Holiday Hideaways Off the Beaten Path

By Paul Riegler on 11 December 2012
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It’s not too late to plan a holiday trip, but there’s no rule that says you have to go where the crowds are.  Here are six of our top picks for a getaway to secluded luxury for this holiday season.

Blackberry River Inn
Norfolk, Connecticut

Once a stop along the Underground Railroad the Blackberry River Inn is located along the Blackberry River in rural Connecticut. Book a suite in the main house and relax during the day in the enclosed terrace, then move on to the  wood-burning fireplace at night, and enjoy the traditional feel of a New England winter night.

Savor the The Blackberry River Inn’s bountiful breakfast, and be sure to order the banana french toast. After you’ve hiked on the numerous trails, and stocked up on holiday gifts at the nearby farmer’s markets, head to the library and join others for the informal reception, where freshly-baked cookies (and some libations) are served.  – Jonathan Spira

The Equinox Resort
Manchester, Vermont

America’s founding fathers gathered at the Equinox Resort long before it was part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, but it is fairly certain that activities such as the Land Rover Winter Driving School and falconry were not part of their agenda.  Spend the day behind the heated steering wheel of a Land Rover (the seats are heated. too) in the Green Mountains, then retire to the Falcon Bar for a drink and a cheese platter that includes Oma cheese (just like Grandma used to make) from the nearby von Trapp Farmstead.

The next morning, sign up for hawk training at the British School of Falconry, but only after you have sampled all of the best items on the breakfast menu in the Colonnade restaurant.  – Jonathan Spira

Hoshinoya Karuizawa
Karuizawa, Japan

If a mileage run is in order, here’s your ticket. Just one hour north of Tokyo by bullet train (Shinkansen) is this hidden jewel, the Hoshinoya Karuizawa resort. You will be transported into an alternate version of modern-day Japan, exempt from western influences, but still quite technologically advanced. ,

Check into your Mizunami Villa along the water, change into your hotel-provided leisurewear, and watch the hotel staff float Japanese lanterns from your balcony that spans over the river below as dusk approaches.  The effect on the water is one of a kind.

The Hoshinoya offers both indoor and open-air onsen (温泉 or bath) that make use of the water from the nearby Hoshino Hot Springs.  Experience the relaxing mixture of light and darkness in the meditation bath before you go stargazing on the top of a nearby hill.  You’ll regret leaving the Hoshinoya Karuizawa but you’ll leave with your blood pressure significantly lowered. – Jonathan Spira

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