The Hamptons

Okay, as hotel experts we love traveling; we really, really love it. But even for us, saying goodbye to our side of the bed, our cups in the kitchen, our own personal brand of snack food stashed in the fridge, and all those other things that make our abode “homey” can be bittersweet. Thankfully, many hotels are stepping up their game when it comes to providing guests with their creature comforts of choice. From in-room kitchens to roaring fireplaces, these hotels come equipped with tons of great amenities to make you feel like you never walked out your front door — and with these amenities come all the fun perks inherent of a vacation. So fear not the unknown, these homey hotels are awaiting your stay with open arms and familiar treats.

1. Villa D’ Citta, Chicago 

villa d citta

The six-room Villa D’ Citta is a cozy, romantic bed-and-breakfast located in the residential neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Its homey features are all charming: an outdoor whirlpool and sun deck, a brick courtyard with a barbecue, and a large communal kitchen. The bright, luxurious rooms have big flat-screen TVs and hardwood floors, and some come complete with fireplaces.

Homiest Feature: The communal kitchen comes fully stocked with all of the snacks you can imagine, and the outdoor patio features a barbecue grill perfect for warm summer nights.  Read More »

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Once we got that hint of sunny weather earlier this week, it became official: we’ve got the beach bug. Nothing ushers in warmer temperatures (at least in our minds) like frolicking in the sand, and a trip to the shore can be the perfect way to get the family together. We’ve told you about the best beaches for diving, surfing, and even going topless, so this time around we’re giving you the low-down on the best beaches for families; if you have babies in tow or water-winged toddlers, these seven U.S. beaches are our top picks for a family-friendly visit.

La Jolla Cove, San Diego

La Jolla

An upscale seaside sanctuary, La Jolla attracts families with its pristine downtown area, quiet neighborhoods, and stunning natural surroundings. While the town boasts plenty of surfer-friendly beaches, La Jolla Cove is ideal for tourists traveling with little ones; this small cove of clear water is part of the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, and swimmers and divers have free range (surfing is not allowed). Lifeguards patrol the calm surf year-round, and the beach boasts clean public restrooms and showers, as well as designated picnic spots.

Where to Stay: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

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Fall is prime time for visiting a New England B&B. And lovers of bed and breakfasts know that the breakfast is just as crucial as the bed. It’s half of the experience, after all! Some breakfasts are far, far superior to others, so we’ve selected five of our favorite spreads. Get ready to chow down on your next weekend escape.

Union Street Inn, Nantucket

Union Street Inn, Nantucket

Union Street Inn, Nantucket

This charming, elegant B&B advertises itself as the only inn on the island to offer a full, hot breakfast (available thanks to its commercial kitchen). Every morning guests can choose between a smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, plate of fruits and artisan breads, or the daily hot entree. There are also homemade baked goods offered each afternoon. Read More »

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The Inn on the Blue Horizon is one of our favorite B&Bs in the Caribbean.

We love the quaint, homey vibe that comes with bed-and-breakfasts. And when they’re located beachside, where mega-resorts are more often the norm, they feel even more like hidden gems. Plan your next getaway — or just dream about it — by clicking through our slideshow of the best B&Bs on the beach. Many dot New England’s coast, but some, like this first one, are further flung — and just as fabulous.

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Summer is here! And it’s got us dreaming of a long (island) weekend to kick things off in style. But when heading to Long Island for a little fun in the sun, visitors have to make a choice between staying at an uber-luxe spot and staying at a nice spot that’s not quite as pricey.

Our first option is the gorgeous Panoramic View hotel in the Hamptons, where rates for Memorial Day weekend start at $175 per night. The hotel has a lovely pool overlooking its stretch of private beach, and great views from the in-room balconies and patios. The slightly more upscale Allegria Hotel on Long Beach also boasts ocean views from its stunning pool and spacious rooms, but charges almost $400 per night on the same holiday weekend.

Can you tell which view is from which hotel? Take a guess in the comments section below, and then find the answer after the jump!

Option 1

Option 2

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Summertime is all about quick weekend getaways to enjoy some pampering in the sun. And what better way to relax and soak up the scene than heading to the Hamptons – home to luxe boutique properties, beautiful beaches, and a hip, see-and-be-seen crowd? We’ve visited numerous boutique hotels throughout this Long Island hot spot and have found the best of the best. After all, luxury and the Hamptons go hand in hand. So check out our list of the top five boutique hotels in the Hamptons.

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

This elegant B&B in East Hampton is exactly what its name suggests: a house full of art. It was designed and decorated by the owners, Michael and Rosalind, who combine mutual talents in art and hospitality. While there are only a few rooms for rent, the hotel has all the amenities of a larger property, including endless communal spaces, an outdoor pool, and fitness center. Although big in scope, the Art House retains all of the personalized charm of staying with friends, making it a distinctive option in the Hamptons.

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For many New Yorkers, heading to the Hamptons isn’t just about the beach — it’s about the hopping nightlife. When the weather gets warm, it’s the Hamptons,  not Manhattan,  that becomes the place to see and be seen after dark. The first step in planning your Hamptons party weekend is choosing where to sleep when the partying is done, and we’ve saved you time by selecting five hotels to suit different tastes — and pairing each with a cool party spot of a similar style. Don’t forget your designated driver.

Stay: The Trendy Hot Spot

Capri Southhampton

The 24-room Capri Southampton received a beach-chic makeover in 2011, and the new owners brought in a BLT Steak and Lacoste uniforms for outdoor staff. These brand names attract a certain social crowd — the kind that drinks champagne and munches on seafood while mingling poolside.

Party: The Bathing Club

At this trendy hotel, the party is at your front door — literally. The rooms are all on the first floor and doors open up right to the grounds that surround the pool lounge, dubbed The Bathing Club. Lounge music pumps through the outdoor speakers, and live DJs spin on Fridays and Saturday nights. Guests can relax on daybeds and cushioned chairs, and on the weekends cocktails are served by the pool until 2 a.m.

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Getting fit doesn’t have to be on your to-do list after you travel. While many hotels offer state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, we know that treadmills can get downright boring after a while. So we’ve found the hotels that have one-of-a-kind fitness amenities that will add a little spice to your workouts while you travel and below we’ll tell you where to find them.

The Fitness Feature: Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaks at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

The Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

Plenty of beach and lakeside hotels offer kayak and canoe rentals, but few offer as many options for your paddling session. For those who prefer a trained professional to accompany them, guided tours at this Ritz include two-hour eco-tours along Shingle Creek ($60 for adults; $30 for children) and excursions on Grande Lake where paddlers can watch the sun rise and set ($20/hour for adults; $10/hour for children).

Other hotels with similar offerings: Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

The upscale Terranea Resort offers myriad activities, including two-hour ocean kayaking tours along the Catalina Channel, where paddlers can spot bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, leopard sharks, and bat rays ($89 per person). Or guests can opt for “kayorkle” — a two-hour excursion where guests snorkel and kayak, also for $89 per person.

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Summertime is fast-approaching and we can’t wait till the days of top-down convertibles, cover-ups and flip-flops dress codes, and mini weekend getaways. After all, a share can be great but there’s something about a spontaneous trip to the beach to really make it feel like summer. So whether your home base is New York or Los Angeles, D.C. or San Francisco, or even Boston, we have a beach destination that can easily be reached via a quick road trip. So grab a map, your sunglasses, and some road trippin’ munchies, and make your escape!

Weekend Getaway from New York City: Montauk

Travel time: 2 hours, 30 minutes via car

Visit Montauk before the "too cool" Hamptons vibe has rubbed off on it.

It may seem cliche, but there’s a reason why Manhattanites flock to the Hamptons come summer. Home to upscale restaurants, trendy workout clubs, quirky shops, and of course, beautiful beaches, it offers a nice reprieve from the congestion and smog of the city — while maintaining that cool (and sometimes snobbish) city vibe. Montauk, located at the furthest tip, however, has a more laid-back feel; residents fear that a recent influx of visitors will taint its unpretentious reputation, but for now it’s a nice alternative to the ultra-exclusive vibe of other Hamptons.

Where to Stay: A cool party spot, Sole East attracts a young, beautiful crowd. With a tasty on-site restaurant, a small pool with loungers, and beach cruisers available for rent, it’s a great pick.

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Bike Loans at C/O The Maidstone

The Hamptons has a reputation as one of the East Coast’s premier beach destinations, filled with natural beauty and luxe amenities. So whether they’re high-end spas, Buddha gardens, or some exclusive yacht parking, these Hamptonite amenities are some of our favorite hotel extras ever. Take a look at the perks that make weekends away in the Hamptons even better!

 

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