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The Emerson Resort is a close-by chill-out spot for New York City residents
The seasons are changing in many parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to hibernate away. In fact, fall can be the best time to explore cities that were too hot to handle in the summer, or quaint country inns too filled with weekenders.
Whether you want to be a city or country mouse, we’ve got some great spots waiting to welcome you with open arms, a cup of hot cider or perhaps a glass of bubbly.
Now's the right time to choose your great escape.
Town: New York City
Many families heading to NYC for the holidays will be pleased by this month’s opening of the 95-room Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan Downtown. Located at 95 Henry Street in the Chinatown and the Lower East Side area, the hotel has convenient access to the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and World Trade Center Memorial/Freedom Tower. Besides the free hot breakfast and WiFi, guests will dig the in-room microwaves and mini-fridges as well as the swell price point starting at $169 per night (rates will vary).
Country: Mt Tremper, New York
The Catskills are a go-to destination for weary New Yorkers seeking refuge from their 9 to 5's. The Emerson Resort, a Kingston-area resort, has two sections—an adults-only Inn where fireplace and canopy-bed laced suites provide a serene scene, and a pet and family-friendly Adirondack-style lodge so everyone can let loose without worry. But all guests get access to the first-class restaurant, spa (pumpkin body scrub, anyone), hiking, and soon coming skiing at nearby Hunter Mountain. Plus, the price is right starting at $159 per night.
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One of my all time favorite spots to relax is the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Located just north of Los Angeles (about 35 mins south of Santa Barbara), Ojai offers the best of everything. The spa is fabulous, the golf course is impeccable and best of all...their food is outrageously fantastic.
You don't have to go very far to eat well during your stay at Ojai because all your edible desires can be fulfilled right on the property. The more formal restaurant, Maravilla, offers crispy stuffed sea bass or a rack of lamb. Or, maybe devouring a Kobe beef pot roast at the Oak Grill is more your thing, but I actually prefer the totally discreet Jimmy's Pub.
Named after the Inn's most famous golfer, Jimmy Demaret, Jimmy's offers dark wood molding, flat screen plasmas and large, comfy chairs making you feel as if you've somehow sneaked your way into a private, members only club. Here you can grub on wood-burning oven pizzas, hand-cut potato wedges, charred beef tacos or delicious salads. Not to forget a much-needed and well poured glass of beer. Jimmy's is simply the perfect spot post spa, golf or just about anything at Ojai.
Not long ago, the mainstream media declared that the Catskills are the new Hamptons, where over-it New Yorkers go to ditch Times Square for fresh air and where they can switch out the horribly hollow "supermodels in Bungalow 8" for "supermodels in shabby chic farm house" scenario.
But the truth is: you get more square feet for the dollar, the Hudson Valley wineries are nearby and not bad. The farm produce is excellent (as is the artisanal goat cheese), and you're in close proximity to the crib of the new Governor, Elliot Spitzer.
Up here, Saugerties is the lesser-known little sister to the first-born funky town of Woodstock, the East Coast's answer to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury. Yea, you'll get a lot of coffee houses, Grateful Deadheads, Birkenstock-wearing Yasgur's Farmers and maybe even some wise old twenty-somethings making a pilgrimage to see what inspired the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, CSNY and a whole generation of afros, bellbottoms, free love, and counter culture.
But when the party's over, you can head back to Saugerties and splay out on comfy bed in your stylish room at The Villa at Saugerties, run by NYC "ex-pats" Aimee Szparaga (formerly an editor at Playgirl and Time Out New York) and her boyfriend, artist Richard Nocera. A B&B with a pronounced Manhattan chic, its five rooms - each with its own name and attendant sensibility - comes with its own a/c, wi-fi hook-up, satellite tv, and "350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets."
The prices are reasonable by New York City standards: as low as $135 off season. But check the fine print on the "Rates" page of the website. Certain stretches during 2007 will require a four-day minimum.
Since it's a B&B, you'll get a hot fresh breakfast in the morning but it's also got a stylish hotel with a good looking pool (wait for summer, please!) Ski bunnies can access nearby Hunter, while during the summer there's farmer's markets.
And there's no shortage of yoga, spas, and even a Buddhist monastery. Perfect for the Richard Gere in all of us.
· The Villa at Saugerties reviews [HotelChatter]