Where: The Maidstone, East Hampton
Distance from Manhattan: 2–2.5
Where: White Barn Inn, Kennebunk Beach, Maine
Distance from Manhattan: About 4.5–5 hours
Good for: A romantic getaway, a spa weekend with friends and a cozy personal winter retreat.
The scoop: If the number of Presidents who have vacationed in the area is any indication, Kennebunkport is about as Americana as it gets. With its stunning coastline and abundance of crustaceans, Maine is not just a summer destination. Winter inspires you to strap on your ice skates, snowshoes and/or cross country skis, knowing that a roaring fire and mulled wine await. Throw in antique shops, quaint nearby towns, and some lobsters in pot pie form, and you have yourself a weekend getaway.
As far as inns go, the White Barn Inn has major cred – Relais & Chateaux can speak for itself. With over 125 years under its belt, the inn has more history than many towns in the U.S. Rest assured – there is plenty of running water, electricity and high-thread-count sheets. The hotel, while historically charming, has all your creature comforts: luxurious rooms, WiFi and flatscreen TVs. Splurge and upgrade to a room with fireplace and Jacuzzi tub, then cozy up until dinnertime. Speaking of dinner, with a lineage of chefs who have cut their teeth with the French culinary greats, this is probably the only time you’ll experience a grand tasting menu – from inside a fully restored barn. Expect dishes like lobster bisque with a steamed lobster bun and cognac crème fraîche, and pan-roasted sea scallops with arancini and ponzu gel.
What to know: Rooms in the off season run around $700 and up. You’ll get some quality time at the hotel, but the surrounding area is also compelling to explore. This is a weekend getaway for those seeking out old-fashioned charm, and you can expect to run into a diverse age range of guests, from newlyweds to lovely older couples.
The deal: For those who want to Relais & Chateaux it up, forget the bar crawl. A five-night package, that starts you out at the Surrey in New York City to the Blantyre in Massachusetts to Windham Hil Inn in Vermont and ending at the White Barn Inn for around $1700/person.