unique landscape of home. Epic trips, similar to the one you were planning to have pre-Covid, are still possible!
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Below are some great getaway hotels in the United States that are only a short flight or road trip away. For future international visitors to the U.S., these trips can make for a great destination to combine with a city, and in turn showcase some of the country’s incredibly varied topography.
With the foothills of a canyon as its backdrop, Amangiri is THE place to be if you want to experience the raw power of nature at its monochromatic, ancient best. Set around a 165-million-year-old rock formation in a surreal otherworldly desert landscape, Amangiri is an experience in itself. The resort’s award-winning industrial yet sleek architecture, designed to camouflage into its surrounds, brings a calming sense of peace, perfect if you’ve been working during the pandemic and need to de-stress. For the more actively oriented, the property offers everything from horseback riding to a fun day on the water at nearby Lake Powell, to scenic flights and helicopter rides, hikes, and more. Amangiri also added the much anticipated Camp Sarika, its unique tented camp experience and a mini resort in itself, earlier this year to its already extensive list.
Not sure if you want to spend your trip in the woods or overlooking the ocean? No problem, do both! Soaring 1,200 feet above sea-level and surrounded by a redwood forest but looking out onto the vast Pacific Ocean, Post Ranch Inn offers the best of both worlds. This cliffside hotel, with wood-heavy cabin interiors to match, is perfect for those looking to unplug from the outside world, and combines well with a long drive with short or nightly stopover points at quaint towns either north from Los Angeles or south from San Francisco. There are no televisions and alarm clocks in the room, allowing guests to be one with nature, best exemplified by the Californian sunsets over Big Sur that are a sight to behold.
Nothing screams a getaway more than a trip to the beach. For luxury travellers, the quieter charm of Lanai is a coveted alternative to Hawaii’s more popular (and dare we say it, overpopulated) spots, offering tranquility and privacy but without compromising on majestic surrounds. Fronting crescent-shaped Hulopo’e Beach on Hawaii’s last unspoiled island, Four Seasons Resorts Lanai offers beautiful oceanfront accommodation with a range of activities including snorkeling with green sea turtles, gentle reef sharks and spinner dolphins, helicopter rides over dramatic cliffs, horseback riding, 4×4 jeep excursions, UTV cultural tours and more. Although there is much on offer, most come for the calm afforded on the less populated island and the resort’s private beach is a big draw, with guests using it as a private haven to retreat to after exploring Hawaii. Four Seasons also opened a Japanese-inspired adults wellness retreat, Sensei Lanai, further up the island in the hills.
The best part of this is that a trip to Lanai is easily combined with the unrivalled ultra private pre-flight experience of the PS at LAX (bookable with us! And a partner of Four Seasons Resort Lanai), a backdoor to the aircraft offering everything from check-in to immigration to security at convenience and in privacy.
Live near bustling Los Angeles and want to escape for a quick weekend but hang around within your comfort zone? Where the Californian coastline and an inspired traditional Japanese ryokan meet, you get the unique Nobu Ryokan Malibu, perfect for beach lovers wishing for coastal seclusion in Los Angeles for a weekend staycation. The zen, ryokan-inspired boutique beachfront hotel on Carbon Beach offers the best of California – a chic design-led property that oozes calm but with a touch of flair: all meals are prepared and curated at the eponymous Nobu Malibu right next door, and are available through room service at any time. Spend your days on the sun deck overlooking the ocean with dolphins occassionally making appearances in the early morning hours or book a lymphatic drainage massage and other treatments at the Spa, or simply go for a long stroll on Carbon Beach at your leisure.
Although Puerto Rico is not technically a state, it is still a part of the United States as a territory: great news for anyone who really wants an out of borders travel experience without the hassle. Equally perfect for couples on a romantic trip or for small and big families, all rooms, suites and residences face the ocean and come with a plunge pool or an infinity pool. Larger travel groups and multi-generational families will love the resort’s defacto Presidential Suite, Su Casa – a five-bedroom oceanfront original 1920s hacienda. The hotel offers experiences for everyone in the family, on land, sea or through the sky. Spend the day with Ambassadors of the Environment to learn more about the region’s unique ecosystem and preservation methods, or enjoy a 45-minute session with the on-site photography concierge, or tee off at the resort’s two awardwinning golf courses. Needless to say, there are plenty of water activities, from sailing and snorkeling to the former Olympic windsurfer Karla Barrera-led GoodWinds, which offers kitesurfing, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and more along the pristine coastline.
SPA, WELLNESS AND ADVENTURE
Alaska isn’t the first place one thinks of when dreaming up a summer or autumn getaway, but this is a destination that changes so much from season to season, it may even be worth multiple trips! Within the Wild operates two lodges in southcentral Alaska, Tutka Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge. Choose to stay in either of the two lodges they have available, or divide your time up and stay in both. Within the Wild is perfect for those who love the great outdoors and want to dive into unadulterated nature. Spend a day in a helicopter to get an aerial view of the wildlife. Attempt ice climbing and glacier trekking, head to Katmai National Park with your guide for a bear sighting, take a cooking class, or canoe at the lake. The best part? Alaska has longer daylight in the summer, so the sun doesn’t set until about 10pm allowing for more time to explore.
With 4,200 acres of land to explore, what can’t you do at Blackberry Farm? The Relais&Chateaux lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains is packed with a wide range of activities to entertain you and your travel party. Spend the day fly-fishing in the creek on-site or head over to the wooded hilltop, where you’ll find the archery range to test how well you can aim. Feeling like you want to spend more time on the water? Then have a go at paddle boarding or wake surfing in one of the lakes in Tennessee. There’s also a guided horseback ride you can go on as you enjoy the view of the Smoky Mountain Foothills. After an adventurous day around the resort’s grounds, enjoy an afternoon at the Wellhouse Spa and indulge in a Hydrafacial and massage. All the activity is beautifully complemented by the farm, which is responsible for much of the produce used at the resort. The resort also opened up Blackberry Mountain just nearby, at an elevated position.
Sometimes, all you want to do is leave the kids with their grandparents to enjoy a spa day…or seven. Relax and recharge at Mii amo, a canyon escape in Sedona, with a 3-, 4- or 7-night all inclusive experience. Although there are plenty of activities on offer (from hiking and biking to canyon walks and art experiences), it is the holistic approach to wellbeing that really entices visitors specifically to stay at the spa property. Mii amo Spa’s approach to both treatments and activities are primarily centred around Native American traditions, often combining activity and treatment such as canyon bathing, full moon ceremonies and more. For those who don’t want to commit to a lengthy wellness routine, stay at the nearby Enchantment Resort, with its modern furnished casitas and pool suites, but with access to Mii amo Spa.
This is just a small selection of our many favourites in the United States. To book any of the hotels featured here or for more options, and to have us guide you through your trip, email cl[email protected]
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