Luxury is more than what meets the eye. It’s a state of being that engages the rest of the five senses, too, and pampers them accordingly. Luxury is the feel of a warm tropical breeze and Egyptian cotton sheets on bare skin … the taste of organic fruits and vegetables harvested from the very garden in which you’re dining al fresco … the soothing crackle from a private hearth… the aroma of freshly brewed cappuccino. Plotting your next escape is easy when you allow your senses (and this distinguished lineup of America’s finest luxury inns) to show you the way.
1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage, Asheville, NC
Overlooking downtown Asheville and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, WhiteGate offers the comforts of today enhanced with the ambiance of days gone by. Period antiques and fine collectibles fill the rooms and shared spaces with charm. The dining room’s carved alabaster light fixture and matching wall sconces are original to the house. Stays come with two-person Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and luxurious amenities. Gourmet breakfast is served in the dining room every morning. Chef Andrew McFadyen’s specialties include Crab and Artichoke Egg Puff and Oatmeal Custard Crème Brûlée. While away your escape from the outside world by wandering into the orchid-filled conservatory, through the lush landscape, and onto a massage table awaiting you in the spa. Ready to call it a night? Simply ease into the grand four-poster bed, gaze at the soaring ceiling, and dream away.
Buhl Mansion Guesthouse and Spa, Sharon, PA
Rich in history, this elegant inn is a romantic getaway and indulgent spa escape in one. It’s the architectural legacy of Sharon’s great steel magnate, Frank H. Buhl, founder of the Sharon Steel Corporation. Construction on the mansion began in 1890 and was completed in 1896. Decorated with lavish period antiques, guestrooms bear names that honor the mansion’s notable past. Magnificent turn-of-the-century woodwork graces the Frank H. Buhl Room. The Julia F. Buhl Room, “Julia’s Castle,” is built into the largest of the castle’s turrets. Both rooms offer round king beds; feather beds, comforters and pillows; whirlpool tub for two; and gas fireplaces. A world-class spa elevates the luxury and pampering. Just wait until you smell and feel the Pevonia Botanica skincare products, created exclusively for Buhl.
The Farmhouse at Veritas, Afton, VA
Built in 1839 as a private residence and opened to the public in 2012, this six-room bed and breakfast is adjacent to Veritas Vineyards and Winery in the heart of the Monticello American Viticulture Area. The inn blends 19th-century beginnings with modern comforts, creating a signature down-to-earth luxury. The Surrey room is a splendid example, with a hand-carved four-poster bed swathed in 300-count Egyptian cotton linen, a fireplace, and views of the vineyards and Blue Ridge Mountains. In the kitchen, guests are invited to watch Chef Andy prepare made-to-order breakfasts and dinners, all of which showcase the bounty of the region. The Farmhouse’s newest addition, the Garden House, is a covered patio in the middle of an edible garden. If it’s balmy out, guests can enjoy breakfast or dinner al fresco, within easy reach of where the food on their plate was grown.
The Garden Gables Inn, Lenox, MA
Set in the verdant Berkshires landscape on five private acres flush with towering trees, this traditional country-house inn is just steps away from the restaurants and shops of Lenox Village and Tanglewood. The spacious suites and cozy rooms all come with luxury amenities like spa robes, fireplaces, private patios, and king beds. Treat yourself to a spa day, day by the pool, or both. Dedicated spa rooms are little sanctuaries for expert massage, facials, and body treatments. The 70-foot heated pool is flanked by an expansive deck overlooking the grounds, perfect for lounging. A stay includes full country breakfast, professionally prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Guests receive complimentary wine-tasting, hiking and cross-country skiing/snowshoeing at the owners’ 200-acre Hilltop Orchards and Furnace Brook Winery in nearby Richmond.
The Henderson Castle Inn and B&B, Kalamazoo, MI
Built in 1895 atop West Main Hill, this Queen Anne-style landmark overlooks downtown Kalamazoo, a view best enjoyed from the rooftop hot tub. Fine antiques, luxury linens, and heated flooring furnish the 10 guestrooms, all of which have a distinctive global theme. For instance, the Tibetan Room boasts a hand-painted tin ceiling lit to mimic the glow of an evening sky. Owner and French master chef Francois Moyet offers three meals daily as well as an afternoon high tea. Sip a hand-crafted cocktail or head to the “wine cave” to enjoy a wine flight before sitting down to an authentic French dinner in the bistro-inspired dining room. The “Royal Tasting Menu” offers the world’s greatest delicacies, including caviar, lobster bisque, Cote de Boeuf Bordelaise, and fresh fish flown in daily from Honolulu.
Hillbrook Inn & Spa, Charles Town, WV
Legacy meets luxury at this stunning English Tudor mansion, which sits on the first land purchased by George Washington. More than 30 sprawling acres, divided among three separate properties, provide a quiet, elegant retreat just one hour outside of Washington, D.C. Choose from rooms in the main house, cottages, or Hawthorn, Farmhouse and Gatehouse suites. They include, among them, large stone fireplaces, spa-inspired baths with Roman soaking tubs, king beds draped in premium linens and a private sauna for two. A stay includes gourmet breakfast (frittatas and soufflés, home-baked goods, freshly brewed coffee) and the inn’s Redbook Restaurant offers five-course gourmet dining, prepared with fresh, local ingredients. No visit is complete without a stroll of the beautifully manicured grounds, where gorgeous flowering plants, lush greenery, and a serene duck pond inhabit the space where Washington once roamed.
Holualoa Inn, Holualoa, HI
When traditional architecture mixes with modern touches of Polynesian elegance, an unforgettable luxury vacation erupts. Set among 5,100 coffee trees, rich pasture land, and enchanting tropical gardens on the slopes of Mount Hualalai, this Big Island estate invigorates the senses with panoramic Pacific views from every corner of the property. Offering an open-air environment that blends effortlessly with the natural surroundings, the inn features four guest rooms, two suites, and one cottage, the recently renovated “Darrell Hill,” with its private, wrap-around ocean view deck. The rooms are impeccably dressed in contemporary, island-inspired furnishings, plush bedding, and original artwork. Breakfast is fresh from the Holualoa garden—papaya, banana, fig, arugula, avocado, lilikoi, pineapple. Why go anywhere else when you can simply take a dip in the mosaic-tiled pool or lounge under the breezy, sweetly fragranced lanai?
The Inn at Stonington, Stonington, CT
Set along the waterfront in a town that has retained its early American charm, the inn blends history with modern-day luxury. Eighteen individually decorated rooms feature, among them, fireplaces, oversized baths with Jacuzzi tubs, Anichini Italian bed linens, and private balconies with views of Fisher’s Island Sound. Wander to the public top-floor sitting room overlooking Stonington Harbor, perfect for quiet contemplation. There’s also an intimate bar with adjoining breakfast room (continental-style served daily), cozy living room, and gym. The inn’s spin on happy hour is a nightly complimentary wine and cheese reception, served in an elegant parlor, which also has a view of the water. Then head to dinner at one of four restaurants within walking distance before polishing off the evening with an invigorating stroll along the 400-foot deep-water dock.
Milliken Creek Inn, Napa, CA
This ultra-private refuge on three lush acres overlooking the Napa River is luxurious in every “sense” of the word. A king-size canopy bed wrapped in fine linens and piled with sumptuous down pillows has to be felt to be believed—so does a soak in the ultra spa therapy tub, complete with green tea bath salts and candles to intensify the soothing. Slip into a plush spa robe, lounge by the handsome iron-clad hearth, and take in the chic, peaceful shades of khaki, chocolate and cream that swath the room. A fresh bedside orchid is an elegant, thoughtful touch. Awaken to gourmet breakfast, served on your private deck so you can simultaneously savor the tranquil views of both river and woodland. If it’s warm out, treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage in the riverside spa cabana.
Sage Hill Inn Above Onion Creek, Kyle, TX
This boutique-style inn was built in 1994 but recently underwent some extensive upgrades to the rooms and throughout the grounds. There’s a huge new deck by the pool as well as a new 14-person hot tub, large fire pit, and limestone-bordered bocce court with a wonderful sunset view. The property also includes a world-class restaurant with newly expanded kitchen. Every stay comes with a full hot breakfast and an award-winning three-course dinner prepared with fresh, local, farm-to-table ingredients. The inn has 15 rooms that include four private cottages and several luxury suites. Each offers fireplaces, plush faux-down beds, sumptuous linens, and relaxing porches. A unique view of the Texas Hill Country and a freshly-picked bouquet from the Sage Hill garden complete the warm, generous welcome.
Sugar Hill Inn, Sugar Hill, NH
At this impeccably restored country inn nestled in the White Mountains, it’s all about the luxury of being pampered. Innkeepers Steve and Karen greet guests in the elegant dining room each morning with organic Fair Trade coffee, tea, or cappuccino before offering executive chef Val Fortin’s specialties, such as homemade granola, and buttermilk pancakes made with blueberries from the garden. The accommodations include private baths (some with double whirlpool tubs), plush king or queen beds, gorgeous mountain views, and a private porch adjoining some rooms and cottages. Every room has a history and significance of its own. For example, guests who book the Bette Davis Luxury Suite will sleep in the same room the Hollywood legend did many nights during the ’30s and ’40s.