When awards season ends — or in reality, goes into a brief lull — it’s time to shift gears back into creative mode. These are places where stressed-out and played-out showbizzers can go make-up free, where they can replace the glam squad with a juice cleanse, where natural surroundings or historic sites soothe the over-scheduled and where the order of the day is peace of mind mind.
Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, Calif.
One million tiles add a bold graphic look and shimmer to Santa Barbara’s newest hotel, the 121-room Hotel Californian located within view of Stearns Wharf, the beach and Pacific. Designer-to-the-famous Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s eclectic interiors were inspired by Santa Barbara’s Spanish revival style, with a nod to mid-century sophistication. There are three separate buildings; the crowning social spot is the rooftop pool and lounge where the Pacific provides a brilliant backdrop. The spa’s blue tiles lend a contemporary Moroccan vibe. The indulgent Tribute spa ritual utilizes personalized aromatherapy during revitalizing scrub, body wrap and massage.
36 STATE ST., SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, Calif.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach is secluded on 87 acres in its own woodsy canyon off the Pacific Coast Highway south of Orange County’s coastal gem Laguna Beach. Outdoor pursuits are plentiful: there’s beach (shared with the Montage Laguna Beach), a nine-hole well-manicured golf course and hiking. The location is remarkably quiet and chill for a resort within the L.A./O.C. metropolis. The décor is rustic chic and beds are outfitted with fine linens. Harvest, the onsite restaurant, takes full advantage of California’s seasonal bounty. Weekends, there are stargazing and fitness classes for hotel guests. Spa treatments include the stone and shell tension-reducing massage.
31106 S. COAST HIGHWAY, LAGUNA BEACH, CALIFORNIA
El Careyes Club & Residences,
Costa Careyes, Mexico
The Jalisco coast between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on Mexico’s western coast still has undeveloped stretches. The family behind the ecologically minded, bohemian enclave of Careyes has thoughtfully built out the El Careyes Club & Residences on a relatively unspoiled stretch of beach. There’s a protected natural area surrounding the resort’s village. The 35 one- to four-bedroom casita-style suites open to ocean breezes; all have their own kitchens and hammocks. An abundance of nature-related activities abound, from seasonal whale watching to observing nesting sea turtles. Local seafood is the specialty at Careyes’ five restaurants that foster socializing in this secluded hideaway favored by bold-faced names.KM 53.5 CARR BARRA DE NAVIDAD, PUERTO VALLARTA, COSTA CAREYES careyes.net
Taking the Waters
Herods Dead Sea Hotel, Israel
When “Wonder Woman’s” Gal Gadot took her film’s team to Israel, they encamped on the Dead Sea’s shores for the waters’ wealth of minerals and reputed healing powers. Herods Dead Sea Hotel is set on its own private beach — perfect for long soaks in the celebrated saline waters and scooping up and slathering on the Dead Sea’s natural black mud. There are also several kinds of swimming and soaking pools and the Vitalis mosaic tiled spa with Turkish-style bath. Breakfast buffets here are especially indulgent.
EIN BOKEK, ISRAEL herods-hotels.com
W Miami, Miami
Miami buzzes year-round and the 146-room W Miami is front and center to the city’s foremost cultural attractions, the 35th annual Miami Film Festival events and the Design District. The hotel’s 50th-floor pool deck features views almost to the Florida Keys and out to Biscayne Bay. Architecture is by Arquitectonica with interior motifs inspired by Philippe Starck; glitzy embellishments and polished surfaces are found throughout. For instant relaxation, hotel guests have access to the Icon Brickell next door (part of the same complex) where bubbling hot and cold tubs sit under crystal chandeliers. A new pool deck will soon open with the longest pool in South Florida.
485 BRICKELL AVE., MIAMI
All the Cool Vibes
Sir Joan, Ibiza, Spain
A-listers, royalty and rock stars have made Ibiza an international playground. One of Europe’s leading hoteliers, Liran Wizman, opened the 38-room, design-centric Sir Joan hotel in July 2017 overlooking Ibiza Town’s yacht-laden Marina. The hotel is meant to feel like a private club, albeit one without a lot of attendant attitude. The social scene revolves the hotel pool (where DJs often spin); each room has its own balcony and extra sound-proofed windows. Curated local experiences and workshops — yoga, photography and fishing where the catch of the day comes from participants’ efforts — distinguish Sir Joan as an inspiring spot for creatives.
PASSEIG JOAN CARLES I, IBIZA, SPAIN
Flying Flags RV Resort, Buellton, Calif.
Glamping combines camping and a hip hotel stay: there’s none of the hassle of setting up camp but most of the luxuries of a boutique hotel and all of the fun and restorative power of being outside in an exceptional natural setting. In Santa Barbara, California’s wine country, Buellton’s Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground has several options that connect guests to the great outdoors. Glampers can select between well-appointed white canvas safari-style tents, tricked out vintage Airstream trailers or a newly built selection of 19 compact cottages that have front porches, full kitchens and private backyards with BBQ. Totally kid and pet friendly, there’s free Wi-Fi for those that can’t bear to unplug.
180 AVENUE OF THE FLAGS, BUELLTON, CALIF.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, Calif.
All ages will find something fun at this sprawling Coachella Valley resort, midway between Palm Springs and Indio. Golf, tennis (and a rare grass court), restaurants, several pools and spa all on site mean guests can park once for a full array of sporty and relaxing activities. At night, electric boats ply the hotel’s lagoon and ferry guests around its man-made waterways. A new promotion takes full advantage of clear desert nights: the “Good Vibrations” package promises a moon bathing picnic kit complete with stargazing materials and cocktails to go plus passes to the full service spa.
74-855 COUNTRY CLUB DR., PALM DESERT, CALIF.
Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria, B.C.
“Deadpool’s” Ryan Reynolds teased fans last summer with an Instagram stop outside the X-Men’s Hatley Castle in Victoria on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Victoria’s charms extend well beyond its oft-filmed locations. The scenic inner harbor is fronted by the equally photogenic Fairmont’s Empress Hotel; nearby the independent minded 64-room Magnolia Hotel & Spa offers a quiet respite. Soaking tubs, harbor views and personalized service enable guests to slow down and recharge before heading up island to visit the renowned 55-acre Butchart Gardens, celebrating 114 years in bloom. Other pursuits include hiking, wild hot springs soaking and some serious forest bathing among old growth trees. British Columbia’s tide-to-table cuisine of local seafood and oysters is another draw.
623 COURTNEY ST., VICTORIA, B.C magnoliahotel.com
Steeped in Culture
Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan
Tradition bound Kyoto is one of the world’s spiritual centers and an increasingly popular safe haven for international travelers. Luxury hotels here pride themselves on an unequaled tradition of service. Along the banks of the Kamo River, the 4-year-old Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto melds into the ancient cityscape purposefully. A dramatic water feature at the hotel’s entrance leads to the tiered lobby centered on an interior garden designed to adhere to ancient Taoist concepts. Book the kimono experience in which a dresser lets guests choose from elegant silks and fashions layers of the customary attire. Dine in at the hotel’s Kaiseki Mizuki for a varied menu of Japanese delicacies paired with seasonal sakes. Sporty types will like the hotel’s zippy electric bikes available daily for guided bike tours.
KAMOGAWA NIJO-OHASHI HOTORI, NAKAGYO-KU, KYOTO
Out of the Past:
La Fonda, Santa Fe, N.M.
Santa Fe’s distinctive architecture, slew of art galleries, elevated culinary options and civilized pace add up to a fulfilling visit. The 180-room landmark La Fonda on the Plaza has entertained luminaries since its opening in 1922. The historic hotel has its own art collection featuring Native American artists and recently upgraded 15 Terrace level rooms that are now decorated with hand carved furniture, rich fabrics and have patios that look over the city’s iconic downtown. At the spa, the sage infused herbal wrap is enhanced by the high desert’s native plant in this detoxifying treatment. Follow it up with one of La Fonda’s Don Rael Margarita’s, a mix of two aged Sauza Hornitos tequilas, Grand Marnier and Patron citronge liqueur.
100 E. SAN FRANCISCO ST., SANTA FE, N.M.