Where to stay on America’s east coast
Castle Hill Inn
What's so special
This inn sits on a 40-acre promontory on the tip of Newport, Rhode Island, with views over the entrance to Narragansett Bay. The main, nine-roomed building is a turreted, veranda-wrapped mansion built in 1874 for Alexander Agassiz, a scientist and explorer. His collection of antiques is still on display.
How they rate it
Castle Hill is “the favoured retreat of the summer set”, says Douglas Rogers in Ultratravel Magazine. The “lofty Turret Suite” with its 360-degree views of the Bay is the room of choice, says Pamela Petro in The Daily Telegraph, but its converted outbuildings, some of which are right on the beach, are “also luxurious”.
The “award-winning dining room is one of the best in Newport”, says Petro. There is a seasonal menu specialising in local fish and regional specialities. As well as the main dining room, guests can eat out on the lawn overlooking the bay, where “tribes of blonde Wasps reclined on Adirondack Chairs” have a perfect vantage point for the races, says Rogers.
Rooms, breakfast included, start from £244. The Turret Suite starts from £1,018. Contact Relais & Chateaux, 00 800 2000 0002, Relaischateaux.com.
What's so special
Just 50 miles north of New York is Glenmere, a 100-year old house designed by Carrere & Hastings, architects of the New York Public Library. It was built in 1911 for Robert Goelet, a scion of one of America’s richest families, as an attempt to woo back his wife who was having an affair with an Italian. The attempt failed – but the result was this Italianate villa set around a grand courtyard with sweeping marble staircases, fountains and formal gardens.
Lovingly restored by Alan Stenberg and Daniel DeSimone, it is now an 18-room luxury hotel and spa furnished with antiques and contemporary art that complements the ‘gilded age’ aesthetic. “We’ve shamelessly copied everything we’ve ever enjoyed at other hotels we’ve visited,” says Stenberg in Travel & Leisure.
How they rate it
Richard Alleman in Vogue calls it an “idyllic getaway”, perfect for visiting Hudson Valley or just relaxing. With the success of Downton Abbey and the upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby, the house is proving popular with “fabulously rich New Yorkers”, says Rogers in Ultratravel.
The food is “very New York”, says Rogers, from a “delectable octopus salad” to short ribs and foie gras.
Suites cost from $650 to $1,950. Call 00 1 845 469 1900, or visit Glenmeremansion.com.
Greek island idylls
Enjoy the beauty of the Greek islands from one of these tucked-away havens, reviewed by Grace Tebbutt in The Independent. An abandoned hamlet in the foothills of Mount Pantokrator has been “transformed” to create the Rou Estate in Corfu (above). Converted by British architect Dominic Skinner, there are 14 self-contained stone houses with views towards the Albanian headland.
“Each cottage is different in style, but they are linked by lavish gardens planted with wisteria, wild herbs and cypress trees.” There is also a communal pool, gym and spa. Rentals start from £1,716 per week for six guests (rouestate.co.uk).
“It took local owner Michalis Melenos 14 years to realise his dream of creating ‘village within a village’ Melenos-Lindos near the ancient acropolis at Lindos, Rhodes.” Local craftsmen created 12 suites, with hand-painted ceramics, ornate pebble mosaics and carved wooden furniture. “The attention to detail is matched outside with landscaped gardens and a roof-top restaurant that glances out across the Aegean.” Doubles start from €200, including breakfast (Melenoslindos.com).
The Blue Palace in Crete “flaunts flawless views of the Bay of Elounda, with the rising spine of Spinalonga in the distance”. Each of the “elegant” suites, bungalows and villas “salutes the sea-front setting, with nautical shades of sheer white and blue”. The private pebble beach “provides space to unwind”, as well as a bar. Double bungalows cost from €260 (Bluepalace.gr).