In honor of November being National Novel Writing Month, we've scoured our site for hotels ideally suited for releasing your inner Hemingway (but preferably a less tortured version of the late great). These 10 hotels are quiet and comfortable, and most have private cottage-like rooms so you don't have to worry about noisy neighbors disturbing your art. Cozy settings -- many of which lack distractions such as TVs, Internet, and phones -- are perfect for buckling down and writing (or typing) the novel that's been on your to-do list for oh so long. So hole up at one of these secluded spots and work on that best-selling novel!
The intimate Sea Rock Inn is an upscale bed & breakfast with resort touches, offering suites and cottages with panoramic ocean views and wood-burning fireplaces. The cabin-like guest rooms are perfect for some secluded writing, and come complete with plush beds from which guests can see the ocean. When your pen (or laptop) needs a break, binoculars are provided for whale-watching from private decks or the large lawn, which slopes gently toward the edge of the rocky Pacific cliffs. The inn is not fancy, but it’s charming, with knotty pine furniture, ebullient flowerbeds, and whimsical paintings and sculptures. Since kids have to be 12 or older to stay here, the atmosphere is quiet.
Evergreen Lodge is a 22-acre cabin resort surrounded by Stanislaus National Forest, about one mile from Yosemite National Park’s western border. The 90 cabins come in different sizes and are rustic, cozy, and comfortable with large private decks. Ideal for focusing on writing, there are no phones or TVs in the cabins, and there’s only (spotty) Wi-Fi service in the recreation halls. It’s a great spot for nature lovers, though, who want to be disconnected from the world for a bit and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding pine trees instead. If you need an active break, there’s some equipment for rent on-site, such as mountain bikes and snowshoes, plus fly fishing, bocce ball, rafting, horseback riding, and two recreational halls filled with games, books, and arts & crafts materials are all available. Note that due to the raging Rim Fire, several acres of the surrounding forest have burned. The hotel’s website details the extent of the damage, but fortunately the property was virtually unscathed.
For outdoorsy types looking for an authentic eco lodge experience surrounded by natural inspiration, Selva Negra is the real deal. This family-run organic farm and coffee estate has accommodations ranging from hostel rooms to private bungalows, as well as a lush, cool mountain setting that’s rich with wildlife (expect howler monkeys, lizards, agoutis, and all types of birds). The lodge is charmingly rustic rather than luxurious, featuring buildings designed in a quaint German style, and the friendly owners help make it a truly special place. There’s no Wi-Fi in the rooms and only some rooms have TVs, but even these lack cable.
Primarily geared toward families who want to get away and relax in the great outdoors, Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds features 25 unique cabins on a wooded 40-acre property. The standalone cabins are clean, cozy, and packed with everything you could need — full kitchens, fireplaces, hot tubs, and private decks with barbecue grills. The property also has a hiking trail that connects to Mountain-to-Sea trail in the Smoky Mountains.
This upscale mountain escape in the Italian Alps near the French border (hence the French name meaning “Heart of Snow”) is less a hotel and more a cluster of 16 charming chalets all sporting rustic-luxe decor and modern conveniences. Wooden furniture, floors and walls, working fireplaces, faux fur throws on the beds, and warm colors make each chalet (with private entrances) feel like a separate cabin in the woods (albeit one with free Wi-Fi and satellite TV). When not working on the next best seller, guests can ski-in/ski-out of the property to the gondolas for outdoor activities, and then return “home” to recover in their quiet mountain retreat with a restorative spa. The spa has gorgeous views, which most of the rooms lack.
If you need to do some nature-centric research for a novel, head to Lapa Rios. Located in the remote coastal rainforests of the Osa Peninsula, it’s Costa Rica’s original luxury eco lodge. This is the opposite of a Cancun-style beach resort; guests come to the upscale Lapa Rios to enjoy the spectacular surroundings, learn about sustainable tourism, and reconnect with nature. The 16-bungalow lodge sits amid 1,000 acres of rainforest filled with wildlife, and it lack TVs, phones, and Internet. But it’s far from a no-frills jungle camp — there are many comforts here, including a pool overlooking the ocean, a splendid restaurant serving sumptuous cuisine, and rustic-luxe rooms with private decks. This is a place to get in touch with nature without roughing it.
The secluded Hidden Mountain Resorts is a family-owned cabin rental operation, split into two areas, with 300 cabins and counting. It’s in a great location for those looking to be off the beaten path, while still providing relatively easy access to the area’s attractions. No on-site bars or restaurants mean making use of the kitchens, or driving, because there’s no dining within walking distance of most of the cabins. The cabins are quiet and well-kept, with some superbly decorated, though some suffer from cleanliness and/or insect issues. The Woodland Oasis cabin in particular is supremely tranquil, sitting next to a lighted pond with fountains and benches surrounding it; it also houses a hot tub and fireplace — a most cozy setting to hole up.
With an intimate collection of 17 cottages (22 rooms), Tensing Pen is where guests come to unplug — no TVs, phones, or radios in the rooms — and enjoy the breathtaking cliffs of Negril’s west end. The pool, spa, and restaurant are a little small, but most guests prefer the smaller size since it makes for the quiet exclusivity found here. If you do need to reconnect to the outside world (after all, your sister should know you’re including that mortifying story from high school in your memoir), Wi-Fi is available in the restaurant and lobby.
This 96-room lodge has become a destination unto itself, not just for its excellent amenities and impressive views, but for its rich history. The charming property is still run by the famous Trapp family, whose story was told in the movie The Sound of Music, and original memorabilia from past generations is displayed everywhere. Rooms, though large, bright and comfortable, have fairly bland cottage-style decor, but that includes a work desk in each. If you get stir-crazy, there’s a lot to do on-site — the hotel has three restaurants, a brewery and bakery, a fitness center, and three pools (including an adults-only option).
Set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley, Spring Creek Ranch has arguably the most stunning views of the Tetons in the area. It has a wide array of room categories, from standard hotel rooms to immense two-bedroom condos, but the quality and design of each unit varies greatly, making it a game of hit-or-miss. While some condos are ultra-luxurious in every possible way, others are plain and come with more basic amenities. Most standard hotel rooms are in need of an urgent renovation. The delicious, popular restaurant and the excellent heated outdoor pool are not to be missed, though.
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