Forget the beach—nature lovers know that the best way to experience the great outdoors in the summer is to spend some quality time in the mountains. If your idea of summer bliss involves hiking, biking, and swimming, these gorgeous resorts should be just the ticket. And if exotic scenery is a must, you’ll be happy to know that great mountain escapes can be found in tropical locales, too.
The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park, California
Nestled deep amongst the pine trees, cliffs, and canyons of Yosemite is the 123-room Ahwahnee Hotel. The impressive stone and wood structure, built in 1927, is considered a National Historic Landmark. Rooms with views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits are filled with wood and rich tapestries of Native American design. Highlights here include the Great Lounge with 24-foot-high ceilings and a large stone fireplace along with the light-flooded dining room. This hotel is on the expensive side — and parking is limited — but the prime location and views are worth the price tag. Read More »
As we’ve said before, a vacation just isn’t a vacation without delicious food and delicious views. And when you can have both together, well, that’s a match made in culinary heaven. Back in August, we gave you a peak at five hotel restaurants with scrumptious food set against amazing backdrops — and now we add eight more restaurants to that list. Dig in!
Lounge at the La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences
It doesn’t have to be fancy to have great views – and delicious food. This luxury golf resort in Guatemala is surrounded by four volcanoes, two of them being active. While the Sky Bar and the upscale restaurant also have views of the volcanoes, we love the laid-back, al fresco lounge, where diners can grab a burger and sip on a smoothie (the lounge’s specialty). During the weekends, the lounge often hosts Guatemalan buffets and barbecues.
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Akin to that elusive “nineteenth hole” in golf, après-ski scenes are more about socializing than sporting. Groups gather after the last run of the day to drink, dance, and relive any hairpin turns they might have experienced on the slopes. We’ve traveled to North America’s premier ski locales and every time, after a blustery day on the mountains, nothing has warmed us up faster than a hot toddy by the fire in some of our favorite hotel bars. Featuring cozy ambiances, stunning views, and custom drinks, these hot spots are just the ticket for a solid après-ski social hour.
The Granary offers phenomenal views and cuisine in Jackson Hole.
This après-ski gem in Jackson Hole offers delicious, locally-sourced cuisine. Cocktails are tasty and the views…well, the views pretty much speak for themselves. With The Granary set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley, it’s no wonder that the views are the most stunning of the Tetons in the area. Read More »
Skiing is one of our favorite winter pastimes: There’s just something about getting out in the fresh air (and fresh powder) that does a body good. And whether you’re doing the “pizza” down the bunny slopes or have mastered the double black diamond, you’ll be sure to have a great time, especially considering all the other offerings ski destinations and hotels have: gorgeous spas, fabulous shopping, heated pools, you name it. So without further adieu, here’s a roundup of our favorite ski hotels that go above and beyond with amenities such as ski-in/ski-out locations, elegant rooms, and activity-packed itineraries.
Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you) and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There’s a daily resort fee, and you’ll have to pay for valet, but that’s to be expected at a resort of this caliber.
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The best way to discover Whistler is checking out the Village Stroll, lined with stores, bars and restaurants
World-class slopes, wonderful dining and a superb nightlife scene make Whistler one of the world’s best spots for a winter vacation– but who said ski resorts are only to be enjoyed during the colder months? Those same bunny hills and black diamonds turn into fun hiking trails and mountain bike circuits when the snow melts, and the dining and drinking is taken outdoors, bringing a lively atmosphere to long, sunny summer days. Check out our guide of what to do and where to stay in Whistler this summer — and beyond.
It may not be easy to let your kids fly the coup, but being an Empty Nester has its advantages — especially when it comes to travel. Forget breaking up sibling rivalries in the backseat or searching for one affordable restaurant that pleases everyone’s palate. Empty Nesters not only have a renewed sense of freedom, but also extra time and money that can afford them unique vacation opportunities. For mature travelers who are still young at heart and looking for adventure, we’ve found some of the best international destinations that get you back to the outdoors while offering a little something extra for your mature sensibilities.
The nautical-themed Hotel J offers 1-,2-, or 3-day excursions on their private sailboat.
As one of the most lush (and underrated) places in the world, Sweden’s capital city boasts its eco-friendly atmosphere throughout its 14 interconnected waterways. And because of its far north locale in Scandinavia, daytime can last more than 19 hours during the summer season. With a strong focus on the outdoors, Stockholm makes for a great active getaway. The nautical-themed waterfront J Hotel is a secluded boutique property, perfect for couples looking for tranquility and activity. Guests of the J can rent bikes, hop aboard the hotel’s private sailboat, or get a tai-chi lesson. The hotel also offers wine tastings and culinary classes for travelers to indulge in when (and if) the sun goes down. Read More »
Lake Tahoe, California
It’s true that the ocean is awesome — but reaching it can be a trek for many travelers. And even for those who live close to the beach, there comes a point in the summer when you get sick of sand getting stuck between your toes. That’s why we’ve compiled some of our favorite spots for freshwater fun; these beautiful lakes and rivers are an active traveler’s dream, offering activities such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, nearby hiking, and more. Check out our trip options suited to a range of tastes — whether you prefer picnicking on Tahoe’s shores or cave tubing along the Macal River in Belize.
Ah, Spring Break: Those booze-fueled glory days you spent partying in Cancun, Panama City, and Lake Powell feel like they were just yesterday. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to convince yourself (and those around you) that someone beyond the age of 22 should still be hitting the beaches with throngs of college kids. Luckily, there are plenty of places for the mature, modern man to take a spring break of his own without feeling like a seventh-year senior. These party spots offer more than just shooter girls and wet t-shirt contests.
The Swim Club Pool at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club; Palm Springs, CA
Not so long ago, Palm Springs was a sleepy desert town that catered to geriatrics. Then a little festival called Coachella was born and the scene hasn’t been the same since. The cool kids flocking from L.A. on the weekends have supported the rise of an awesome nightlife scene in a town that caters to everyone from dirty hipster to rock god.
Hotels to Check Out: Just like at its sister properties, the parties at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club are the stuff of legends. The two pools host music events each weekend (usually with well-known DJs), and rooms are decked out with amenities like turntables and iPod docks.
Check out more Spring Break spots after the jump.
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Although celeb divorces are super-frequent, we were blindsided when Heidi and Seal announced their separation. (But after seeing this picture, it’s pretty clear they haven’t been getting along.) And if that reveal wasn’t heartbreaking enough, it came on the heels of a slew of other celeb splits: Demi and Ashton, Vanessa and Kobe Bryant, Katy Perry and Russell Brand, to name a few. But as it always goes in Hollywood, every failed, star-studded relationship could have a second chance. And with the aforementioned couples, no finalizing papers have been signed. No completely irrevocable damage has been done. We think that a little R&R would help these duos unite once again — they just need the right recommendations. (From us, natch.)
The A-List Couple: Heidi Klum and Seal
Credit: Steve Connolly/startraksphoto.com
The Lobby at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler; Whistler, BC
Why The Hotel Can Save Them: 2004 was a good year for Heidi and Seal. They met, she gave birth to her daughter Leni (whom Seal later adopted), and then he proposed in an igloo in Whistler. So we think they should just head back to where it all began. We know that skiing can bring Heidi and Seal smiles; their last happy photo was a pic of them on the slopes over Christmas. Plus, at the kid-friendly Four Seasons, Mom and Dad can reconnect during a luxurious couples massage while the tots are at the kids club. Then the whole fam can cozy up in front of the fire in one of the massive residences to call it a night.
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The snow has finally started to fall which means that it’s time to take a ski vacation with the family! Whether your kids are future Olympians or have yet to perfect the “pizza,” they probably won’t want to do just that — and hey, you might need a break from the kiddies yourself — so we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly hotels in our favorite cold weather destinations. After (or in lieu of) a day on the slopes, tots can enjoy numerous kid-friendly amenities — everything from swimming in the year-round pool to bowling to participating in activities at the kids club — at these luxurious resorts.
SKI SPOT: Vail
WHERE TO STAY: Four Seasons Resort Vail
The Outdoor Pool at the Four Seasons Resort Vail; Vail, CO
WHY: The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011 and has been one of the area’s top hotels since then: All the rooms have stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs. (How cozy does that sound?) Not only do families enjoy the beautiful, heated outdoor pool (open year-round), but the Teen Club, with an air hockey table, video games, foosball table, and iMac computers, is also a popular hangout for the young ones as well. Plus, there’s on-site daycare in the kids’ club and young children receive a welcome gift upon arrival.
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