Six Sensational Summer Getaways


Want to live like a rock star this summer?  Are you yearning to golf in the heavens?  Feeling like a femme fatale in a film noir?  Want to immerse yourself in Jeffersonian ideals?

Perhaps this is the summer to discover your inner oenophile.  Or maybe you’re merely looking to recharge your batteries in the Emerald City.

Whether you’re heading to the East Coast or the West – or crossing the pond, summertime is the right time to let your fantasies reign.

Wander off the deep end with your imagination – and then book your reservation for a sensational summer getaway weekend.


(Source: The Redbury)

(Source: The Redbury)

The Redbury, Hollywood: One whiff of the signature toiletries at The Redbury and you’re enveloped in the rock-n-roll patchouli worlds of Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. After all, you’re on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, that iconic intersection that’s just a bourbon-bottle’s throw from the Capitol Towers building where legends misbehaved.

If you’ve ever wanted to live like a rock star in the heyday of Jimi, Janis, Stevie, and Grace, then The Redbury is where you want to swirl your shawls and fan your feathers.

A part of the burgeoning sbe empire, which includes partnerships with designer Philippe Starck, photographer Matthew Rolston, and chefs José Andrés and Katsuya Uechi, The Redbury is sbe‘s heir apparent to Hollywood haunts such as the Chateau Marmont and the Tropicana Motel (aka “the Trop”) where Jim Morrison lived and Janis Joplin partied (and, alas, also died).

(Source: The Redbury)

(Source: The Redbury)

As soon as you cross the threshold, you find yourself in a dimly lit entryway of what appears to be the mansion of Hollywood rock-n-roll royalty. Either that or the home of Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard.”  A staircase beckons you upward to reception and to the 57 curated guest apartments that buzz with a bohemian, counter-cultural feel. Rolston’s wall-sized portraits of Hollywood divas such as Dietrich, Harlow, and Theda Bara, complete the celluloid fantasy

In keeping with the provenance of the neighborhood and its colorful antecedents, the spacious flats at The Redbury are like characters from a Raymond Chandler novel and designed for maximum pleasure – for a day, a week, or as long as you want to live like a rock star incognito. Expect balconies with tables and chairs (and ashtrays – for cigarettes and whatever), oriental carpets, crimson lampshades, and turntables with a collection of vintage vinyl record albums (which might necessitate a call to the front desk: “How do I make this play music?”) Cocktail shakers and candles and coffee tables with glossy magazines and a fully-stocked Pullman kitchen make you want to invite a few friends over: Lana Turner, Lana Del Rey, and maybe Marilyn, if she’s not already booked.

You’re living in Hollywood, baby; live it large at The Redbury.


(Source: Primland)

(Source: Primland)

Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia: “Look deep into nature,” wrote Einstein, “and then you will understand everything better.” At Primland, a 12,000-acre luxury resort atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia you gaze deeply – and with a renewed sense of wonder.

Primland initially received national attention for its celebrated golf course, which was designed by Donald Steel, the first architect since 1913 to lend a hand to St. Andrews in Scotland. Golf periodicals from around the world enthused about the Highland Course at Primland for its breathtaking panoramic vistas and the course’s mountaintop locale.

As the commonwealth’s tourism motto states, “Virginia is for lovers” – and Primland is a refulgent paradise for those who are lovers of nature, golf, hunting, and the eco-conscious sensibility associated with Native Americans. It’s the bluish tint of the evergreen trees that give the Blue Ridge Mountains their name and if you arrive at Primland in the early morning or at gloaming, the vistas across the mountaintops are as blue as rolling waves on the Aegean.

(Source: Primland)

(Source: Primland)

Nearly two-thirds the size of Scotland, Primland is located 2,800 feet above the Dan River Gorge, which is often called “the Grand Canyon of Virginia.”  Opened in 2009, the 72,000-square-foot, LEED-certified Lodge at Primland features 26 guest rooms and suites, as well as a spa, indoor pool, fitness center, ballroom, game room, golf shop, theater, and two restaurants.

There’s a deep tranquility at Primland, provoked by the rolling hills of blue and the lushly-forested valleys and an infinitude of blue sky. As you wander the property (which includes sections of the Appalachian Trail), you’ll feel Primat’s desire to respect nature in a manner that honors the legacy of the eight Native American tribes that called Primland home.

Apart from the Lodge, accommodations at Primland include the Golden Eagle Tree House, which clings to a precipice 2,000 above the Dan River Gorge.

Primland‘s gifted staff includes a spa manager, a golf professional, an activities director, a trailmaster, and, unique among most American luxury resorts, a starmaster, who conducts Primland‘s celebrated “Tour of the Universe,” which takes place on clear nights.

(Source: Primland)

(Source: Primland)

A four-story silvery silo alongside the Lodge is actually the Observatory, which houses a 30-foot diameter astronomy dome, making Primland the only US resort to feature a Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope in an observatory. On clear evenings, guests at Primland can view galaxies more than 27 million light years away.

For those fortunate enough to be in attendance on one of Primland‘s stargazing evenings, there’s an unmistakable sense of awe at witnessing the observatory dome slide open and rotate in tandem with the telescope as the celestial heavens are revealed.

With a wave of his laser pointer, Primland‘s starmaster touches the distant galaxies – and like that, the stars, planets, and nebulae, all millions of light years away, are within a finger’s grasp.

What founder Didier Primat sought in creating his luxurious retreat was a sense of escape in a remote setting. Or as Primland‘s motto states, “May your dreams carry you above and beyond.”


(Source: Luxe City Center)

(Source: Luxe City Center)

Luxe City Center, Los Angeles: In spite of rumors to the contrary, Los Angeles has always had a downtown – and now, more than ever, downtown LA shimmers like a sapphire on Liz Taylor.

The sister property to the Luxe Rodeo Drive and the Luxe Sunset Boulevard, Luxe City Center is a downtown oasis perfectly located across the street from the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, LA Live, and an easy jaunt to Disney Concert Hall, Chinatown, and numerous other LA landmarks.

The 180 rooms and suites at Luxe City Center are furnished like Art Deco apartments of Hollywood stars from the Forties. You almost expect Loretta Young to answer the zebra-wood door and invite you in for cocktails – and confessions.

(Source: Luxe City Center)

(Source: Luxe City Center)

Bedrooms, which feature iHomes for iPods and 42″ TVs, are hung with nearly full-size paintings of iconic rock stars like Madonna or Steven Tyler, and marble bathrooms are complemented by vanities with circular mirrors.

A sitting room in the suites looks like just the sort of room into which Barbara Stanwyck might size up Fred MacMurray for the first time in “Double Indemnity.”

Amenities at Luxe City Center include FigOly restaurant and access to Gold’s Gym. Apart from daily housekeeping, there are also on-site guest laundry facilities (for those stains you prefer to remove yourself…).

These are femme fatale suites, perfect for illicit romance and clandestine trysts.  Leave the gun at home – and pack the negligee and handcuffs.


(Source: Willows Lodge)

(Source: Willows Lodge)

Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Washington: It’s possible that as soon as you pass through the massive portals of Willows Lodge and enter into the timber-lined lobby with its stone two-sided fireplace, you’ll sigh with relief. The sense of calm and well-being is pervasive throughout Willows Lodge, which is located a mere 25 minutes from Seattle – and yet it seems like another country, one notable for its serenity.

The luxurious lodge encompasses five acres of landscaped gardens with gazebo, outdoor Jacuzzi, Asian zen garden, as well as Barking Frog, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most acclaimed restaurants, helmed by Chef Bobby Moore, with a sun-dappled pergola for dining al fresco during clement weather.

(Source: Willows Lodge)

(Source: Willows Lodge)

The whole of Woodinville turns out for Willows Lodge‘s signature competition, the Iron Vintner Challenge, where four Washington winemakers face off to create a winning entree and appetizer utilizing a secret ingredient that changes annually.

A member of the Preferred Hotel Group, Willows Lodge is listed on Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as one of the nation’s best hotels of 2012.

According to Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, a barking frog is a sign of peace and harmony with nature. Willows Lodge is a testament to a heritage of natural bliss.


(Source: The Jefferson)

(Source: The Jefferson)

The Jefferson, Washington, DC: Thanks to the dining habits of the White House’s current resident, the Jefferson has become known as “Washington’s second most prestigious address.” Throughout the 2012 campaign, President Obama held a series of fundraising dinners at the Jefferson and since his re-election, Obama has entertained legislators at Plume, the Jefferson‘s acclaimed restaurant.

Befitting its namesake, the nation’s third President, the 96-room luxury boutique hotel is a bastion of civility and refined design. Located in a splendid Beaux Arts structure, the Jefferson opened in 1923 as a luxury residential building before becoming a hotel in 1955. A top-to-bottom, two-year renovation was completed in August 2009, with the uncovering of the original 1923 skylight.

The spirit of Jefferson and his sublime taste in all matters related to a well-lived life is evident throughout the hotel. A library off the lobby is modeled on Jefferson’s own Book Room and is filled with leather-bound volumes. A sanctuary of civility with sitting nooks and plush reading chairs, the cozy room makes one yearn for a rainy day – and a bottle of Madeira, one of Jefferson’s favorite elixirs.

(Source: The Jefferson)

(Source: The Jefferson)

Antiques and artifacts of the Jeffersonian era are evident throughout the elegant hotel, coexisting in perfect harmony with the hotel’s modern-day amenities.  One has the sense that Jefferson is smiling with pride to see his own epoch so well represented in the modern world.

All guest rooms and suites at the Jefferson feature Porthault linens alongside Italian stonework, with high-tech amenities such as flat screen televisions and televisions imbedded into the bathroom’s vanity mirror. Wireless is complimentary as are telephone calls. Walk-in showers feature toiletries by Red Flower, which are formulated with herbs and botanicals once grown at Jefferson’s farms at Monticello.

The attention to period detail is so pervasive throughout the Jefferson‘s private and public spaces that it’s possible to feel that one is in perfect equipoise between the 18th and 21st centuries. As sophisticated as it is discreet and distinguished, the Jefferson is a paragon of Jeffersonian ideals.


(Source: Hotel 1000)

(Source: Hotel 1000)

Hotel 1000, Seattle: Who doesn’t appreciate a welcoming glass of Champagne upon check-in, served with a smile and genuine hospitality?  That’s the Hotel 1000‘s style of service, which pervades the entire 120-room boutique hotel in downtown Seattle.

Guests at Hotel 1000 are treated as residents of Seattle’s first residential-hotel complex, which extends to the generously-sized rooms that are the equivalent of pied à terre apartments.

Hotel 1000 bathrooms are celebrated for their floor-to-ceiling vistas of downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay, as well as for the waterfall bathtubs where water flows from the ceiling.

The use of a car and driver is offered to Hotel 1000 guests for rides within a two-mile radius and Studio 1000, the lobby lounge, serves complimentary coffee and Mighty-O Donuts.

A member of the Preferred Hotel Group, Hotel 1000 has received numerous awards from various periodicals since its 2006 opening and is listed on Condé Nast Traveler “Gold List” and Travel + Leisure as one of the best hotels of 2012.

Centrally located within easy walking distance of Seattle’s major attractions, a respite at Hotel 1000 makes you feel as coddled as a film star and as happy as a Seattleite.

Additional Information:

Click here for MRNY slideshow of Los Angeles.

Click here for MRNY slideshow of Primland.

Click here for MRNY slideshow of Seattle.

Click here for MRNY slideshow of Washington, D.C.

Mark Thompson

About Mark Thompson

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and New York Travel Writers Association (NYTWA), Mark Thompson is an editor, journalist, and photographer whose work appears in various periodicals, including Travel Weekly, Metrosource, Huffington Post, Global Traveler, Out There, and OutTraveler. The author of the novels Wolfchild (2000) and My Hawaiian Penthouse (2007), Mark completed a Ph.D. in American Studies. He has been a fellow and a resident at various artists' colonies, including the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center.

2 Responses to Six Sensational Summer Getaways

  1. Can’t argue with Hotel 1000’s champagne upon arrival policy. How’s Seattle’s summer weather though? I’ve never been but gather it has a reputation almost as bad as London’s for incessant raining…

    • Interestingly, Chris, Seattle has less annual rainfall than New York – and rain never stopped anyone from visiting NYC – or London, for that matter – and Seattle receives hardly any rain from April through September. Time for Seattle, Chris.

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