R5 Roughing It, Ritz-Style

Four luxurious, rustic retreats.

Secluded on the shores of a lake in upstate New York, hidden in the woods of Maine, nestled in a valley in small-town Vermont, and tucked away in rural Connecticut, these four sumptuous sanctuaries redefine the rustic retreat to encompass exfoliation, WiFi, and foie gras. Because, really, isn’t dining on four-star cuisine so much more delicious and sleeping on Frette-swaddled feather beds so much easier?

Sit back on the wide porch of this splendid historic lodge on Lake Placid and drink in the majestic water, sky, and mountain views.

Photo courtesy of Garrett Hotel Group

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Lake Placid Lodge
Lake Placid, New York

Nestled on the shores of mountain-framed Lake Placid, this splendidly refurbished century-old lodge harks back to the Great Camps era, when industrial millionaires vacationed at their private hunting and fishing retreats in the Adirondacks. And, in that grand camp tradition, this luxurious lodge places a premium on pampering.

Design: Following a devastating fire in 2005, the main lodge was rebuilt and refurbished before reopening last October. The lodge, 11 guest chambers, and 19 cabins exhibit all the classical elements of Adirondack design: rough-hewn exteriors; use of logs, tree trunks, and cedar branches; massive native fieldstone fireplaces; and expansive twig-framed porches. Cozy interiors are styled with rustic twig and birch-bark furniture and accessories handcrafted by local artisans and feature Hudson River School art and accents.

Do: Take a swim or kayak on the lake, hike or mountain-bike along the adjacent four-mile portion of the Jack Rabbit Trail, tee off on the neighboring 18-hole course. At day’s end, board the Lodge’s Hacker craft boat for a sunset cruise, then sip brandy and sample s’mores around the evening bonfire.

Dine: Enjoy New American cuisine (entrées $18 to $30) featuring local game, fowl, and produce at Artisans, the intimate on-site restaurant. Or dine on a personalized tasting menu (price to be determined) in the romantic wine cellar.

Details: Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY (877) 523-2700

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Cost: $350 to $1,550 per night; includes made-to-order breakfast and afternoon tea.

Indulge your inner pampered camper in one of 14 stylish private cottages in the woods not far from a best-kept-secret Maine beach.

Hidden Pond
Kennebunkport, Maine

Located on the coast of Maine in the old-money enclave of Kennebunkport, this sophisticated year-old retreat isn’t right on the beach. And that’s part of its appeal. Tucked away amid 60 acres of balsam and birch groves, its off-the-beaten-track setting just adds to its carefree charm.

Design: The resort includes a clubhouse handsomely appointed with rustic furnishings crafted by local artisans and 14 distinctive private cottages. Each includes an old-fashioned screened-in porch with swinging daybed or hammock, a private alfresco shower, and lots of hi-tech toys.

Do: Walk or bike the mile down to pristine Goose Rocks Beach or, if you’d rather, take the complimentary “beach safari service.” Or hike a marked nature trail, have a massage in the spa tent, take a plunge in the pool, flex your green thumb in the organic garden, try watercolor painting with the resort’s artist-in-residence.

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Dine: You can cook in your cottage’s kitchen or have a private chef do it for you.

Details: Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, ME (888) 967-9050

Cost: $395-$695 per night for one- and two-bedroom cottages, including a delivered continental breakfast and afternoon tea.



Snuggle up in one of 19 over-the-top, posh private residences located in the Connecticut countryside.

Morris, CT

Secluded behind stone pillars in tony Litchfield County, this 113-acre retreat takes the quiet-place-in-the-country concept to new levels of luxe, delivering decadence with a delightful dollop of eccentricity. How so? Try a chopper—a real one—in your private cottage.

Design: The resort’s true showpieces are its 18 one-of-a-kind whimsical cottages (and one farmhouse suite), the no-holds-barred visions of 15 architects. These imaginative residences in the woods include Treehouse, which is suspended 33 feet off the ground (and, yes, it’s been known to sway); Woodlands, whose headboard is framed by a stone waterfall; and Helicopter, which showcases a fully restored, 17,000-pound chopper, now repurposed as a bar and media center.

Do: Explore the adjacent 4,000-acre wildlife preserve, master the downward-facing dog with your personal yogi, succumb to the sublime ministrations of London facial superstar Eve Lom in the private spa, or take a spin behind the wheel of a racecar at the nearby Lime Rock Park.

Dine: Savor exceptional gourmet fare featuring local ingredients and artisanal delights in the resort’s dining room, headed up by Executive Chef Chris Eddy, who trained under four-star heavyweights Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse.

Details: Winvian, Morris, CT (860) 567-9600

Cost: $1,450-$1,950 per night including all meals, beverages, and alcohol.

Cozy up in one of 11 meticulously appointed, playfully themed guest chambers at this anything-but-typical New England inn.

The Pitcher Inn
Warren, Vermont

Fronted by the sleepy main street of a tiny hamlet in the Green Mountains, this intimate hostelry features 11 signature guest chambers, each done up in surprising fashion.

Design: After a fire destroyed an original 1800s structure in 1993, its new owners asked eight architects and 200 local artisans to create a unique country inn. The result: an octagon-shaped guestroom with a bed crafted from tree trunks and another with a 30-square-foot chalkboard-turned-headboard.

Do: Go for a dunk in an old-fashioned swimming hole or canoe, kayak, or cast your line on the Mad River across the street. Cycle or hike the countryside or hit the nearby links at Sugar Bush Golf Club.

Dine: Sample American gourmet cuisine. Oenophiles will enjoy dining in the inn’s wine cellar, sitting amidst—and sampling from—rare vintage bottles.

Details: The Pitcher Inn, Warren, VT (802) 496-6350

Cost: $425-plus per night, includes gourmet breakfast and afternoon tea.  


Though she bedded down in her share of frills-free camp bunks, Westchester Magazine Features Editor Laurie Yarnell now much prefers roughing it with room service and sky-high thread counts.

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