Sometimes the best weekend plan is a getaway from the city that’s not too far away – but just distant enough to feel like a true escape. One that won’t involve sitting in traffic for hours – but that also gives you that jolt of road trip adrenaline as you put the car in drive. If you live in New York City, you know exactly what we mean. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of 12 luxury vacation spots perfect for a romantic, family or even solo weekend getaway that are just a short drive, and close to or very near New York City (NYC).
what are the best luxury vacation getaways within short driving distance of New York City?
As the temps rise and the days get longer, all New Yorkers want to do is get out of town. There’s something freeing about driving out of the city into the fresh country air…but not too far, because there is such a thing as too much quiet. When it’s not yet beach weather and you want to reach your destination within one or two glorious, guilt-free junk-food filled rest stops, where should you go?
We rounded up 12 luxury getaways just a short drive from New York City. They all offer beautifully appointed rooms, fine-dining options, and a host of amenities and activities to feel like a true, revitalizing vacation.
Our list has either been personally vetted by our team at Dandelion Chandelier or is the result of a referral from trusted friends and colleagues. When a quick escape is in order, these resorts offer a luxurious experience without the hassle of going through airport security. Which is, in itself, a major luxury.
12 luxury destinations just a short drive from New York City (NYC)
1. Glenmere Mansion, Chester, NY.
A life of leisure is just one hour away at this Tuscan-inspired mansion set on a majestic 150 acres of rolling farmlands and gardens. The owners designed the space for guests to feel like they are “visiting an eccentric relative’s estate,” with butlers and staff for every need.
The Relais & Châteaux hotel has just 18 guest accommodations. Making for a private and cozy experience ,along with a full-service spa with bath house/hammam, 2 superb restaurants featuring locally grown food, and exceptional recreational facilities. Idle away the day lounging at the outdoor heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa. You can also work up a sweat on the tennis, bocce and croquet courts.
2. The Mayflower Inn & Spa, Washington, CT.
This intimate country retreat, approximately 1.5 hours from New York City, will transport you to an English country manor. The five-star resort was recently redecorated by Celerie Kemble in a colorful yet comforting style. We wanted to steal all her ideas for our own home.
Acclaimed James Beard Award-winning chef, April Bloomfield runs the rustic, farm-fresh restaurant so definitely stay on the property for brunch and dinner. The luxurious spa features a pool, restorative spa treatments using East-meets-West healing practices, as well as daily movement classes. On the grounds, there is ample room to explore the gardens, play a game of tennis, and even row around the private pond.
3. The Maker, Hudson, NY.
The town of Hudson, just two hours from the city, has become a major design destination with its antique shops, quirky boutiques, and art galleries. The Maker, which opened in 2020, fits the vibe perfectly. Occupying three historic buildings, the intimate 11-room property is a bespoke sanctuary with a bohemian sensibility fusing design elements from 19th-century Industrial, La Belle Époque, Art Deco and Mid-Century periods.
Each room is dedicated and whimsically decorated after different makers: the Gardener, the Artist, the Architect, and the Writer, to name a few. There’s an outdoor pool for dips in between shopping. For food, enjoy freshly baked breads and pastries at the cafe, get those vitamins in at the refreshing juice bar, and dine on contemporary American fare at The Restaurant, housed in a gorgeous glass conservatory.
4. The Point Resort, Saranac Lake, NY.
Billed as “where wilderness meets luxury”, the Point is designated as the only Forbes Five Star property in Upstate New York. It’s also the first-ever Relais & Châteaux member in North America. The resort joined that august community 35 years ago.
Perhaps even more importantly, one of our most sophisticated and demanding friends has stayed at The Point several times. In the winter, he says, “it’s like staying at the North Pole, only much, much better.”
The log mansions crafted of native timber and stone were built by William Avery Rockefeller II a century ago. Apparently people back then liked to “rough it” in comfort and style (just like today.) The 11 rooms are decorated in luxurious rustic style with tranquil views of Saranac Lake.
Guests feel pampered by the personal service — as if the resort’s staff was Rockefeller’s house staff instructed to personally take care of his friends. Breakfast and lunch are casual. But dinner is a communal experience. Guests are invited to dine with fellow visitors, and tables are hosted by one of the hotel managers. On black-tie nights, the menu consists of eight courses, paired with wine. The resort is 5 hours away, making it one of the furthest on our list. But we think it’s worth it! Also note, the minimum age of resort guests is 21.
5. Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY.
This all-inclusive Victorian castle resort is always featured in best NY weekend getaways for good reason. It has an old-school charm and is easily the most family-friendly destination on our list with wholesome activities like geology walks, archery, evening bingo, and trivia nights.
Enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding through 40,000 acres of land and with several heated pools and a private beach, swimming is also a must. In addition to handsome rooms and suites, there is the 6-bdrm Grove Lodge. It is nestled in a tranquil fern grove, which is well-suited for larger parties.
6. Saybrook Point Resort, Old Saybrook, CT.
Just two hours away, nestled between the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River, is the charming and elegant Saybrook Point Resort & Marina. The inviting marina vistas are full of history and the downtown area offers plenty of boutique shopping.
Guests can relax at the spa for rejuvenating treatments and dine at the award-winning restaurant, Fresh Salt. All the rooms have refined coastal decor but if you’re looking for an especial experience, book a weekend at the Lighthouse Suite. It is a 900-square-foot space situated on the main dock for incomparable water views.
7. Urban Cowboy Lodge, Big Indian, NY.
Design aficionados looking to escape the urban jungle will find themselves worlds away on 68 acres in the Big Indian Wilderness. Urban Cowboy Lodge is surrounded by the Catskills National Park. Only 2.5 hours from the city and with no cell phone service (intentionally), there are countless trails. The Esopus Creek runs right through the property.
That is, if you ever leave the eclectically stylish and luxurious rooms — some decked out with outdoor Japanese cedar soaking tubs. Your stay is complimented with well-crafted cocktails and excellent veg-forward dining at Public House. It is perfect for gathering and chatting with the other hipsters on vacation.
8. The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, PA.
If you’re looking to escape not only your kids, but all kids, this upscale retreat set deep in the Poconos is understated luxury at its best. With acres of woodland, a private lake for kayaking, golf club, tennis courts, and renovated 40,000 square foot spa, you can be as active and serene as you want.
All guest rooms have private verandas and oversize marble bathrooms. TREE restaurant’s chef uses fresh, local ingredients, including those from the resort’s farm-to-table garden. And if you’re the creative type (or just looking to unwind), there are classes to help you explore new or hidden talents. This includes watercolor painting, drawing, and paper marbling.
9. The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island.
We could go on and on about the joys of Newport, Rhode Island. The gorgeous views, the sailing, the biking. Strolling through town, visiting one of the Gilded Age mansions. Surfing, tennis and lots of excellent restaurants.
But the best part, if you really want to know? The lovely and gracious Chanler Inn – the only luxury hotel situated right at the beginning of the iconic Cliff Walk. Here, you can easily experience the wild freedom of the rocky coastline while staying just steps away, in a luxurious hotel with a spacious private lawn with spectacular views.
The hotel itself is romantic and intimate. Each of the 20 guest rooms and villas has unique décor with historical relevance, antiques and . The hotel restaurant features a covered terrace overlooking the shoreline. The sunrises are spectacular – and the warmth and kindness of the staff is unforgettable.
10. Miraval Resort & Spa, Lenox, MA.
Most of the 5-star iconic resorts of the American Southwest now have outposts in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. And lucky for us, Miraval is one of them. The luxury wellness resort and spa opened its Lenox location in 2019 and the location has fully hit its stride. The crowd is younger and more adventurous than what we’ve seen at other spas in the area. You’ll find young couples, Girls Trip friends, solo visitors and more in a refined and relaxing environment.
The menu of activities is vast. From cold water plunges and aerial meditation to forest hikes and photography classes, there’s something for everyone. Of course there are lots of cardio and yoga classes. But there are also spiritual pursuits, like sound therapy. The food and drink are excellent and there are no calorie counts on the menu. At only three hours from New York, this is an excellent option for a restorative weekend away.
11. The Menhaden Hotel, North Fork, Long Island, NY.
Some of our most sophisticated friends have quietly abandoned the frenetic pace of the South Fork of Long Island (aka “The Hamptons”) and found the ideal weekend retreat on the North Fork. Here you’ll find the same ocean breezes, fresh produce, farm-to-table restaurants and local wineries. What you won’t find is snarky attitude, impatience or glitz.
Opened in December 2018 and under new ownership as of mid-2021, the Menhaden Hotel in trending Greenport is a perfect spot for a weekend retreat. The boutique property boasts the only rooftop bar in the area – and its exclusively for hotel guests. Each floor of the three-story hotel includes a galley with complimentary items like snacks and beverages. Guests are treated to free transportation through an electric-powered car and bicycles. There’s also a water taxi to Shelter Island. You might want to hurry along and experience the joys of the North Fork before it becomes any more on-trend. In five years, it may feel exactly like . . . The Hamptons.
12. The Maidstone, East Hampton, NY.
We would be remiss if we didn’t include the iconic city escape, the Hamptons, on our list of luxury getaways not far from New York City. Everyone has their favorite spot in the Hamptons. Ours is East Hampton, and if you don’t have a good friend with a big house and a guest room, fear not. You can’t go wrong booking the boutique hotel The Maidstone.
It’s right on Main Street in East Hampton, a short and pretty walk to either the shops in town or to Main and Georgica Beaches. Bikes are free, as are parking passes to the lots at the nearby beaches. Each one of the 19 rooms and suites are decorated in homage to famous Scandinavian luminaries. Plus Hästens beds! Now that’s weekend luxury that’s hard to resist.
12 luxury destinations just a short drive from New York City (NYC)
That’s our take on 12 of the best luxury vacation spots for a romantic or family weekend getaway near NYC.
As most New Yorkers know, quick weekend getaways are the perfect salve for living in the city that never sleeps. These 12 luxury destinations are the perfect way to hit the reset button without too much planning and travel time.