| June 23, 2014 | Lifestyle
Our staff escaped for a few days of luxury at four mid-Atlantic retreats and one stay further afield—and here’s what they found.
Set on a 340-acre expanse, Salamander Resort offers 168 well-appointed rooms and activities for equestrians of all levels.
School’s out for summer, which means it’s time to pack the sunscreen and head out of town for some R&R. Whether you’re traveling en famille or enjoying a romantic escape, these five luxe destinations are sure to satisfy your wanderlust.
It’s not quite over the river and through the woods, but the horses would surely lead the way to this 340-acre equestrian oasis, 40-some miles west of DC. Inside the 168-room estate, inspired by owner Sheila Johnson’s own home, the warm atmosphere features homey décor, with much of the art from her personal collection. The floors were installed with a unique suspension to make them feel historic, and equestrian touches abound. Despite the accolades of the resort’s luxurious indoor-outdoor spa with private retreats, its two restaurants (try the gourmet cooking classes), and handy car service to visit nearby vineyards, the real attraction is the equestrian center. Riders of all levels can enjoy the draw with beginner sessions, trail rides, and even yoga classes on horseback—and on-site boarding makes Salamander the perfect accommodation for foxhunters and enthusiasts who prefer their own ride. Rooms start at $275 per night for nonpeak months. 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA, 540-687-3600
Guests at the Four Seasons Baltimore enjoy cocktails on the waterfront patio.
An hour from downtown DC, the Four Seasons Baltimore sits among the bustling circle of Harbor East—a destination in itself at the city’s Inner Harbor. Surrounded by boutiques and museums, the luxury hotel doesn’t disappoint with shopping, dining, and relaxation. But the real treasure of the Four Seasons is the expansive 10,200-square-foot spa with 11 treatment rooms. We recommend treating yourself to a day of skin, body, and nail services, including the ultradecadent two-and-a-half-hour Quench body treatment, followed by the Heat Experience room, and then head to the waterfront patio and relax on the sofas with a refreshing cocktail. As the sun sets, end your night with a satisfying meal at one of two on-site gourmet restaurants—Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom and the Japanese-inspired Pabu. Room rates start at $479. 200 International Dr., Baltimore, 410-576-5800
To beat the heat, head north to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Situated three hours from DC on 2,000 acres in the Laurel Highlands region of the Allegheny Mountains, Nemacolin offers a plethora of activities. Go hunting, fishing, golfing, off-roading in a Jeep Rubicon, or fly-fishing in the Youghiogheny River; or take a safari tour (they have a zoo on property). Nemacolin’s Lautrec is one of only a handful restaurants in the world to hold both Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond awards. The resort has six lodging options, including a French château, a glam boutique hotel whose design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, and family-friendly townhouses. Be pampered in the luxurious Woodlands Spa with 40 treatment rooms. And don’t worry about the kids; put them in Kidz Klub, and they may cry when you pick them up to leave. Rooms start at $395 mid-week in the summer. 1001 Lafayette Dr., Farmington, PA, 724-329-8555
This beet salad is part of James Beard Award–winning chef Patrick O’Connell’s menu at the Inn at Little Washington.
Book the babysitter. The Inn at Little Washington is the romantic adult getaway you’ve been meaning to take for years. A 90-minute drive from DC, the 18-room Relais & Châteaux property is a sumptuous hideaway nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in historic Washington, Virginia. Every detail at the extravagant inn is thoughtfully executed by Joyce Evans, a London stage and set designer. Star chef and owner Patrick O’Connell, a James Beard Award winner, makes the Inn a destination for gourmet connoisseurs worldwide. In addition to having one of the most memorable meals of your life—critics have called the fare “so good it makes you cry”—enjoy the quaint town’s stores and art galleries, bicycling, afternoon tea, daily breakfast, and a kitchen tour. Rooms begin at $460 a night. 309 Main St., Washington, VA, 540-675-3800
Hop a three-and-a-half-hour flight from DC to luxury Jamaican villas. Poised within the gates of posh Round Hill resort and around the bend from Ralph Lauren’s compound, Longview Manor offers acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and sweeping views of the Caribbean. The stunning villa sleeps 14, and with a doting staff of six—including a butler and a cook—it might be your most relaxing getaway ever. After enjoying a made-to-order breakfast on the terrace, use the private tennis court, lounge around the pool, go for a walk, or take Longview’s golf cart down to glamorous Round Hill Hotel. There, head to the spa, drop off the children at Kids’ Club, take in afternoon tea, go for a sail, or hit the beach bar for some rum punch. Summer rates are $1,785 a night for up to four bedrooms and $2,500 a night for seven bedrooms. John Pringle Drive, Montego Bay, Jamaica
photography by Justin Kriel; Courtesy of The Inn at Little Washington (beets); Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore