It is the beginning of the year, and everyone is releasing their list of the top properties and restaurants. This includes travel magazines, travel sections of news papers, and anyone who routinely writes about the travel industry. Here are my top places to stay.
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee. If you are looking for an exquisite resort, look no further than this Relais & Chateau located in the Smoky Mountains approximately twenty-five minutes from the Knoxville airport. This resort has everything that one could possibly want; award winning dining and wine service, one of the top spas in the country, golf, tennis, fly fishing, biking, walking trails, and a conference center. This is the place that you go to for a weekend to relax and get away from it all. The accommodations are superb. The cottages are decorated in a shabby chic style with working fireplaces, in case you elect to come in cooler weather. Each cottage has a front porch that is quite suitable for reading, talking, or people watching. Everything is top-notch at this resort, and you are treated like royalty. This resort has won almost every award in every major category. It makes other resorts seem as though they need to “catch-up.” However, royalty has its price. So get ready to pay to play.
The Grand Beach Hotel, Surfside, Florida This is an all-suite hotel. The design of which is breath-taking. The lines are clean and simple, using a color pallet throughout the facility of blue, white, and tan, with all the furnishings as white. The layout of the hotel is quite open, so upon arrival, you enter the lobby and are able to look straight through to a large open bar/ lounge area, pool and the beach. You see glass and trees everywhere, and at a glance, you are not sure if you are outside or inside. It is visually both relaxing and appealing. There are two pools on the first floor and one on the top floor for adults only. This one is particularly interesting with its view of the Miami skyline. The suites are spacious and furnished in light wood. Request an ocean front room. The amount of glass in the room provides a perfect backdrop to the light colored furniture. The service is impeccable. They make you feel as though you are staying at a residence rather than a hotel. Its close proximity to high-end shopping at the Bal Harbour Shops, makes this hotel a “must stay” in the Miami area.
The Hutton, Nashville, Tennessee It is an absolutely gorgeous hotel that makes you feel as though you have stepped into someone’s well decorated home with an outstanding art gallery. The rooms, while small, are so well appointed that you want to take decorating tips from the designer. The bathroom with its waterfall shower is enchanting and romantic. This is the perfect hotel for the romantic weekend. A lively bar and good restaurant can be found on the first floor, and represent an excellent place to stop prior to returning to your room.
The Bohemian Hotel, Savannah, Georgia is simply magnificent. You check in at a small desk in the lobby that is manned by friendly staff who serve as front desk and your concierge, They are very knowledgeable of restaurants, events and all things, Savannah. One of the best features of this small beautiful hotel on the river is that the staff remembers your name and calls you by name as you come and go. It is a very personal touch. The rooms are nicely appointed with a bit of a masculine feel. Request a room on the front of the building so that you can watch people stroll by, and it is quieter than the more popular river side. The Bohemian has a roof-top bar, which is popular for daytime drinks or evening fun with friends.
Hotel Monaco, Washington, DC. This is a Kimpton Hotel, and it was formerly a bank building. The architecture in this hotel is stunning. The lobby is large, yet welcoming, and the rooms are stylish and comfortable. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. This is definitely a place to meet your friends or business associates. The Poste Moderne Brasserie, which was recently re-launched for the winter, is a a trendy spot that serves great meals and equally fine cocktails. You will not be disappointed. If you long to leave the hotel to discover other places in the area, you will not have any problems. The hotel is situated close to attractions and restaurants so that you will not spend all of your time calling Uber or hailing cabs. This is just what you want for a Washington, DC experience.