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Indagare’s Most-Booked Hotels of 2020: Hotels During Covid

2020 certainly did not turn out the way any of us expected—and yet, the Indagare Community continued to get out on the road and into the world, in new ways. Since last April, these are the hotels that you turned to, more than any others. Indagare’s 20 most-booked hotels during Covid are overwhelmingly domestic, and we saw a rising popularity in trips to the northeast, out west and to warmer climes. We’re grateful to these properties for welcoming our members safely and responsibly, and we look forward to helping more of you experience them in the seasons ahead. Plus: as always, we can help recommend the destinations that are right for you—with tips for finding hotels with freestanding accommodations, private villas, yacht charters and more—as well as testing and insurance advice, travel safety strategies and much more.

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to start planning a getaway to these hotels—for this year and the future. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide information on coronavirus travel safety, destinations that are open to travel, Covid-19 hotel policies, transportation options, private villas and charters and more. 

1.  Mayflower Inn & Spa, Washington, Connecticut

Thanks to its New England location in Litchfield County, Connecticut, a two-hour drive from New York City (2.5 hours from Boston), The Mayflower Inn & Spa has long been a popular spa escape for Indagare members. The hotel, now managed by Auberge Resorts Collection, and fresh off a redesign from Celerie Kemble, has 30 grand spacious rooms and suites, a lovely 20,000-square-foot spa with a yoga and Pilates studio, indoor and outdoor pools, farm-to-table food from nearby farms and 58 acres of meadows and wetlands for hiking and exploring. Request a room with a fireplace and settle in: it’s the ideal spot for a romantic escape or a mother-daughter or best friends’ spa weekend.

Related: Spring Break Vacation Ideas for 2021

2.  Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, California

On a lengthy swathe of south-facing sand in tiny Montecito, Rosewood Miramar Beach drew Indagare members this year looking for an elegant seaside retreat. Its 161 rooms, suites and garden bungalows showcase California chill with a residential feel (owner Rick Caruso used his own personal decorator for the resort, which opened in spring of 2019). Guests can spend the day lounging at two pools, or at the beach, playing lawn games or venturing into town for shopping along Coast Village Road. (For retail therapy on property, there’s also The Gatehouse, from James Perse, and Sundries, from Goop.)

3.  Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

With scenic skiing and hiking year-round, cozy hotels and a boho-chic vibe bolstered by craft breweries and college towns, Vermont offers a picture-perfect escape within driving distance of points east. And no place was better to call home for a long weekend—or a week—in this area over the past year than Twin Farms, an ultra-indulgent retreat set on a 300-acre estate that served as a getaway in the 1930s for literary giants Sinclair Lewis and his wife, journalist Dorothy Thompson. Today, the hotel has a beautifully designed main lodge, suites and 10 stand-alone cottages (three of which are pet-friendly!), which our members adored for their ultimate privacy—as well as a world-class culinary program, an enviable art collection and impeccable service.

Related: Our Favorite U.S. Hotels with Private Cottages or Villas

4.  Blackberry Mountain, Walland, Tennessee

For hikers, foodies and design fiends, the blue-toned Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee contain one of 2020-2021’s must-visit properties: Blackberry Mountain. With access to 5,200 acres of woods, streams and mountain trails—plus the new Valley facility, an updated take on the classic lake and pool club—as well as unique, highly stylish, freestanding cottage homes that range from one-to-four-bedrooms in size (with the most plush including game rooms, wine cellars and soaking tubs), the property lends itself easily to social distancing (and thanks to in-room dining, guests can be completely isolated, if they choose). Other top activities include biking and horseback riding, daily fitness classes, wheel-thrown pottery, archery, painting, yoga, fishing and, of course, whiskey-tasting. While the location is decidedly country, the décor and atmosphere are decidedly not; visitors should not miss a visit to the jewel-toned, Art-Deco-inspired cocktail bar, where mixologists serve treats like “A Seat at the Empress’s Table” (Empress 1908 Gin, lavender-infused Carpano dry vermouth and edible pansies—all prepared table-side). While Blackberry Mountain does emphasize a focus on wellness, it is far from restrictive—and after a few meals at the welcoming yet impressive restaurants Three Sisters and Firetower, you’ll have to convince yourself not to move in permanently.

In the words of one of our members who recently visited: “After nearly a year of sticking close to home in New York, I found myself a bit nervous heading down to Tennessee. But even just a few hours at Blackberry Mountain made the pre-trip jitters—and planning for Covid-testing before, during and after the trip—well-worth it. Spending mornings wandering freely (and, admittedly, getting lost a few times) throughout miles of hiking trails, indulging in the truly spectacular cuisine and getting to talk with the knowledgeable, interesting and kind staff members brought our family so much joy—and staying in our own cottage gave us the freedom to approach the experience according to our comfort levels.”

5.  Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

Indagare members looking to explore the American West without sacrificing luxury have found their sanctuary at Amangiri, in the desert canyons of southern Utah, near the Arizona border. The 600-acre property, with its 34 sleek suites in a series of minimalist concrete buildings, is an exceptional spot to relax and rejuvenate while exploring national parks such as Zion, Arches or Bryce Canyon, and others nearby. Accessing the great outdoors is easy from here, though guests may find it hard to pull themselves away from the spectacular pool, which has literally been built into a giant boulder, and the resort’s own gorgeous views that look towards the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Related: The Benefits of Going Private

6.  Troutbeck, Amenia (Hudson Valley), New York

The scenic Hudson Valley has beckoned artists for centuries to reflect and create amid its peaceful woodlands and river valleys—and this year, many Indagare members have sought out the destination for these very restorative qualities. Our top property in the region is the manor-turned-hotel Troutbeck, which was formerly owned by the poet-naturalist Myron Benton (a peer of Emerson and Thoreau). Troutbeck is easily reached from New York by a two-hour train or car ride, making it a supremely convenient escape. The 36 guest rooms and suites feature modern and simple décor (including Frette linens, Malin + Goetz products and heated floors in the bathrooms), and the main restaurant’s farm-to-table cuisine follows a similar ethos, highlighting local producers. There are also two tennis courts, a small pool, a space for yoga and Pilates and three trout pools, accessible only to guests.

7.  Miraval Berkshires, Lenox, Massachusetts

This 100-room property in the Berkshires is the most recent addition to Miraval’s trio of wellness resorts (including Austin and Arizona). While its location on a busy street in Lenox, Massachusetts, is somewhat of a departure from its sister properties, this brand-new New England outpost has a sleek farmhouse-style exterior and cozy public spaces with gas fireplaces, relaxing music, and welcoming sitting areas that create a calm vibe. Guests can pursue Miraval’s signature “life in balance” programming with access to 380 acres for hiking, biking, and riding, as well as golf and dining at the hotel next door—but the 28,000-square-foot spa is the real star here.

Related: East Coast Vacations from New York and Boston

8.  White Elephant Hotel, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Late summer and early fall promise a gorgeous time out on “the islands,” as locals call Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. That’s when we saw a flurry of requests for stays at the White Elephant. This quintessentially New England resort has been a longtime favorite for members. What keeps them coming back? It checks off all the boxes for a waterfront, luxury property in town—as opposed to a 20-minute drive away from the cobblestone streets lined with boutiques and restaurants. Rooms—either in the main building, garden cottages, residences or standalone inn—are subdued, with an understated nautical vibe befitting the historic island. Few spots are as idyllic as the White Elephant’s back lawn, a serene outpost for watching boats come in and out of the harbor.

9.  Viceroy Sugar Beach, St. Lucia

For jaw-dropping scenery, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort makes for stiff competition: the resort sits amid 100 acres of tropical rainforest between St. Lucia’s iconic Piton Mountains at the base of a volcano, on a powdery white-sand beach bordered by a marine reserve. Add to that extraordinary service, myriad water activities, a fabulous spa and stylish, private villas, and it’s little wonder that Indagare members headed here for a serious dose of R&R. 

In the words of one of our members who recently visited: “We really enjoyed the trip to Saint Lucia. Sugar Beach was very well-run. We had a ‘butler’ assigned to us who was lovely—very helpful with anything we needed. We each enjoyed the massages, and the spa is very cool: the rooms are literal treehouses…Covid precautions were very good: everyone wore masks, and everything was outside.”

Related: Direct Flights to the Caribbean

10.  The Whitby, New York City, New York

There’s a reason The Whitby was one of our most popular New York City hotels during Covid: when it comes to finding a stylish boutique hotel with well-sized rooms in Manhattan, just off Fifth Avenue (and within walking distance to Central Park), this whimsical Kit Kemp-designed Firmdale property is tough to beat. Like its downtown sister property, Crosby Street Hotel, it’s close to galleries, museums and shopping, has a stylish restaurant and bar, plus a cinema and gym. The 86 rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows, some with private terraces, making New York feel like your very own pied-à-terre.

11.  The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, California

Indagare members seeking a place in the California sun (with a splash of Old Hollywood, Tinsel Town glamour) have found happiness at The Beverly Hills Hotel. There’s a lot to love, from its famous pink façade and Beverly Hills location to the private bungalows, poolside cabanas and beautifully landscaped gardens…and the hotel’s legendary history, that bold banana leaf wallpaper and the Polo Lounge, which is still a favorite with actors and industry moguls alike. The iconic hotel, which is part of the Dorchester Collection (along with the Hotel Bel-Air), has 208 rooms, 23 bungalows and a brand-new spa; rooms on higher floors have the best views. Naturally, the pool is the place to be, if you’re looking to see and be seen.

From Indagare Member Jolie Goodson on her experience: The staff was especially nice, and the service really stood out. The hotel is very welcoming and cool. They were serious about Covid and enforced the wearing of masks with everyone. We felt safe and taken care of. We honestly had the best time and did not want to leave!”

12.  Sorrel River Ranch, Moab, Utah

On a particularly scenic bend of the Colorado River, Sorrell River Ranch is one of the only hotels near Arches National Park where the epic-ness of the American West is built into the daily guest experience. It starts with the drive from Moab and the park’s entrance: thirty minutes along Route 128, running parallel to the river and framed by mighty cliffs. At the 240-acre ranch itself, daily activities include horseback riding or off-roading through private trails. And off-property, expert guides take visitors to the region’s most impressive hiking, biking and canyoning destinations (Arches, of course, but also Canyonlands and Fisher Towers). At the end of the day, there’s a bonfire under the stars before returning to the room in one of the ranch’s wooden cabins, each with kitchenettes and massive picture windows overlooking Red Rock Country.

Related: The 12 Best Lakefront Hotels in America

13.  Glenmere Mansion, Chester, New York

Glenmere Mansion has always been a fabulous getaway—but it is particularly suited to traveling safely in the age of Covid. At just 18 rooms, it’s an intimate escape with sprawling (and spectacular) grounds within an hour from New York City. The opulent, Italianate villa was once the home of a Gilded Age real estate titan, who sought to recreate a bit of Tuscany in the Hudson Valley. Expect marble staircases and manicured gardens, Juliet balconies and priceless antiques. And with two excellent restaurants, along with a spa, tennis courts and pool, there’s little reason to ever leave.

14.  Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, Jackson, Wyoming

Indagare members looking for a fabulous ski-in/ski-out resort love Four Seasons Resort, Jackson Hole, a luxe five-star at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, for its outstanding location, top-notch amenities and stellar service. The 124 large guest rooms and 60 privately-owned two- to five-bedroom residences (some, especially those on top floors, with fabulous view of the Tetons), make it a popular choice for families or friends. The spa has 16 treatment rooms and is perfect for non-snowbirds looking for a restful off-piste retreat, away from the mountain scene. During the summer, guests can also take advantage of the easy access to nature and nearby Teton Village, which is within walking distance.

15.  The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

When the world outside your door becomes nearly unrecognizable, a stalwart classic can provide a sense of comfort. This was certainly true for many of our members this year, who chose to head down to the sun and sand of Palm Beach, to stay at the town’s undisputed grande dame hotel: The Breakers. The property offers plenty of socially-distanced activities, thanks to its renovated golf course and tennis courts and nationally-renowned Beach Club, a sprawling oceanfront complex accessible only to hotel guests and members (featuring private bungalows, cabanas, four pools, three restaurants, a rooftop terrace and an ultra-luxurious spa).

Related: The Top 10: Prettiest Beaches in America

16.  Ocean House, Westerly, Rhode Island

One of our most popular weekend getaways last summer and fall, the Ocean House, on Rhode Island’s southernmost shore, is the embodiment of a New England classic: the butter-yellow exterior of the main hotel (which opened in 1868), the wraparound porch complete with rocking chairs overlooking the Atlantic, stylish suites and well-appointed grey-shingled guest cottages (that are more like your own private summer house). Not to mention a croquet lawn, putting green and squash courts. There’s also the 12,000-square-foot spa, beachside dining, the pool with a view, cabanas and a private beach. In short, it has everything you could ask for, even in the off-season. Cue the seagulls and roaring surf.

17.  The Lodge at Blue Sky, Wanship, Utah

Located on 3,500 beautiful acres in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah (just a 50-minute drive from the Salt Lake City Airport), The Lodge at Blue Sky—a new addition to the Auberge Collection—offers a contemporary ranch-style experience focused on wellness, dining and the great outdoors. Many of our members chose to visit this property this year for its intimacy, as the hotel has fewer than 50 rooms separated into three different sections: the spacious Sky Rooms in the main building, the Earth Suites (separate structures that easily connect and are great for families, but feel slightly less private), and the five Creek Houses (extremely private and adults-only). Top activities here include hiking with or without a guide, clay shooting, biking and fly-fishing in nearby rivers—but the real draw is the horseback riding and acclaimed horsemanship program. The extensive wellness program encompasses specialty treatments, yoga, meditation and sound bathing in the spa or even outdoors in a mountain yurt (and virtual-learning-exhausted parents can enjoy a treatment while their children are entertained in the Little Vaquero Program).

18.  Four Seasons, Washington, D.C.

Just a few hours’ drive or train ride from most points east, Washington, D.C. provides a vibrant (but more spread out) hub for travelers looking for a dose of culture and a five-star food scene. This year, many of our members traveled to Georgetown—an even quieter, quaint destination for a long-weekend getaway in the district—and the Four Seasons is one of its most pampering home bases. With its stately design (and colonial-inspired accents that nod to Georgetown’s history), typical Four Seasons service and array of lounging spaces and amenities, including the acclaimed restaurant Bourbon Steak, it’s easy to spend most of your time on-property—but a stroll through Georgetown’s cobblestone streets and campus, a survey of the Dumbarton Oaks gardens and a few outdoor meals at top spots like Café Milano, Fiola Mare and Farmers Fishers Bakers are wonderful ways for visitors to get out and about around town, safely.

Related: Our Favorite Beach Resorts for a Winter Escape in 2020-2021

19.  Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, California

In the hills overlooking Santa Barbara and the Pacific beyond, Belmond El Encanto is an exceedingly tranquil spot. White-clapboard bungalows—dating back to El Encanto’s founding in the 1910s—and newer Spanish Colonial Revival-style cottages house the hotel’s 92 rooms. Everything is scattered across lush terraced grounds, with manicured lawns and gardens. This sophisticated resort draws those seeking relaxation—at the zero-edge pool; in the spa or soaking under each room’s rain showers—in a quiet setting along the American Riviera. At the main restaurant’s large terrace—which, along with the pool, has the best views on property—enjoy French-Californian cuisine in a laid-back setting.

20.  Amangani, Jackson, Wyoming

Aman is Sanskrit for “peace,” and gani is “home” in Shoshone, so it’s no surprise that careful attention has gone into making the ultra-luxe, 40-suite Amangani, located 10 minutes from Jackson and 20 minutes from Teton Village, into just that. The Ed Tuttle-designed property showcases incredible views of the Tetons, and their grand scale is echoed in the design of the spare but epic public spaces throughout the property. At a moment when being in nature has never mattered more, Amangani also has private houses available and is ideal for couples and families looking to explore the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone National Park or Jackson Hole at any time of year from this spectacular setting.

Related: Aspen Winter News: What it’s Like This Season

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to start planning a getaway to these hotels—for this year and the future. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you and provide information on coronavirus travel safety, destinations that are open to travel, Covid-19 hotel policies, transportation options, private villas and charters and more. 

– Elizabeth Harvey on February 4, 2021

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