Ready to get out of town for a few days? Here are five great options that would be great for spring or summer, along with my recommendation on where to stay for a true luxury getaway experience.
The secret to getting perks at these hotels: Each of the hotels I’ve selected is a member of Virtuoso, a luxury travel consortium. If you book any of these hotels with a Virtuoso travel consultant (like me, for example), you would get perks that are not available to the public. These perks typically include complimentary daily breakfast for two, a $100 credit to spend at the hotel, and a room upgrade upon arrival (based on availability).
South Beach, Miami
South Beach is just a fun place to be. Whether you’re there for the shopping, nightlife, diverse restaurant scene, or just to lay out on their wide, flat beaches, you can’t go wrong. South Beach is the epicenter of all things Miami, including the pedestrian-only Lincoln Road Mall. Make sure you try some Cuban food while in Miami – it’s the best you’d find outside of Havana.
The ultimate place to stay in Miami is the Ritz Carlton South Beach. It provides traditional Ritz Carlton luxury with the perfect location, within walking distance of all the highlights of South Beach.
Laguna Beach, California
Located about an hour south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is a hidden gem. Once you’re there it feels like you could be in Hawaii from the palm trees, stunning ocean views, and houses perched on cliffs. There’s a small downtown area with an arts district, full of galleries, restaurants, shops, and cafes. Most of your time will probably be spent laying by the pool or on the beach.
Disney Land is about an hour from Laguna Beach and could be a fun day of rides, with or without kids.
There are two great hotel options in Laguna Beach. The first is the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, located about 10 minutes outside of Laguna Beach. It’s calm, quiet, and relaxing. Another option would be the Montage Laguna Beach, which has a fantastic main pool area (popular with families and kids) and a quiet spa pool for adults only. You can’t go wrong with either property.
Vail has two tourist seasons: winter and summer. Of course winter is for skiing… but Vail is wonderful in summer too. The town of Vail, as well as the nearby village of Bachelor Gulch, are full of shops, restaurants, and bars. Each town keeps one of the ski lifts open all summer to bring people into the mountains for hiking and mountain biking. There’s also horseback riding, whitewater rafting, or time to just lay by the pool.
There are two great luxury hotels to consider: In Vail proper, there’s the Arrabelle at Vail Square, and in Bachelor Gulch there’s the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch. Both are five-star, luxury hotels and would be a great place to relax after outdoor activities, whether they may be rafting or boutique shopping.
Adults tend to overlook Orlando as a vacation option. Of course it’s a great destination when traveling with kids because of the huge number of attractions nearby – but I think it’s a great destination for an adult-only getaway, especially if you’re staying at a luxury hotel. Airfare to Orlando is often priced lower than Miami or Fort Lauderdale, there are a ton of great restaurants, and a visit to a Disney park without kids can be a lot of fun.
The place to stay for luxury is the brand new Four Seasons Orlando. The Four Seasons brings true five-star luxury to Disneyworld. If you are there without kids, you can enjoy the adults-only pool, play a round of golf, and enjoy a few spa appointments, all without ever leaving the hotel property.
San Francisco, California
If you haven’t been to San Francisco, you’re missing out. Aside from New York City, it might be the country’s most interesting city. There are so many different sides to San Francisco, it would be hard to list them all here – but there’s the gay Castro, touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, the eclectic Haight, shopping at Union Square, and the Italian restaurants of North Beach. Alcatraz, Muir Woods, and Napa Valley all make excellent side trips.
There are a variety of luxury hotels to choose from, but I’d recommend the Fairmont Heritage Place – Ghirardelli Square. The Fairmont features only 52 apartment-style suites and feels more like a condo than a hotel. Each unit has a gourmet kitchen, living room with fireplace, and dining room.
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