3 Calming Country Retreats

This time of year, most people would steal away to a Caribbean island and park themselves under a beach umbrella. But as a busy online editor living in New York City, I'm dreaming of ditching my computer and escaping to the country for my #MeMoment, far from the honking horns, buzzing construction sites, and pinging cell phones that have become the soundtrack to my life. Here are a few places that are on my getaway wishlist.

(Photo courtesy of Babylonstoren)
Wouldn't it be absolute bliss to start your week with a soak in this bathing beauty? All it takes is a plane ticket to South Africa and a night at one of the world's dreamiest hotels, Babylonstoren. Owner Karen Roos, former editor of South Africa's Elle Decoration, achieved the perfect mix of rustic and contemporary in her airy interiors. Details such as barn doors and claw-foot tubs are in keeping with the 17th-century farm's authentic character, even when juxtaposed with pieces by modern design darlings such as Philippe Starck. Still, there's no doubt what the star attraction is: the eight-acre edible garden.

(Photo courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa)
The lovely Salamander Resort & Spa is spread out over 340 verdant acres in bucolic Middleburg, a small town in Virginia's under-the-radar wine country. Middleburg also happens to be the heart of horse country, so the animals figure heavily into the resort's design. The 168 spacious rooms and suites feature luxurious marble vanities, canopy beds, and plush furnishings—the work of D.C.-based interiors guru Thomas Pheasant—but also equine-themed accents such as stirrup-patterned throw blankets. Suites are named after owner Sheila C. Johnson's daughter's favorite horses. And there's an onsite equestrian center (Jackie Kennedy was a frequent visitor), a 22-stall stable, and miles of trails worth exploring.

(Source: Ball & Albanese)
Fifty miles north of New York City, the rolling hills of the Lower Hudson Valley give way to Glenmere Mansion, an Italianate 1911 villa reimagined as a refined boutique hotel for the 21st century. The 150-acre property features gardens originally designed by Edith Wharton's niece, the prestigious landscape architect Beatrix Farrand; guests can play croquet on a regulation championship court in a pared-down corner of the gardens. A classic sensibility rules throughout much of the property, particularly in the 19 rooms. Bathrooms have not only heated floors and deep soaking tubs but also working fireplaces. Is there anything better?
I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.
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