Among Bernardus Lodge’s many charms is its enviable setting among acres of lavender, roses, thyme and sage, which flourish in Carmel Valley’s abundant sunshine and mild Mediterranean climate. European inspired service and Californian warmth have made it a favorite retreat for Hollywood celebrities and royalty. At the Marinus restaurant, guests can view Julia Child’s signature on the wall at the chef’s table and enjoy dishes from two acres of organic gardens, artisan meats, local game and fish. The food is complemented by an award-winning 35,000-bottle wine cellar. The estate vineyard produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay exclusively for guests, who can also partake in tennis, swimming, croquet, bocce and or restore body and mind in the full-service spa. Golfing is just five minutes away.
Inspired by the white washed architecture of the Mediterranean, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is an award-winning oasis of luxury nestled in the gentle curve of Anguilla’s Rendezvous Bay. Lush gardens wind their way past the infinity pool to the stunning beachfront suites and villas with private pools. Venus Spa is the ultimate retreat to rejuvenate, with healing aquatherapy and treatments designed to restore your body and soul. Myriad of culinary options include the elegant Chef’s Table to the Beach Grill, where the sounds of the sea are the perfect accompaniment. A selection of cooking classes allows entrée into the secrets of the chefs and incorporates fresh produce from the resort’s Hydroponic Farm, where tours are available. CuisinArt’s 18-hole Greg Norman signature design championship course provides challenging play and the stunning clubhouse features a traditional grill menu for lunch and a classic Italian fare for dinner.
When the Palace Hotel Luzern opened in 1906, the city was enjoying a boom in foreign travelers, thanks in part to the hotel’s founder, the enterprising Franz-Josef Bucher-Durrer, who also owned nine other luxury properties. The Palace, however, marked a new level of luxury in Switzerland, with such features as en-suite bathrooms. Today, of course, all rooms have luxurious bathrooms, in addition to modern decor and, in the Arts Suites, interiors inspired by Miró, Kandinsky and Chagall. Visitors come to the superb one-Michelin starred restaurant Jasper for the inventive cuisine with a hint of the Mediterranean. Les Artistes offers lighter international cuisine with a view, opening directly onto the tranquil promenade overlooking Lake Lucerne. Palace spa by ESPA for individual treatments.
In a bucolic setting next to the 5,579-acre North Carolina state park of the same name, The Umstead Hotel and Spa is surrounded by natural beauty, yet is only a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Raleigh. Located on twelve wooded acres, the six-story building blends into its leafy lakeside setting through the use of natural materials like rough-cut limestone, granite and lustrous anigre wood, while fresh flowers and original art add a colorful personalized touch to the resort’s public spaces. Guestrooms with lake-view balconies, luxury linens and deep soaking tubs invite relaxation. The light-filled spa features a meditation garden and eucalyptus steam room; there is an outdoor pool as well. Herons restaurant offers a sophisticated take on southern American cuisine, with locally sourced organic produce and meat.
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, a three-hour drive from Sydney in Australia's Blue Mountains, represents a new breed of high-end hotels dedicated to preserving the natural world for generations to come. Low-density is the mantra at this nearly 4,000-acre property, centered around the restored Wallerawang homestead, dating from 1832. Amenities and facilities, from the sumptuous, free-standing villa suites to the acclaimed spa, find the balance between relaxed and refined, while the great outdoors are breathtaking. Guests can go horseback-riding, hiking or biking, though most popular are the wildlife safaris (to see kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies and more). Through grassy plains and verdant valleys, these nature tours vividly illustrate how important—and admirable—this resort's mission truly is.