Here are a few of my favorite luxury and boutique hotels within driving distance from most cities. Not into a hotel? I have a large list of private homes - though many are booking up quickly through the end of the year. Contact us to plan your getaway.
Looking for a low-key getaway, close to home? I’ve rounded up the boutique hotels, resorts and lodges across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States that are worth driving to, now and in the coming months, to inspire your summer road trip ideas—or future travel dreaming. A "West and West Coast" post will follow!
The properties listed below have recently reopened with an impressive new set of sanitization and social-distancing procedures. Many also offer apartment-style suites or standalone accommodations like cabins and cottages for guests who would prefer a more private experience. While each hotel’s policies are unique, most generally include such strategies as: exhaustive staff training around health and contamination safety, as well as regular staff temperature checks; reduced staffing and guest occupancy rates (to ensure social-distancing protocols); temperature checks for guests upon arrival; stringent new sanitization procedures for guest rooms and public spaces; rearranging public spaces and adapting amenities to maintain social-distancing amongst guests; and distanced, outdoor-only as well as the option of takeout-style dining experiences.
I am personally in close contact with all of my hotel and home rental partners to confirm that they are implementing enhanced disinfecting protocols and respecting social-distancing guidelines to create experiences that are as safe as possible. Additionally, when you make a reservation at one of these properties with Nash Travel Management, you may have access to preferable cancellation policies and special amenities. Contact us directly for more information on individual properties’ policies for making your stay safe and seamless—and to start planning your summer road trip!
Blackberry Farm, Tennessee: Charming, Culinary-Focused, Stylish | Open Now (Virtuoso Partner)
Spanning 4,400 acres in rural Appalachia, Blackberry Farm is a traditional farmstead retreat that is world-renowned for its phenomenal culinary program and has guest accommodations as well as private homes. Most of the rooms come with golf carts for guests to get around. The overall atmosphere at Blackberry Farm is of an easy-going country club, and down time is likely spent unwinding on the main building’s beautiful terrace or exploring the softly billowing woodland wilderness traced with miles of hiking trails—or eating! Blackberry Farm offers 62 guest accommodations, including Estate Rooms, Cottage Suites, Hill Cottages and houses, all beautifully appointed and furnished with fine antiques. Personal service and attention to detail are the defining elements of Blackberry Farm's award-winning reputation.
Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee: Rustic-Chic, Wellness-Focused, Secluded | Open Now
In wild, imposing natural surroundings, the owners of Blackberry Farm have opened an establishment that prioritizes overall wellness, outdoor adventure and inner serenity. Rooms take the form of cabins and cottages designed with nature in mind, places to unplug from the world and reconnect with oneself. The hotel’s two restaurants (Firetower and Three Sisters) both have sublime views and serve the creations of Chef Josh Feathers, who uses healthy ingredients and combines local flavors and culinary techniques. The Property also has an incomparable underground spa offering Ayurvedic treatments.
Blackberry Mountain offers 44 guest accommodations, including cottages, homes, cabins, and multiple bedroom options.
Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina: Friendly, Serene, Sprawling | Open Now
Palmetto Bluff is a picture-perfect piece of the American South. Upon arrival, the winding five-mile drive immediately reveals a sense of vastness, and as you travel deeper under the shady canopy of oak trees, a feeling of calm washes over you. Finally, the water appears in the distance. In the early 1900s, the property was an estate home where Southern belles mingled with New Yorkers on holiday. Now, the 20,000 acres have mostly untouched forest, along with an award-winning golf course and rooms and suites split amongst the Main House and Guest Houses, as well as the original 48 freestanding cottages along the water. The cottages have large bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms and screened-in porches for morning coffee and lazy naps—for here, time slows down, and guests acclimate to the pace by waking up to the birds singing, watching the dolphins play in the river and appreciating the ever-present scent of honeysuckle.
Sea Island, Georgia: Resort-Like, Family-Friendly, Traditional | Open Now
With modern amenities and a charming air of old-school elegance (this is, after all, part of the Golden Isles of Georgia and prominent East Coast families have been coming since 1928), Sea Island is one of the top traditional resorts on the East Coast, offering three renowned golf courses and a wide array of activities ranging from dance classes to fishing. The range of accommodations is equally diverse, with everything from secluded oceanfront villas to family-friendly cottages, ideal for seclusion. Please note: The Cloister, The Lodge and Cottage Rentals are currently open. The Inn at Sea Island will reopen on July 2.
Belmond Charleston Place, South Carolina: Elegant, Romantic, Grand | Open June 25
(Belmond Bellini Club + Virtuoso Partner)
It's little surprise Belmond Charleston Place is known as Charleston’s grand ambassador, welcoming friends and guests alike with a gentility that transcends the hotel’s recently renovated guestrooms and suites, award-winning restaurants and world-renowned rooftop spa. This grande dame is located at the very heart of one of America's favorite cities — mere steps from the famous historic market, antebellum homes and James Beard-awarded restaurants. Surrounded by some of Charleston’s most historic buildings, our hotel exudes 17th-century majesty. Nestled in the historic district, this gorgeous retreat feels like home away from home.
Zero George Street Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina: Local Immersion, Secluded, Small | Open Now
Zero George’s immaculately restored circa 1804 buildings and private courtyard are the ideal ground zero for exploring Charleston’s allure. Meander shady lanes on our complimentary bikes; indulge in our award-winning cuisine; relax with an innovative cocktail. We aim to delight, spoil and surprise you as we serve up Old World authenticity with contemporary upscale hospitality. With only 16 rooms, you are sure to feel in the mix but away from the crowds.
Watercolor Inn and Homes, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida: Beach, Golf, Locals | Open Now
WaterColor Inn is Northwest Florida’s only AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four Star beachfront hotel. Situated on the pristine sugar-white beaches of South Walton, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the Inn provides the perfect combination of warm Southern hospitality, the intimacy of a bed-and-breakfast and the fun of a classic beach house — the ideal coastal setting to gather and inspire. A wide variety of private homes are also available. Enjoy award-winning cuisine at several dining venues; complimentary kayaking, canoeing and other recreational activities; and private St. Joe Club & Resort amenities, including a private beach club, championship golf and more.
Ritz Carlton, Reynolds, Greensboro, Georgia: Golf, Wellness, Zen | Open Now
(Virtuoso Partner + Ritz Carlton STARS program)
Cottages by the lake aren't far from home, but feel far removed. Calming, charming and filled with character, accommodations at this hotel near Greensboro, GA capture the essence of a lakeside retreat. Rooms overlook gardens or Lake Oconee, and lake houses and cottages feature kitchens, outdoor spaces, living rooms and everything else needed for a family getaway.
Sunset Key Cottages, Key West, Florida: Beach, Laid-back, Secluded | Open Now
At Sunset Key Cottages, enjoy an escape on this serene 27-acre island located only 500 yards from the vibrant energy of Key West. There is a complimentary seven-minute ferry service that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, you'll feel drawn to remain in this welcoming oasis, with its white-sand beach, spa, Latitudes restaurant, pool and fitness center. Choose an oceanfront, ocean-view or garden-view two- to four-bedroom Victorian-style cottage. A breakfast basket arrives each day, with freshly baked muffins and other treats, orange juice, and complimentary access to PressReader.
The Inn at Perry Cabin, St Michaels, Maryland: Classic, Locals, Seclusion | Open Now
Inn at Perry Cabin is so cozy and home-like, you'll be aching to stay indefinitely. Set in a manor house in the resort town of St. Michaels, this intimate retreat offers just 78 guestrooms, all with sleigh beds or turned-wood New England beds, stacked with pillows and lighted by lamps. Each evening, your turndown service includes freshly baked cookies — a delightful way to end the day. The Spa at Perry Cabin is not to be missed; treatments are based on local botanicals, such as linden blossom, verbena and black birch. Take time to relax in an Adirondack chair on the lawn and watch the boats cruise by.
Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia: Seclusion, Charm, Remote | Open Now
Look no further for Blue Ridge beauty. Whether you are looking for a mountain home, cottage, tree-house, or a stay in the lodge, Primland meets your needs with grace and and warmth. Southern comfort comes with a shot of refinement at Primland. Here, it is all about the simple pleasures: Spotting whitetail deer on a woodland trail, fishing for trout in a babbling brook, riding horses through fields of wildflowers, climbing trees to get that much closer to nature. A massive, eco-conscious resort in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland never forgets its connection to the land, nor its commitment to luxury with 51 rustically elegant suites, cottages and storybook treehouses. There are an 18-hole golf course and an organic spa inspired by Native American rituals.
The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia: Seclusion, Charm, Gourmet | Open Now
With only 24 rooms, you won't feel crowded here. Small-town Americana meets the international culinary stage at The Inn at Little Washington. Proprietor Patrick O’Connell abandoned acting for the “living theater” of his renowned farm-to-table restaurant, one of the world’s first. The Inn’s 24 bedrooms and suites, individually appointed by London set designer Joyce Evans, are equally dramatic; many feature balconies and serene garden views. Those looking for the ultimate in seclusion and amenities choose The Claiborne House presidential cottage. Take one of the complimentary bicycles out for a leisurely ride into the surprisingly sophisticated historic town, founded in 1769.
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket & Newport
Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts: Family-friendly, Classic, Charming | Open Now
One of New England's most honored and historic getaways, Cape Cod, encompasses 17th-century towns and the spectacular Cape Cod National Seashore. Opened in 1914, Chatham Bars Inn overlooks a private, quarter-mile beach and has a fleet of boats for sportfishing, sailing and day trips to Nantucket Island. An award-winning spa and four dining options, as well as an eight-acre farm that supplies the hotel's fresh produce, make this resort one to which generations of families have returned. Chatham Bars Inn offers a rich variety of guestroom styles and types. Ranging from an historic guestroom in the Main Inn to an ocean view cottage two-bedroom master suite complete with fireplaces, steam shower, dining area and wet bar, there is room to meet any desire. Cottage accommodations vary from one-bedroom suites to 18 individual guestrooms. Many families enjoy selecting an entire cottage to meet their needs or connecting rooms, which provide convenience and privacy.
The White Elephant, Nantucket: Traditional, Refined, Discreet | Open Now
(Virtuoso via Destination Management Partnership)
Overlooking Nantucket Harbor but tucked away from the bustle of town, the White Elephant has been the longtime favorite for generations of visitors. The White Elephant’s luminous rooms (including suites, cottages, residences and a downtown loft), most with views of the bobbing boats docked in the harbor, are decorated in an understated nautical design scheme, with open spaces ideal for making a home-away-from-home. Spend days boating and relaxing on the beaches, then enjoy dinner to-go from the on-property restaurant, Brant Point Grill, or local hotspots like Straight Wharf and Cru (which is now open for limited outdoor dining reservations).
Contact us to inquire about planning your trip.
Ocean House, Watch Hill, Rhode Island: Grand, Historic, Beachfront | Open Now
The luxurious Ocean House, with its iconic yellow façade, wrap-around porch and sweeping views of the ocean, is a blend of old and new, celebrating its storied past while providing modern amenities and service. The now-156,000-square-foot building looms large from its perch on a pristine stretch of private beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The suites at Ocean House are all individually appointed and feel like private apartments. The bi-level Morgan suite, which is done in lacquered wood to resemble a sleek yacht, and the Presidential suite, with its sprawling rooftop with 360-degree views, are some of the most exquisite rooms on offer.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island: Sophisticated, Beachy, Secluded | Open Now
You're invited to experience The Chanler, where Gilded Age elegance and gracious hospitality provide a tailored experience that is quintessentially Newport. Spend your days lounging in our private oasis of manicured gardens while you take in breathtaking ocean vistas. Every evening, indulge in a long soak in your tub or enjoy an after-dinner drink at our crackling fire pit under a sky full of stars. This is your moment to take it all in. The Chanler offers unparalleled serenity among Newport, Rhode Island luxury hotels. Step into our storied mansion on Cliff Walk and you'll find yourself in a world of architectural beauty, polished service and relaxed refinement. Housed in a mansion on Newport's famed Cliff Walk, The Chanler offers twenty distinctive Newport hotel rooms elegantly decorated in various period styles.
Upstate New York
The Point, Adirondacks, New York: Adults-Only, Old World, Rustic | Open June 25
On a 75-acre peninsula on Upper Saranac Lake, The Point is at once a luxurious 11-room sanctuary and a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Guests stay in the property’s original log cabins (once owned by the Rockefellers) with rustic-chic décor. Days are spent hiking, playing croquet or boating on the lake, with plenty of time to relax with a picnic or cocktails outdoors.
Special amenities granted to Nash Travel Management clients, contact us to inquire about planning your trip.
Gurney’s Montauk, New York: Buzzy, Resort-Like, Historic | Open Now
Acquired by Gurney’s Resorts in 2018, the venerable Montauk Yacht Club, at the tip of the East End overlooks Montauk Harbor. The overall vibe is stylish yet laid-back; the property feels like a real New England hideaway. The resort occupies 32 acres with direct beach access. The villas are a bit removed from the main building and a great option for families or friends traveling together who desire privacy (each villa has between three and nine suites).
Lake Kora, Raquette Lake, New York: Private, All-Inclusive, Old-World | Open July 1
12 bedrooms encompassed in strategically placed log structures take advantage of lake views. For those seeking more privacy, the Tree House or Gardener's Cottage are free-standing residences, while boathouses and remaining cottages are comfortably located in adjacent buildings. Many original furnishings, artwork and artifacts remain, though bedding, robes and telecommunication updated to meet demands of today's guests. Wi-Fi is complimentary, a few bedrooms have tv's, all have direct dial phones. Cell service unavailable. The property may only be reserved by exclusive booking during July thru mid- October, thus primary months to enjoy mother nature at this desirable compound. (12 bedrooms/24 guests maximum) It is an inclusive estate, therefore, all food and non-alcoholic beverages are customized and included in the nightly rate.
Troutbeck, Hudson Valley, New York: Family-Friendly, Outdoorsy, Value | Open Now
Troutbeck is a bucolic, family-friendly property near the Connecticut border on the eastern side of the Hudson Valley. Its rooms and suites showcase modern, simple décor, with multiple nooks for reading and boardgames. The 45-acre property has a pool and tennis courts along with yoga areas, three trout pools and easy access to hiking and biking trails.
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, New York: Family-Friendly, Classic, Active | Open Now
When those "in-the-know" travel to upstate New York, they head to Lake Placid Lodge, located in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. The wood beams, stone fireplaces, comfy featherbeds and deep soaking tubs feature rustic romance and adorn 30 handcrafted rooms and private log cabins, set along the water’s edge with views of Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain. Year-round activities vary from golfing, hiking and horseback riding in warm weather to winter ice climbing, dog sledding and snowmobiling. Indulge in a gourmet dinner in the touted Artisans restaurant or award-winning wine cellar; the lodge is renowned for its anything-you-please service.
Cliff House, Bald Head, Maine: Sophisticated, Oceanfront, Serene | Open Now
Cliff House was the vision of the enterprising Elsie Jane Weare, who discovered the location’s potential in 1866. The setting was certainly dramatic: 70 acres of panoramic oceanfront aloft a 72-foot sheet of rock that plunged precariously into the ocean below. After six years of construction, Cliff House debuted in 1872 and its repute as an oceanfront retreat for the refined spread quickly. Throughout the architecture and interior design of Cliff House, a pervasive sense of soothing comfort is confronted by the powerful majesty of nature. Although the striking scenery can certainly calm one into quiet bliss, the resort has an endless menu of activities, including hiking, kayaking and boating, golfing, swimming and lawn games.
Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine: All-American, Cozy, Family-Friendly | Open July 1
The secret to Hidden Pond lies in its oneness with nature. This eco-chic resort invites guests to take guided hikes and leisurely bike rides along wooded trails, plant seeds with the gardener or capture the peaceful surroundings on canvas in a painting class with the artist-in-residence. Join a yoga class at the organic farm, and find renewal amidst the treetops at Tree Spa. Local farms, foragers and fishermen provide the makings for simple yet novel fare at the romantically rustic Earth restaurant. The 36 bungalows and two-bedroom cottages are an easy drive from historic Kennebunkport.
Please note: For the summer 2020 season, Hidden Pond will offer a highly privatized experience with modified services to ensure minimal contact between guests and staff, with a required stay of seven nights or more.
White Barn Inn, Kennebunk, Maine: Beachy, Local, Secluded | Open June 28
White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection is an award-winning hotel, restaurant and spa that has been a landmark in Kennebunk, Maine for 150 years. The 26-room inn offers guests supreme levels of quality, luxury and service: rooms, suites, waterfront cottages, a swimming pool, massage and spa treatments, and convenient access to fine shopping and art galleries in the charming coastal town of Kennebunkport.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont: Secluded, All-Inclusive, Charming | Open Now
Twin Farms, a member of Relais & Châteaux, is for those who have long wished for a private country retreat in New England. This pastoral paradise is set on 300 acres of verdant hills, fields and forest and offers 20 individually designed accommodations. There's the rustic Log Cabin, with its river-rock fireplace; the Treehouse Cottage, with its Adirondack twig accents; and the surprising Meadow Cottage, decorated in vibrant Moroccan style. Outdoor activities range from hiking, biking and fly-fishing to snowshoeing, sledding, and downhill and cross-country skiing. Golf, gallery-hopping and shopping in Woodstock are all nearby.
Nash Travel Management is in close contact with all of our hotel and private home management partners to confirm that they are implementing enhanced disinfecting protocols and respecting social distancing guidelines to create experiences that are as safe as possible. Additionally, when making a reservation at one of these properties with us, you may have access to preferable cancellation policies and special amenities. Email our team for more information on individual properties’ policies for making your stay safe and seamless—and to start planning your summer road trip!
Olivia loves hotels and is passionate about the transformative power of travel. She started Nash Travel Management because her goal is to make your bucket list come alive! She is one of fewer than 250 agents worldwide who is a certified Virtuoso Wanderlist Advisor and is a charter member of Virtuoso's Sustainability Community.
Olivia holds degrees from The Ohio State University, New York University and an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Vanderbilt University. She, her husband, and two daughters reside in Nashville.