Sometimes the getaway is all about the destination, while sometimes the getaway is all about the hotel, its service and amenities. Our favorite getaways are about both.
Nowhere is hospitality done better than in The South. Here are some of our top choices for luxury hotels in fabulous locations, where we wouldn’t mind resting our heads for a few days this winter.
The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Virginia
Opened in 1895, The Jefferson Hotel embodies the history and graciousness of Virginia’s capitol city. From the moment you enter the grand lobby with a statue of the hotel’s namesake, Thomas Jefferson, at its center, guests feel whisked into another era. With elegant rooms and suites, award-winning farm to table dining, and everything you would expect from an establishment that consistently receives five stars, you may never want to leave. Packages are available throughout the year, including a Winter Bed and Breakfast special.
The Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, North Carolina
Highlands, North Carolina, positioned on the southern plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is known for its year-round moderate climate and has welcomed visitors for many years. The Old Edwards Inn and Spa, a European-style resort, is spread out on several blocks in the heart of this small art gallery and shop abundant town. Cozy accommodations, fine dining, and one of the best spas in North America complete the picture, making this hotel an ideal winter getaway.
Keswick Hall at Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
A drive through rolling hills along fence-lined horse pastures leads you to Keswick Hall at Monticello. The 48-room property is located on a sublime 600 acres at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. There are many dining options including the award-winning Fossetts and private dining in the estate wine cellar. A full menu of spa services is available including a vinotherapy regime called The Keswick Reserve. In addition to having Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello just down the road, the area is home to over 25 wineries, breweries, and cideries.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island and Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Located on Kiawah Island, a 10-mile barrier island, The Sanctuary welcomes visitors to what is arguably one of the most beautiful and secluded stretches of the South Carolina coast. Guests can take advantage of the attractions of nearby Charleston, but most likely will want to sequester themselves on the elegant property which does an outstanding job of living up to both its name and across-the-board accolades. With various room and suite choices, fine dining, golf, tennis, a spa, and a naturally beautiful setting, a visit anytime during the year will be memorable.
The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Opened in 1910 and restored in 2003, The Hermitage Hotel has long been an integral part of the Nashville scene. But although grand in scale and elegance, this hotel is anything but stuffy. Committed to gracious hospitality and preserving the city’s heritage, a stay here will definitely optimize a visit to Nashville, making it both more memorable and just plain fun. The Hermitage’s Romance package will have you packing your bags!
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, Saint Simons Island, Georgia
With shops, restaurants, and attractions remaining open throughout the year, Saint Simons Island, Georgia, is celebrated as one of the best winter beach retreats in the US. And traditionally, The King and Prince Resort has been a hotel of choice for discerning visitors since it first opened in 1935. In hallmark gracious style, the owners of the property have turned a current renovation into an opportunity for those seeking a luxurious winter getaway. The Castle Makeover package features fantastic room rates with minimal disruption and services remaining available throughout the renovation. With the renovation set to be complete on February 14, 2014, those looking to travel during the latter part of winter will be able to take advantage of the “Castle by the Sea” in all its renovated glory.
Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
When visiting the historic Biltmore House and its grand estate, people often ask, “Can we stay here?” With the opening of the Inn on Biltmore Estate in 2001, the answer became, “Yes!” The inn is designed from top to bottom with Vanderbilt-worthy style and hospitality in mind, quickly racking up an impressive list of accolades. With fine dining, a spa, and everything on the estate at easy disposal, at least a short stay here should be on every hotel lover’s bucket list.
All photos are courtesy of the author.