From sea to shining sea — California to Massachusetts — junior landscapers or even anyone without a green thumb who just admires a get-away-from-it-all setting can set their sights on some of the country’s most impressive hotel gardens.
Mirbeau Plymouth, Mass.
No need to book a ticket to France to take a Monet-like trek through a Giverny-like garden. Not too far from colonial living village Plimouth Plantation, the Impressionist’s world comes to life at Mirbeau, with a green footbridge and water lilies. The French manor vibe is inspired inside as well, with replicas of the painter’s works hanging throughout the halls and guestrooms. Don’t miss the cave spa and deep-tissue massages.
The Parker, Palm Springs, Calif.
Designers inside and outside collaborated for the Parker’s 14 acres of lusciousness, conceived imaging a “Mrs. Parker,” a fictional owner with eccentric tastes. Hammocks that swing from date palm trees, croquet courts and Moroccan lanterns come courtesy of landscape architect Judy Kameon and interior designer Jonathan Adler. Take advantage of the California climate with a series of private nooks surrounded by plants and artfully arranged fire pits.
Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.
Well-known for its fountain show, the Bellagio is a green Shangri-La in its own right. The manmade lake and its dancing water are complemented by plants and flowers on the property, including the Conservatory. Showcasing rare flowers, oversized plants, water exhibits and floral arrangements under skylights, the gardens (including a butterfly habitat) are worth a visit any time of year.
Four Seasons the Biltmore, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Appropriately, the gardens at this retreat were designed by landscape architect Lockwood deForest. Dating to 1927, the giant yuccas, cypress trees and camphor (including one fig tree from the 1800s) are maintained by a two-to-one gardener per acre ratio. Guestrooms come with a map for self-guided botanical walking tours.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn, Albuquerque, N.M.
Kitchen gardens abound at Los Poblanos, a 20-room inn on 25 acres of organic farmland and lavender fields. Volunteer to harvest the flowers alongside the farmer or buy spa products with essential oils. Enjoy lavender honey daily at breakfast.
Wheatleigh, Lenox, Mass.
Twenty-two acres of landscaped gardens are up for a nice stroll at Wheatleigh, nestled in the heart of the Berkshires in bucolic Massachusetts. Absorb a 16th-century-style Florentine palazzo at the 1893 luxury hotel, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead of Central Park fame. The secluded garden pool is a can’t-miss highlight.
Glenmere Mansion, Chester, N.Y.
Italy comes to the Hudson Valley at Glenmere, 150 acres designed by Beatrix Ferrard, one of America’s first female landscape architects. The homage to the Old Country’s traditional gardens has recently been restored to its original glory.
Yes, it’s not even Thanksgiving and we are talking Christmas — but this is a family-friendly festival to plan for: WinterFest 2019. Hosted at The Colorado Chautauqua, a national historic landmark in Boulder, Colorado, the inaugural event is a free, or close to it, celebration of all things Christmas and holiday cheer, Dec. 13–15.
Like most holidays calling into memory those who have given a great sacrifice, Veterans Day can be a hard day to explain to young kids. Through the parades, fireworks and days off school, the meaning of the day can become lost unless parents force the point home.
Eastern Europe has come a long way in the last 25 years, and Belgrade is emblematic of the youthful optimism and energy that helped completely transform the formerly industrial and war-torn Eastern Bloc city into a colorful destination guaranteed to appeal to children and teens, from landmarks restored to their past historic glories to impressive museums, and a host of welcoming shops and restaurants with an emphasis on local products.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Just a short drive outside Dublin, Kilkenny, Ireland, gives you and your family a large dose of history and culture to explore in one, small, easily walkable destination.