The Swag

Waynesville, NC

The Inn: With a name like The Swag, how could you resist? A luxurious mountain lodge nestled deep in the Smoky Mountains, The Swag combines one of the country’s most spectacular natural settings with all-inclusive luxury 5,000 feet above sea level. Relax in a redwood sauna, play croquet with panoramic views, embark on a guided hike with a renowned naturalist or pack a picnic lunch and dine alfresco — in a treehouse, of course. All meals are included, accompanied by local craft ciders and award-winning service. Roughing it has never felt so good.

The Beds: All rooms come with king-size beds and private baths, plus wood-burning fireplaces, steam showers, Bose sound systems, balconies — even a private refrigerator stocked with drinks and trail mix for hikes.

The Breakfasts: The inn’s meal plan includes a daily breakfast with a made-to-order omelet station and goodies like pecan-wood smoked bacon. Sleep in late on Sunday and enjoy the lavish 11 a.m. Swag Gourmet Brunch buffet.

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: The personalized hiking stick — you can even take it home with you.

Rates from $500/night.



Art House of East Hampton

East Hampton, NY

The Inn: Heading to the Hamptons in summer is the height of luxury, and the artist-owned estate of Art House stands out among the other palatial vacation homes that dot its shores. This estate is designed with all the thoughtful care of a masterpiece — including the paintings themselves, which are by proprietors/artists extraordinaire Rosalind and Michael. And while the Atlantic may not be very far from its steps, the inn has plenty of water to splash in, including a 66-foot pool, a second indoor pool, a hot tub with its own waterfall and a stone outdoor shower designed by Rosalind herself.

The Beds: Modern Hamptons design is well showcased in the airy suites with their white duvets and dark hardwoods. Book the extra-large Master Spa Suite for a California king bed and a two-person whirlpool tub.

The Breakfasts: Art is crafted in the kitchen as well, with gourmet meals of made-to-order egg dishes, freshly squeezed fruit juices, lox and local bagels — everything you need for a pre-beach-day breakfast.

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: Visit the exclusive butler’s pantry for unlimited snacks, chocolates, drinks, even lattes on demand, available 24 hours a day.

Rates from $225/night.



Inn at Sunrise Point

Camden, ME

The Inn: The Inn at Sunrise Point is the soignee beach house you wish you owned, with its fittingly nautical interiors and crisply modern design. Guests have private access to the shoreline, plus five acres of oceanside paths, lawns and gardens. From the conservatory, watch sailboats drift by each day or the sun sink into Penobscot Bay at dusk. After a day exploring Camden village, kayaking the coast or biking the trails, enjoy a relaxing nightcap in the cherry-paneled library. In winter, its fireplace may be the coziest spot in Maine.

The Beds: All rooms offer either a gas- or wood-burning fireplace, plus a high-end private bath with Turkish towels, butter-soft robes and Gilchrist & Soames amenities.

The Breakfasts: Three-course breakfasts in the conservatory kick off with freshly baked scones followed by seasonal fruits like Maine blueberries and an ever-changing array of chef-created mains.

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: The direct ocean views and private decks mean the bay is nearly within arm’s reach.

Rates from $325/night.



Friends Lake Inn

Chestertown, NY

The Inn: Tucked in the Adirondacks on the shores of a sunlit lake is Friends Lake Inn. Built in the 1860s as a boarding house, the inn today is rustic yet thoroughly upscale with boutique-hotel chops. Here, guests can enjoy all sorts of classic mountainside sports like hiking and kayaking as well as gastronomic pursuits like beer tasting at the indoor-outdoor taproom. It’s like a luxury adults-only summer camp, except the mess hall is a New American restaurant dishing up scallop, lobster and truffle cioppino, and the bunks are custom hand-carved king-size beds.

The Beds: All guest rooms have outdoor views and private baths; many include a Jacuzzi, balcony and fireplace. We especially love the Lakeview and Barn rooms, which come with comfy lake-facing window seats — well placed for curling up with a book.

The Breakfasts: Full breakfast is served daily until 10:30 a.m. (great for late risers) and is available in bed at no extra charge, if guests simply must enjoy their cinnamon brioche French toast while in pajamas.

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: Canoes and kayaks are complimentary in summer, and an on-site Nordic Ski Center can set up guests with snowshoes and skis in winter months.

Rates from $275/night.



Farmhouse Inn

Forestville, CA

The Inn: Farmhouse Inn combines the kind of five-star resort found on luxury travel blogs with all the personal warmth of a B&B, topped off with the gastronomic pleasures for which Sonoma is known best. Both its restaurant and the spa are farm-to-table, featuring local produce in Michelin-starred dishes and pampering massages alike. Here, explore the sprawling gardens and fire pits with a glass of wine in hand. Then bed down for the night with the inn’s turndown service, featuring homemade cookies and milk in bed.

The Beds: Wood-burning fireplaces, steam showers and radiant heated marble floors come standard. Even the budget-friendlier queen rooms have jetted tubs and redwood saunas.

The Breakfasts: Hot scones studded with garden-fresh fruit. French toast with orchard-grown pears. Breakfast may be an upcharge, but it is the most important meal of the day, right?

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: Six concierges and four bellhops for 25 rooms see to every last request, from evening s’mores made with house-made marshmallows to a “bath bar” where guests can try seasonal scrubs, salts, milk baths and handmade soaps.

Rates from $500/night.



A Storybook Inn

Versailles, KY

The Inn: Fulfill your every last equestrian dream at A Storybook Inn, located just 15 minutes from Lexington in the heart of Kentucky horse country. This historic inn was completely renovated in 2010, down to the original wide-plank ash floors. Each design element speaks to the manse’s rich pedigree, from the Chippendale dining table and the commissioned oil paintings to the fine crystal and china from which you’ll dine daily. The staff can book a private tour to the area’s world-famous horse farms or to a bourbon tasting or en-suite massage — essentially anything you need for an indulgent stay.

The Beds: The suites are inspired by classic cinema (Casablanca, My Fair Lady, and so on). Little in-room touches set A Storybook Inn apart, like fresh flowers, towel warmers and custom-made toiletries.

The Breakfasts: Innkeeper Elise whips up hearty breakfasts using local ingredients — even the flour is small-batch and organic. Expect eggs Benedict and Tuscan quiche with herbs just plucked from the kitchen garden.

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: Storybook is as eco-friendly as it is elegant, with Tesla and Prius car-charging stations and a slate of green initiatives.

Rates from $269/night.



Coyote Bluff Estate

Kalispell, MT

The Inn: Coyote Bluff Estate simply has some of the best lake views money can buy. Facing Flathead Lake, just about an hour from Glacier National Park, the 9,000-square-foot custom lodge is located among nature’s most stunning sights. Yet what’s found inside the estate is just as stunning: a towering stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings and impeccable interior design inspired by the Montana wilderness but with a sophistication all its own. If you must leave the spacious inn, helpful staff can plan fishing excursions, helicopter tours, picnic lunches, even private jet service to and from the estate.

The Beds: Three suites are expansive, topping out at 700-plus square feet. Staying warm here is a breeze: The beds have heated pillow-top mattresses covered in lavender-scented 600-thread-count sateen sheets, and the bathrooms have heated towel warmers and soaking tubs.

The Breakfasts: Full gourmet breakfasts are served in the dining room or on the estate’s lake-facing patio (also the perfect place for a nightcap or private candlelit dinner).

Most Splurge-Worthy Amenity: A full home theater with plenty of comfy seating so you can catch up on your favorite HBO shows, accompanied by a glass of wine from the inn’s private collection.

Rates from $350/night.




—by Dara Continenza