Six No-Work-Zone Weekends
Okay, so we’re all totally stressed out and doing more with less than ever before. All those urgent emails and insane requests aren’t going anywhere soon—but, fortunately, you can. Power down the BlackBerry, step away from the iPad, and recharge your own batteries instead at one of these delightfully biz-free destinations designed to set you free from the daily grind.
THE LODGE AT WOODLOCH
2.25 hours from White Plains
The Lodge at Woodloch
This five-year-old, $42 million-plus spa retreat is tucked into 145 acres of pristine woodland with its own private 15-acre lake and dock. Its breathtaking natural setting belies its easy drive-away location via the Bear Mountain Bridge.
• While Here: Experience the expansive offerings in pampering services, yoga, and the like in the lavish 40,000-square-foot spa. And sure, you can knock yourself out in a kickboxing class or on the latest elliptical machine, but do consider some of the quieter, more contemplative pursuits, like watercolor painting and bird-watching.
• Dining: Gourmet eatery Tree presents outstanding organic dishes with an emphasis on healthful, “clean,” eating in appropriate-sized portions. Seasonal menus often are sourced from the chef’s own produce and herb gardens.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: You mean aside from the easy drive, the breathtaking setting, and—honest—the 50-minute class in napping?
• Ask for: The second floor with a lakefront view for the most panoramic vistas.
• Price Tag: From $249 per night, per person (double occupancy); includes all meals, snacks, beverages, use of the spa and fitness center, and most classes and activities.
KRIPALU CENTER FOR
YOGA & HEALTH
2.5 hours from White Plains
Located in a former Jesuit seminary, the Kripalu Center is the place to go for healing and renewal (plus a whole lot of yoga). Whether you’re looking to kick off a new fitness regimen (or kick a bad habit) or just slow down and relax, the nonprofit Kripalu will remind you, once again, how wonderfully simple life can be.
• While Here: The idea is to immerse yourself in a variety of healthy activities. There are gentle, moderate, and vigorous yoga classes, as well as guided hiking, biking, kayaking, and other seasonal excursions. Walk the labyrinth, take a workshop, or enjoy a Ayurvedic body treatment (or any of more than 30 others). Or just sit still and meditate. It’s all good.
• Dining: Expect lots of freshly baked, whole-grain breads and locally grown fruits and vegetables along with organic poultry, fish, and dairy products; meals are served buffet-style. While alcohol is not served, thankfully, no one expects you to find enlightenment without your morning coffee or tea.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: There are no phones or TVs in the rooms; Kripalu also discourages cellphones (cue applause), though they may be used in your room or outside in designated areas.
• Ask for: Rooms in the new annex are serene, minimalist, and very green; flooring, mattresses, and most furnishings are all-natural. All rooms have either lake or tree views.
• Price Tag: Weekend rates for the Retreat and Renewal package start at $183 per person, per night, for a dormitory/hall-bath accommodation, up to $424 for a lakeside private room and bath (two-night minimum). All meals, classes, workshops, and evening events are included, as is the use of amenities.
Litchfield Hills, CT
1.5 hours from White Plains
Photo by Susan Young Photography
Winvian: Beaver bedroom
Where else can you check into an honest-to-goodness treehouse or find a fully restored 1968 Sikorsky helicopter in your living room? Winvian has 19 cottages and one suite scattered across 113 acres of meadows and woodlands, each an interpretation of luxury living in: a stable, cave, beaver lodge, greenhouse, and library, among others. This is no gimmicky theme park, though; the resort has garnered AAA Five Diamond Awards for excellence in both accommodations and dining; Condé Nast Traveler named it one of the Top 25 Best Small U.S. Resorts. Pure luxury, pure fantasy.
• While Here: You could spend your entire stay relaxing in your decadent retreat or venture out to the spa; hop on the bikes parked outside your cottage; or engage in a range of activities, from canoeing to croquet, badminton to bocce. Our vote is for a leisurely trip along the Bantam River via kayak, where, if you’re lucky, you might spy beavers at work on the dams along the banks.
• Dining: Executive Chef Chris Eddy, who honed his cooking skills with Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse, “shops” for produce in Winvian’s own organic garden.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: If you happen to spy a hot-air balloon slowly rising from the field while on the way to breakfast, it’s just business as usual at Winvian.
• Ask for: A tour of any available cottages. Photographs really don’t do justice to the sheer creativity and imagination behind each space.
• Price Tag: Nightly à la carte rates for two start at $650 (breakfast included); all inclusive rates for two start at $1,250 (full breakfast, room service, lunch, picnics, spa snacks, afternoon tea, cocktails, dinner, after-dinner petit-fours).
ROUGHING IT, ROCKEFELLER-STYLE
THE POINT RESORT
Saranac Lake, NY
5.5 hours from White Plains
The Point Bathhouse
Withdraw from the work world and experience the ultimate escape at this former private Rockefeller Great Camp. Secluded on a private 10-acre lakeshore peninsula, this sophisticated wilderness retreat, a Relais & Châteaux hostelry, feels much like an ultra-exclusive house party, with 11 distinctive guest quarters.
• While Here: Water-ski or glide along the lake in a vintage canoe; fish, hunt, and hike; throw horseshoes; or try your hand at croquet. Or merely lubricate well at the 24/7 help-yourself bars and cuddle up with Buddy, the resident black Lab.
• Dining: Dinner and lunch are served with dinner-party-style seating and menus. Offerings favor local game. Round-the-clock, prepared-to-order, in-room dining is also available.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: No youngsters under 18—or non-guest visitors—are permitted (but dogs, happily, are!).
• Ask for: The Boathouse ($2,700). Built directly over the lake, it features a sumptuous white canopy bed at its center, breathtaking water views, and a wraparound deck.
• Price Tag: $1,375-plus per night double occupancy including all sports and activities and meals, afternoon tea, and unlimited, around-the-clock, snacks, beverages, and alcohol.
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
HUDSON HOUSE RIVER INN
Cold Spring, NY
1 hour from White Plains
The Hudson House River Inn
The quaint riverside village of Cold Spring makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a sleepy New England hamlet. The 1832 Hudson House River Inn, with its 11 guestrooms and two suites, aids this deception, with cozy rooms decorated with toile comforters, distressed wooden furniture, and other assorted antiques.
• While Here: The River is right there—make the most of it. Hudson Valley Outfitters (845-265-0221; hudsonvalleyoutfitters.com) is just a short walk from the inn and can set you up with a kayak. Or, go boating, biking, or hiking in the nearby Clarence Fahnestock State Park.
• Dining: The Hudson House has two onsite restaurants, the casual Tavern Room and the River Room, which features a view of the Hudson from every seat. The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning restaurant is known for seasonal favorites like rosemary loin of pork or New England lobster-avocado rolls.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: How can you even think about work when there’s that view?
• Ask for: A riverview suite with full balcony ($225 to $250), which features a private terrace overlooking the water.
• Price Tag: $165 to $250 per night double occupancy includes continental breakfast Monday through Friday and a full breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
PREPARED TO BE PAMPERED
THE SPA AT NORWICH INN
2.5 hours from White Plains
The Spa at Norwich Inn
This award-winning destination combines the best of old-fashioned charm—its main lodging is a 1930s red -brick Georgian manse—with the latest in health, fitness, and beauty offerings. Its grounds, encompassing 42 acres of manicured lawns, rambling pathways, colorful gardens, and spring-fed ponds are particularly delightful.
• While Here: The 25,000-square-foot spa’s the thing here—and it offers it all, from soothing yoga sessions by candlelight to heart-pumping zumba and belly dancing classes. Gaming enthusiasts will also enjoy a no-designated-driver-needed outing to the nearby Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos via complimentary shuttle service.
• Dining: The white tablecloth Kensington’s and the clubby Ascot’s Pub offer organic and locavore-friendly fare.
• What Puts the “Away” in Getaway: Spending your entire visit in your white terry robe.
• Ask for: Guest quarters in the charming Inn. While the short-walk-away villas may offer more space and kitchens, nothing beats just ambling downstairs in your robe for blueberry pancakes or your sugar scrub.
• Price Tag: Prices start at $225 for rooms, $450 for suites, and $300 for villas, per night, double occupancy. Included is morning coffee, afternoon tea and scones, evening wine tasting, and select classes and activities. Packages are available.