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TRAVEL JOURNAL

TRAVEL JOURNAL

Volume 2–2018

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ESCAPOLOGY

CUISINE

Little inspirations and big ideas for escaping in style.

Amazing chefs, great recipes, and the best dining in North America.

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CITIZEN OF THE WORLD Actor Richard Gere discusses his love of travel and hospitality.

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Welcome Dear Guests, It is our pleasure to introduce the second issue of Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal, the new travel and lifestyle magazine exclusively for Relais & Châteaux guests. Each issue is a private tour through the graceful world of these singular inns and hotels. This latest edition is bursting with the diversity of Relais & Châteaux in the Americas—the soaring Canadian Rockies, the raw beauty of New England, southern charm, Caribbean chic, marvelous Mexico, the historic and the contemporary—a whole continent of wonders await in these pages.

© Château de Mercuès

This is a special year for many reasons. The Relais & Châteaux North America Delegations bids farewell to our past president, Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington. Patrick’s passion and many contributions during his tenure made him a highly effective leader. I am honored to have been elected the new president of our delegations. It’s hard to match the drive of our outgoing president, so we’ve hit the ground running. Patrick, thank you again for your service. This is a year of celebrations, one-of-a-kind events and imaginative moments. Think of Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal as a pleasure trip through the extraordinary experiences we offer. Sincerely,

G

Daniel A. Hostettler President, Relais & Châteaux North America

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TravelJo


© Château de Mercuès

Château de Mercuès, Lot, France

GIVE THE GIFT OF A GETAWAY A five-star breakfast, a room with a breathtaking view, a relaxing massage… Relais & Châteaux has captured the secret to timeless moments in a Pure Luxury Gift Box. Whether it’s an overnight stay or a spa treatment followed by a Michelin-starred dinner, an unforgettable experience is guaranteed. All you need to do is choose the destination you want… Gift certificates are available starting at $100. www.cadeaux.relaischateaux.com

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BE THE BEST-DRESSED MAN IN THE ROOM When you wear great clothes that fit perfectly, you project ease and confidence to the world. Get the look by visiting the independent shops of the Sartorial Group. Each one features curated collections of luxury menswear including Made-to-Measure, personalized service and in-house tailoring in a relaxed, clubby atmosphere.

FLORIDA

INDIANA

TENNESSEE

JOHN CRAIG

RALEIGH LIMITED

LEVY’S

132 S. Park Ave. Winter Park, FL 407.629.7944

8702 Keystone Crossing Indianapolis, IN 317.844.1148

3900 Hillsboro Pike, #36 Nashville, TN 615.383.2800

johncraigclothier.com

1258 Third St. South Naples, FL 239.434.2115 135 Breakwater Ct. Jupiter, FL 561.406.6858 5555 Tamiami Trail N. Suite G15 Naples, FL 239.596.5374 280 Village Main ST. #950 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 904.686.1501 167 2nd Ave. North Unit B-101 St. Petersburg, FL 727.258.8007

levysclothes.com

MASSACHUSETTS

TEXAS

MR. SID

M PENNER

1211 Centre St. Newton Centre, MA 617.969.4540

1180-06 Uptown Park Blvd. Houston, TX 713.527.8200

mrsid.com

49 Northern Ave. Boston, MA 857.310.5813

NEW JERSEY GARMANY

garmany.com

121 Broad St. Red Bank, NJ 732.576.8500

ILLINOIS

PENNSYLVANIA

SYD JEROME

COLESON

2 N. La Salle St. Chicago, IL 312.346.0333

36 & 40 N. Queen St. Lancaster, PA 717.394.8842

sydjerome.com

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raleighlimited.com

mpenner.com

POCKETS MENSWEAR pocketsmenswear.com

4000 Villanova Dallas, TX 214.368.1167

7701 Windrose Ave. Suite F170 Plano, TX 214.705.3036

colesonclothiers.com

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Notes from the Road TRAVEL JOURNAL PUBLISHER Toni Recchia Allende RELAIS & CHATEAUX NORTH AMERICA PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICAN DELEGATION Daniel Hostettler DIRECTOR, MEMBER SERVICES NORTH AMERICA Brenda Homick

EDITORIAL & DESIGN EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Owen McDonald CREATIVE DIRECTOR Leslie Singer ART DIRECTOR Susan Dumas CONTRIBUTORS Sherri Daley, Samantha Davis-Friedman,

Sara Perez Webber, Elizabeth Weiss, Stacey Zable PROOFREADING Judy Nevard, Celine Allende CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Philip Holt DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION/CIRCULATION Christine Hamel ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIPS GROUP PUBLISHER Shae Marcus

Hello Fellow Travelers,

SPONSORSHIP DIRECTOR Kim Hewson

It seems that between the backpacking days of my youth and my business life in the travel industry, I’ve spent much of my life on the road. Seeing North America through the lens of Relais & Châteaux has been an experience like no other. Each property uniquely, majestically invites guests to experience the natural wonders of the outdoors—from dogsledding to polo, golf to fly fishing, river rapids to rustica—and yet indulge in the luxury of fine dining and exquisite hospitality. As unique as each property is, they all have something in common: They are magnificent.

Text

PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR Jena Kaneshir, Denise Favorule ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGERS Karen Azzarello,

Monica Delli Santi, Christina Ferrero ADVERTISING SERVICES DIRECTOR Jacquelyn Fischer

CHAIRMAN Carroll V. Dowden PRESIDENT & CEO Mark Dowden SENIOR VICE PRESIDENTS Shae Marcus, Carl C. Olsen VICE PRESIDENTS Nigel Edelshain, Rita Guarna, Christine Hamel CONTROLLER Agnes Alvez

For me, it’s a trifecta: The perfect company to work with, a beautiful country to experience, and great new partnerships. It creates unexpected opportunities and lifelong friendships.

PROPERTY & PARTNERSHIP INQUIRIES

We welcome you to be part of Travel Journal magazine. This road to happiness goes on forever.

Shae. Marcus@WainscotMedia.com

Good travels,

Toni@TravelJournalMagazine.com ADVERTISING QUERIES

Toni Allende

Travel Journal magazine is published by Wainscot Media and 77 East Group, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, on behalf of RELAIS & CHATEAUX, 250 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10177.

Toni Allende, Publisher

Copyright ©2018 by Wainscot Media, LLC. All rights reserved. The material in this publication may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of Travel Journal magazine’s Publisher.

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TRAVEL JOURNA Dear Friends, Notions of “luxury” can be cyclical, responding to prevailing trends. With the Millennial penchant for experience over materialism, luxury is changing again. Some things don’t change, however, nor should they. It’s been said that “privacy is the new wealth.” We couldn’t agree more. Think of this magazine as an idea map, created to help make the most of your priceless privacy. We are delighted to bring you the 2018 edition of Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal, North America. Our muse is the 25 utterly original inns and restaurants who have joined together for this issue—and the impeccable work of many individuals who make those experiences possible. Our writers and designers are fortunate to engage with admired hoteliers, in their element, and sample the spirit of legendary places. We observe chefs as they encourage teams before the dinner rush; speak with servers so expert in complex menus that their knowledge transcends recitation; converse with gardeners, aestheticians, concierge, housekeepers and mixologists. They are abidingly professional, and their personal warmth makes you smile every time. My own travels in producing this latest issue took me to two countries, several U.S. states, and many different worlds. Along the way, as expert Relais & Châteaux innkeepers shared their finest leisure experiences, my mind kept returning to the staff at these magnificent properties. Interacting with them regularly, you pick up some things, and two really stand out: First, hospitality is a career choice for the vast majority of these folks. Second, they love it. As I spoke with the actor Richard Gere—a Relais & Châteaux innkeeper himself—it struck me that many of his answers also circled back to his gifted staff. No matter how exotic the experience, people are the most important part of it. Good travels,

Owen McDonald Owen McDonald, Editorial Director Send your own Relais & Châteaux adventures to owen@traveljournalna.com.

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NAL CONTENTS FEATURES 40

Newport Under Sail The capital of American yacht racing is also a prime spot for every imaginable indulgence.

The Color and the Shape Classic inns and hotels are being renovated with artistic flair and respect for the past.

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Wild in the West Deep in the heart of North America is a land of myth, legend and supreme relaxation.

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ESCAPOLOGY

CUISINE

300 years of the Big Easy; the Baltimore staycation; ultimate BMW day trips; soccer camp with the FCB all-stars; $10 million reward for Boston’s missing Manet.

Inn at Little Washington celebrates 40 years; Chef Jason Bangerter named Canadian chef of the year; secret recipe for Magee Homestead’s Akaushi Tartare.

28 THE GOOD LIFE Quebec’s old city elegance; the art collection of Craig and Barbara Barrett; making your own kite; the Nantucket getaway.

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Secrets of Spa Science Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal answers the question: Does spa make you healthier?

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LIAISONS

INTERNATIONAL

The idea of “traditional” weddings has been redefined by innovative practitioners; our ultimate picks for the most romantic inns.

We know of a place where mythical mana can be found, along with overwhelming beauty and every conceivable comfort.

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

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74

Being There You’d be surprised by the exotic destinations hidden in and around North America.

86

Directory

96

Listings

We all know Richard Gere as an actor. He speaks with Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal about his role as an innkeeper.

Cover Photo: Getty Images

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LEFT PAGE PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES; UPPER RIGHT: IMAGE COURTESY OF ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM; BOTTOM: GETTY IMAGES

ESCAPOLOGY

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300 Years

of the Big Easy

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n New Orleans, it’s always a good time to laissez les bon temps rouler, but 2018 gives visitors even more reason to celebrate. This year, the Big Easy commemorates its found-

ing in 1718 with a packed calendar of events, including special performances, exhibits and concerts. The Tall Ships Tricentennial Gala is especially noteworthy—a black-tie affair on the decks of the historic tall ships that will be docked alongside Woldenberg Park.

LEFT PAGE PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES; UPPER RIGHT: IMAGE COURTESY OF ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM; BOTTOM: GETTY IMAGES

www.2018nola.com

THE CASE OF THE MISSING MANET Empty frames hang in Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—a poignant reminder of the 13 works of art stolen in a brazen heist on March 18, 1990. None of the artwork, including such masterpieces as Manet’s Chez Tortoni, Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, and Vermeer’s The Concert, has ever been recovered. Yet the museum remains hopeful; it has extended indefinitely a $10 million reward for the artwork’s return. —Sara Perez Webber

WARHOL AT THE WHITNEY Andy Warhol’s own 15 minutes of fame are far from over. In November 2018, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art will open the city’s first comprehensive retrospective of the celebrated pop artist’s work in nearly 30 years. The exhibit will span Warhol’s career, from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic pop masterpieces of the 1960s, to his more experimental works of the 70s and 80s. www.whitney.org

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ESCAPOLOGY A Brief History of

Bermuda Shorts

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L I S T E N

T O

T H I S

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Ken Burns (Brooklyn Bridge)

Peter Coyote (Haight-Ashbury)

Marcus Samuelsson (Harlem)

For those that love walking tours, the Detour app has given the idea some star power. You can choose among every kind of influencer in just about every city in the world. They will share local landmarks and out-of-theway neighborhoods and, along with Detour’s self-guided audio tours, give us narrated, behind-the-scenes insight into some terrific places. It’s augmented reality for the savvy traveler, truly plugging us into the areas we visit. Their recent update is just in time for summer travel, featuring 75+ new tours, 12 new cities, video previews, in-app camera, a design refresh, and a lot more.

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TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON; BOTTOM: THE ALBANY DISTILLING COMPANY

Joel Grey (Broadway)

BOTTOM PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; TOP ILLUSTRATION; ENVISIONINGTHEAMERICANDREAM.COM

ike a lot of clothing, Bermuda shorts have military origins. The British army needed a uniform more suited to tropical climates. In the 1920s, bankers and businessmen in Bermuda adopted the look. When tourists visited the island from England and the East Coast of the United States, they brought back the trend, wearing tailored “Bermuda” shorts, often with high socks just like the British army and Bermudan businessmen did. In the U.S., these shorts were strictly for leisure pursuits, and in the 1950s, some towns and universities actually enacted bans on wearing shorts. By the 1980s, though, taboos around people wearing tailored shorts had all but disappeared. Nowadays most of us skip high socks (although they still wear them in Bermuda) in favor of no socks at all (or no-show socks), but Bermuda shorts are still a popular way to stay cool while looking stylish.


The Cherry Brandy Cocktail wears many hats. As a pre-dinner drink, it excites the taste buds. After dinner, it can double as a refreshing, light dessert. Enjoyed on a shady veranda, it tastes of summer in a sunny orchard when the tree limbs are heavy with fruit. The Inn at Little Washington’s cherry orchards produce hundreds of pounds of fruit that is baked into tarts, preserved as jam, squeezed into juice and fermented into brandy.

Cherry Brandy Cocktail 1½ oz ciroc vodka ½ oz ciroc coconut vodka ½ oz brandy from jar of brandied cherries or cherry heering liquer

1½ oz pineapple juice add all ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker and shake. double strain into chilled martini glass. garnish with orange peel and/or brandied cherry.

NOT YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL RUM

Ginger in Paradise by Robert Mack INGREDIENTS

• 2 oz Quackenbush Amber Rum ½ oz cold press ginger ½ oz orange juice (fresh if possible)

A

rum renaissance. A rum revival. Call it what you will, but rum is having a moment, according to food and beverage experts. This spirit is moving way beyond the rum that you use in a tropical cocktail or mix with Coke, with distilleries now turning out creative and sophisticated versions that are made to be sipped and appreciated more on the level of Cognacs or Scotches. Rum was first distilled on the sugarcane plantations of the Caribbean, and America’s first rum distillery opened in 1664 in Staten Island. It was a sought-after spirit during the Colonial days and through the Revolution until a British tax on molasses from the British Caribbean led to its decline in popularity. Rum slowly returned to bars across the U.S., and now rum-focused distilleries are popping up across the country, often using a mix of traditional and modern techniques.

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON; BOTTOM: THE ALBANY DISTILLING COMPANY

BOTTOM PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; TOP ILLUSTRATION; ENVISIONINGTHEAMERICANDREAM.COM

1 oz cream of coconut foam* pinch smoked sea salt* • P R E PA R AT I O N

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass. Float foam and top with salt. Brûlée with torch.* *optional

A few notable newcomers include micro-distillery Rocker Spirits in Littleton, Colorado, whose Rocker Rum is aged six years in whiskey barrels and has tasting notes described as “molasses and oak nose with slight hints of vanilla and tropical fruit, light brown sugar and oak with a lasting white pepper finish.” It’s sold in a distinctive round bottle that actually allows it to be rocked back and forth for pouring. The Albany Distilling Company in Albany, G I N G E R I N PA R A D I S E New York, makes its Quakenbush Rum from Caribbean fancygrade molasses and ages it in oak whiskey barrels, which gives it its amber color. They also make Quackenbush Still House Rum, which is unaged and inspired by their proximity to Albany’s original 18th century distillery, and follows a recipe from that era. At Journeyman Distillery, in Three Oaks, Michigan, you can buy Road’s End Rum aged or unaged. They finish their aged rum in bourbon barrels for 12 months, which gives it a touch more sweetness along with the spice of most traditional rums. More and more bars are offering distinctive rum drinks, including creative takes on the Cuba Libre made with white rum mixed with cola syrup, fernet and bitters, then topped with champagne for a surprising, bubbly finish.

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BEND IT like BARÇA International sports headlines hail the superstars of football—soccer if you’re from the States. The global popularity of the sport isn’t only about famous athletes; it’s also millions of kids around the world who have a passion for the game. Many of these youngsters aspire to play like the superstars of Futbol Club Barcelona (also known as FCB or “Barça”), ranked among the best

T

he Luxury Pool Family Suites at Eden Roc at Cap Cana feature an opulent master bedroom connecting to a cool kids’ bedroom with

bunks. When not swimming in their private pool, families hop into their own golf cart and head to Eden Roc Beach Club for snorkeling

in the world. FCB Summer Camp Dominican

and boogie boarding. Parents like to sip on

Republic at Los Establos Cap Cana enables

internationally inspired cocktails at the Beach

children ages 6 to 12 to have a genuine Barça

Bar while kids—or “kokos”—ages 4 to 12 can

experience, with the opportunity to be trained

do arts & crafts, play games or go on scavenger

by the club’s football experts.

hunts at the Koko Kid’s Club. There’s even a

During the two-week sessions, coaches and trainers use Barça’s methodology to teach young players skills that have led to FCB’s elite status in the international football world. With a location in the D.R.’s eastern Cap Cana region—one of the premier beach destinations on the globe, and less than four hours from New York—families can enjoy an amazing vacation together after their young soccer stars come off the pitch.

Koko’s Mini Spa, so children can be pampered, just like their Barça heroes.

LEFT PAGE PHOTOS (2): COURTESY OF EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA; DRINK ILLUSTRATION AND CHILD: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; RIGHT HAND PAGE: TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE HOME RANCH; LOWER RIGHT: COURTESY OF MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

ESCAPOLOGY

More about Eden Roc at Cap Cana page 87

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HIKING ZIRKEL Among residents of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the #1 most popular hike—11 miles, six creek crossings and 3,000 feet in elevation—is through the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. Staff members of The Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado, lead guests on a visit to two alpine lakes, Gilpin and Gold, in this protected wilderness. You walk along Gold Creek and climb to the first lake. After a short break, hikers climb up to the saddle for a look at one of the bluest lakes we’ve ever seen, ironically named Lake Gold. From there it’s all downhill to lunch by the second lake, Gilpin. The hike follows Gilpin Creek down to where it meets the Elk River, through evergreens and meadows,

LEFT PAGE PHOTOS (2): COURTESY OF EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA; DRINK ILLUSTRATION AND CHILD: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; RIGHT HAND PAGE: TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE HOME RANCH; LOWER RIGHT: COURTESY OF MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

and stunning peaks.

WA R D R O B E T E C H

PACKING IT IN

Time Well Spent Wine is central to the Napa Valley way of life, and so is wellness. With that in mind, spending time in the Meadowood Spa (the only Forbes Five-Star spa in Napa Valley) is a must. Each of the eight spa suites features a steam shower and cozy seating area, affording a level of privacy that is both distinctive and very relaxing. A light and healthy meal from the spa culinary menu before or following your treatments in the outdoor relaxation gardens rounds out this exceptional experience.

Imagine taking the ‘what if’ out of packing. That is exactly what PackPoint Travel Packing List does. Featured as one of the best new apps on iTunes and mentioned in The Washington Post, BBC, LA Times, Lifehacker, Fast Company’s Co. DESIGN, PackPoint Travel Packing List has been called “A Travel App That Practically Packs Your Bags For You.”

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ESCAPOLOGY RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

NEW APP RUNS THE WORLD

RAINFOREST RENEWAL The misty Appalachian temperate rainforest just outside its doors seems to have been bottled for a wonderfully indulgent experience at The Spa at Old Edwards Inn. The Blue Ridge Rain Forest body treatment begins with aromatic body wash, cleansing scrubs and detoxifying mud in an exotic steam chamber. You cleanse and moisturize in the Rainforest Rejuvenation Room, under an intermittent steam and rain shower rinse with pulse-point water massage. The soothing sensations can be enjoyed in solitude, or as a couple. —Sara Perez Webber

Getting the most of from your jog just got a lot easier. The RunGo app features 100,000+ routes worldwide with built-in audio and video directions. According to the company’s

Watch, so you can run and explore new routes straight from your wrist. RunGo for Apple Watch Series 2 allows you to track and navigate your runs without the need to bring your iPhone data package.”

ULTIMATE DRIVES Weekapaug Inn’s peaceful perch overlooking Quonochontaug Pond in Westerly, Rhode Island, is a convenient home base for sightseeing. The seaside village of Mystic, Connecticut, the mansions of Newport, and natural wonders of this coastline—all make great day-trip drives. Like all members of OHM Collection, Weekapaug Inn has an exclusive luxury auto program for guests. The Inn keeps two gorgeous BMW 750i autos—their largest luxury sedan—standing by for guests. It’s first come, first served. The concierge hands over the keys and, if you like, pre-programs the GPS with great tours for you and your Beemer.

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ALL PHOTOS THIS PAGE COURTESY OF THE IVY HOTEL

and voice navigation to the Apple

PHOTO THIS PAGE: UPPER LEFT COURTESY OF THE SPA AT OLD EDWARDS; LOWER LEFT: COURTESY OFWEEKAPAUG INN; UPPER RIGHT ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

website, “RunGo brings stats tracking


T

he “on location” staycation concept is heating up—bespoke mini-vacations in intimate hotels that let you feel at home (or as a guest in the home of a very impressive friend). The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon district has its own unique take on staycations.

Few urban hotels are as inclusive—or as exclusive—as The Ivy. Settle in to one of 18 sumptuous rooms and suites in this posh turn-of-the-century manse (think four-poster beds, gas fireplaces, lavish bathrooms, and a stringent no-tipping policy). The lure to stay en suite will be strong, except when Afternoon Tea is being served downstairs. An old-fashioned tradition seems new, delicious, and still oh-socomforting. Afterward explore The Spa at The Ivy and indulge in customized and luscious transformative experiences.

ALL PHOTOS THIS PAGE COURTESY OF THE IVY HOTEL

PHOTO THIS PAGE: UPPER LEFT COURTESY OF THE SPA AT OLD EDWARDS; LOWER LEFT: COURTESY OFWEEKAPAUG INN; UPPER RIGHT ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The Baltimore “Staycation”

Evenings begin with cocktails at the Mansion Bar, then you may choose to “go out to dinner” at conveniently located downstairs Restaurant Magdalena. Chef Mark Levy’s “fine dining bistro” is consistently rated one of Baltimore’s finest. Retire with a great bottle of wine and midnight snack from your fully stocked Barmoire. When you awaken, it’s The Ivy’s famous breakfast, with Lemon Soufflé Pancakes so fluffy they could float. It’s the better way to staycation.—Elizabeth Weiss More about The Ivy Hotel page 91 RelaisChateaux.com

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ALL PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGES COURTESY OF THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON; RIBBON/POPCORN: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

CUISINE

Patrick O’Connell has mentored generations of young chefs. Many alumni of The Inn at Little Washington will return in 2018 for a grand reunion.

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AS AMERICAN AS CHERRY PIE 40th year festivities with Patrick O’Connell

O

BY OWEN McDONALD

ALL PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGES COURTESY OF THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON; RIBBON/POPCORN: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

n a cold January night in 1978 when self-taught chef Patrick O’Connell opened a modest dining room in a rented garage in a Lilliputian Virginia village (pop. 155) named in honor of George Washington, he wasn’t thinking about parallels between himself and the father of our country. As a young surveyor, the Founding Father laid out the charming town of Washington, Virginia, and named its streets. He also danced (and presumably dined) in an adjoining tavern that O’Connell would one day own. From the start, the chef’s virtuosic menus have been based on ingredients foraged locally and sourced from nearby gardens, farmers and artisanal producers. General George would have approved. It’s how O’Connell led the real farm-to-table uprising, planting a flag of his own. This “New American cuisine” soon began attracting devotees from another town named after Washington—the nearby U.S. capital—and from foodies farther afield. “Washington’s model of a self-sufficient homestead is parallel to how The Inn at Little Washington functions today, with a resident farmer, 36 cooks and 148 staff,” says O’Connell. “America’s culinary consciousness has expanded. We’ve become one of the most discerning, competitive and adventurous audiences in the world. But strangely enough, human need doesn’t really change that much.” O’Connell understands that hospitality is a caring connection with guests and patrons. “Passion is in short supply in a culture that regards dollars as the ultimate measuring tool for success,” he says. “True luxury is something created for the pleasure of it, outside the scope of marketability, and therefore, priceless.”

Praiseworthy insights from the man who has been dubbed “the Pope of American cuisine.” In 2018, The Inn at Little Washington marks its 40th anniversary with three parties celebrating an astounding four-decade journey, beginning with its unassuming origins as a former garage to becoming a member of Relais & Châteaux, to its two Michelin stars from the Paris-based Michelin Guide (2017 and 2018).

TRUFFLED POPCORN

While the capstone event takes place at a château outside Paris (see p. 30), the first largescale gala celebrates America’s founding father. A spring garden party on the lawn at Mount Vernon will recreate the experience of being a guest at Washington’s table in the 18th century. Much of the produce served at the dinner will be from the estate’s gardens, which have been cultivated for more than 250 years. Top chefs from across the country will be present and honored as Culinary Pioneers. The night will conclude with fireworks over the Potomac River. French Ambassador Gérard Araud will serve as Honorary Chair.

Known for infusing his cuisine with a sense of whimsy, Patrick O’Connell often serves this treat—a guest favorite at The Inn at Little Washington’s Chef’s Table.

Channeling Woodstock, the second anniversary event on September 2 will feature a “family reunion” of former employees of the last 40 years who will return to the Inn to create an outdoor feast. This culinary food festival will be open to the public and will showcase the work of the next generation of alumni. Virginia’s premier wine makers, along with bonfires, a rock concert and “glamping” in the Inn’s “Field of Dreams” will be additional highlights. For anyone who didn’t get to experience Woodstock, “Innstock” may be the next best thing.

Sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pop ¼ cup raw popcorn in an air popper or in your favorite popcorn popper, following the manufacturer’s directions. To dress the popcorn: ⅛ cup melted butter 2 tablespoons good quality truffle oil 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley ½ cup  grated, aged Parmesan cheese

1S  mall, fresh, white or black truffle (optional) 1) P lace the warm popped corn in a large mixing bowl. 2) T oss the popcorn with the remaining ingredients, reserving the truffle to grate at the table.

To purchase tickets and for more information go to theinnat40.com. More about Inn at Little Washington page 91 RelaisChateaux.com

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CUISINE A Chef for All Seasons Inspired by childhood summers spent clamming (and feasting), Jason Bangerter’s culinary journey included life-changing stints in Europe and Toronto, landing him his current role as Executive Chef and locavorein-chief of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Cambridge, Ontario. Deeply entrenched in the farm-to-table movement with a strong French persuasion, the 2017 Hotelier Magazine Canadian Chef of the Year today is stirred by local farmers and foragers, the 75-acre Langdon Hall estate and kitchen gardens, and the intensely seasonal ingredients that make his beloved Canadian terroir shine.

Food initiative fashioned to protect global culinary biodiversity. More than 4,000 foods have been granted endangered species status by Ark of Taste. Many of these exquisitely seasonal ingredients (think black raspberries, freshly picked wax beans) appear on Chef Isaac Olivo’s “Taste of Spring” menu at the Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, Connecticut. Whether served raw with a tart crunch or roasted for a creamy richness, Chef Olivo will ensure the future of rare ingredients by teaching foodies to love them.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

Ark of Taste is a Relais & Châteaux and Slow

PHOTOS BOTTOM: COURTESY OF GRACE MAYFLOWER INN & SPA; TOP PHOTO: LANGDON HALL COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA

Rescue and Rapture


Fashioning the perfect itinerary can be daunting; be sure to allow guest services staff to assist. They take their cues from you: What’s in your home cellar? Where have you visited previously?

T

he vision for Meadowood as established in 1979 was twofold: to create a private club and common ground for the Napa Valley winemaking community, and a wine country resort that would shine as one of the finest in the world. Nearly 40 years later, Meadowood remains a gathering place for the region’s legendary winemakers and grape growers, and a destination for world travelers seeking the most authentic expression of the Napa Valley way of life.

Spectacular views? What do you like to drink? Most guests prefer the offerings from smaller wineries—those that capture the highest rates at auctions. The property’s exclusive relationships allow them to introduce you to many wonderful wines and experiences. After a day of exploring the region, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow guests at Meadowood’s delightful afternoon wine reception. —Travel Journal Staff

The property is nearing completion of a $100 million renovation; an investment made, according to the owners, to ensure the estate remains a premier destination for generations to come. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

PHOTOS BOTTOM: COURTESY OF GRACE MAYFLOWER INN & SPA; TOP PHOTO: LANGDON HALL COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA

Napa Valley Immersion

You will find a uniquely intimate relationship between Meadowood and the region’s legendary vintners who are among its members. You may be relaxing poolside and find yourself chatting with a vintner whose wines you’ve had in your cellar for years. Napa Valley immersion is a way of life at Meadowood. Once settled into the comforts of the property, winery appointments are most guests’ first priority. Fashioning the perfect itinerary can be daunting; be sure to allow staff members to assist. They take their cues from you: What’s in your home cellar? Where have you visited previously? Do you long to see wineries with distinctive architecture? More about Meadowood Napa Valley page 89 RelaisChateaux.com

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CUISINE

V

ermont’s Mad River Valley is home to Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen—arguably the best skiing in the Northeast. In any season there’s a heart to those vales, and it is adorable Warren, Vermont, with the finest covered bridge you ever

saw, the beloved Warren Store, and The Pitcher Inn. Handsomely composed outside, few expect the imaginative design within. It can only be the work of the Smith family, creators of exceptional Winvian Farm. As The Pitcher Inn marks 20 years in 2018, everyone’s talking about Chef De Cuisine Michael Bove. A protégé of Winvian’s illustrious Chef Chris Eddy, Bove belongs

VIVA VERMONT

to an elite new group of chefs making their mark on the Relais & Châteaux stage. His domain is the Inn’s superb restaurant, 275 Main. “I was immersed not only in culinary creativity, but in Chef Eddy’s ‘seed-to-table’ philosophy,” Bove says. “When I think about food and what excites me now, I come back to the idea of ‘simple elegance’—ingredients done in a way that can be enjoyed sensorily.” Intriguing items like beet salad bursting with citrus, ultra-light ricotta gnocchi, and flawless duck breast in a Concord grape-port reduction accentuate his

the point of smaller menu choices that are made perfectly each time, allowing guests to truly enjoy.” That joy follows you to bed. In the Trout Suite, for example, a decoupage whopper hangs in a freecasting fantasy, forest details everywhere, vintage fishing tackle, a grand hand-carved bed, and a babbling brook below. All 11 rooms and suites are similarly, astoundingly ingenious. —Owen McDonald

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PITCHER INN; CHIVES: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

“My goal is to keep it fresh and delicious,” Bove says. “Fresh to

More about The Pitcher Inn Page 91

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TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAGEE HOMESTEAD; BOTTOM: CHaTEAU PEYFAURES

tasteful vision.


Ingredients

MAGEE HOMESTEAD

Akaushi Tartare

With Egg Yolk Vinaigrette & Grilled Bread The “pasture to plate” philosophy behind Magee Homestead’s culinary program emphasizes intuition—knowing what a guest wants before they ask for it. Chef AJ Buchanio is a master at this. Here’s his recipe for Akaushi Tartare (serves 4).

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAGEE HOMESTEAD; BOTTOM: CHaTEAU PEYFAURES

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PITCHER INN; CHIVES: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Chateau Peyfaures Owing to its cool conditions and ample moisture, clay-limestone soil engenders some of the boldest wines in the world. Such is the case for Château Peyfaures, a seven-generation vineyard located in eastern Entre-deux-Mers, in Bordeaux, across the Dordogne River from two legendary wine regions (Saint-Émilion and Pomerol). The focus at Château Peyfaures is on sustainability, and the results are magnificent: complex, highly structured wines featuring lush dark blends of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, the varied terroir apparent in every glass.

Egg Yolk Vinaigrette 2 tsp White Balsamic Vinegar 2 Egg Yolks Lemon (cut in quarters)—Squeeze 1 tsp Honey 1 tsp Grated Parmesan Cheese Pinch Kosher Salt 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 5 oz. Akaushi Beef Tenderloin (trimmed 100%, 1⁄4" dice) 4 tsp Slivered Castelvetrano Olives 2 tsp Pickled Mustard Seeds 4 tsp Celery (1⁄8" dice) 1 tsp Chopped Herbs (parsley, thyme, chives) Kosher Salt to taste Fresh Ground Black Pepper Seeded Bread (baguette or demi loaf, 1⁄4" thick, 6”-8” long)—4 slices Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drizzled Grana Padano Cheese as needed

Method Egg Yolk Vinaigrette 1. Combine egg yolks, vinegar, honey, and parmesan cheese in mixing bowl and squeeze lemon (make sure to watch for seeds). While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil. 2. Add beef, olives, mustard seeds, celery, herbs, salt and pepper to Egg Yolk Vinaigrette and gently mix together. Taste and re-season if necessary. Seeded Bread Drizzle olive oil on both sides of bread slices and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill until evenly caramelized and lightly charred on both sides. Finish/Garnish/Serve. Spoon tartare mixture into center of chilled plate and top with freshly shredded Grana Padano cheese. Place grilled bread around plate. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

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CUISINE

If You Grow It, They Will Come With no standard definition of “local” cuisine, the concept can be debated. Not so at Connecticut’s Winvian Farm, where, under Executive Chef Chris Eddy’s tutelage, local likely means harvested on their own three-acre organic farm. Greenhouses. Apiary. Henhouse. Fruit orchards. Such is Eddy’s domain, and where he grows nearly everything that is (simply, artistically) plated at The Restaurant at Winvian Farm. It is indisputably Eddy’s “seed-to-table” philosophy in motion. This Boulud- and Ducasse-trained master chef pores through seed catalogs in deepest winter to ensure guests are exposed to new ingredients, new flavors—a true epicurean adventure—all year long.

Appetite

for

Knowledge

lobster rolls and fresh shucked oysters here (though both are beyond amazing). The Grace White Barn Inn & Spa in Kennebunk, Maine, wants to teach you a thing or two about contemporary entertaining—New England style. As part of its Stellar Cellar Series, White Barn’s legendary culinary team holds court once a month, schooling guests on how to be winning hosts. Coming in 2018: The Art of Afternoon Tea (May), BBQ Techniques (June), Margarita Madness (July), Popsicles (August), Pickled Vegetables (September), Oktoberfest (October), Wine and Cheese Tasting (November) and Favorite Winter Warmers (December).

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TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF SONORA RESORT; MIDDLE PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM; BOTTOM PHOTO: COURTESY OF INN AT HASTINGS PARK; ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

most coastal Maine menus. But it’s not all

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF WINVIAN FARM ‘ TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE GRACE WHITE BARN INN & SPA

Fresh-caught seafood is the centerpiece of


Resort Life Recipes The culinary team at Sonora Resort headed by Executive Chef Lukas Gurtner, is cooking up a treat for home chefs and bookworms alike. In May 2018, the luxury wilderness retreat in British Columbia, Canada, debuts a must-have cookbook showcasing the four-season bounty of the Pacific Northwest—tender game, fresh berries, wild mushrooms, and the freshest seafood—alongside crave-worthy imagery you can all but taste. It’s impossible to single out one recipe, but the Nasturtium Wrapped Sockeye Salmon with textures of raspberry, golden roe, sumac crème fraiche, puffed skin and Nasturtium flower emulsion is a glorious amalgam of all that is summertime.

Bottoms Up: Canada’s OkanaganValley When you visit Canada’s Okanagan Valley—one of the last great undiscovered wine regions—visit the Mark Anthony Wineries. Mission Hill, with its five tiers of outstanding Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, is one of the most aesthetically beautiful in North America. Commitment to quality is unparalleled at CheckMate Artisanal Winery, where you’ll sip ultra-premium Chardonnays and Merlots in a tasting room 1,300 feet above sea level. There is also wonderful Martin’s Lane Winery. Carved into a steep hillside, the uber-modern winery turns out riveting

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF SONORA RESORT; MIDDLE PHOTO: DREAMSTIME.COM; BOTTOM PHOTO: COURTESY OF INN AT HASTINGS PARK; ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF WINVIAN FARM ‘ TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE GRACE WHITE BARN INN & SPA

Pinot Noirs and Rieslings using only gravity—it is hands-off winemaking at its best.

S W E E T V I C T O RY Where the Revolutionary War began, Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington, Massachusetts, fires a compelling confectionary shot with its most coveted amenity: the very decadent, very New England penuche. Like a quick fudge that swaps white sugar for caramelized brown sugar (resulting in rich butterscotch overtones), penuche came to New England by way of Portugal, where it was a big hit in18th-century Portuguese whaling villages. The Inn’s penuche contains walnuts (historically added for texture) and is both a sensory bridge to its past and a childhood favorite of Inn Owner/General Manager Trisha Pérez Kennealy. A request for seconds will be granted; most guests don’t want to stop at just one.

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We at Frescobaldi trust EuroCave to protect the quality of our wines, ensuring that wine lovers can always appreciate a taste of Tuscany at its best.” – LAMBERTO FRESCOBALDI 30th-Generation Winemaker, President

Frescobaldi is synonymous with Tuscan winemaking, proudly representing the region’s heritage and diversity for more than 700 years. With seven estates representing Tuscany’s best territories, Frescobaldi’s historic ties to the region are expressed through its renowned portfolio of wines. It’s the mission of Lamberto Frescobaldi, its 30th-generation president, to share the hard work, relationship with the land, and passion that define Frescobaldi’s connection to Tuscany and pass this passion on to future generations.

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REVELATION Your finest wines deserve the world’s

finest

wine cellars.

REVELATION L

The Safest Place on Earth to Store Your Wine

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THE GOOD LIFE

G

olf great Bobby Jones said, “You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.” He played everywhere and eventually found that peace of mind—in the North Carolina mountain town of Highlands, where his legendary club was founded. Highlands has that effect on people. Many who can vacation anywhere in the world (and do) return here again and again. It’s an utterly charming base for exploring the southwest Blue Ridge Mountains, down serene trails into breathtaking woods past cascading waterfalls.

Highlands is also well known as home to the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, whose perch atop a plateau in this lush microclimate creates its picture-perfect views. The staff are virtuosi of the region’s riches, and Old Edwards is ideal for hosting culinary events throughout the year showcasing their cornucopia. Very popular happenings at The Farm at Old Edwards immerse guests in the storied food culture of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. Each February, “Root Bound, A Celebration of the of Appalachian Food, Highlands is also Culture and Music” located in one of the attracts a limited number few temperate rainforof guests for a full weekests in North America, end of locally inspired By Sara Perez Webber and its high annual food, spirits and music. The rainfall gives it a rich event includes dinners with biodiversity. That makes it literally noted regional chefs, interactive cooking and “fertile ground” for farmers and protasting sessions of Southern Appalachian specialducers who supply the area’s markets ties, a luncheon keynote event with notable food and restaurants with bountiful farmexperts, and live music, including the Bluegrass Gospel fresh fare. Brunch to close out the weekend.

Blue Ridge Mountains

PHOTOS RIGHT & LEFT: COURTESY OF OLD EDWARDS INN AND SPA

A Taste

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E

PHOTOS RIGHT & LEFT: COURTESY OF OLD EDWARDS INN AND SPA

Each November, visitors join farmers to celebrate end-of-summer plenty at the “Farm Harvest Dinner” and barn dance at The Farm at Old Edwards during the annual Highlands Food and Wine Festival.

Each November, visitors join farmers to celebrate end-of-summer plenty at the “Farm Harvest Dinner” during the annual Highlands Food and Wine Festival. Local purveyors such as Sunburst Trout Farm, Anson Mills and Painted Hills Farms Natural Beef prepare their specialties alongside the culinary team from Madison’s Restaurant at Old Edwards, under the direction of Executive Chef Chris Huerta. Christened with a champagne reception, the event also features local craft brews. After dinner, guests kick up their heels at an old-fashioned barn dance. Oenophiles will find palate-pleasing reasons to visit Old Edwards as well. How can you not love their “Release the Rosé” annual dinner in April, when sommeliers Philippe Brainos and Garrett Powell present the spring releases of this popular wine, paired with dishes from Madison’s chefs (and live music). And, in the spirit of liberté, egalité and fraternité, Old Edwards celebrates Bastille Day in July with a French immersion menu by Chef Huerta, accompanied by Laurent-Perrier champagne.

The pristine headwaters of the Highlands plateau feed lakes, rivers, waterfalls and natural swimming holes.

More about Old Edwards Inn and Spa page 89 RelaisChateaux.com

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THE GOOD LIFE “Western” Civilization Triple Creek Ranch owners Barbara and Craig Barrett have a true passion for Western art, and their collection holds classic pieces by C.M. Russell, Frederic Remington, Ed Borein and many others. They are also known for their support of budding contemporary Western artists. In line with those efforts, Triple Creek Ranch welcomes artists every year to the Artist Workshop Weekends, where guests have the opportunity to work side-by-side with acclaimed artists, keeping the spirit of the West alive in a variety of visual mediums.

“Don’t Call It a Show Call It a Rodeo” by artist Hugh Cabot III.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF AUBERGE SAINT-ANTOINE

Four triumphant decades and two Michelin stars after opening his Inn at Little Washington in a converted garage outside the nation’s capitol, Chef Patrick O’Connell feels like celebrating. A series of spectacular anniversary events planned for 2018 will culminate near Paris at Vaux-le-Vicomte, the château where “Louis XIV style” originated. One hundred fifty friends and connoisseurs of food, history and experience will take over the 17th century space (site of a famous Sun King banquet) in September 2018 for an evening of historic cuisine, drinks and pyrotechnics. —Elizabeth Weiss

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF TRIPLE CREEK RANCH; BOTTOM PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Fête for a King


O

Quebec’s Old City Elegance

Yet, that’s exactly what happened. The “where” is as fascinating as the “what.” The amazing unearthing of three centuries of French and English curios on Quebec’s historic Îlot Hunt property inspired the Price family—prominent Quebec business owners for 200 years—to create a hotel concept unlike any other. So, it came to be that Auberge Saint-Antoine, a 21st-century hotel gem with Quebec’s history in its heart, resides atop a major archaeological site—a stroke of luck that resulted in the carefully curated cache of relics showcased there. Part museum, part luxury château, Saint-Antoine offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past, with all the modern comforts. PHOTOS COURTESY OF AUBERGE SAINT-ANTOINE

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF TRIPLE CREEK RANCH; BOTTOM PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

n the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence River, Old Quebec City sparkles, chic and mesmerizing, the historic and the ultra-modern creating a unique urban harmony. A stone’s throw from the famed Musée de la Civilization, possibly sipping potent Quebecois Caribou punch (no, not that caribou), you don’t expect to unearth a trove of undiscovered archaeological treasures.

Owing to a series of excavations beginning in 2001, antiquities are showcased everywhere at the hotel, from the spacious lobby, set in Québec City’s only remaining early-19th century dockside warehouse, to each of 95 individually designed guest rooms and suites, to the bar, Artéfact, named for the unearthed wall worked into the design. Laze away a perfectly pleasurable afternoon here, admiring the 300-year-old objects on display; they make great conversation starters. Order a creative signature cocktail or pay homage to your host city with a Bloody Caesar, a tasty spin on the traditional Bloody

Mary (the secret ingredient is Clamato juice) and Canada’s national cocktail. Enjoy one at Bar Artéfact, the unique cafe that showcases relics unearthed onsite. What the bar showcases en masse, Saint-Antoine’s guest accommodations unveil selectively, one artifact at a time. No two rooms are alike; each tells the story of one namesake token, ensconced in a small, lit case outside. (A room with an antique coin, for example, is called simply “La Monnaie,” or The Money Room.) Choose a historic suite in the Maison Hunt, where original hardwood floors and exposed wood beams coexist peacefully alongside luxurious linens, deep soak tubs and heated bathroom floors. For something more contemporary, accommodations in newer buildings feature modern design, some with stunning views of the river below. The hotel offers staff-guided tours of the property four times a week. Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has charm for days. Auberge Saint-Antoine’s location in Lower Town, near the revitalized Old City neighborhood, has a distinct French flair, and often serves as a jumping-off point for city excursions. A sophisticated city meets an equally sytlish château—a match made in heaven. —Elizabeth Weiss More about Auberge Saint-Antoine page 86 RelaisChateaux.com

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THE GOOD LIFE SUMMERTIME

KITE FLY-INN

S

By Elizabeth Weiss

oar into summer at Kite Fly-Inn, hosted Memorial Weekend (May 27, 2018) at coastal Rhode Island’s Weekapaug Inn. The spectacular waterfront setting is just the place to enjoy good company, a timeless summer pastime and a yummy, old-time New England picnic. At the Fly-Inn, Inn guests mingle with Weekapaug locals on the expansive backyard overlooking miles of tranquil saltwater lagoon. Here, long wooden tables are laid-out with sled kites and crafting supplies, so each participant can create their very own custom kite. Embellish, bedazzle and create, then send your dream kite skyward with the help of Weekapaug staff. There is no purer expression of the beauty of the season.

For those who would like a little adventure, bring your Quonnie Quencher aboard the Quonnie Queen and join Capt. Mark, the Inn’s naturalist, for a cruise on Quonnie Pond. The Inn’s 24-foot historical electric launch is an elegant perch from which to observe the rainbow of kites circling above, enjoying serenity by the sea.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WEEKAPAUG INN

As the afternoon progresses, the waterfront may beckon; after all, being afloat is how Weekapaug does summer. This is low-tech action at its best: Paddle out in a kayak or on a stand-up paddle board, harness the wind once again with a daysailer or a radiocontrolled sailboat, or take a spin in a pedal boat. The Inn has all this and more, along with a staff to make boating easy and safe.

More about Weekapaug Inn page 92

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TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE; DRINK: COURTESY OF THE DISTILLING COMPANY, INC; BOTTOM PHOTO: WAUWINET INN

All this windward action may stir the appetite. On the menu? Refreshments to evoke summer cookouts of youth. Hot dogs and sausages on the grill, lemonade and iced tea, and of course, ice cream—simple and comforting. Wangle an Adirondack chair (tie your kite to the back) or a seat at a linen-draped yard table and enjoy … simply sublime!


Movies on Location Modern movie-watching is often a couch-based activity. Not so at gorgeous Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. As in the days of venerable movie houses like The Ziegfield in Manhattan or L.A.’s El Capitan, guests dissolve into plush vintage seats in The Screening Room while viewing first-run films. It’s an unusually social experience. Become chummy with another guest and share your freshly popped popcorn or the made-to-order donuts from Below Deck, the sweets shop next to the theater. Other formidable movie nosh sold here: 42 types of old-fashioned

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE; DRINK: COURTESY OF THE DISTILLING COMPANY, INC; BOTTOM PHOTO: WAUWINET INN

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WEEKAPAUG INN

candy, and heavenly gelato.

T THE QUONNIE QUENCHER While away the afternoon at Weekapaug Inn sipping refreshing Quonnie Quenchers: grapefruit whiskey from Sons of Liberty Distillery is complemented by rosemaryinfused syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and finished with bubbly club soda. Garnish with an orange twist and include a fresh rosemary sprig, like a kite in the wind.

The Other Nantucket

he cobblestone streets of scenic Nantucket cause magic feet— you can walk for hours in this nautical nirvana and hardly notice. It is quite the scene. A short drive outside of town is a Nantucket largely untouched by development, recalling a simpler, less hurried time. The Wauwinet captures that vibe with an easy grace, especially in its darling Anchorage House—a private three-bedroom villa that is the picture of Nantucket summer living. The interior is as sunny as a country morning, with cozy bedrooms and lovely nooks. The kitchen and dining room are so tempting you’ll want to cook, but the award-winning TOPPERS restaurant is right inside. —Owen McDonald

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LIAISONS

P When marrying at Grace Mayflower, enjoy The Spa’s “Shared Experiences” inviting couples for private meditation and yoga, as well as sessions that explore insightful communication. The side-by-side Duet Massage within a spacious spa suite is one secret to a stress-free union.

The first ceremony began with the bride and her American groom wearing a style of dress native to her culture, in this case, Russia’s Kalmyk people. The bride’s walk “down the aisle” from a country cottage to a lakeside setting included the bridal party flanking her in a supportive square. The couple and the monks performing the Buddhist ceremony were then encircled by the wedding guests. A Jewish ceremony followed, after the couple changed into fashions one expects to see at sophisticated nuptials. Next, bride and groom exchanged

Deeply personalized occasions call for experience, flawless planning and attention to detail. Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa in the wooded hills of Washington, Connecticut, has this legendary reputation, having hosted this celebration and countless others through the years. No two are alike. Grace Mayflower Inn understands the importance of creating moments. At this wedding, it was cocktails between ceremonies around the outdoor pool— where the couple’s names were playfully spelled out in floating letters. White hydrangeas (their chosen flower) lined the aisle and arch where the bride and groom stood for the Jewish ceremony. Hydrangeas peeked out of vases on dining tables, also dressed in white with light blue napkins as a dash of color. The three-course meal expertly prepared for this multicultural affair included a menu of Roasted Summer Tomato Soup and Tuna Tartare appetizers, as well as Seared Halibut, Organic Chicken Breast and Penne & Shrimp Provençal. Grace Mayflower hosts up to 150 guests for these smashing events, with the ability to invite 60 overnight houseguests for lodging exclusivity. It’s how a brilliant country inn celebrates love, Connecticut-style. More about Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa page 88

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PHOTO LOWER RIGHT: COURTESY OF BEDFORD POST INN; TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF CYNTHIA DELCONTE

By Stacey Zable

A Manhattan-based couple recently made their Connecticut country wedding an homage to the bride and groom’s two distinct heritages—with two ceremonies taking place at separate, scenic locations in one perfect spot.

vows in a lush garden surrounded by a country estate.

PHOTO CENTER: COURTESY OF GRACE MAYFLOWER INN; TOP PHOTO BY KIVA SUTTON OF ANNANDALE PHOTOGRAPHY

UNEXPECTED COUNTRY WEDDINGS

M

any weddings embrace tradition, and there is nothing more traditional than a Connecticut country wedding. Happily, for 21st century lovers, ideas around “traditional” glow with new personality and diversity. Hoteliers and wedding planners are doing the most extraordinary things these days with special experience weddings, blended weddings and same-gender weddings.


A Thousand Times, Yes! There’s no wrong way to pop the question to your beloved, but there is most definitely a right way. Ultra-romantic Glenmere Mansion in Chester, New York, the Gilded Era retreat less than two hours from Manhattan, knows this. Their Ultimate Overnight Engagement Package for Two sets the table for an unforgettable betrothal. You’ll be ferried to Glenmere from Manhattan in ultimate luxury, aboard a private helicopter. Pop into your luxuriant room with custom Italian linens and elegant marble bath for a quick kiss, then it’s off to Spa at Glenmere and the Duet Suite for side-by-side soaking tubs—a heavenly setting for your hourlong couples treatment. Dine in the Cortile beneath the stars, then elaborate turndown service is the clincher: scattered rose petals, a drawn bath, and the blush of candlelight make a dreamy backdrop for picturing your future together. —Elizabeth Weiss

Love Nest à la Gere it right—a seamless, unbroken fantasy that lingers PHOTO LOWER RIGHT: COURTESY OF BEDFORD POST INN; TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF CYNTHIA DELCONTE

PHOTO CENTER: COURTESY OF GRACE MAYFLOWER INN; TOP PHOTO BY KIVA SUTTON OF ANNANDALE PHOTOGRAPHY

When it comes to true romance, you want to get long after the moment has passed. For this level of magic, erudite romantics swear by The Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, New York. Restored by actor Richard Gere and his partners with an abiding respect for history, there is undeniably a sensual modern vibe at work. The elegant inn has eight flawless rooms and suites—many with private patios and fireplaces; all with huge bathrooms, double sinks, double doors—an ideal getaway for the art of seduction. Starkly beautiful in winter and vivid in summer, this hidden dell deep in Westchester County is a visual feast. For feasting of the edible variety, The Farmhouse at Bedford Post Inn retains every bit of its legendary culinary status. —Owen McDonald

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LIAISONS THE ISLAND of PERFECT DATES Truly memorable dinner dates come in two basic varieties: frightfully unpleasant ones that make funny stories years later; and the headover-heels kind. The Charlotte Inn in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard specializes in the latter, creating romantic idylls for lovers. Couples explore this charming inn with its distinct Edwardian flair, stroll gardens and courtyards and, for ultimate wooing, they dine at The Terrace restaurant. Classically inspired design blends with a contemporary menu; candlelight twinkles in a glass-paned conservatory dining room. Chef Justin Melnick’s fresh take on American cuisine has been known to ignite passion; the lustrous Inn does the rest.

LOVE, LAKE LOUISE

Waves of Enjoyment When the wind’s song and saltwater mist create an air of romance, the folks at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island, can get you out on the waters of love. During the summer months, the Inn partners with Barton & Gray, an exclusive mariner’s club that maintains a fleet of fully crewed Hinckley yachts. Sunset cruises and day-long tours are offered, catered by Castle Hill’s award-winning kitchen and wine cellar. —Sherri Daley

TOP PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CHARLOTTE INN; MIDDLE PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE POST HOTEL & SPA; BOTTOM PHOTO: COURTESY OF CASTLE HILL INN

Few places are so completely kissed by nature as magnificent Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. In summertime, the lake named for Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter boasts an intense shade of turquoise, encircled by rugged peaks and overlooked by the majestic Victoria Glacier. Among the top wedding venues in the area, The Post Hotel & Spa—named “Best Hotel in Canada” by Travel + Leisure—attracts loving couples with its particular style of rustic luxury. Exchange “I do’s” in the library in front of a roaring stone fireplace, then off to an intimate candlelit dinner in a private dining room, paired with superb wines from its award-winning cellar. When festivities wrap, wedding parties find deluxe appointments and ultimate privacy in the Watson House, a grand mountain lodge seated on the Pipestone River. The next few days are for exploring Lake Louise; the nearby Icefields Parkway is consistently ranked one of the best drives on the planet. For an altogether different type of diversion, The Post Hotel spa boasts indulgences for one (try the Temple Mountain Escape) or two (the Ocean Duet is two hours of unforgettable pampering—a perfect gift for the newly married pair).

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© Myles McGuinness

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© Grégoire Le Bacon

EBB

There are many sides to The Islands of Tahiti. Yet they are all connected by Mana. Mana is a life force and spirit that surrounds us. You can see it. Touch it. Taste it. Feel it. And from the moment you arrive, you will understand why we say our Islands are

To discover Mana for yourself, visit tahiti tourisme.com

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DESTINATIONS

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT & SPA

The Power of Mana & Where to Find it

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S

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INTERNATIONAL

autau is a secluded “motu”—or small reef island—that sits between the Tahitian islands of Taha’a and Bora Bora. Nearby is Ra’iātea, where the 1,000-year-old Marae Taputapuatea can be found. Ancient Polynesians arranged hundreds of stones at this hallowed place, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to create a special place for sacred and social ceremonies. They believed the stones held “Mana,” a source of power and spiritual strength. Visitors to the islands that surround Ra’iātea say they can feel the Mana emanating from Marae Taputapuatea—the heart of the island.

These are the types of interactions that fulfill the promise Le Taha’a makes to provide harmony with its environment. The resort’s overwater suites directly connect guests with Tautau’s land and sea. These signature bungalows were constructed using materials native to the land like thatched pandanus roofs, bamboo walls and interiors featuring natural stone, coral and handcarved wood, so guests are surrounded by—and suspended above—land and water. A favorite experience for guests is to have breakfast delivered to their suite by outrigger canoe. As the canoe approaches with a tray of island specialties, recipients are serenaded by the sweet sounds of the ukulele.

There’s something about the air in Tahiti. A pure vanilla scent wafts across Taha’a, known as Vanilla Island. Vanilla Tahitensis grows wild here—a rare variety of vanilla orchid that blooms for only a day after being hand-pollinated to produce Tahitian vanilla, prized by chefs and foodies. Tahitians are proud caretakers of their land and culture; there’s no one better to share what’s so special about Taha’a than the islanders who live here—many of whom work in hospitality as a way of giving back.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT & SPA

A respected member of the community, Herenui or “Big Love,” guides guests of Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa on a drift snorkel tour of one of its most exceptional features: the Coral Garden, a natural channel, home to massive coral formations and schools of tropical fish. You feel an immediate connection to Tahiti in Big Love, with his warm smile and traditional Tahitian “pareu” sarong. Similarly, Tehi—a Tahitian mariner who has navigated between Tahiti and Hawaii using only the stars—creates a bond between the island and its visitors on nighttime stargazing excursions where he shares Tahitian legends about the constellations in the Southern sky.

“Taha’a is a feeling,” says the resort’s Dave Mackay, who knows firsthand how unique it is. He recounts a moment when a guest was walking through its beautiful gardens. The man was greeted by one of the gardeners with a smile and “Ia Orana,” the local phrase for “welcome.” Noticing that the guest looked hot on that sunny day, the gardener husked a coconut and handed it to him for a drink of fresh coconut water. “That’s one of the things that just happen naturally when you’re there,” McKay says. —Samantha Davis-Friedman

More about Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa page 88 RelaisChateaux.com

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O cean R aces

at

A merica’ s Yachting C apital

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Newport Under

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Sail

By Sherri Daley

Newport, Rhode Island, started out in 1639 exporting candles and rum, fish, furniture and silver. It was once one of America’s busiest ports. International trade required more than 150 wharves, and for over 200 years Newport was an epicenter of capitalism, its harbor dotted with sailing ships. Gilded Age titans spent princely sums building Mansion Row here—a testament to the perfection of the place.

Shortly after World War II, Newport became home for a fleet of U.S. destroyers, which further glorified the waters and reputation of this tiny port town. The arrival of Manhattan socialites, with their expensive luggage and extravagant summer plans, didn’t hurt. Eventually, Rhode Island Sound was afloat with private yachts, sporting sailboats and the competitive spirit that comes with battling the sea. The waters off Newport were a siren’s call, and passionate enthusiasts began to come from hundreds of miles away, continents away, to sail there. Narragansett Bay is particularly challenging where it meets the sea, but when people said sailing it in small boats was insane, passion won. The Bermuda Race, the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, was born. It’s rough, with hammering winds and pods of whales, but for over a hundred years, intrepid sailors have raced from Castle Hill Inn (whose great lawn is the prime traditional viewing spot) to St. David’s Lighthouse. The rules warn, “This is not a race for novices.”

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Big as Bermuda is, it was the America’s Cup that really put Newport on the map. The Cup itself—an ornate silver mug originally known as the “100 Guineas Cup”—was awarded to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in 1851.

RelaisChateaux.com

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MAIN PHOTO: GETTYI MAGES; CIRCLE PHOTO: COURTESY OF CASTLE HILL INN

Harold Sterling Vanderbilt, Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, defending the America’s Cup.

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That was John Cox Stevens, the first Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, in a pilot schooner named “America.” From then on, the mug was known as the America’s Cup, bolted down at the Yacht Club in Manhattan and successfully defended for 132 years—the longest winning streak in international sports. In 1983, to the unspeakable dismay of the U.S. sailing community, “Australia II,” with its revolutionary winged keel, outsailed the NYYC’s entry “Liberty” and took the Cup.  T H E C U P R U N N E T H AWAY

Not everyone looks on that incident darkly, however. “I think losing the America’s Cup was the best thing that ever happened to Newport,” says Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the love and art of sailing. He’s sitting in their new offices on Fort Adams Drive. Behind him, sailboats lean; the water sparkles. “It made the town pay attention to their everyday business instead of focusing on when the Cup races were here.” In truth, the town did blossom after the madness of the America’s Cup went away. Still in love with Newport, the New York Yacht Club acquired Harbour Court, their permanent waterfront facility overlooking Brenton’s Cove. Here they have hosted sailing championships and regattas for all manner of sailors: pros, amateurs, the physically challenged, the visually impaired, young beginners, and—for vodka lovers—there’s the Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing Championship. Harbour Court has become a powerful draw for serious sailors everywhere. “There are so many races here,” says former New York Yacht Club Commodore Charlie Dana over lunch at Belle’s, an easy little café at the Newport Shipyard that Dana owns, a family operation he’s passionate about. Belle is his daughter’s name. “It’s not just about the big-name competitions. There are the local regattas like the Candy Store Cup.” Dana gestures over his shoulder toward Bannister’s Wharf because that’s where the iconic Candy Store is at Clarke Cookhouse, Newport’s ground zero for nightlife. A D AY AT T H E R A C E S

MAIN PHOTO: GETTYI MAGES; CIRCLE PHOTO: COURTESY OF CASTLE HILL INN

Newport recently won the coveted Volvo Ocean Race, a hotly competitive globe-crossing event that takes nearly a year to complete. For sailors, it is draining on every level. For spectators, it’s pure fun. “This will be the second time that Newport is a host city for the Race, and it’s the only North American stopover,” says Read, who was instrumental in convincing officials to bring the VOR to Newport. The town spent months and millions of dollars preparing dockage, water treatment and methods of environmental sustainability. Once again, the little port town will be crowded with cheering onlookers.

The Castle Hill Inn— traditionally the finest yacht race viewing spot in Newport.

The 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race will cover the longest distance in its history: about 45,000 nautical miles crossing four oceans, stopping at 11 cities on five continents. Like the America’s Cup, there is no prize money, just the prestige and an unparalleled experience. Charlie Dana has a vested interest in the Volvo Ocean Race this year: His son, Nick, is a crew member of Team Vestas Wind/11th Hour Racing.

RelaisChateaux.com

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The Beach Cottage rooms capture the seaside elegance of Newport.

Hundreds of observers in boats and lining the water’s edge will welcome the teams from southern Brazil in early May and be there to see them off only days later, bound for Cardiff. THE HISTORY OF CASTLE HILL INN

Watching the tack and jibe of windblown boats is a tradition in Newport, and the best place in town to do that is the lawn at Castle Hill Inn. For hundreds of years people have gathered on the spot—once under lacy parasols and straw boaters, now barefoot and slathered in SPF—to see sails on the horizon. Brian Young, managing director at Castle Hill Inn, oversees the madding crowd on the lawn, adding that Inn watching the races can be just as good indoors. “Some of our rooms are perfectly situated for race watching, like the Bridge Room or the Mrs. Agassiz room on the second floor.” The best view is from the Turret Suite with its panorama of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Mr. Young confides that a European sailing aficionado reserved it months ago for the VOR.

“From a distance, sailing looks like a silent sport,” says Young, smiling, “beautiful and silent, but up close? Right here, only 50 feet from the shore, the water is 180 feet deep. The boats are right there. You can hear the crews shouting; you can hear winches grinding, sails popping and stays humming in the wind.” These sounds speak to the hearts of Newporters, and fire imaginations at Castle Hill Inn.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CASTLE HILL INN & SPA

“Don’t be deterred,” he encourages. “Bring your binoculars and boat shoes. You can watch from the Dining Room.” Good advice. Chef Lou Rossi is a featured chef at the James Beard House, and the sommelier is the best in town. The boats may, for a moment, be a side dish.

More about Castle Hill Inn Page 87

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ARCHITECTURE. DESIGN. MOOD.

THE COLOR AND THE SHAPE TOLSTOY PHOTO: WORLD HISTORY ARCHIVE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; MAIN PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES.

BY OWEN McDONALD

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I

n his seminal essay What Is Art? Leo Tolstoy said “sincerity” was the most important marker, the other two being “individuality” and “clearness” of feeling. On what did Tolstoy base the threepoint system? It was undoubtedly formed in childhood, on the palatial Russian country estate of Yasnaya Polyana, where he lived in 40 rooms of architectural grandeur, blessed by nature and beaming with humanity. He wrote Anna Karenina and War and Peace there. Would those works exist without the inspiration of environment? It’s an intriguing question. The interplay of person and place fascinates us. It influences how we feel and, to an extent, shapes who we become. Architects, designers, and psychologists obsess over it. Hoteliers too. They “paint” with color and light, space and décor to enrich human experience. The deep affinity we feel for specific inns and hotels— very often historic ones—reflects the correlation. Now more than ever, these spots are islands in the stream of arduous modern lives.

TOLSTOY PHOTO: WORLD HISTORY ARCHIVE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; MAIN PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES.

Leo Tolstoy

Travel writer Charu Suri made this case for Architectural Digest with her insightful piece, Inside the Rise of Emotional Design: “In an increasingly digital era that has a tendency to create a sense of isolation, architects and designers are recognizing the intimate relationship an individual has with his or her immediate physical surroundings. Architects are increasingly becoming poets, creating memorable spaces that calm, energize, uplift, and create happiness.” Suri drives home the metaphysics of surroundings and self, with a direct link to happiness. Whether you’re trying to fall in love or simply relax, here are five inns where architecture, design and décor are curated for optimum joy. You may see yourself in one of them.

RelaisChateaux.com

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ARCHITECTURE. DESIGN. MOOD.

ISL A NDS A ND HE IR LOOMS

“We shall all be very much happier when we learn to transform the things we have into a semblance of our ideal.” —Elsie de Wolfe

O

riginally from Philadelphia, Gery Conover vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard a few times before he chose island living. Walking through Edgartown in spring 1971, he passed The Charlotte Inn, pretty but neglected. Conover felt he got a bargain on what some called a money pit.

More about The Charlotte Inn page 90

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INN AT HASTINGS PARK

The Main House was built in 1864 by a whaling merchant. They continue its transformation even now “without blueprints,” says Gery, who’s sure he lived in Mayfair in another life. Coincidentally, Mayfair is home to the Society of Antiquaries of London. That’s fitting, as the Conovers have spent a lifetime expanding The Charlotte Inn with antiquarian acumen and poise—a brass birdcage from 1825, paintings by eminent artists of the past 150 years—and salvaged architecture. Windows from conductor Arturo Toscanini’s New York home; ceiling fixtures from the boardroom of Manhattan’s Woolworth Building. It’s gone remarkably well: The Inn was among the first Relais & Châteaux members in the U.S., and remains a jewel of the alliance.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHARLOTTE INN

“I’m still not 100 percent sure why I bought the place,” Gery says. “I had opened an art gallery on South Water Street. We made a path to the inn and opened an art gallery here too.” The couple spiffed up a few rooms, accepted return guests as a matter of courtesy, and discovered they liked being hoteliers more than art dealers. That suited his wife, Paula, perfectly—her design sense would be crucial to beautifying the Edwardian-American classic Gery never stops constructing.


U N I T E D S TAT E S O F A M B I A N C E

K PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INN AT HASTINGS PARK

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHARLOTTE INN

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” —Frank Lloyd Wright

now the dream where you open and operate your own luxury hotel? Trisha Pérez Kennealy lives it every day. When former banker Trisha and husband Mike first proposed their Inn at Hastings Park in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, a vocal few challenged what most saw as brilliant adaptive reuse. Trisha and Mike made changes to address all concerns, and eventually their good idea won out. These events brought the very first Relais & Châteaux inn to Boston.

Trisha’s vision was inspired by inns that “… are true to their terroir, celebrate their past, and the people who own and run them,” she says. “They are distinct in architecture and décor, but all commemorate the history of their property through design.” That respect comes through in her magnum opus, footsteps from Lexington Battle Green. Sublime woodwork from original buildings gleams again, and the gabled exterior is thoroughly New England. Fireplaces, the vintage barn door and antique banisters have all been lovingly renewed. Trisha’s favorite spot: the Living Room in the Main House. “It was once used as the music room, where the original residents welcomed family members and other visitors,” she says. “We wanted to retain that authenticity. The original piano has been restored and anchors the room.” This isn’t exactly your mother’s version of “classic.” With Dunes and Dutchess lighting, Peter Fasano wallpapers and O&G Studios furniture, the Inn at Hastings Park is as sexy as it is comfy. More about The Inn at Hastings Park page 91 RelaisChateaux.com

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ARCHITECTURE. DESIGN. MOOD.

C O A S TA L C O N T E M P O R A RY

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“I don’t like ephemeral things; I like things that last forever.” —Laura Ashley

McIver Morgan redesigned eight guestrooms and the May’s Poolside Cottage with new furniture and upholstery, new carpets, window treatments and wallcoverings. Bathrooms were renovated with double sinks, lovely new tubs and separate showers. “The suites were thought of as different rooms within a single private home, not a commercial property,” Pleasants says. “This creates a more intimate atmosphere, almost like visiting a friend’s beach house.” It is both a subtle and substantial refresh for this beloved inn and restaurant. Pleasants’ favorite architectural detail is the barn itself, with its famously rustic dining room. More about Grace White Barn Inn & Spa page 88

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PHOTO COURTESY OF WINVIAN FARM

“For palette and aesthetic, we were inspired by scenic shores of Maine and wanted to design the space to make guests feel like they were surrounded by the ocean,” Pleasants says. “Our schemes centered around crisp sea glass and calming water hues. We chose serene, soft colors and luxurious materials to reflect the seaside elegance of this well-established inn.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF GRACE WHITE BARN INN & SPA

uildings have lives, and some of those lives are extraordinary. Take the Grace White Barn Inn of Kennebunk, Maine. Travelers have been drawn to the spot since Civil War times, when just a boarding house stood there. That was long ago, before White Barn Inn became one of the top reasons to visit this coastal retreat. Now, it has been reimagined for 2018 and beyond by Rod Pleasants, principal at respected NYC design firm McIver Morgan. The work is superb.


W H I M SY G OE S TO C ON N E C T I C U T

“… all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” —Philip Johnson

P

Eccentricity and ingenuity come together at Winvian Farm. Working with 15 different architects, the ever-clever Smith family has made monuments to aspects of Connecticut history and culture: “Helicopter” celebrates chopper innovator Igor Sikorsky, putting a full-size Coast Guard Sea King Pelican HH3F in your room; “Camping” brings the countryside inside, with vaulted starry ceiling and the natural world framed by massive windows. Form follows function in the arboreal Woodlands Cottage. A two-sided fieldstone fireplace climbs to the ceiling—as does the actual tree soaring all around overhead. Each detail conjures a sylvan spirit: A ring of high windows lets in ambient forest light; twin sinks are finished, overturned tree trunks; smooth river stones line the steam shower; the Jacuzzi is recessed into a heated marble floor.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WINVIAN FARM

PHOTO COURTESY OF GRACE WHITE BARN INN & SPA

laces evoke time periods. Or, they can. Winvian Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut, starts out this way: You enter an exquisitely redone 1775 manor house on 113 verdant acres to check in with your hosts, have a drink, and dine with Executive Chef Chris Eddy. Magical in every way. And you haven’t even seen “the suite” yet. After this, you’ll have to rethink the whole concept.

Like all of the cottages at Winvian, Woodlands combines sense of place with sense of humor, and sense of wonder. Relais & Châteaux excellence is found around every surprising corner.

More about Winvian Farm page 92 RelaisChateaux.com

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ARCHITECTURE. DESIGN. MOOD.

L E G A C Y A N D L U X U RY

“You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place; they are the reflection of society.” —I.M. Pei

U

p a ribbon of driveway in Lenox, Massachusetts, is Blantyre, where we experience the captivating world created by the late hotel virtuosa, Ann Fitzpatrick Brown. When she passed away in 2016, Blantyre was purchased by Linda Law, a loyal guest. Wishing to see this Gilded Age favorite totally renewed, Law partnered with OHM Collection, the admired hospitality firm established by financier Charles Royce, and guided by hotelier Daniel Hostettler. Their Ocean House, Weekapaug Inn and other properties have upped the ante on restoration and design throughout the region. Blantyre’s makeover is their latest triumph.

With the complete interior renovation of all rooms, suites, public spaces including the main halls and restaurants in all of Blantyre’s buildings—a total infrastructure upgrade—is the new Champagne Salon by Dom Pérignon. It’s inspired by Ocean House’s fantastic Veuve Clicquot Secret Garden. Blantyre is a portrait of responsible restoration. “Our first duty is conservancy,” Hostettler says.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BLANTYRE

On 110 treed acres in the Berkshires, and often compared to Downton Abbey, the main house at Blantyre has an arresting new glass-enclosed entry; rooms and suites have fresh colors and fabrics that harmonize with antiques and art collected by Ann Fitzpatrick Brown as she invented this experience. Hostettler and his team have also repurposed The Conservatory into a new tasting menu restaurant concept akin to the incredible COAST at Ocean House, added a casual bistro, and a grand terrace has been converted into expanded dining overlooking the sculpted grounds.

More about Blantyre page 87

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B Y S TA C E Y Z A B L E

WILD in the

WEST Iconic America is alive on bespoke ranches

O

n horseback, skis or on foot, among snowy peaks and breathtaking nature, the American West whispers like a campfire story. There’s a welcome quietude, even in lively company. Imaginations run wild in cinematic scenes. Out here, modernity knows its place. Earth, water and sky, unforgettable vistas, myths and legends—all form a living portrait where a rugged past meets a cultured new frontier. Hard to picture a time when Illinois, Ohio and Missouri were considered “the West” to most Americans, who kept mostly to eastern cities, wondering what was out there. President Thomas Jefferson wondered, too. His confidential letter to Congress in 1803 was the catalyst for Lewis and Clark to form their Corps of Discovery Expedition, at a taxpayer cost of $2,500. That’s about $52,000 in today’s money—to map the untold riches of a continent. Those treasures have grown steadily more popular in recent years, thanks in part to a new generation of experiential travelers with a passion for America. The National Park Service (which turned 100 in 2016) continues setting attendance records. Montana’s Glacier National Park recently hit almost 3 million recreational visitors, while Yellowstone National Park—touching Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho— surpassed 4.2 million. Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park recently welcomed 4.5 million visitors in a single year. These annual migrations testify to the powerful draw of western wonders. Factor in the renewed popularity of “Westerns,” country music’s mainstream crossover, the insatiable appetite for books and documentaries—it’s a new expression of an old tradition: People from Manhattan to Mumbai romanticize sepia-toned notions of “how the West was won.” The great Native American nations, cowboys and ranchers, pioneers and their hardscrabble lives continue to fascinate us.

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK .COM

The Wild West has always been known for colorful characters—and innkeepers are no exception. A collection of extraordinary independent ranches has taken the hardiest practices from America’s “Westward Ho” era—riding herd, camping on the range, facing the beauty and fury of western winters—and made them into memorable encounters. Horseback riding, dogsledding, hiking, spa relaxation and brilliant cuisine all have a home where the buffalo roam. It’s “Manifest Destiny” redefined, as lifestyle explorers blaze new trails.

RelaisChateaux.com

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Wild in theWest

oyagers to the Bitterroot Mountain Range in western Montana are richly rewarded: They enter a seemingly endless landscape of snow-capped peaks, green valleys and tree-lined hills. Author William Kittredge called Montana “The Last Best Place” and, viewed from the striking Bitterroot valley, you understand. The Montana that Kitteridge wrote about (and as producer forever memorialized in the cinematic love letter, “A River Runs Through It”) is Lewis and Clark country. Archetypes of the American can-do spirit, these explorers spent more time in what would one day be Montana than any other place along their voyage. In his journal, Captain Meriwether Lewis wrote that Big Sky country was filled with “seens of visionary inchantment.” Spelling aside, he captured it perfectly.

For your own journal entry, travel in comfort to Montana’s Bitterroot Range. It remains the “inchanted” place that fired Lewis’ imagination. Here beneath Trapper Peak, highest mountain in the Bitterroot Range, exists a natural playground for western explorers. Show some pioneer spirit and head out via dogsled, on horseback or skis to navigate acres of pristine snow. When it’s time for more adrenaline, glistening Montana meadows “a utopia for skijoring, a Norwegian word meaning “ski driving.” Guests put on their skis, trade in poles for a tow rope and get pulled by a rider on horseback. It’s like waterskiing—in snow, with a horse. Your part is to hang on and enjoy an incomparable joyride. This is the world of Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana. Owners Barbara and Craig Barrett have carved out an enviable slice of western paradise with 700 acres of fourseason fun. Their nearby 26,000-acre CB Ranch is a working cattle operation where guests get a feel for the authentic West

PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGES: COURTESY OF TRIPLE CREEK RANCH

V

“THE LAST BEST PLACE”

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PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGES: COURTESY OF TRIPLE CREEK RANCH

(without scuffing their Stuart Weitzman boots). It’s also where you find the orchard and garden that personify gourmet farm-to-table dining at this luxurious all-inclusive ranch resort. High-touch service accompanies each meal, whether it’s sumptuous breakfast served in secluded cabins, picnic lunches elegantly packed to accompany outdoor adventures, or any feast served in the vaulted-ceiling Dining Room of the Main Lodge. An award-winning wine cellar and full bar on the Rooftop Lounge add to the distinctive culinary experience.

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ontana is never out of season, although wintertime escapades at Triple Creek Ranch hold special charm. First, select a mode of transportation. How about your own dogsled? After a brief lesson on how to harness and hitch the team to a sled, to stop and go and otherwise steer, you’re out gliding over the powder. Guides do the driving for those who just want to revel in the scenery. If you prefer to explore via snowmobile while at the Ranch, that option is available as well.

Wine Spectator has bestowed its coveted Award of Excellence on the Triple Creek Ranch wine cellar for ten consecutive years. Curated by sommelier Jeremy White, the collection has grown to more than 700 selections, representing every major wine region in the world.

RelaisChateaux.com

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Wild in theWest

The all-inclusive experience, so rare in true luxury resorts, is another thoughtful step the Barretts have taken to assure that you feel completely at home at Triple Creek Ranch.

Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman is an exemplar of the Relais & Châteaux culinary philosophy.

By horseback the snowy ranch is captivating, as the noble animals in their winter coats show you the natural world. Triple Creek Ranch offers a year-round riding program with 60 fine horses. Like other activities, horseback riding is included; an activities team orchestrates three to five rides a day, depending on the season. Some come to challenge the Continental Divide itself, on one of more than 60 runs at the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Lift tickets, rentals and welcome touches like hot beverages and freshly baked cookies en route are part of the all-inclusive rate.

Guests return from their snow day to the splendid gastronomy of Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman. His “Montana Rugged Luxury” menu of Aspen Smoked Sturgeon served with Bison, Grilled Lobster with Peruvian White Bean Puree, and Roasted Antelope Loin with Brie Grits once earned his team an invitation to the James Beard House in New York. With the inspired pairings of sommelier Jeremy White, Triple Creek Ranch is an exemplar of the Relais & Châteaux philosophy that great wine and cuisine are essential to “the Art of Living.” When not out marveling at the infinite Big Sky, ranch guests retreat to 25 sublime private log cabins dotting the property. Sore muscles and stress dissolve in private hot tubs available on the outdoor decks of most cabins. No need to leave for a massage— therapists can set up right by your wood-burning fireplace. Curl up with additional comforts designed for making the outside

PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGES: COURTESY OF TRIPLE CREEK RANCH

Not a downhill skier? Try snowshoeing along a Bitterroot National Forest trail, or traversing almost 30 miles of groomed crosscountry ski trails at nearby Chief Joseph Pass. All sizes of crosscountry skis and snowshoes are on hand in the ranch’s Activity Center for guests to borrow at will. Simpler pleasures come in the form of ice fishing, and the childhood thrills of snow tubing.

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world disappear: king-size beds with lush linens, forested views, and a deep sense of place. The adults-only retreat for those 16 and older encourages guests to break from the burden of technology: Though there’s no cell service, there is complimentary Wi-Fi, and land lines and free long distance in each cabin.

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he all-inclusive experience, so rare in true luxury resorts, is another thoughtful step the Barretts have taken to assure that you feel completely at home at Triple Creek Ranch. Frequent guests say they return because of how it feels here—the ultimate compliment for any innkeeper. That elusive essence is the Barrett’s passion, and their specialty. Honeymooners and romantics love the “mi casa es su casa” treatment as well. They first enjoy Montana’s wealth of wonders, then cozy up in their private cabin—just room service, a roaring fire … and love. When summer comes to Montana, it awakens whole new dimensions in leisure. Fly fishing is one of our favorites—owner Craig Barrett is an avid angler who was originally drawn to the ranch’s location for its proximity to the region’s best steelhead fishing. The former CEO of chipmaker Intel, Barrett’s business card now reads “Cowboy & Fisherman.” Challenging and contemplative, fly

fishing at this ORVIS®-endorsed resort may be the most intimate way to commune with the Montana wilderness. A half- or full-day fish float belongs on any summer itinerary. And since you’re already wet, be sure to pan for actual sapphires in gravel collected from mines in the nearby Sapphire Mountain range. To keep your higher mind engaged between hardy ranch pursuits, take in the stunning art collection curated personally by the Barretts. Triple Creek Ranch displays original works by American masters from Frederic Remington to Oleg Stavrowsky, with some of the most important pieces located in the Barretts’ private home. Express an interest and they may invite you in for a showing, for cocktails, or to share a meal in the Ranch Dining Room. Craig and Barbara Barrett are innkeepers of the heart. At the culmination of your visit, they will feel like old friends—and Triple Creek Ranch, your ranch away from home. More about Triple Creek Ranch page 92 RelaisChateaux.com

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Wild in theWest

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P R A I R I E H O M E C O M PA S S I O N

he pretty town of Saratoga, Wyoming, holds the worstkept, best-loved secret in the state: Hobo Hot Springs. The healing marvel drew Native Americans to this spot eons before wagons came west. And it’s not just the water. There’s an ageless beauty to the North Platte River Valley, with its intricately carved landforms and vivid flora. Days start with sunbeams peeking through cabin windows, and pass through dreamy amusements into cool evenings. Disconnecting from the grid and finding your inner cowpoke happens almost by osmosis at the Magee Homestead, a high mountain “prairie hideaway” located just outside Saratoga. With stirring views of the valley, Magee Homestead is exclusive—they welcome a maximum of 27 guests, adults only; however, guests of any age are welcome with a “Rent the Homestead” option. People visit from May to October for high season in the high country, and countless bespoke moments.

A far cry from cowboy digs of old are Magee Homestead’s beautifully restored log cabins. The names of individual cabins come from the original property title work, which likely reflects the names of the first homesteaders here. The nine hand-hewn cabins have the unmistakable feel of a Western retreat with contemporary rustic furnishings, high wood-beam ceilings, outdoor porches and stone fireplaces in some. Quitting one’s day job to live and work at Magee Homestead is a common guest fantasy. There’s always next season.

PHOTOS RIGHT AND LEFT PAGE COURTESY OF MAGEE HOMESTEAD

The property where Magee Homestead now sits was a cow camp and hay-producing ranch in the early 1900s. Those homesteaders never could have imagined the Wellness Pavilion and Magee Spa standing there now. Organic massages, facials and natural body treatments top the list with frequent guests. Relaxation is perfected by the Grotto soaking pool with sauna and steam rooms. The wellness programming feeds off the wondrous surroundings with yoga and meditation in the Magee yoga yurt or underneath the open skies. More natural ways to relax come in the form of fly fishing for wild trout, and hiking or biking over 50 miles of trails and in the nearby Medicine Bow National forest.

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Meditative Moments The peaceful Western setting has many perfect spaces for rejuvenation, including the wonderful Yoga Yurt, taking you further away from the everyday.

More about Magee Homestead page 89 RelaisChateaux.com

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GOURMET RANCHING

Locally sourced food is a way of life in Colorado’s Elk River Valley.

Locally sourced food is very much a way of life in Colorado’s Elk River Valley. Just north of Steamboat Springs in Clark, Colorado, is The Home Ranch, a 4,000-acre working cattle operation that began life as a frontier homestead. Today, The Home Ranch, surrounded by the one-million-acre Zirkel

Wilderness along the western edge of the Continental Divide, is an outpost of excellence, a winner of several Wine Spectator awards, and ranked among Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards Top Resorts in Colorado. Ranch-raised organic ingredients in this kitchen include cattle, pigs, chickens and produce from the greenhouse and bed garden. Garden Tours take place twice a week or more if there is true interest from guests, who are invited to cut salad greens, pick fresh strawberries and harvest alongside the Ranch’s “Green Team” of horticulturists. Alfresco dining—including an outdoor kitchen with brick oven next to the garden—showcases the vibrant colors and freshness of the home-grown treasures that soon arrive expertly prepared and plated.

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xecutive Chef Jonathan Gillespie has a well-known Open Door policy when it comes to his kitchen. It’s informal: Gillespie will set up a time for guests interested in cooking to work side-by-side with him. Sitting down to enjoy Gillespie’s haute cuisine is even better than meeting him. Hyper-fresh produce from the garden—crisp salad greens, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, basil, tomatoes and more—inspire the menu. Family-style dining and group tables in the dining room or the seasonal outdoor locations cause spontaneous fun. It’s a truly unique encounter, perfect for the Western now voyager.

2 PHOTOS: COURTESY OF HOME RANCH

Today’s farm-to-table culinary movement seeks to reestablish a link between nutrition and location that American pioneers understood. They lived off the land, improvised a lot, and took cues from Native cultures. Such were the humble beginnings of American cuisine. The trend has come full circle, as luxurious Western inns— some doubling as working cattle ranches—now invite guests to harvest homegrown produce in kitchen gardens and cook alongside top chefs.

More about The Home Ranch page 90

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SECRETS OF

Spa Science Yes, it really does that.

BY OWEN McDONALD

Do spa treatments make you healthier? The salubrious buzz from a 60-minute Swedish is proof enough for most people. But what about the actual science? Physicians have theorized about spa since Hippocrates (370 B.C.E.), and not just in classical Greece. The oldest continuously operating hot spring inn— Japan’s Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan—still welcomes guests after 1,300 years. Modern Europe is built atop ancient Roman spa complexes like Aquae Sulis (Bath, England) and Aquae Helveticae (Baden, Switzerland). For deep thinkers of antiquity, spa-going tweaked “the humors”—fluids that determine vigor and temperament. To everyone else, it just felt good. Byzantines made unique adaptions to Roman thermae concepts in the Dark Ages; bucolic Alpine health resorts came much later. While many diet and exercise fads claimed research to back them up, spa was enigmatic. Twenty-first century scholars finally looked into it, and their findings are remarkable. In Do Spa Visits Improve Health (2008), Jonathan Klick (University of Florida) and Thomas Stratmann (George Mason University) analyzed a large German study of spa efficacy. The researchers compared trends like absenteeism and healthcare costs between spa/no spa control groups. Their findings suggested that “spa therapy significantly improves health.” There’s more. After a major 2014 review of several “balneotherapy” (water-based) treatment studies, the North American Journal of Medical Sciences said data “suggests that hydrotherapy has a scientific evidence-based effect on various systems of the body.”

PHOTO: AND ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERTOCK.COM

In our hearts (and shoulders), we always knew it. Now, clinicians agree: Spa is quantifiably good for you. That settled, we sought out havens where science and healing art coexist. Only a few North American inns have attained exalted status as true wellness meccas. In these places, proven therapies are curated for relaxation and health, in dazzling venues. Spa cuisine also plays an important role, as does aesthetic grooming. It’s the definition of “holistic.” And while some go for the sheer joy, others seek an energy boost, mental clarity—even improved libido. From boisterous bridal parties to solo guests in need of quiet pampering, the spa is a portal to well-being. Those who have always understood it will smile knowingly, as we explore three Relais & Châteaux spa experiences that everyone should try.

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NEW YORK

Love & Water

Thanks to the Ottoman Empire, Greco-Roman spa concepts were revolutionize d. This was the origin of Hammam—edifices made for a bathing r i t u al t hat ha s reanimated travelers for over 800 years. From Marrakesh to Malibu, wherever you find a Hammam, there’s a story to go with it. Take opulent Glenmere Mansion in Chester, New York, for example. Partners Alan Stenberg and Dan DeSimone learned about Hammam from an insightful guest. The pair knew instantly it was perfect for Glenmere—even though it meant nixing the gorgeous (and costly) spa they’d already started constructing. That’s called “kismet,” another Turkish concept. Glenmere’s exquisite Hammam quickly went from Near Eastern fantasy to New York success, recreating the authentic experience on

an intimate scale. Tile mosaics, cobalt-blue light and trickling fountains soothe before the delicate Turkish Soap Ritual begins. At the center of the hararet (hot room) is the “belly stone” table of ultra-smooth heated marble. Eucalyptus fills the air; the therapist adjusts water temperature and pressure, then gently exfoliates the body wearing a traditional Kessa mitt lathered in olive oil-based castile soap. There are brief intervals of warmth and cool mist. Rinsed in cascades, the ritual ends with you covered in a creamy cloud of bubbles. It’s indescribable. Afterward, it feels as if you’ve shed a bulky winter coat. Of that common sensation, lead therapist Peggy Dellabough says, “There is a lot of love in water.” It’s not only love. “Our Turkish Soap Ritual stimulates the lymphatic system,” says Glenmere Spa Director Loretta Taylor. That’s great for circulation, and each step in the ritual has a health objective. “Immersion in the vitality pool suspends your weight, enabling muscles to relax and blood pressure to decrease,” Taylor says. “A massage application of organic argan oil completes the process, leaving your body smooth and supple, your skin glowing, your mind at rest.” And rest assured: Your skin will repay this kindness. After all, it is the body’s largest organ.

More about Glenmere Mansion page 87

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GLENMERE MANSION

Wisdom is glamorous—it can even be magnetic. That’s one benefit of living longer (which we are), and we’re getting smarter about it. Starting at around age 30, the new immortals are prepping for longevity. With its mind-bodyspirit focus and human component, spa science has won over Millennials and Matures who intend to stay attractive. They’ve discovered that natural anxiety relief and detoxification supercharge the sexiest asset of all—your inner fire.

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Cocktail Therapy

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GLENMERE MANSION

A sensible midway between the Hammam and the abidingly excellent Supper Room is Frogs End tavern, off the grand foyer. Polished wood and the Gatsby-inspired bar put you in the mood for a bracing tonic and swapping spa tales by the fire. For some reason, the astral cuisine of Executive Chef Gunnar Thompson tastes even better after a spa day. When you feel this good, everything is better. That’s Hammam magic, and the seduction of Glenmere Mansion.

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S E C R E T S O F S PA S C I E N C E

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES; RIGHT PAGE PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE

Soft light and ambient music ready you for the Harvest Body Polish, a perennial favorite at OH! Spa that comes in seasonal shades.

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NEW ENGLAND

New You The motto of Rhode Island is a single word: “Hope.” Respectfully, they should consider adding “love” to the great seal. It’s everywhere in this sociable state, and nowhere more than on the shoreline. Sea lavender and dune grass sway in breezy coves on Little Narragansett Bay—scenes of beauty that Luminist painter Edmund Darch Lewis tenderly captured on canvas. It’s a land of lighthouses, sugar-sand beaches and immersive leisure. Wild at heart (vast areas are protected), the southwestern coast has been coveted since the Gilded Age debut of Newport’s Mansion Row. The local cocktail of earth, sun, sea and salt air has curative powers.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES; RIGHT PAGE PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE

This all makes the seaside hamlet of Watch Hill an ideal spot for a grand spa. It meanders from serene bluffs and marshes out to Watch Hill Point, then Long Island Sound, with watercolor continuity. Here you find Ocean House, one of only 11 Forbes triple Five-Star-rated hotels in the world, and home to OH! Spa—one of just 56 on Earth to earn five Forbes stars. Spa Director Katie Schoeni takes the praise in stride, managing her destination wellness center with a compassionate style.

She lends new meaning to the expression “comfort zone,” together with her team of aestheticians and their state-of-the-art facility. “The touch connection is a vital part of our well-being, and caring touch from another person is often the last thing people think about,” she says. “Having a person care and connect through touch causes a chemical reaction that releases endorphins, aiding in the relaxation process.” Asked to arrange a spa day for one inspired by the “science” theme, Schoeni synthesized the idea into a series of therapies with healthy objectives. “Massage increases circulation, and aids in flexibility and muscle tone,” she says. “Other therapies have many of the same benefits but concentrate on the condition of the skin. Body treatments are more results-oriented.” Soft light and ambient music ready you for the Harvest Body Polish, a perennial favorite at OH! Spa that comes in seasonal shades (in this case, autumn). OH! uses the Farmaesthetics line of natural scrubs. They’re luscious, made from locally harvested ingredients—cornmeal, honey, clove, cinnamon and ginger—combined

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S E C R E T S O F S PA S C I E N C E

Aromatherapy massage complements body polish. OH! therapists consult with spa guests on the properties and specific uses of 12 essential oil blends. Schoeni likes the Aromatherapy Associates line of pro-grade oils—“they’re powerful” she says—with calming lavender, immune system-boosting clary sage and vetiver, invigorating grapefruit and potent citrus blends.

studies have shown positive effects on the limbic system (emotion, memory, arousal) from essential oils. When you’ve soaked up enough, the salt water lap pool—framed by a Versailles-worthy wall of French doors— is a bracing finish to your spa day. After a deep whole-body experience, you’ll crave sustenance. Casual bites at The Bistro or out on The Verandah never fail, but reawakened appetites often crave COAST and the art of Chef Jennifer Backman.

When aromatherapy massage follows body polish, Schoeni says, the compound effect is a t wo-stage rocket booster for the system. And while you leave feeling great, many experts maintain that deeper benefits are more obvious days (even weeks) later. Now that you’ve been massaged into an altered state of consciousness, it’s time to chill … and absorb.

Backman has reimagined fine dining at Ocean House by playing to its greatest strength: Rhode Island itself. The eminent Food Foraging program here fills Backman’s pantry with the meta-fresh bounty of coastal New England. Flavorful hints of a “spa” sensibility can be found in buoyant dishes like Backman’s Stonington Lobster or Native Monkfish. The Cherry Soufflé is inexplicably weightless. For postprandial curiosity, The Center for Wine & Culinary Arts located here mixes knowledge and nutrition with good company.

OH! Spa’s relaxation room floats above sculpted grounds and an expanse of private beach at the doorstep of the sea. Beneath light-filled windows, you relax in a chaise, enjoying after-spa tea service, and let it all sink in—or “seep” in, to be precise. “Essential oils can and do affect the skin cells,” wrote aromatherapist Shellie Enteen in Massage Today. And imaging

It all ties back to immersion. The soul of Ocean House is its unbreakable spell; cross the threshold, and it embraces all of you. A perfect expression of that philosophy is OH! Spa, and the master therapists who make its stellar reputation. For them, it goes beyond fancy this and that. As Schoeni puts it, “We are here to connect with guests and care for them.”

More about Ocean House page 89

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE

with Rhode Island honey-infused soy oil to nourish and hydrate. “We love the gentle exfoliation, especially in dry winter months,” Schoeni says, “followed by an uplifting blood orange lotion, leaving the skin soft and glowing.”

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COAST After Spa

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF OCEAN HOUSE

After a deep whole-body experience, you’ll crave sustenance. Casual bites at The Bistro or out on The Verandah never fail, but reawakened appetites often crave COAST and the art of Chef Jennifer Backman.

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Langdon Hall is fortunate to be surrounded by its own spa garden, growing natural ingredients such as herbs, rose, and lavender that are pressed into essential oils.

O N TA R I O

Canada Curata Minutes outside of town, among old-growth trees and quilted meadows, is stately Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa. Built in 1902 for Eugene Langdon Wilks (great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, the first U.S. multi-millionaire), beautiful Langdon Hall faded in time. It was saved and transformed through the vision of architect William Bennett and partner Mary Beaton. The loving restoration of inn spaces and guest suites, the renewal of its famous historic gardens, the focus on award-winning cuisine (see Chef Jason Bangerter, page 20)—all draw astute travelers here. Spa Director Julie Simcox and her elite team are the pièce de résistance.

question holistically. “Spa services are often seen as a physical improvement—skin, muscles, hair, nails—but it should also be viewed as a psychological reset,” she says. “While you’re here, you are being taken care of.” The Aroma Touch Swedish Massage, for example, “addresses four systemic constants that are present in daily life, which may serve as limiting factors in health: stress, immunity, the inflammatory response, and autonomic imbalance,” Simcox says.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LANGDON HALL COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL & SPA

The world keeps falling in love with Toronto, a smart, chic metropolis that radiates optimism. Like all great cities, Toronto has glorious, hidden escapes in its hinterlands—tranquil places like Cambridge, Ontario. It was a mill town ages ago; today it’s a desirable place to work and play. Hulu filmed much of “The Handmaid’s Tale” here, a clue to the local charisma and cool factor.

The Indie Head Massage relieves tension and stress, starting with the shoulder and neck area, moving up and over the scalp, face, and back, finishing with chakra holding to create peace. It is pure joy, and ideal before the mind-blowing Vichy Aroma Rain Scrub: full-body exfoliation using raw sugar and aromatic oil, lying under the Vichy waterfall, then warm towels and nourishing cream gently massaged in. This is an anecdotal observation and has not been scientifically evaluated: The Langdon Hall spa day glow lasted for two weeks. Hippocrates himself would applaud.

Passionate and dedicated, Simcox approaches the “spa science” More about Langdon Hall page 88

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“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.”

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

—Paul Theroux

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By Samantha Davis-Friedman We search heaven and earth for new experiences with a dash of adventure. It’s led to some of humanity’s best moments. The siren song is heard by now voyagers too—seekers of once-in-a-lifetime encounters that connect to the planet and enrich our lives. Exploration is as much an inner journey as it is a trip somewhere.

Being There Exotic Destinations Close to Home

In The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road, Paul Theroux writes, “The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.” Discovery means something different to us all, taking people on different trajectories based on their desires. For some, a tropical paradise offers the solitude that refreshes mind, body and spirit. An action-packed expedition inspires others, skiing and riding pristine alpine trails. Still others dream of unbroken wilderness. Exotic places, intimate interactions and personal contemplations make traveling memorable. And while there’s nothing wrong with the familiar, true adventure lies in tasting rare things. The British word “bespoke” originally referred to clothing that was custom-made, but the term has expanded to describe curated travel. In other words, a taste for adventure doesn’t mean sacrificing the comforts that define luxury travel. In fact, we know of three places where journey, discovery and the world’s finest hospitality coexist.

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Being There

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Après-Ski Canada

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he dazzling natural beauty of Lake Louise, Alberta, and the surrounding Banff National Park is only part of what makes this a premier skiing and snowboarding destination. The Lake Louise après-ski culture is a singular experience—even if you don’t ski. Après-ski is literally translated to “after ski,” and means much more than that, with an array of socializing and merriment that follow any Black Diamond day. Skiers and snowboarders celebrate with après-ski festivities of montane potency. Known to warm both body and spirit, cocktails are a vital agent. Among the top libations to toast the end of a Lake Louise ski day is the Observation Peak mixed by Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar in Banff. Named after the 10,413-foot mountain in Banff National Park, the cocktail, comprised of the distillery’s award-winning locally produced Park Glacier Rye, Flor de Caña 7 year, Amaro Montenegro, cherry liqueur, and Park orange bitters, requires fortitude to drink—skiers love it. And not to diminish the cocktail’s appeal, Lake Louise’s torchlight ski is considered by many to be the ultimate day’s end, drinks or no.

Wondrous winter fun, such as dogsledding adventures through snow-covered trees, horse-drawn sleigh rides along the lakeside trail beneath Victoria Glacier and snowshoeing expeditions, will immerse you in postcard landscapes.

Traversing a mountain after dark is something many skiers have aspired to, but few have tried. Beginning with a celebration 6,700 feet above sea level at Lake Louise Resort’s mountaintop Whitehorn Lodge, skiers are then treated to the bucket list-worthy experience of creating first tracks on a freshly groomed run. The illuminated torch-lit parade down the mountain—these days skiers wear headlamps instead of carrying torches—then caps off in true Lake Louise style with dinner, drinks and entertainment at the Sitzmark Lounge. CNN Travel News has ranked The Post Hotel & Spa in Lake Louise one of the world’s 10 most beautiful ski lodges, but why stop there? Condé Nast Traveler magazine has ranked it the “Number 1 Ski Hotel in North America,” which goes nicely with the Wine Spectator Grand Award they have received every year since 2002. Worthy praise, but no surprise. Owners and brothers George and Andre Schwarz arrived

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Being There / Après-Ski Canada

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PHOTO CREDITS: MICHAEL WHEATLEY / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

PHOTOLEFT PAGE PHOTO: TRAVIS ROUSSEAU; TOP PHOTO; ALAMY.COM; BOTTOM PHOTO: COURTESY OF HE POST HOTEL

Owner George Schwarz says he often sees families skating together, or parents watching from the warmth of Executive Chef Hans Sauter’s elegant dining room as kids and grandkids glide in a snow globe scene.


“Our hotel is known for being very personal,” owner George Schwarz says. He also points out that this personalized service often extends to the mountain. Although Lake Louise has an excellent ski school, Schwarz says that many guests prefer to be escorted by Yves Drouhin, a Level 3 CSIA instructor and 25-year Post Hotel employee. For Yves’ clientele of return guests (some select travel dates based on his availability), “He is not only their instructor and guide; he’s become their friend.”

PHOTO CREDITS: MICHAEL WHEATLEY / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

PHOTOLEFT PAGE PHOTO: TRAVIS ROUSSEAU; TOP PHOTO; ALAMY.COM; BOTTOM PHOTO: COURTESY OF HE POST HOTEL

on these peaks as young ski instructors, bursting with energy and creativity. The Post Hotel they would later buy and grandly rebuild is made with logs sourced from the headwaters of the Bow River in the Canadian Rockies, and the town of Revelstoke on the banks of the Columbia. It’s hewn from the landscape, embracing its Western Canadian roots and role as a Lake Louise landmark. Frequent guests appreciate the rustic charm—during the holidays it’s like walking into a gingerbread house—and are fiercely loyal.

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he Post Hotel & Spa provides access to exhilarating downhill skiing in minutes. Even closer are miles of gorgeous cross-country ski tracks extending in all directions from the front door. Another cool wintertime activity occurs right in the Post’s front yard. Dotted by Adirondack chairs in summer, the lawn transforms during winter months into an outdoor skating rink surrounded by trees strung with twinkling lights. Schwarz says he often sees families skating together, or parents watching from the warmth of Executive Chef

Hans Sauter’s elegant dining room as kids and grandkids glide in a snow globe. Wondrous winter fun can also be found on dogsledding adventures through snow-covered trees, horse-drawn sleigh rides along the lakeside trail beneath Victoria Glacier and snowshoeing expeditions that immerse you in postcard landscapes. Great Divide Nature Interpretation guides Joel Hagen and Nadine Fletcher select untracked terrain to use snowshoes the way they were intended: to walk on untouched snow. “The snow changes once you step on it,” Hagen says, “so to float on top of fresh powder is a beautiful experience that is not possible on trails that have already been walked on.” The interpretive guiding company has been part of the Lake Louise experience for 20 years, believing that every trail has a story to tell. When trails lead through the woods, Hagen says he points out things that might otherwise be overlooked. It transforms the forest into a more magical place by seeing the invisible. “People start looking at the trees with a different mindset,” he says.

More about The Post Hotel page 90 RelaisChateaux.com

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Being There

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Caribbean Dreaming

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PHOTOS :COURTESY OF EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA

he Dominican Republic is a collection of landscapes begging to be explored: expanses of white sand on the island’s eastern shores; green hillsides that meet the sea on the northern Samaná Peninsula; the intriguing mountainous terrain of Pico Duarte. Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Americas. History buffs can visit the walled and cobblestoned historic area—the Zona Colonial— and see buildings from the 1500s, including Cathedral Santa María la Menor, the first cathedral built in the New World. Fitting for a place where heavenly native rum, chocolate and coffee scent the air. Old and new live side-by-side in Santo Domingo, founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus (brother of Christopher). It’s the first European-style city built in the New World, and this nation’s capital. The vibrant island metropolis is a car ride away from Eden Roc at Cap Cana, the resort that also blends traditional Dominican design with modern luxury. The resort describes it as “European glamour with a Caribbean twist.” “Being at Eden Roc at Cap Cana feels like being in your own secluded home,” says Eden Roc’s Juliana Cordones Sabala. “It’s intimate and private. It’s a paradise.” More like a private village than a hotel, the resort has facades painted in vibrant colors inspired by Dominican country houses. The architecture incorporates traditional elements and influences. Flooring is made from the same coral stone that can be found in the old architecture of the Colonial Zone,

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Being There / Caribbean Dreaming

and in hand-painted Aguayo tiles made using 200-year-old artisanal techniques.

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he intimate size of the boutique resort translates into personalized service at every level, as Eden Roc checks off items on any guest’s wish list of amenities. Depending on you, these may include beach butlers, private pools, and complimentary golf carts—a favorite among guests. Cordones Sabala notes that Eden Roc guests can experience the best of both worlds on an exclusive day tour to the Colonial Zone, or they can add an overnight stay in Santo Domingo. It’s complete with a private guided tour of the city’s most notable monuments, and authentic Dominican meals at staff-selected local restaurants.

PHOTOS :COURTESY OF EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA

Each of the resort’s stand-alone suites is designed for seclusion and serenity. True to the rich culture and beauty of this tropical utopia, suites also incorporate natural wood and handmade Dominican art. For guests who want to stay connected, LCD flat screens with satellite TV, entertainment systems with surround sound, and smart technology that controls it all at the touch of a finger add high-tech coolness.

More about Eden Roc at Cap Cana page 87

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Being There

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONORA RESORT

Serenity and the Wilderness

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The Discovery Islands in Canada’s British Columbia present themselves to travelers in many ways: Mountain biking and hiking trails lead to spectacular views, extraordinary eco-adventures allow kayakers to explore a marine park off Quadra Island, snorkelers to swim with the salmon on the Campbell River and even journey to the Orford River where the magnificent grizzly feeds from late August to late October.

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONORA RESORT

uring these months, grizzlies feast on the rich red meat of Chum and Coho salmon before retreating into winter hibernation. It’s unusual to catch a glimpse of animals that rarely allow themselves to be seen. Donna James, General Manager of Sonora Resort on Sonora Island notes, “The river provides such a bountiful feast for these creatures that guests enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime look at how they fish, feed, live, play and fight for survival, right in our backyard.” Julia Hantzsch, a member of the guest services staff, had her own grizzly encounter when she saw 33 bears in a day: “I hadn’t seen grizzly bears before,” she says. “Seeing 33 was amazing. I could have watched for hours.”

C hef ’ s N otebook Local and seasonal ingredients inspire Executive Chef Lukas Gurtner to challenge himself with every menu. “I carry a notebook to write ideas and what I’m doing at the time. Suddenly ideas turn into dishes, and not only do they come together beautifully, I also have memories to look back at,” he says.

Traveling to Sonora Island is an incredible (though effortless) adventure. Open May through October, Sonora is only accessible by helicopter, seaplane or water taxi. The journey is rewarded with exceptional amenities and ecoadventure—Sonora calls it “wilderness luxury.” You may just call it incredible. More about Sonora Resort page 90 RelaisChateaux.com

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D i r e c t o ry

of

P a r t i c ipat i n g P r o p e r t i e s

I

t began in 1954, when eight charming inns with great food on the route from Paris to Nice became a like-minded alliance. The individuality of each member was crucial to the success of the whole. It remains true for that association—known today as Relais & Châteaux—which has grown to a global brand of over 560 hotels and restaurants on five continents. The original goal of sharing the simple joys of hospitality in exceptional settings has also grown. The members of Relais & Châteaux share a deep desire to protect, support and value the richness and diversity of all cuisines and cultures. Through our support of the UNESCO World Heritage program and conservation efforts in hundreds of communities where we live and work, Relais & Châteaux and its members are active in our respect for the planet and its people. Relais & Châteaux member properties are carefully selected using a quality system with more than 300 criteria based on ISO 17020, an internationally recognized standard used for evaluation. Properties are regularly visited by our team of inspectors. Audits are reinforced by more than 21,000 guest comment forms received and processed every year. We invite you to discover a lifestyle rooted in sense of place, and the remarkable experiences that spring from it. The following Directory is your quick reference for every property profiled in this magazine. It has everything you need, organized at a glance.

AUBERGE SAINT-ANTOINE

QUEBEC, CA

BEDFORD POST INN

BEDFORD, NY

Located in historic Québec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Auberge Saint-Antoine is a family-owned boutique hotel that represents a union of timeless elegance, contemporary comfort and effortless convenience at the heart of Canada’s richest historical district. A proud member of the Relais & Châteaux alliance and owned by the visionary Price family, Auberge Saint-Antoine provides guests with

an authentic hotel experience in Québec City, Canada. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the hotel offers breathtaking views and is ideally situated just steps from some of the city’s most popular tourist sites. Auberge Saint-Antoine also has extraordinary sights on premises, including Bar Artéfact, which is filled with ancient relics found on this very site.

Bedford Post Inn is an eight-room luxury inn located in the heart of Westchester, New York, nestled on 14 acres of back country. Westchester residents Russell Hernandez and Richard Gere joined together in 2007 to rescue and restore this historic property dating back to the 1860s. Guests may choose from five different room layouts, most with a working fireplace, and some with a terrace overlooking the wooded

property to enhance the cozy and romantic feel. The inn has a yoga studio with daily classes. There are two distinct and acclaimed restaurants—The Barn, which is more casual, and The Farmhouse, for fine dining with seasonal dishes focused on the farmer’s bounty and local organic ingredients.

418.692.2211

saint-antoine.com

914.205.3773

bedfordpostinn.com

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BLANTYRE

LENOX, MA

CASTLE HILL INN

NEWPORT, RI

Blantyre is a country estate in the beautiful Berkshires of western Massachusetts, its centerpiece a Tudor Style House built in 1902. The property was recently renovated to keep the treasured elegance that Blantyre is known for. Blantyre offers unparalleled culinary experiences, including a classic French bistro, fine dining restaurant, and outdoor dining terrace, in addition to New England’s

most extensive wine cellar, with a private tasting room and 9,000 bottles. The Spa at Blantyre provides a respite for those seeking rejuvenation. Guests can also take advantage of country pursuits throughout the year, and soak up the destination’s rich culture, renowned music and theater festivals, and outdoor adventures. Blantyre is available for estate takeovers for celebrations, weddings and meetings.

First built in 1875 as a summer residence for a noted Harvard University marine biologist, this magnificent inn on an exclusive sixteen-hectare peninsula bordering the ocean is a romantic haven. Whether you are in a cottage on Castle Hill’s private beach, relaxing on the terrace or sitting at a table in the restaurant, you will be guaranteed panoramic views of the Atlantic and its many maritime

activities including sailing, fishing and regattas. The menu features local and regional dishes, with a focus on organic ingredients paired with exceptional wines. Castle Hill is the perfect base from which to explore the beauty of Newport with its Gilded Age mansions, sandy beaches and rich history.

844.881.0104

blantyre.com

401.849.3800

castlehillinn.com

EDEN ROC AT CAP CANA

PUNTA CANA, DO

GLENMERE MANSION

CHESTER, NY

Its dream location beside the Caribbean Sea, its delightfully designed suites, and its exclusive Caletón Beach Club make Eden Roc at Cap Cana a place of ultimate privacy. Its original architecture is a blend of Spanish colonial style with the elegance of the large seaside villas on the Riviera. The four restaurants, overlooking the lagoon, at the pool side or on the beach itself, offer a range of different culinary

experiences. As a finishing touch, Solaya Spa offers luxury treatments based on the island’s native traditions and fragrances. Challenge your golf skills at Punta Espada, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course named No. 1 in the Caribbean and Mexico by Golfweek magazine.

Reflecting the luxury of the Gilded Age, this magnificent 150-acre estate sits in rolling farmlands overlooking the Catskill Mountains and Glenmere Lake. One hour from New York City, the sumptuous hotel and glamorous spa boast a central open cortile, majestic marble-columned porticoes, a private modern art collection, and spectacular gardens designed by one of America’s first major female landscape architects,

Beatrix Farrand. In the two restaurants, the chefs offer a wealth of dishes featuring local farm produce. The picturesque gardens, pool and tennis, bocce and croquet courts make this the ultimate romantic Hudson Valley getaway … though you might think you’re in Tuscany.

809.469.7469

edenroccapcana.com

845.469.1900

glenmeremansion.com

RelaisChateaux.com

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GRACE MAYFLOWER INN & SPA

WASHINGTON, CT

GRACE WHITE BARN INN & SPA

KENNEBUNK, ME

Less than two hours from Manhattan, nestled in lush grounds, this property boasts a highly acclaimed spa. The gardens feature 24 hectares of specimen trees, manicured lawns, and the famous Shakespeare garden and maze. The spa, with its stunning décor in blue and white, offers an amazing array of treatments, as well as classes in dream interpretation, dance, painting, writing, yoga,

and tai chi. Workshops on topics like marriage, sleep, and stress are led by renowned experts. The guestrooms reflect the tranquil elegance evident throughout the property, while culinary offerings include healthy and delicious spa cuisine as well as the fine dining available at the inn.

Two restored barns dating from the 1820s create the rustic décor of the restaurant, where you can enjoy creative and subtle cuisine prepared with the finest ingredients New England and Maine can provide, such as local game or fresh seafood. The Main House nearby, which was originally built in the late 19th century, houses spacious and elegant rooms with this same harmonious blend of tradition and

modernity. Close to the swimming pool overlooking the garden, the Garden Rooms open on a beautiful wooded area, whereas the charming Waterfront cottages, decorated in Arts & Crafts style, offer spectacular views on the Kennebunk River.

860.868.9466

gracehotels.com/mayflower

207.967.2321

whitebarninn.com

LANGDON HALL COUNTRY HOUSE

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO

LE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT AND SPA

TAHITI

“Epicurean” and “romantic” are the words that best describe Langdon Hall. Here there are warm interiors with silky fabrics and wood paneling, tranquil grounds with century-old trees and a pond reflecting the elegant manor house. In the kitchen, every detail counts. Each meal is unforgettable, transforming the finest local ingredients into sophisticated dishes that are as elegant as the setting. For added

relaxation, the spa offers sublime body and beauty treatments, and there are guided visits to an extraordinary garden. Just a 90-minute drive from Toronto and the Niagara area, this is the place for those who love beauty.

Designed in authentic Polynesian architectural style, Le Taha’a is situated on a beautiful islet of the archipelago of the Society Islands. This coral sand island is a fiveminute-boat ride away from Taha’a island, famous for its lush vanilla plantations and its black pearl farms. Idyllic, intimate and wonderfully preserved, the thatched huts on stilts of this retreat are in the heart of a natural setting of fascinating

beauty, where an enchanting vanilla fragrance and the scents of lush tropical vegetation fill the air. From restaurants high in the treetops overlooking the crystal-clear lagoon, to traditional Polynesian cuisine buffets, Le Taha’a is truly paradise.

800.268.1898

langdonhall.ca

+689 40 507 601

letahaa.com

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MAGEE HOMESTEAD

SARATOGA, WY

MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

ST. HELENA, CA

With log cabins scattered under the trees, an avalanche of cozy cushions and blankets, carefully preserved rustic furniture, and hunting trophies hanging over the mantel—you know that you have arrived in the Far West! Magee Homestead is a real Wyoming ranch, where cattle has been raised and grains grown since the early 1900s. Even the newly renovated individual cabins once housed cowboys in their time.

Today, this luxe prairie hideaway is devoted to leisure and rejuvenation, whether for a romantic getaway or a group adventure. For an ultimate pleasure, savor the delicious cuisine featuring ingredients produced at the ranch or from the surrounding Rockies, as the sun sets on the horizon.

Meadowood invites you to embark on a unique tasting journey in the heart of Napa Valley’s prestigious wine country. Learn about and enjoy local wines while relaxing on the estate or going on private tours and tastings at the legendary wineries in the area. The Restaurant at Meadowood, with three Michelin stars and headed by award-winning Chef Christopher Kostow, is one of the best in the region. Activities include

golf, tennis, hiking, swimming and Meadowood’s signature activity: croquet. In the cozy lodges, rooms and suites, with decks and views of the fairways or forested hills, everything comes together to create memories that will last a lifetime.

307.327.2031

mageehomestead.com

877.963.3646

meadowood.com

OCEAN HOUSE

WATCH HILL, RI

OLD EDWARDS INN & SPA

HIGHLANDS, NC

Perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Ocean House is one of the last remaining oceanfront hotels in New England. This grand Victorian property has been meticulously restored, with inviting porches and terraces overlooking the vast grounds. Savor life to the rhythm of the tides, with sailing and walks along the beach followed by teatime, cocktails and a variety of dining options, from modern cuisine to American bistro

fare. Relax at the spectacular spa or enjoy a day of golf, tennis, croquet, fishing or water sports. Just steps away, the quintessential New England village of Watch Hill offers tasty seafood, charming antique shops and art galleries.

On the scenic southwest plateau of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Edwards Inn & Spa cascades over several acres in downtown Highlands. The historic, European-style resort features a world-renowned spa, private golf course at Old Edwards Club, premium leisure amenities, and casually elegant restaurants offering local and regionally inspired cuisine. Guestrooms, suites, cottages

and estates include hand-selected furnishings and antiques, fireplaces, balconies, heated marble bathroom floors, robes and slippers. Surrounded by pristine forests, rivers, trails and waterfalls, the village of Highlands brims with live and performing arts, boutique shopping and acclaimed restaurants along its charming Main Street.

866.345.1472

oceanhouseri.com

866.526.8008

oldedwardsinn.com

RelaisChateaux.com

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POST HOTEL & SPA

LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA

SONORA RESORT

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Nestled in the Bow River Valley, with the spectacular Canadian Rockies as a backdrop, the Post Hotel offers one of the most picturesque locations imaginable: the heart of Banff National Park, Canada’s first. This is a protected region, designated as a World Heritage Site—unspoiled natural beauty, pristine wilderness and a safe haven for the bountiful wildlife. Imagine skiing or hiking

in this breathtaking landscape. Just two hours west of Calgary International Airport and you are there: spacious suites, crackling fireplaces, Temple Mountain spa, award-winning fresh market cuisine and one of Canada’s largest wine cellars, with over 25,000 bottles and more than 2,500 labels.

Nestled in a Pacific Archipelago, Sonora Resort offers a rare alchemy of virgin wilderness and opulent comfort. Accessible only by sea or air, this is the stage for a breathtaking natural spectacle: eagles perched on towering trees, whales and sea lions surfing the currents… Spend adventurous days fishing, hiking, and observing grizzly bears in their natural habitat. For quieter moments immerse yourself

in soothing mineral pools. Here, every room commands a stunning view that seems to plunge into the emerald sea. Fresh local ingredients are prepared by accomplished chefs, paired with world-class wines and served before an ocean vista.

403.522.3989

posthotel.com

604.233.0460

sonoraresort.com

THE CHARLOTTE INN

EDGARTOWN, MA

THE HOME RANCH

CLARK, CO

At the heart of Martha’s Vineyard, the former haunt of whale hunters, you’ll find a captain’s house in the traditional British style. Built in 1864, The Charlotte Inn transports you to another time, and you can’t help but be swept away by its romantic atmosphere. There is a new kind of luxury here: No computers or cell phones are allowed except in guest rooms. The suites have been exquisitely decorated

with antique lamps and silk or linen fabrics. Between glasses of iced tea on the flower-filled patio, discover the beautiful island and explore its famous lighthouses and beaches, ideal for water sports and sailing.

Savor Colorado’s timeless American West at The Home Ranch, an all-inclusive guest ranch set in the grandeur of the Elk River Valley, near Steamboat Springs. Distinguished by its stunning Rocky Mountain setting amid a million-acre wilderness, the ranch is an equestrian, fly fishing and hiking paradise in the summer and fall, a nordic and downhill skiing nirvana in the winter, and a family vacation dream all year long.

Renowned for its Western horseback riding program, the rustic elegance of its lodging, and the beauty of its setting, the guest experience is crowned by the celebrated Haute Mountain Cuisine of the chef, prepared with fruits, vegetables, and meats from its own natural farm.

508.637.4751

thecharlotteinn.com

970.879.1780

homeranch.com

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THE INN AT HASTINGS PARK

LEXINGTON, MA

THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON, VA

The Inn at Hastings Park revives a colonial-era tradition of hospitality in Lexington, Massachusetts, a town considered to be the birthplace of American liberty. The Inn is comprised of three thoughtfully restored buildings with a design scheme that celebrates the historic character of the architecture, yet reinterprets it with modern flair. The property interiors feature artisan-crafted furniture and design

accents, created by local designers, including wallpapers printed in western Massachusetts and blankets woven in Maine. Each guestroom is unique in its size and color scheme, with elements such as fireplaces and alcoves. The casually elegant restaurant serves inspired twists on New England cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients.

Nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 75 miles from Washington, D.C., the Inn at Little Washington has become known to some as a romantic fantasy world, far removed from the harsh realities of modern-day life. To others, it is a culinary oasis akin to visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant in the European countryside. Guests often remark that while the interiors of the 24 rooms, suites and cottages

could be called grand, they are also whimsical and wonderfully comfortable. All stays include a refreshing welcome cocktail and a delightful afternoon tea service, as well as a house breakfast each morning. Take time to explore the Tavern Shops, and wander the village, which hasn’t changed much since George Washington first surveyed it in 1749.

781.301.6660

innathastingspark.com

540.675.3800

theinnatlittlewashington.com

THE IVY HOTEL

BALTIMORE, MD

THE PITCHER INN

WARREN, VT

A morning cup of coffee in the sunny courtyard, tea by the fire on a crisp afternoon, the challenging fun of a wooden jigsaw puzzle in the library—The Ivy is as welcoming as a private home. Built at the end of the 19th century and recently renovated, this beautiful mansion blends perfectly into the historic and prestigious Mount Vernon district, with turrets rising above the trees. Behind the

ivy-clad walls and high shining windows, this charming boutique hotel is structured around a magnificent staircase, covered by the original skylights, which leads to the guestrooms. In the evening, guests will appreciate the cuisine of Magdalena, Baltimore’s finest restaurant.

Above your bed is a blackboard covered with algebraic formulas. In another suite, a chessboard painted on an antique chest invites you to enjoy a strategic duel by the fireside. The walls of the library are lined with beautiful books. Set among Vermont’s Green Mountains, The Pitcher Inn is a delightfully elegant hotel in which each room has a Vermont theme but has been designed and decorated to

be distinctly different. Intellectual curiosity is celebrated here, as is culinary excellence, with a delicious menu influenced by French and Italian cuisine. There are also in-room massages and sports activities on offer at the nearby Sugarbush ski and golf resort.

800.964.1283

theivybaltimore.com

802.496.6350

pitcherinn.com

RelaisChateaux.com

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TRIPLE CREEK RANCH

DARBY, MT

TWIN FARMS

BARNARD, VT

In the summer, slip your boots into the stirrups, don your cowboy hat and set off to explore the magnificent scenery of Montana, with its majestic wildlife, conifers and mountain meadows adorned with wildflowers. In the winter, grab your skis and carve down the slopes of the Rockies, mush your own dogsled team or enjoy a romantic massage for two. The pleasures change with the seasons,

but the program is always delightfully fulfilling, immersing you in an authentic Western experience. The blue-ribbon trout streams, horseback riding adventures, vintners’ weekends and authentic Western cattle drives are only a few of the experiences to embrace during your stay at Triple Creek Ranch.

Twin Farms is a unique country estate in Vermont, situated on over 120 hectares of wildflower meadows, hardwood forests, ancient gardens and private ponds. The original 1790s farmhouse and lodge have been converted into gracious living and dining rooms and six elegant suites. Ten guest cottages, each with its own interior design style, are located around the property, and The Farmhouse

at Copper Hill provides four additional suites, ideal for small gatherings. Since opening in 1993, Twin Farms has upheld a tradition of graceful hospitality and quiet beauty. Guests enjoy the use of a handsome pub, the fitness and wellness centers, a lakeside cabana and a Japanese-style soaking tub.

406.821.4600

triplecreekranch.com

802.234.9999

twinfarms.com

WEEKAPAUG INN

WEEKAPAUG, RI

WINVIAN FARM

MORRIS, CT

Weekapaug Inn was founded in 1899 and has been exquisitely restored. It remains faithful to its tradition of providing a warm family welcome. All the charm, peace and simplicity of a home caressed by the Atlantic breeze have been preserved, as has the magnificent surrounding countryside. Depending on the season, guests can enjoy invigorating swims or long walks on the private beach,

nautical activities, and the opportunity for spotting many different species of birds. The restaurant serves delicious traditional cuisine made from local farm-produced ingredients, adding the finishing touch to this perfect retreat for anyone who loves all that is authentic.

Winvian Farm is a luxury resort experience like no other. One hundred thirteen acres of peace, comfort and five-diamond fine dining in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. A gracious 1775 manor stands at the heart of Winvian Farm’s historic estate, while 18 individually designed cottages, and the Hadley Suite on the threshold of woodlands and meadows, let guests experience

the unexpected—a night in a treehouse, a greenhouse or a musical conservatory—a most splendid getaway. A luxurious spa is an afternoon’s delight, and the farm’s renowned seed-to-table restaurant is incomparable. Welcome to Winvian Farm, an absolutely extraordinary New England luxury retreat designed to recharge and indulge.

866.343.1832

weekapauginn.com

860.567.9600

winvian.com

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Speak For Yourself The more we know about your adventurous, culinary, inquisitive self, the better we can continue to meet your unique needs and desires. Please take a minute and complete our quick survey. You could win $500 in Gift Certificates for a Relais & Châteaux Getaway.*

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BY OWEN McDONALD

PHOTO CREDIT: MYRNA SUAREZ

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ichard Gere’s remarkable versatility—from the dark, carnal intensity of Internal Affairs to the pure comedic instincts in Pretty Woman— has made him one of the most beloved actors of his generation. He continues to delight audiences with newer work; intriguing mustsee character studies like Norman and ensemble pieces such as The Dinner. He has also emerged as an enlightened voice on some controversial topics—spirituality, human rights, even geopolitics. And Gere has taken on an even more demanding role: hotelier. As a partner in the sensual, secluded Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, New York, he has a highly developed sense of guest experience. Gere spoke with Relais & Châteaux Travel Journal, sharing the stories that formed his love of travel and hospitality.

Is there a travel story that shaped your youth? RG: The first thing that occurs to me is my father. World War II obviously had a huge impact in many different ways. There were a lot of small-town farm boys who ended up going to Europe and the South Seas and Asia and Africa for the first time, and might never have left their small town if it hadn’t been for that. My father was in World War II. He tells stories of being on a ship, in Tahiti, and how romantic that was for him. He’s 95 years old and still talks about Bora Bora and Tahiti and how that opened his imagination. He remembers Tahiti and Bora Bora as being very simple, very primitive in the best sense. It had hardly been discovered. They jumped off his ship into that clear water and met the natives of those islands.

Why is the Bedford Post Inn a good match for Relais & Châteaux? RG: We had done a great restaurant, and we were meticulous with our eight-room inn to make it something special and personal. It fit with the [Relais & Châteaux] philosophy. Then we met the people from Relais & Châteaux and they were a little like us. It seems like [Relais & Châteaux innkeepers are] all unique personalities. It is not a corporate atmosphere. Each inn is completely different and reflects the personality of its owners and staff.

How did that end up affecting you?

What is the secret to running a great hotel?

RG: Their generosity of spirit and alternate lifestyles represented alternate universes. I certainly see it that way. I’m able to travel a lot. I’ve always liked far-flung places all over the world. That feeling of venturing into someone else’s space and culture, mindset, spirit. How that adds a realm of possibility to all of us when we get out of our own habitual reality.

RG: I was talking to Harry Cipriani years ago, when [Bedford Post Inn] was just starting out. Not only had I never had a bad meal in any Harry’s Bar, I never had a bad time in any Harry’s Bar. I said to Harry, “Why is it that it’s always good? It’s always fun, it’s always a memorable experience?” And he said, “It’s very simple; the answer is always yes. Whatever anyone wants, the answer is always yes. You provide it with a smile. You take it as an enthusiastic and creative challenge to give a guest what they want.”

Is there one travel experience that realigned your own perceptions? RG: The one that transformed me the most was my second trip to India. I was in Dharamshala during monsoon season and met the Tibetan community. I went to see the Dalai Lama, and many other lamas and interesting people there. I spontaneously decided to take a long trip through Ladakh and Zanskar. We had no plan; just following instinct. Why did you want to be a hotelier?

PHOTO CREDIT: MYRNA SUAREZ

restaurants. It’s still the only hotel in the area and it has personality. It has soul.

RG: I didn’t. No sane person would [laughs]. It was on a whim, basically. There was a very old building, probably from the 1760s. It’s one of the oldest buildings in Westchester [County, N.Y.], and certainly one of the oldest in the Bedford area, because almost everything was burned down by the British and rebuilt in the 1800s. It was probably within a year or two of either burning down or falling apart. We used to ride horses through there, and started talking about it …“Why don’t we save this thing and build a little restaurant we can ride our horses to?” It started with that and then kind of mushroomed, as things usually do, into a much bigger enterprise, including the hotel. There was nothing like it up here, and it has inspired a lot of other

What is the importance of authenticity? RG: We built Bedford Post Inn with something in mind. That it would affect people in mysterious ways. The restaurant needed to have great food. Very organic, very fresh, very local—everything we wanted it to be. The rooms needed a beauty and a romance. Choices were made everywhere that are aesthetically pleasing. We did The Yoga Loft with meditation classes, and it’s having an impact on the community. You place a great emphasis on staff. Why is that? RG: None of it works unless our staff members make eye contact, empathize and exude a genuine sense of kindness; sometimes it’s kindness in the extreme. It’s really kind of an altruistic love—human kindness and generosity of spirit. Once that door opens, you can go anywhere. We have people who will lead you someplace of value, on an experience. A memorable one. It’s not about money, it’s about a shared humanity and genuine warmth.

RelaisChateaux.com

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RELAIS & CHATEAUX NORTH AMERICA C A N A DA

CARIBBEAN

Alo Restaurant 163 Spadina Avenue 3rd Floor Toronto, ON 416.260.2222

Calabash Luxury Hotel L’Anse Aux Epines Beach Saint Georges, Grenada 473.444.4334

Auberge Saint-Antoine 8 rue Saint-Antoine Québec, QC G1K 4C9 888.692.2211

Cobblers Cove Road View Speightstown St. Peter, Barbados 246.422.2291

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort P.O. Box 130 Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 250.266.0397

Eden Roc at Cap Cana Cap Cana, Juanillo, Playa Bavaro 23000 Dominican Republic +1.809.469.7469

Hastings House Country House Hotel 160 Upper Ganges Road Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2S2 250.537.2362

Hôtel Le Toiny Anse de Toiny St Barthélemy F97133 French West Indies +590.590.27.88.88

Kensington Riverside Inn 1126 Memorial Drive Northwest Calgary, AB T2N 3E3 403.228.4442 Langdon Hall Country House 1 Langdon Drive Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8 519.740.2100 Manoir Hovey 575 Hovey Road North Hatley, QC J0B 2C0 819.842.2421 Post Hotel & Spa 200 Pipestone Road Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0 403.522.3989 Restaurant Europea 1227 rue de la Montagne Montréal, QC H3G 1Z2 514.398.9229

Blantyre 16 Blantyre Road Lenox, MA 01240 413.637.3556 Camden Harbour Inn 83 Bayview Street Camden, ME 04843 207.236.4200 Canlis 2576 Aurora Avenue North Seattle, WA 98109 206.283.3313

Castle Hill Inn 590 Ocean Avenue Newport, RI 02840 401.849.3800

M E X I CO Hotel Solar de las Ànimas Calle Ramón Corona #86 Colonia Centro Tequila Jalisco 46400 +52.374.7426700 Imanta Punta de Mita Montenahuac S/N, Lote L Higuerra Blanca, Bahía de Banderas Nayarit 63734 +52.329.298.4200

Villa María Cristina Paseo de La Presa 76 Guanajuato 36000 +52.473.731.2182

96 | TRAVEL JOURNAL

Grace White Barn Inn & Spa Per Se 10 Columbus Circle 37 Beach Avenue New York, NY 10019 Kennebunk Beach, ME 212.823.9335 04043 207.967.2321 Planters Inn 112 North Market Street Homestead Inn Charleston, SC 29401 Thomas Henkelmann 843.722.2345 420 Field Point Road Greenwich, CT 06830 Quince Restaurant 203.869.7500 470 Pacific Avenue San Francisco, CA Hotel Fauchère 94133 401 Broad Street 415.775.8500 Milford, PA 18337 570.409.1212 Rancho Valencia 5921 Valencia Circle Hotel Les Mars Rancho Santa Fe, CA 27 North Street 92067 Healdsburg, CA 95448 858.756.1123 707.433.4211

Montpelier Plantation & Beach P.O. Box 474, Charlestown Nevis, West Indies 869.469.3462

Sonora Resort 4580 Cowley Crescent Richmond, BC V7B 7B8 604.233.0460

Wickaninnish Inn Osprey Lane at Chesterman Beach Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0 250.725.3100

Blair Hill Inn 351 Lily Bay Rd, Greenville, ME 04441 207.695.0224

Canoe Bay P.O. Box 28 Chetek, WI 54728 715.924.4594

Restaurant Initiale 54 rue Saint-Pierre Québec, QC G1K 4A1 418.694.1818

Wedgewood Hotel & Spa 845 Hornby Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1V1 604.689.7777

Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa 118 Woodbury Road Washington, CT 06793 860.868.9466

Hotel Quintessence Long Bay Anguilla, BWI AI-2640 US 1-800-234-7468

Las Mañanitas Hotel Garden Restaurant & Spa Ricardo Linares 107 Centro Cuernavaca, Morelos 62000 +52.777.362.0000

Toqué! Restaurant 900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle Montréal, QC H2Z 2B2 514.499.2084

Blackberry Farm 1471 West Millers Cove Road Walland, TN 37886 865.984.8166

Château du Sureau 48688 Victoria Lane Oakhurst, CA 93644 559.683.6860 Daniel 60 East 65th Street New York, NY 10065 212.288.0033 Del Posto 85 10th Avenue New York, NY 10011 212.497.8090 Dunton Hot Springs 52068 Road 38 Dolores, CO 81323 970.882.4800 Eleven Madison Park 11 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10010 212.889.0905

UNITED STATES

Everest 440 South La Salle Street, #4000 Chicago, IL 60605 312.663.8920

Addison Restaurant 5200 Grand Del Mar Way San Diego, CA 92130 858.314.1900

Gabriel Kreuther 1 W 42nd St, New York, NY 212.257-5826

Auberge du Soleil 180 Rutherford Hill Road Rutherford, CA 94573 707.963.1211

Gary Danko 800 North Point Street San Francisco, CA 94109 415.749.2060

Bedford Post 954 Old Post Road Bedford, NY 10506 914.234.7800

Glenmere Mansion 634 Pine Hill Road Chester, NY 10918 845.469.1900

Hôtel Saint Germain 2516 Maple Avenue Dallas, TX 75201 214.871.2516 Hotel Wailea 555 Kaukahi Street Wailea, HI 96753 808.874.0500 Jean Georges 1 Central Park West New York, NY 10023 212.299.3900 Lake Placid Lodge 144 Lodge Way Lake Placid, NY 12946 518.523.2700 L’Auberge Carmel 7th Avenue and Monte Verde Street Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921 831.624.8578 Le Bernardin 155 West 51st Street New York, NY 10019 212.554.1515 Magee Homestead 6429 WY-130 Saratoga, WY 307.327.2031 Manresa Restauranat 320 Village Lane Los Gatos, CA 95030 408.354.4330 Meadowood Napa Valley 900 Meadowood Lane St. Helena, CA 94574 707.531.4788 Menton 354 Congress Street Boston, MA 02210 617.737.0099 Ocean House 1 Bluff Avenue Watch Hill, RI 02891 866.345.1472

Old Edwards Inn & Spa 445 Main Street Highlands, NC 28741 828.526.9784

Royal Blues Hotel 45 Northeast 21st Ave. Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 954.857.2929 Saison 178 Townsend Street San Francisco, CA 94107 415.828.7990 SingleThread Farm 131 North St Healdsburg, CA 707.723.4646 Spicer Mansion 15 Elm Street Mystic, CT 06355 877.587.4159 The Charlotte Inn 27 South Summer Street Edgartown, MA 02539 508.627.4751 The Fearrington House-Inn, Restaurant & Spa 2000 Fearrington Village Center Pittsboro, NC 27312 919.542.2121 The French Laundry 6640 Washington Street Yountville, CA 94599 707.944.2380 The Home Ranch P.O. Box 822 Clark, CO 80428 970.879.1780 The Inn at Dos Brisas 10000 Champion Drive Washington, TX 77880 979.277.7750

The Inn at Little Washington Middle and Main Street Washington, VA 22747 540.675.3800 The Inn of the Five Graces 150 East De Vargas Street Santa Fe, NM 87501 505.992.0957 The Ivy Hotel 205 East Biddle Street Baltimore, MD 21202 443.815.1207 The Little Nell 675 East Durant Street Aspen, CO 81611 970.920.4600 The Lodge at Glendorn 1000 Glendorn Drive Bradford,PA 16701 814.362.6511 The Pitcher Inn 275 Main Street Warren, VT 05674 802.496.6350 The Point 222 Beaverwood Road Saranac Lake, NY 12983 518.891.5674 The Ranch at Rock Creek 79 Carriage House Lane Philipsburg, MT 59858 406.859.6027 The Surrey 20 East 76th Street New York, NY 10021 212.905.1477 The Wauwinet 120 Wauwinet Road Nantucket, MA 02554 508.228.8768 Triple Creek Ranch 5551 West Fork Road Darby, MT 59829 406.821.4600 Twin Farms 452 Royalton Turnpike Barnard, VT 05031 802.234.9999 Weekapaug Inn 25 Spray Rock Road Weekapaug, RI 02891 866.343.1832 Westglow Resort and Spa 285 Westglow Circle Blowing Rock, NC 28605 828.295.4463

Windham Hill Inn 311 Lawrence Drive West Townshend, VT The Inn at Hastings Park 05359 2027 Massachusetts Avenue 802.874.4080 Lexington, MA 02421 Winvian Farm 781.301.6660 155 Alain White Road Morris, CT 06763 860.567.9600


J AV I E R B A R D E M a n d D E V P AT E L , M A L I B U H I L L S , 8 p m W AT C H T H E S E R I E S O N Z E G N A . C O M

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