OUR LITTLE SECRET
7 Stunning Hideaways
Psst...! These secluded North American properties, surrounded by spectacular landscapes, are the perfect antidote for the busy workweek. Check in, drop out, and catch a late flight back.
Far from touristy Ixtapa, the Inn at Manzanillo Bay draws both mellow sunseekers and surfers eager to test the challenging waves of Mexico's Pacific coast. The eight thatched-roof bungalows and two deluxe suites with marble floors and private patios are part of a complex run by American Michael Bensal, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy who cooks up Baja-style fish tacos and chiles rellenos in the hotel's casual restaurant. There's a decidedly laid-back vibe: Guests laze on the beach with frozen margaritas made with the inn's boutique house tequila, or relax in the pool surrounded by coconut palms and bougainvilleas. Surfers will catch the biggest swell from May through October, although the inn's private point break throws consistent waves throughout much of the year. Want to learn how to surf? Bensal will set you up with a local instructor for private lessons on a nearby sandy beach break, ideal for beginners. 011-52/755-533-2884, manzanillobay.com, from $128. Photos 1 of 4
The Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, Vt., is surrounded by 21 wooded acres that turn vibrant shades of red, yellow, and gold in late September and early October. But don't rule out a summer visit, when chef Jason Tostrup's garden is in full bloom. The farm-to-table advocate grows much of the food served at the inn's critically acclaimed restaurant (Tostrup was named Vermont Chef of the Year in 2008), and local ranches usually supply the rest. Expect Slow Food dishes like Shuttleworth Farm lamb confit and curried seared Maine lobster, all served alongside the inn's freshly baked bread. If that's too fussy, stop in the inn's casual tavern for hearty soups and pub favorites such as the grilled Blackwatch Farms burger with cheddar cheese from Grafton Village. When you're done, rent a bike in Woodstock, 12 miles away, and cruise traffic-free roads on the lookout for covered bridges or cool antique shops. A bonus: If you decide to stay in, the 12 rooms are hardly run-of-the-mill. Some have whirlpool tubs, skylights, and working fireplaces. 802/263-9217, weathersfieldinn.com, from $139. Photos 1 of 1