By Hillary Latos and Jennifer Pelaez
Now that summer has officially paved the way for fall, there isn’t a better time to take advantage of weekend travel that fall has to offer. Whether its taking in the glorious New England fall foliage, or taking in some Indian summer sunshine in Florida, in just a few short hours by plane or car, you can be transported into a different world for a fraction of the price of summer travel making the best time of the year to travel.
Nothing can rival the beautiful New England Fall foliage that extends from the Hudson Valley through the Berkshires. October is the prime month to experience this annual treat before Winter. A lovely drive to the Berkshires, the Canyon Ranch Health Resort and Spa located in Lenox, MA is the perfect all inclusive haven to recharge and revitalize the senses while improving your well being for life. Whether you are looking for medical treatment, r&r, weight loss, or a spiritual cleanse, there are no shortage of activities to keep your day full, choose from over 40 fitness classes in their state of the art gym, world class spa treatments, health and wellness classes with Eastern and Western medical specialists, as well as metaphysical experts that can tailor individual programs to keep you on a healthy life changing track. Led by Richard Carmona who was the 17th Surgeon General of the US as well as Mark Liponis MD, the Integrative Health Center offers a full diagnostic evaluation and preventative programs for issues such as metabolic disorders, diabetes, cardivascular disease, sleep disorders and genomics. One of the most interesting lectures is their Hunter Farmer Diet Solution led by Liponis that dispels other fad diets by helping you to identify your metabolism type so you can eat the right foods for your body type to keep the weight off and prevent health issues in the future. While the impression of spa cuisine tends to conjure thoughts of bland, food befitting of a rabbit, the Chef de cuisine whips up a delectable award winning farm to table menu that is low in calories, big on taste, and delivers the perfect balance of carbs, fiber, and protein. Choose from dining in the formal dining room in the stately Bellefontaine Mansion, or take in a casual alfresco lunch at the Cafe Jardin, interact with the chef at the Demonstration Kitchen, or enjoy the international fare at the Cafe Tasse. Enjoy the New England scenery from the luxuriously appointed rooms overlooking the beautifully manicured grounds. Decorated in a classic New England style, no detail has been spared with everything from the soft Mascioni Italian sheets to imported Italian toiletries.
The world class spa is what put Canyon Ranch on the map.With every package, there is a daily allowance that can afford a relaxing and indulgent treatment everyday. Choose from their signature stone massage to their candle lit Euphoria treatment, restorative massages, a hydrating facial, ayurvedic treatment, or body wraps and scrubs, everything is designed to melt the stress away.
During the month of October, Canyon Ranch offers a number of packages including the He Stays Free, so bring your favorite guy and book a weekend package at the single occupancy rate.Canyon Ranch
Just 90 miles Northwest of the city, in one of the charming historic towns dotting the Catskills region, is the Hillside Schoolhouse in Sullivan County. Originally built as a one room school, the landmark building also had a previous incarnation as a gospel chapel until it was lovingly restored by Bronson and Courtney Bigelow. The boutique inn combines historic charm and contemporary design that pays homage to the past by keeping original details such as the windows, hardwoods and chalkboards, as well as antique furnishings and sumptuous sofas that provide a communal area.
Evoking the feeling of staying in a friend’s cozy home, a second floor was added to accommodate two suites– The Belfry, which is situated beneath the bell tower, and Room 1893, named after the year the school was built. The suites feature custom furnishings crafted from salvaged materials.Hillside Schoolhouse
The Hudson Valley which is characterized by its grand mansions left by the Gilded Age Industrialists evoke a Great Gatsby feel of a bygone era. Recreating that same grandeur of excessive yet understated wealth is the spectacular hillside mansion known as Glenmere in Chester overlooking 150 acres of a formal Italian style gardens with vistas of rolling hills and Glenmere Lake. Formerly the retreat of Robert Goelet this opulent Tuscan style mansion features 19 suites that combine the historic and understated aesthetic of Glenmere with the elegance of luxurious contemporary fittings against a neutral palette puctuated with exquisite antique furnishings, original artwork, and sumptuous beds. Bathrooms are fashioned from grey Italian marble and many feature fireplaces and terraces overlooking the expansive grounds. Spend the day relaxing in the opulent spa, and soothing bath house and Morroccan style hammam created out of Carrara marble. Bespoke water rituals have been collected around the world to offer guests the best the world has to offer such as a Herbal Steam Room, Dry Heat Sauna, Stimulating Swiss Shower, Cool Mist Room, Aqua Massage Vitality Pool and Warm Marble Bellystone. Indulge in an age defying facial, sugar glow, chardonnay body drench, honey papaya stress release, couture massage, or soothe the soul with the Journey to Shambhala hammam ritual that will leave you transformed and revitalized.
Chef Geoffrey Deoconick who has previously worked with culinary masters such as Daniel Boloud, has brought his skill set to the Glenmere - bringing unparalled dining experiences to the Hudson Valley. For an unforgettable night, dine at the romantic candlelit Supper room that serves contemporary haute cuisine that uses local Farm to table ingredients with a prix fixe menu. The cozy Frogs End is the perfect spot to grab an informal meal in a gastropub setting.Glenmere 634 Pine Hill Road Chester, NY (845) 469-1900 glenmeremansion.com
The Vinoy Renaissance
It’s known that New Yorkers suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency, especially after September, one way to cure this issue is to follow the birds and head South to the Sunshine State. Step back in time to the historic elegance of St Petersburg, Florida. Formerly the Winter playground of the rich and famous during the height of the Art Deco renaissance, the Vinoy Renaissance is a beautiful tribute to St Petersburg’s storied past and conveniently located on the revitalized waterfront in the heart of Downtown St Pete. Considered a luxurious haven for A listers, the Vinoy has played host to presidents, celebrities and royalty such as Marilyn Monroe, Joe di Maggio, Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt and George Clooney, who have graced this pink palace which has undergone an extensive and thoughtul renovation that has kept the historic charm of the past and married it with contemporary furnishings that reflect the cool vibe of St Pete. The suite sized guestrooms have panoramic views and terraces overlooking the Marina with contemporary furnishings, luxurious bedding, and spacious bathrooms.
Whether travelling as a romantic getaway or a family vacation, there’s plenty of outdoor and cultural activities for everyone, all within walking distance. Overlooking the private marina this is a convenient spot to catch a catamaran ride, fishing expedition, or engage in Florida’s plethora of water sports. If its rest and relaxation you seek, the full service Spa at the Vinoy offers a range of signature massages, facials and body treatments in an oasis of tranquility and luxury.
For cultural enthusiasts, the Chihuly Collection is across the street and features a stunning and extensive large scale collection of Dale Chihuly’s unique glass work that has graced some of the most famous hotels in the world. Fans of famed Surrealist Salvador Dali will delight in the Dali Museum that houses rare works that span the artist’s entire career which offers a comprehensive look into the mind of this inspirational master. Even the free form building comprised of over 1000 panels of triangled glass is entitled, The Enigma, and pays tribute to the Surrealist theme that combines imagination with functionality.
Indulge in classic Floridian and farm to fork fare at Marchands Bar & Grill that features fresh local seafood paired with organic ingredients selected from neighboring farms. Chef Mark Heimann gives classic dishes a contemporary flair by pairing unexpected flavors that continues to win accolades in the Gulf region. For an Old World experience, Fred’s serves classic steakhouse fare with aged meats and fresh seafood in a club house setting that evokes the feeling of a private Polo club from a bygone era. The legendary Sunday brunches are an institution amongst locals and guests, that feature a bottomless bellinis, and customizable bloody marys and an extensive raw bar. •The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club 501 5th Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL (727) 894-1000