02539 Travel Guide
Beach Getaways / Beach Hotels / Martha's Vineyard Hotels / Labor Day Hotels / Boston Hotels / Hotel Deals / → All Tags
You may not want summer to be over (we sure don't), but one thing that's keeping us distracted for the time being is the thought of fun-filled long weekend getaways in the fall. Just quick trips to help ease the transition back into the indoor months, and squeeze out those last few drops of sunshine and warmth.
Martha's VIneyard is one of those low-key, laze-away-on-the-beach type places, which for years has attracted high-profile vacationers like Tom Hanks, Bill Clinton, Larry David and Michael J. Fox. Just under three hours from Boston—and only five hours from New York—the island is an easy target for East Coasters needing some quiet time by the ocean.
A great choice for families, as well as couples, looking for that classic New England hotel experience is the Harbor View Hotel, which calls itself the "Grand Dame" of Vineyard hotels, due to both its size (114 rooms and suites) and history (the hotel opened in 1891).
Our very own hotel Agent Zero returns with yet another review. Her not-real name is Myra Ellen and she's our version of Alex Goran who travels once a week for business, usually along the Eastern seaboard. Every so often, she'll be dropping in with her latest hotel and travel observations. In this episode, she goes on vacation.
On an island of vacation homes and secluded estates, the Harbor View Hotelin Edgartown, Massachusetts is a stately oasis at the end of North Water Street. Visiting for a recent wedding, I was among a few dozen guests who opted to stay in this 100-plus year-old hotel during a long, lovely weekend.
The Harbor View has the regality of a seaside estate and the wraparound porch on the main building is a particularly beautiful spot. (And it's a popular spot, where an Oscar-winning actor posed for photos with a group one morning.) Lined with pretty white rocking chairs, the patio faces Chappaquiddick Island and the Edgartown light house is easily accessible down a short, picturesque path.
Charlotte Inn in Martha's Vineyard gives bourgeois Americans the chance to play British royalty. It's like Civil War reenactments for rich people. Most importantly, the WASP Bible (second to the New Testament itself), Conde Nast Traveler, ranked it as number 12 on its 2007 Best Of United States list.
Manicured gardens cover the grounds and each room looks like a different exhibit at the Met. What it lacks in coziness it makes up in taste. The Queen herself couldn't find anything wrong with the place. The 23 roomv start at $295 on the off season. Rates for the two suites can be as high as $950 a night.
The British and the French actually get along here -- the restaurant serves French cuisine in the dining room, on the terrace, and in the gardens. Relais & Chateau, the hotel's France-based owner, would have it no other way.
After discussing the merits of venture capital versus corporate funding, guests can take the partners out for a round of golf while Muffy hits the spa and the already over-stimulated kids choose from a palette of mountain biking, hiking, horseback, fishing, sailing, water-skiing, kayaking, tennis, parasailing, and jet skiing.
[Photo: Jan Liggett]