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The best long weekend destinations from four of the world’s top cities.
Home Base: New York City
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The Hamptons, New York
A go-to weekend destination for New Yorkers, the Hamptons and its many charming towns are experiencing a development boom that has resulted in a slew of new openings. Boutique arrivals including Montauk’s surfer-cool Hero Beach Club and Journey in East Hampton are giving the classic properties a run for their money. Another big debut this summer will be Shou Sugi Ban House, a 13-room wellness hotel opening in Water Mill.
Newport, Rhode Island
The summer destination of choice for families like the Vanderbilts, Newport is especially suited to architecture lovers, who can see the town’s iconic mansions on the Cliff Walk trail from a home base at the Castle Hill Inn. Those seeking a younger scene will find one at Gurney’s Newport, which opened in 2017 just outside the town center on its own island. Don’t miss its lively Pineapple Club and upscale Scarpetta restaurant.
Just a five-and-a-half-hour flight from New York, Reykjavik is the perfect entry point for a weekend in Iceland. With the opening of the Reykjavik Edition later this year, as well as the awarding of Iceland’s first Michelin star to the New Nordic restaurant Dill, the capital has received a healthy dose of style. After two nights in the city, weekenders will want to stay at the Retreat at Blue Lagoon, the stylish spa hotel that opened last year.
Home Base: Los Angeles
California is a state in the Western United States. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south.
Capital City is Sacramento
Head of Government
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Big Sur, California
Road trips can be a classic American experience, and no route is lovelier than Highway One between Carmel and Big Sur. The drive’s beauty is matched by top-notch hotels; the Lodge at Pebble Beach is the top choice for families, while couples will enjoy the adults-only Post Ranch Inn and Ventana Big Sur. In addition to exploring the coast and hiking, be sure to take a tour at Hearst Castle, and consider adding on a night in Santa Barbara.
If your ideal weekend is one spent surrounded by trees and mountains, Big Sky is the spot for you. With access to the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, this area has become very popular in recent years. You can use one of the low-key lodges in the area as your base—or enjoy adventures (plus phenomenal accommodations and cuisine) from a luxury lodge such as the Ranch at Rock Creek, in western Montana.
L.A. locals looking for epic landscapes can reach many national parks in under five hours driving. Our top picks: Yosemite, Death Valley and Joshua Tree. Those who wish to go further afield can catch a one-hour flight to Las Vegas or Phoenix to access the Grand Canyon and Sedona. The national parks of the Southwest provide a great balance of hiking and nature, plus beautiful properties, including Mii amo and Amangiri.
Home Base: London
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The Cotswolds and Hampshire
Within a two-hour drive from London are many classic towns with estate hotels. The Cotswolds are known for their style and elegance—as well as properties like Soho Farmhouse, The Wild Rabbit and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons—while Hampshire is home to Heckfield Place (see page 32). In addition to horseback riding, falconry and tea time, weekends here can include day trips to historic cities like Oxford and Bath.
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Thanks to the Chunnel, Paris can be accessed from London in just over two hours. While the Right Bank used to have all the top hotels, the Left Bank has welcomed two stunning new properties, the palatial Hôtel Lutetia and the boutique J.K. Place Paris, which can become home for the weekend. Plus, seaside cities rich in history, art and architecture—like Le Havre, Rouen and Caen—are even closer to the UK and offer a dose of fresh air.
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The three-hour flight from London to Naples and short drive to the Amalfi Coast is worth it for stunning cliffside views, fresh Italian cuisine and days spent at beach clubs like Villa TreVille and Capri’s iconic La Fontelina. Not to mention top hotels like elegant Le Sirenuse, peaceful Monastero Santa Rosa and family-friendly Belmond Hotel Caruso. Before flying back home, stop for a Naples specialty, pizza, at 50 Kalo or Sorbillo.
Home Base: Hong Kong
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Host of the 2020 Olympics, Japan is about to have a major moment—so we recommend visiting before the crowds. Tokyo and Kyoto are go-tos, but travelers who have been to Japan before should try a new region. Koyasan is a spiritual destination, where you can learn about Buddhism, Hokkaido is revered for its excellent hiking (and skiing, in the winter) and Kanazawa has incredible architecture (it was not bombed in World War II) and gardens. For an intimate, relaxing experience, Guntu is a ryokan-style boat hotel that cruises the Seto Inland Sea and has 19 water-view rooms, a tea room, a gym and sauna and a restaurant.
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One of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic cities, Bangkok is a great stop for a long weekend. Several new hotels— including a Four Seasons and a Rosewood—are opening this year, and up-and-coming neighborhoods like Soi Nana Chinatown are bursting with cool bars and galleries. Round out a few nights in the city with visits to temples, tickets to a Muay Thai match and a street food tour with an expert guide.
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A two-hour flight from Hong Kong, Manila provides a convenient access point to a variety of barefoot-luxury, private-island resorts. Two to know are the newly reopened Nay Palad on the island of Siargao, which is rapidly garnering attention as a prime surfing destination, and the Rosewood Hermana Mayor, a groundbreaking property that will open on an uninhabited island in 2023.