As the vaccine rollout continues and travel restrictions loosen, apres awards season vacation plans beckon. Whether you’re down for a Southwest road-trip or plane ride (masked, of course) to a far-flung resort in the South Pacific, these hotels are luxurious, oft-dotted with celebrities and the perfect way to wind down following the
Oscar season hustle.
Castle Hot Springs
Down a long, dusty road in a remote stretch of northwest Arizona is the storied Castle Hot Springs, a luxury hotel and spa with a guest register that includes President Theodore Roosevelt and members of the Rockefeller family. This desert oasis features private bungalows and cabins, an eco-friendly three-acre farm and serves to-die-for culinary creations such as seared yellowfin tuna at its restaurant, Harvest. But the resort’s shimmering crown jewel is its natural hot springs, pools of mineral water in which guests can soak by day under the blazing hot sun or at night under a star-speckled sky. For centuries, these deep waters have served to restore, rejuvenate and rehabilitate — local Indigenous tribes would trek to these secluded waters — and they continue to be a source of rest and relaxation to those lucky enough to visit. Adventurous types take note: the resort offers guided hikes through the surrounding Bradshaw Mountains, paddleboard yoga, helicopter tours and horseback riding.
Located an hour-and-a-half north of San Francisco in the heart of Sonoma wine country, Montage Healdsburg and the Duchamp are distinctly different hotels, each one offering unique and unforgettable ways to indulge in the surrounding area’s grape vineyards, verdant hills and irresistible rustic charm. The just-launched Montage Healdsburg, the first Montage property in Northern California, is a five-star luxury resort and spa featuring 130 bungalow-style guestrooms, which includes 34 luxury suites, on a 258-acre spread perched among 22,000 oak trees. A choice travel option for families, the resort offers Paintbox, a program for guests 5 to 12 years old, day trips to the Russian River and hikes to more than 150 miles of local nature trails. A short drive away, the Duchamp is an adults-only urban oasis comprising six freestanding private suites (complete with spa-sized showers) and a 50-foot pool with a maximum of 12 guests allowed. Perfect for weddings or family retreats, you can even rent out the entire resort.
Phil Rosenthal, creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” featured famed Israeli chef and Efendi Hotel owner Uri “Buri” Jeremias in the debut episode of Rosenthal’s Emmy-nominated Netflix docuseries “Somebody Feed Phil.” Rosenthal was also a guest at the 12-room luxury boutique property, ensconced within the narrow cobblestone streets of Akko’s Old City, a Unesco World Heritage City and the former capital of the Crusader Kingdom. Following an eight-year renovation that was completed in 2012, the hotel offers sweeping views of the Mediterranean, the ancient Old City and the stately mountains of the Western Galilee. Archaeology and history buffs will revel in the hotel’s wine cellar, built atop bricks from the Byzantine era, and its first-floor lobby, which includes restored walls and foundations from the Ottoman period. For the ultimate in relaxation, the hotel features wellness treatment rooms and an original 400-year-old Turkish bath, called a hammam.
El Careyes Club
A luxury resort community perched along Jalisco’s southern coast, Careyes has drawn elite travelers since the late 1960s — Mick Jagger, Francis Ford Coppola and Uma Thurman have all visited — and that trend has only risen during the pandemic. Thanks to strict quarantine rules and ample testing, “Careyes has remained a protected community,” says Filippo Brignone, Careyes Foundation president, whose father, Gian Franco, founded the secluded resort town in 1968. Blending a boho-Mediterranean vibe, Careyes offers a bevy of accommodations, including two rentable castles (Sol de Oriente and Sol de Occidente), candy-colored casitas and bungalows and oceanfront suites at El Careyes Clubs & Residences. At El Careyes, a great option for families, guests have access to a private beach club where they can paddle board, kayak or snorkel, and five infinity pools that overlook the Pacific. For dinner, check out Playa Rosa Beach Club, which serves up fresh fish and seafood plucked directly from local waters.
Built as a YWCA in 1926 and billed as a safe haven for solo women travelers, this downtown L.A. landmark was at one time the largest project financed, owned and operated by women. Pioneer aviator Maude Bouldin served as the hotel’s first managing director — and the first woman managing director of any hotel in the U.S. That feminist spirit continues to burn bright at the 268-room boutique hotel, which boasts a coffin-shaped pool to “bury the patriarchy,” and recently served as a filming locale for Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q” (Season 2 guest star Rosie O’Donnell was spotted on-site). A two-year renovation project completed in 2016 restored the property to its original Spanish Colonial splendor, and the hotel is now awash in paintings, books and decor that pay tribute to its feminist roots. “In addition to trying to preserve much of the buildings’ original bones, we also took inspiration from its feminist beginnings,” says Adam H. Goldstein, partner and design director of Studio Collective, who worked on the redesign. “One such example was curating an art collection for the hotel that predominantly comprises all female artists.” When visiting the Hotel Figueroa, make sure to sample the property’s just-launched poolside eatery, Veranda Al Fresco, featuring the culinary talents of chef Jan Claudio. The restaurant’s Mexico City-themed menu offers frothy, frozen cocktails and delectable food items such as Ceviche Classico, with wild-caught sea bass, lime, roma tomato, avocado and cilantro, and the Elote Bowl, which comes with your choice of protein, cilantro lime rice, grilled corn, jalapeno cabbage, avocado, arbol salsa and queso cotijia. Make sure to save room for dessert: Veranda Al Fresco’s Ancho Chile Creme Brule, topped with fresh whipped cream and berries, is absolute heaven.
Jackson Hole, Wyo.
With its endless stretch of sky and bison roaming its vast expanse of prairie, the Cowboy State has attracted celebrities from Kanye West to Harrison Ford. Experience a slice of this Wild West haven at Hotel Jackson, a four-star resort perched smack dab in the middle of Jackson Hole’s town square. With a modern twist on authentic western design, the property’s 55 rooms and suites feature aesthetic elements reflecting the area’s natural landscape and indigenous wildlife, from rawhide to metal and wool. Cameron Diaz has been spotted at the hotel’s on-site, award-winning restaurant Figs, which serves up delectable Lebanese-Mediterranean cuisine (vegan options available). After a glorious hike or gourmet picnic lunch, make sure to check out the hotel’s Sacajawea Library, loaded with historic artifacts, fine art and a treasure trove of literature about Native Americans, the Wild West and the nearby Grand Teton National Park.
Kimpton Rowan Hotel
Palm Springs, Calif.
Old Hollywood stars often escaped to Palm Springs, and its appeal continues to hold fast. The Rowan, which opened in 2018, puts a contemporary spin on the city’s rich Hollywood history. With a plum locale on the main drag of the town, a stone’s throw from shops, restaurants and the renowned Palm Springs Art Museum, the sleek, contemporary 153-room property is the epitome of desert oasis chic. To enhance your weekend getaway, the Rowan offers complimentary bikes, yoga mats in each room and is within walking distance of
myriad hiking trails. But you’ll likely want to spend most of your time at the hotel’s rooftop pool, where you can swim, sip cocktails and watch the sun sink low behind the San Jacinto Mountains.
Kokomo Private Island
Yaukuve Levu Island, Fiji
Following a temporary pandemic closure, this private island paradise reopened its doors on April 1, and it’s a bucket-list travel destination if ever there was one. Cradled by the cerulean waters of the South Pacific, this exclusive seven-star eco-friendly resort features beachfront thatched-roof villas as well as multi-room hilltop residences with private pools and 360-degree views of the ocean. Take your pick of water- and on-land activities, from shark diving to waterfall hikes or fishing expeditions. Or take part in a coral reef restoration project with Kokomo’s on-site marine biologist, Cliona O’Flaherty. Or just sit still. The resort’s Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary offers a menu of indulgent wellness treatments fit for a king and queen.
As the film biz continues to boom in Beantown, industry insiders continue to discover its historic New England appeal. During the making of “Joy,” Robert De Niro conducted a press conference from this five-star, Back Bay-located hotel, and it’s easy to see why. With newly renovated guest rooms, suites and event spaces, the hotel blends a vibe of residential comfort with city glamour. It is within walking distance of the hotel’s plum location: Public Garden, America’s first public botanical garden, the picturesque Victorian row houses of Beacon Hill, and the upscale shops, bakeries and restaurants of Newbury Street; also within walking distance: Boston’s Fenway Park, home to the nine-time World Series-winning baseball team, the Boston Red Sox.
For Angelenos seeking the ultimate in secluded staycation luxury, this tranquil oceanfront oasis, a 16-room Japanese-style inn renovated from a 1950s motel has rooms starting at $2,000 a night. Perched atop Carbon Beach, the rolling waves of the Pacific lapping against the shore, the Nobu Ryokan is so exclusive, only registered guests can enter the premises, making it a preferred hideaway for those searching for an escape. An ocean-facing courtyard features a lush garden abloom with California fan palms, cup of gold vines and staghorn ferns, and select rooms include teak soaking tubs — some outdoors on a private deck — Italian bed linens and sand-hued limestone walls. Just a short walk two doors over at Nobu Malibu, co-owned by Oscar-winner Robert De Niro, guests can indulge in delectable sushi, sashimi and nigiri dishes custom-created by chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. For those who don’t feel like leaving the hotel concierge will hand-deliver food to the door.
This upscale, ultra-private, adults-only five-star resort set on 15 acres of manicured grounds that overlook the Pacific is the go-to get-away spot for entertainment industry luminaries and Silicon Valley execs. Boasting 72 oversized suites and a bevy of culinary options — Treehouse restaurant hangs over the coastline, nestled among mango trees — the resort offers recreational activities that include a surf safari experience and the opportunity to take a spin around the island in a vintage 1957 Porsche. Guests can also paddle out to Maui Basin in their own private canoe to watch the breaching humpback whales. Feel like getting around in a Tesla Model X? The hotel can make that happen. Hotel Wailea also prides itself on its sustainability efforts: during the pandemic quarantine, the resort created a line of reef-safe sunscreen, to help protect local marine life, as well as bath products that use honey from bees on the property and wild Kahili ginger from the slopes of Maui’s famed Haleakala volcano.