Don’t get us wrong, we love a good mega-resort just as much as the next person. But sometimes the large crowds, all-you-can-eat buffets, and 24-hour casinos make for an overwhelming stay. When we seek quieter, more intimate getaways, we head to these cottages, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts for some R&R.
Hidden Pond, Maine
If you’ve ever dreamt of living in the wilderness, but cringe at the bare bones nature of Thoreau’s stay in Walden, then consider Hidden Pond; it's got all the seclusion and beauty you crave, with the upscale amenities you can’t live without. Spread over 60 acres in Kennebunkport, the individually decorated bungalows and cottages are cozy, with bright pops of color and some cabin-esque touches (think Ralph Lauren meets woods). The tree house-like spa is a nice perk, as is the organic vegetable farm, and the outdoor bar and restaurant with awesome seating around a fire pit.
The Annabelle Inn, Aspen
With cozy, individually decorated rooms and a charming Main Street location, The Annabelle Inn shies away from the ritziness Aspen is sometimes known for. This is not to say that The Annabelle lacks style, however. The warm lobby greets guests with a rustic fireplace, comfy leather couches, and unfinished barn wood fixtures. Guests will likely appreciate The Annabelle’s prime location (within walking distance to slopes, bars, and restaurants) and its plentiful, free breakfast.
21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast, Charleston
Mixing the best of both worlds, 21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast offers genuine southern hospitality and a peaceful setting, with easy access to all of the great shopping, dining, and entertainment Charleston has to offer. The idyllic property, with large oak trees, ferns, and a redbrick driveway, overlooks Charleston Harbor. With a maximum occupancy of 10 guests, who stay in one of either two units, this quaint B&B provides extremely attentive service and personal care.
Bass Rocks Ocean Inn, Massachusetts
For travelers wishing to avoid the sometimes hectic traffic of Cape Cod, Cape Ann, located 35 miles north of Boston, is an excellent option. A historic beach town known to have some of the best whale watching in the country, Cape Ann is a quiet retreat. The Bass Rocks Ocean Inn has stunning views of the Atlantic with Colonial Revival style touches. Guests can enjoy free bicycle rentals, croquet, and a beautiful, heated pool overlooking the ocean. Travelers should note, however, that the inn will close for the season on November 2. But if you can't make it out there before then, fear not! It will reopen in May.
Cypress Creek Cottages, Texas
Comprised of 11 individually (and colorfully) decorated cottages surrounding Cypress Creek, Cypress Creek Cottages is located in the Texas hill country town of Wimberley. This property is meant for quiet, secluded getaways. Though the hotel itself doesn’t have many amenities, it is only a short drive from Wimberley’s downtown area, and about an hour away from Austin and San Antonio.
The Queen Victoria, New Jersey
Thanks to a certain TV show, the stately Victorian mansions of Cape May are not often what people think when they hear the words “Jersey Shore.” But the beautiful Queen Victoria is a charming bed-and-breakfast that should certainly restore the shore’s reputation. Family owned and operated, it is replete with antique furnishings, close to the Washington Street Mall, and a quick two minutes from the beach. Plus, bikes and beach towels are available for borrowing, and there’s a daily afternoon tea and cookie service.
The Woodstock Inn and Resort, Vermont
Woodstock is often called one of Vermont’s most beautiful towns, and The Woodstock Inn and Resort is certainly its most beautiful hotel. With a charming location across from the village green, The Woodstock Inn is like a woodland sanctuary. Spacious, understated rooms are chock-full of high end amenities, and the upscale spa is not to be missed.
Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe
Adjacent to Santa Fe Plaza, the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi pairs modern luxuries with thirteenth-century, Native American-inspired decor. The large rooms have a Southwestern style that is tasteful rather than overbearing. Guests will love the carved wooden doors, kiva-style fireplaces, and pine beam ceilings that can be found throughout the hotel. The on-site Anasazi Restaurant is renowned throughout Santa Fe, and serves Southwestern cuisine using fresh, local ingredients.
The Mermaid & The Alligator, Key West
Look no further for the quintessential Key West bed-and-breakfast...we found it at The Mermaid & The Alligator. A little quirky and a little colorful (well, a lot colorful), this tiny, nine-room Victorian has been fabulously updated by its owners. The boutique offers tons of freebies -- breakfast, beach chairs, coolers, umbrellas, Wi-Fi, parking -- and sits close to the shopping and dining mecca of Duval Street. There’s even a small plunge pool with tropical gardens and a hammock.
The Mill House Inn, East Hampton
It’s hard to find a year-round bed-and-breakfast in a quaint beach town like East Hampton, but luckily the chic The Mill House Inn is open 12 months a year. The historic property was built in 1790 and much of the original craftsmanship remains, along with modern, upscale finishes that the owners have meticulously added over the years. A top-notch breakfast is served in the dining room each morning, and small touches, like the owners’ personal photographs displayed throughout the property, make The Mill House Inn quite homey.