Why battle the crowds in Europe this summer when there are so many charming, even unexpected, destinations? Below are a few places to while away the summer, including a revamped motel on a beach in New York; Airstream suites under the stars in Utah; new addresses in Kentucky that pay homage to horse culture; and a ranch in Wyoming that’s introducing activities like cuddling with goats and learning about llamas. And if you’re longing for an international getaway, it’s low season in Argentina, where a boutique hotel has opened amid the vineyards and wineries of Mendoza. Whether you’re interested in raising a glass or in the raising of llamas, a quiet getaway awaits.
Silver Sands Motel and Beach Bungalows
For some, there’s no better way to spend a summer than in the Hamptons in New York. Others, seeking a more relaxed escape, look to the wineries and country roads of Long Island’s North Fork. It’s there, on a beach, that this former 1950s motel opened in late June after being sold last year and reimagined. Here you’ll find 20 rooms as well as eight beach shacks (studio and one-bedroom cottages with private screened-in porches and outdoor showers) and four bungalows, each with outdoor space. Beach houses with full kitchens and fireplaces are scheduled to open in the fall.
When you’re in the mood for a bite, you need not hit the road. The food and beverage spots at Silver Sands are being overseen by Ryan Hardy, the chef behind the Italian-inspired Manhattan restaurants Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones. At Eddie’s Oyster Bar you can order seafood, lobster rolls and salads. There’s a pizza truck, too. Coffee, pastries and grab-and-go bites can be had at the snack bar. And for cocktails, beer and wine, look no further than the Lobby Bar. There are also plans for a diner later this summer. As for outdoor pursuits, you don’t have to go far for those, either: There are free kayaks and bikes for guests. And unlike some beach town properties, this one plans to be open year-round. Prices from $500 a night for bungalows, from $595 a night for motel rooms and from $645 a night for beach shacks during peak season (through Sept. 30).
Lexington and Louisville, Ky.
Kentucky is known for bourbon and horse racing, and in Lexington, this new 125 room-and-suite hotel pays tribute to both. Located on Manchester Street in the distillery district, it’s on the site of the city’s first registered distillery, established in 1865. Its brick facade is meant to evoke the area’s historic bourbon warehouses (rickhouses), while inside, wood and jewel-toned rooms create a warm atmosphere.
When you get hungry, drop into Granddam (the term for the grandmother of a horse), where leather seating is meant to suggest saddles and the food is a modern take on Appalachian-inspired dishes like tomato pie and 12-hour-roasted wild boar. Up on the roof, the Lost Palm bar and lounge aims to transport you to 1960s South Florida, yet another center of horse culture, with its playful Art Deco style. A “tiki cocktail program” and dishes made for sharing, such as taco al pastor with alligator, and baked and stuffed spiny lobster tails, bring a touch of the tropics to Southern comfort cooking. And yes, there’s a gym, so you can work it off later. Prices from $220 a night.
About an hour and a half west of Lexington, in Louisville’s East Market district, known as NuLu or New Louisville, this 122 room-and-suite hotel takes its name from a regional type of limestone as well as St. Genevieve, a patron saint of Paris and a nod to Louisville’s connections to France. (The city is named for King Louis XVI, after all.) Yet another Kentucky newcomer, the hotel, from the Bunkhouse hospitality company, is surrounded by shops, bars and distilleries. You can also walk to Louisville Slugger Field, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens and the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River, which connects Louisville’s Waterfront Park to Indiana.
Inside the hotel, a combination of modern and vintage furniture and artwork celebrates Kentucky’s history and culture. A restaurant called Rosettes, named for horse racing ribbons, offers fare from the culinary director Ashleigh Shanti, a 2020 finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year and a former competitor on the Bravo series “Top Chef.” There’s also a rooftop lounge, Bar Genevieve, for cocktails and light bites, as well as Mini Marché for coffee and grab-and-go breakfast and lunch. The market is also the entrance to the intimate Lucky Penny bar, where you can sip a cocktail long after everyone else has turned in for the night. Prices from $195 a night.
Planning to visit Zion National Park? If camping doesn’t sound like much of a vacation, try the nascent 16-acre AutoCamp Zion where you can book various types of accommodations such as Airstreams and cabins. The 31-foot Classic Airstream Suite, for instance, has a kitchenette, queen bed, private bathroom, heating and cooling, and a private patio with fire pit and dining area. Or consider a Classic Cabin with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area, along with an outdoor dining area. Accessible accommodations are also available.
Beyond your sleeping quarters, you can savor the desert landscape through the wall of windows in the property’s Clubhouse, where you can also stop at the General Store for beer, wine and grocery items. Or head to the Kitchen for dishes like breakfast quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza and burgers. When not exploring the park, consider a free morning yoga session, a swim in the pool or a ride on a mountain bike (free for guests to use). Or simply linger by the Virgin River. Prices from $269 a night into the fall.
SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites
While it’s summer in the United States, it’s winter in Argentina, when there are typically fewer crowds. Yet no matter the season, you’ll most likely find some tranquillity at this boutique wine hotel opened by Susana Balbo, a well-regarded winemaker (and the first woman in Argentina to graduate with a degree in oenology), along with her daughter. Located in a suburb of Mendoza, the hotel is nestled between the Andes and the city of Mendoza, and has just seven suites. The spa suites have private gardens with outdoor fire pits and heated loungers, steam rooms, “sensations showers” that allow for various combinations of water pressures and temperatures, massage tables and locally made bath products. Each suite also has a living room, a terrace and a wine fridge (some also have dry saunas). All of the suites surround a house and an outdoor pool, a setup meant to cultivate the feeling that you’re staying at a friend’s estate — only this friend has a “wellness butler” to prepare a bath of local salts and herbs in your in-suite tub, and a restaurant called La VidA that serves traditional Argentine cuisine.
There are wine tastings, of course, as well as blending classes where you can combine different varietals to create your own wine. And for those who want to taste and tour, there are “wine safaris” by seaplane to destinations like Patagonia and the Andes. Here, wine isn’t just for drinking: You can try a spa treatment like the body hydration wrap with red wine cream and raisins. Around the property, you’ll see works by Argentine and Brazilian artists. And if you want to work up a sweat, there are exercise kits with elastic bands, kettlebells, dumbbells, a yoga mat and a jump rope. Prices from $780 a night (through September) based on double occupancy, including breakfast. Note: The hotel is for ages 15 and older.
Brush Creek Ranch
For many people, mountain towns are places to ski and snowboard. Yet their warm-weather pleasures shouldn’t be overlooked. And few destinations offer as much to do in the summertime as Brush Creek Ranch, tucked between the Sierra Madre range and Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. There are three guest ranches: the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch (which has 19 rooms in its Trailhead Lodge and 25 private log cabins), Magee Homestead (nine cabins) and French Creek (four cabins and a glamping yurt). Guests can participate in activities like the Llama Hike and Picnic, a full or half day of hiking ($200 to $400 per person), and Llama Wade Fly Fishing, a full-day excursion with fishing guides and llamas to carry your gear and picnic lunch ($750 for two guests). For something less vigorous, try Llamas 101, where you can feed and groom the animals and have play time with the babies, known as crias ($150 per person). Llamas aren’t the only animals in residence. Among Brush Creek’s new experiences are Goat Pasture Walks, where you’ll eat breakfast at a goat dairy creamery, then stroll through a pasture with a herd of goats as they have their breakfast ($200 per person).
Prices from $1,550 a person a night based on double occupancy (guests receive a free night when staying four or more nights). Packages include accommodations, certain ranch activities (such as archery, rock climbing and guided ranger tours) and dining, including a selection of drinks.
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