Willie Nelson, you got it right…just can’t wait to get on the road again.
After months of sheltering at home, the world of travel has re-awakened. It’s time to get on the road again. So let’s hop in our cars, head down the highway and explore some under-the-radar places where we can shelter by choice.
OLD EDWARDS INN: “Wow, I had no idea!” More than likely, that will be your response when you first enter this world-class gem hidden in the mountains of North Carolina. You’ll be totally enveloped by the warm ambiance of the huge stone fireplace and the wood and stone interior that surrounds you. Authenticity prevails.
Old Edwards Inn provides a sumptuous retreat with period antiques, European bedding and Frette linens. The bathrooms feature plush robes, rainfall showers, the finest amenities and heated-tile floors. Old Edwards’ traditions include a champagne welcome, complimentary Dove Bars and non-alcoholic beverages daily, concierge service, 24-hour business center, valet parking and much more. Spacious, luxurious, Spa Suites within the Inn have a private elevator that takes you directly to The Spa. In 2010, when The Spa was voted #1 Hotel Spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler’s readers, it received the first-ever perfect score in the 20-year history of the competition. The Spa exudes the energy and healing power of the mountains.
Madison’s, the Inn’s premier restaurant, offers some of the freshest and most innovative cuisine in the North Carolina Mountains. Madison’s has been winning culinary awards for two decades. In warm months, you can enjoy light fare at the Poolside Bar and Bistro, or at the Rooftop Terrace and Wine Garden at the main historic Inn. New to the Inn’s dining scene is Four65 Woodfire Bistro + Bar. A Pink Peacock or Mountain Marg’ cocktail could precede one of Four65’s handcrafted wood-fired pizzas and be followed by Tiramisu in a Ball Mason Jar. The Inn’s sister properties…The Lodge at Old Edwards and the Cottages at Old Edwards…are in close proximity to the Inn. With its expansive views and wraparound rocking-chair porch, the Lodge offers a nature-inspired setting. The Cottages, with their verdant lawns, shady porches and warm interiors of fine wood and crafted stone, are the perfect mountain getaway for families. At Old Edwards, the meandering Blue Ridge mountain resort you’ll be INN for a treat. It’s life…elevated!
CHANLER AT CLIFF WALK: One of the most historic mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, The Chanler is a gilded reminder of centuries past. Completed in 1873 for the steep sum of $300,000, the mansion was built as a summertime retreat for Congressman, John Winthrop Chanler and his wife Margaret Astor Ward, great granddaughter of the distinguished millionaire John Jacob Astor. Dating back to the 17th century, the beautifully preserved walking city of Newport became a summer refuge for the nation’s elite. Their “summer cottages” were, in reality, the grandest of grand mansions that out-did one another. Newport’s dramatic 3.5 mile Cliff Walk winds along the island’s southeastern edge, bordered on one side by the massive “summer cottages” and on the other side by granite cliffs and the pounding surf of the Atlantic.
The Chanler went through many incarnations. It functioned as a school for girls, a summer home, an apartment building to house Naval officers, and a historical museum. Following a fire on October 28, 1944, the structure was repaired and reopened as a 30-room hotel. In 2000, the hotel was temporarily closed for an extensive 3-year renovation and refurbishment with one-of-a-kind decor for all accommodations. The Chanler at Cliff Walk pays homage to the past as it celebrates the present.
A stay at The Chanler, the quintessential “summer cottage” hotel, will have you feeling like an Astor during you visit to historic Newport. Called America’s “first Resort”, Newport is a city of firsts. In 1687, it was the first American city to pass a traffic ordinance. It was the site of the first of the thirteen colonies’ Declaration of Independence in May of 1776; it had the first church steeple in the United States; was home of the first permanent Quaker settlement in America and the first Jewish synagogue in America; operated the first ferry service in 1657; and had the first gas streetlights in 1803;
THE BOULDERS: How can you not leave all your cares behind you when you’re nestled among humongous boulders in a town called Carefree? Located in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun, The award-winning Boulders Resort & Spa is 16 miles northeast of Scottsdale, and a million miles from the strip malls that line the Phoenix/Scottsdale highways. This desert hideaway, in a town where street signs bear names like ‘Easy Street’ and ‘Ho Hum Road’, has been skillfully sculpted into the Sonoran Desert. Situated in the dramatic desert foothills, this environmentally sensitive resort is so spectacular that it takes its very name from the gargantuan boulders that backdrop it. What appears to be a desert mirage is, in reality, a striking resort that left the natural terrain and plant life virtually untouched. The dramatic and innovative architecture was designed to blend with the surrounding desert and the granite boulder formations that dot the landscape. A room is not a room at The Boulders. It is a dramatic free-form, adobe-style casita individually sculpted into the Sonoran Desert terrain. Each earth-toned, traditionally plastered casita has its own wood-burning fireplace, hand-hewn wood-beam ceilings and a patio or balcony from which to watch the sun rise or set.
The ancient landscape of the Boulders Resort offers unforgettable outdoor adventures. Hot air balloon flights offer breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert from 1,000 feet in the air. The desert comes alive at night on moonlight bike rides that cruise along the resort’s roller-coaster golf cart paths by the light of high-tech handlebar-mounted LED systems. Golf ‘on the rocks’ is more than a game at The Boulders. The 36 championship holes reflect the rhythm of the desert. They are characterized by a distinctive landscape of ancient saguaro cacti, mesquite and palo verde trees, and natural rock outcroppings.
The Boulders has left no stone unturned…or should I say, no boulder unturned.
Bet you just can’t wait to get on the road again.
by Janet Steinberg, winner of 50 travel writing awards, resides in Cincinnati but calls the world her home.