America The Beautiful: The Best Socially Distant Luxury Hotels In The USA

Post Ranch InnPhoto Credit: Kodiak Greenwood

As much as we’d love to fly to far-flung parts of the world, at this moment in time, why not play it safe and explore the treasure trove of adventures that await right here at home in the U.S. of A.? Hop in your car and get ready for a road trip as you drive near and far for the ultimate socially distant vacation at one of these sensational and safe luxury hotels.

*Although these resorts are socially distant, because of the constantly evolving climate in America, please make sure to make reservations in advance and check state by state mandates. 

BELMOND EL ENCANTO

Belmond El Encanto Photo Credit: Belmond

Perched high in the hills of Santa Barbara away from the hustle and bustle of its thriving downtown you’ll find Belmond El Encanto, a picture-perfect hideaway  dating back to Hollywood’s heyday. There are seven acres of secluded garden in which to be socially distant at this inviting retreat, where you can soak up the summer sun, drink wine with the American Riviera as a backdrop and relax with the certainty that your health will be protected. In addition to the new normal mask and cleanliness protocols, check-in will take place digitally and, while the spa is temporarily closed, guests will still be able give themselves treatments in the privacy of their own bungalows and cottage suites (as well as the Exclusive Places bungalow buyout — groups of two to 10 can reserve an entire building of adjoining suites) by enjoying in-room care packages featuring Santa Barbara’s very own Salt Cave products, to be enjoyed during the stay and to take home later. While the fitness center, too, is closed, personal training sessions by appointment are available, though because it’s summer, we recommend taking advantage of all the beaches, parks, hiking trails and cycling paths beautiful Santa Barbara has to offer.

800 Alvarado Pl, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

CAMP SARIKA BY AMANGIRI

Camp Sarika at AmangiriPhoto Credit: Aman

There are few places more isolated—or more luxurious—than the Aman group’s Amangiri, a stunning property in Utah whose nearest town is 25 miles away. Those who are allowed out will still feel completely isolated in the best way possible, with a plethora of outdoor activities that highlight the awe-inspiring natural landscape of rock formations and hidden wilderness hotspots. And now, the hotel is upping its already superior game and celebrating its tenth anniversary with the opening of its Camp Sarika (the Sanskrit word for “open space” and “sky”), an even more private luxury encampment consisting of just ten tented pavilions, each with its own private plunge pool and outdoor deck. The camp, the first of its kind in North America, has its own restaurant, sun deck, swimming pool and jacuzzi, though guests are allowed to use everything nearby Amangiri has to offer as well — including yoga, guided meditation and access to the Aman Spa — though private experiences like greeting the sunrise solo atop Tower Butte, 5,000 feet above sea level, are available for those who seek to truly distance themselves. Seriously, who needs a ‘do not disturb’ sign? The message is well received here.

1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Utah 84741

DUNTON HOT SPRINGS

Dunton Hot SpringsPhoto Credit: Dunton Hot Springs/Jack Richmond

If you want to socially distance to the max, head just across the mountain from Telluride to Dunton Hot Springs, an actual1800’s-era ghost town nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. valley. Enjoy optimal outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking and fly-fishing, as well as those signature hot springs that Dunton is best known for while being charmed by Dunton’s fully-resorted, authentically-decorated log cabins, as well as the romantic mining town itself.  Sadly, the times dictate that its old-fashioned Saloon and Dance Hall can’t open, but feel safe in the knowledge that the hotel is doing everything in its power to ensure safety, including seating guests eight feet apart at its restaurant, regulating the amount of guests who can utilize its Bath House at any one time and providing in-cabin entertainment kits upon request in favor of more social evening pursuits.

52068 Road 38, Dolores, CO 81323

GURNEY’S MONTAUK RESORT

Gurney's Photo Credit: Gurney’s Montauk Resort

When summer gets extreme, New York City dwellers beat the heat by heading to the Hamptons. In particular, we recommend the carefree (and more spacious) vibe of Montauk, with its old-school diners, the beautiful white sand beaches — especially Ditch Plains — and endless amounts of character. Those with safety in mind will want to stay at Gurney’s Montauk Resort, which offers guests its own 2,000-foot long private and pristine stretch of beachfront. For the utmost privacy and seclusion, guests can also opt to stay in one or two-bedroom residential style accommodations, which are equipped with a kitchen, living room, dining area and vast ocean views. Meanwhile, throughout the resort, guests will find hand sanitizing stations and the introduction of new social distancing practices; PPE packs including individually packaged disposable masks, sanitary wipes and gloves; in-room programming including expanded in-room dining menus and wellness kits. Those who come for the social elements of Scarpetta Beach and Gurney’s Fire Pit are still able to enjoy these dining destinations, though they are now limited to hotel guests only and reservations are required.

290d Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954

MONTAGE PALMETTO BLUFF

Montage Palmetto BluffPhoto Credit: Montage Palmetto Bluff

Get lost in the peace and quiet of Montage Palmetto Bluff, a vast, old world-style resort simply oozing Southern charm. Thanks to its prime location within a 20,000-acre maritime forest  along 32 miles of riverfront in the heart of the Lowcountry between Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, outdoor activities are plentiful here. Expect to spend as much time teeing off at the 18‐hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course; playing on the tennis, bocce and croquet courts at the Wilson Lawn and Racquet Club; riding at Longfield Stables, paddleboarding and kayaking; taking the recently restored, 60-ft. 1913 motor yacht, Grace, for a Sunday brunch outing; or practicing your aim at the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club as you will enjoying the moss-draped live oaks, gas-lit walkways, wraparound porches and sleepy Southern charm of the property. To keep you protected, Montage has partnered with One Medical, allowing all guests who visit complimentary access to One Medical’s healthcare for 30 days, even after leaving the property. The mobile app also helps handle a variety of health concerns, from prescription renewals to remote assessment of skin conditions such as a rash to primary care needs, including COVID-19 testing.

476 Mount Pelia Road, Bluffton, SC 29910

OCEAN HOUSE

Ocean HousePhoto Credit: Ocean House Management/Chip Riegel

Rhode Island has been one of the safest states with the lowest rates of COVID-19 infections, which already gives it a leg up in our book. That the glorious Ocean House happens to be based there gives it another. This grand, 19th century Victorian hotel — which is celebrating the tenth anniversary of a major restoration this year — is in a prime location for social distancing, high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, overlooking a private stretch of beach with sweeping views of Montauk, Block Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Those who choose to “summer” here can enjoy off the signature New England summer activities, such as tanning on a private, white-sand beach; yachting on one of the house fleet boats; to private golf and tennis lessons. As a fun fact, nearby Newport, R.I. is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, so getting a lesson here is almost a prerequisite. And while you’re being entertained, know that your safety is paramount: In addition to the usual safety measures, the property has added the Molekule, a medical grade air purifier proven to destroy airborne viruses and bacteria, to all guest rooms; arrivals will be spaced out to allow for individual guest check in; and rooms and suites will be left empty for 24 hours between check out and check in whenever possible. Best of all, you can still enjoy happy hour: the new BarMobile craft cocktail cart will deliver cocktails and complimentary canapés to guest rooms between 5 and 7 pm.

1 Bluff Ave, Westerly, RI 02891

POST RANCH INN

Post Ranch InnPhoto Credit: Kodiak Greenwood

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” — but he was wrong, because in getting to and arriving at Post Ranch Inn, you have both. To get here, you’ll drive along California’s Highway One, most of the most scenic routes in America, before arriving at what feels like the end of the Earth, high atop the cliffs of Big Sur, 1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Now, ostensibly, you can leave if you feel like exploring the area’s majestic state parks, beaches and waterfalls, but it might be hard to. Not only is this just simply one of the most breathtaking hotels in the world, but it’s also one of the safest:  the property has retained a leading expert on indoor environmental air quality to ensure that all indoor spaces have the cleanest air possible. It has also become the first American hotel to implement Premium Purity from the Denmark-based ACT.Global, a healthy, odorless, non-toxic, disinfecting cleaning system; implementing touch-less services like couples massage instruction and sound journey meditation; and making outdoor or in-room dining only mandatory. Some of the coolest hotel offerings we’ve seen to date: Use of a computerized 12-inch Meade telescope — one of the largest hotel telescopes in the U.S., which offers some of the clearest atmospheric conditions for viewing the stars, nebulas, and even the rings of Saturn — and the property’s new falconry program, which allows guests to get up close and personal with falcons — can all be booked in advance for optimal social distancing.

47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

PRIMLAND RESORT

The Lodge at PrimlandPhoto Credit: Primland

If you’re looking to escape the world and outrun the coronavirus, the 12,000-acre escape, Primland Resort, is a top choice. This lovely, lush, eco-conscious paradise in southern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is not only remote and beautiful, but chock-full of activities that will keep resort-goers from getting bored during a lockdown. These include golf, sport-shooting, hiking on the Old Appalachian Trail, biking, archery, air rifle, horseback riding, fly-fishing, clay shooting, stargazing at the on-site observatory, tree-climbing and even tomahawk throwing. Stay in an adults-only treehouse to feel like you’re well and truly removed from the rest of the world.

2000 Busted Rock Rd, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

THE POINT  The PointPhoto Credit: The Point

New Yorkers in particular will want to escape the city and head to The Point this summer, an isolated retreat on 75 acres in the Adirondacks, though those from all over will come seeking serenity and its brand of quiet magic. Its intimate atmosphere perfectly suits those looking for a reprieve from the past months of hardship, with special experiences such as geocaching scavenger hunts and multi-course dinners served on the resort’s Elco boat while cruising Saranac Lake at sunset are guaranteed to melt the stress away, at least temporarily. Know that you’ll be protected here, with touch-less sanitizer stations dotted throughout public areas and personal sanitizer bottles in guest room; the replacement of communal dining with nightly private cocktail and dinner service in guest-selected private locations; and MERV 13 rated air conditioner filters in each room that are able to filter out particles smaller than one micron for maximum air quality. As a fun fact, Saranac Lake was a haven for those recovering from tuberculosis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who would head to the region’s “Cure Cabins” to recover. Recovering from stress is good enough for us.

222 Beaverwood Rd, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

TRIPLE CREEK RANCH Triple Creek RanchPhoto Credit: Triple Creek Ranch

There are few places in America that have as much wide open space as Montana, which is why a trip to Big Sky Country during the time of COVID-19 is ideal. When booking a stay, look to Triple Creek Ranch, a secluded mountain luxury lodge with almost 30,000 acres in which to distance to yourself. Each guest will stay in a private cabin, which makes keeping your distance as easy as possible.  Beyond the luxe-rustic accommodation, each former group activity is now offered privately and limited to parties traveling together, including horseback riding, fly fishing casting lessons, sapphire and gold panning, archery, hatchet throwing, nature safaris and its Rocky Mountain Road Tour (a cattle drive will be the only activity offered that actually requires four guests). In addition to meeting CDC guidelines, the Ranch will also provide each guest with personal hand sanitizer and have sanitizing stations throughout the property. Fitness aficionados take note: Though there is a carefully cleaned fitness center, guests can also channel the frontier spirit as they make their way through the Stage Route-Fit Trail system, twenty exercise stations that span a half mile stretch for a comprehensive workout and a way to enjoy all of that fresh, clean and supremely healthy Big Sky air.

5551 W Fork Rd, Darby, MT 59829

WAUWINET

Wauwinet Photo Credit: WHITE ELEPHANT RESORTS

There are few places on Earth better to enjoy an Indian summer than Nantucket, an island off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. — and at this moment in time, it’s also a safe bet, considering it’s only accessible by boat or plane. Prepare to spend your days lounging in the sun or hanging out on a private yacht at the Nantucket Boat Basin, while crossing your fingers that the Grey Lady, Nantucket’s infamous fog, doesn’t roll in to mar your much-needed vacation. But even if it does, there’s more than enough to do both outdoors and in at the 32-room, adults-only Wauwinet. Activities include wilderness tours of the island’s eco-conservation efforts; access to two private beaches – one on the ocean and one on Nantucket Bay; a 1,400-strong wine bottle list and all the fresh oysters you can imagine at its restaurant, TOPPER’s; lobstering; cooking classes; boating trips on the property’s private charter passenger boat, Wauwinet Lady; and scenic drives of neighboring ‘Sconset in the hotel’s 1948 Woody. Guests also receive keys to a BMW hybrid-SUV for use throughout the stay, which is value-add for those looking for extra privacy. Naturally, the Wauwinet has safety in mind as well. There will be touch-free sanitizing stations, overnight fogging with electro-static guns; and a private beach attendant on hand to help you socially distance.

120 Wauwinet Rd, Nantucket, MA 02584

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