Elite Escapes Part II

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by Jacqueline Miller

We are delighted to present Elite Escapes Part Two – our picks to destinations within our great shores that will assuage a variety of impulses and indulge you in extravagant ways. Quite different in appeal and offerings, both destinations offer experiences that are sure to please the most discriminating among us. Elite Escapes Part One appeared in Sarasota Scene’s October 2017 issue.


Travel + Leisure ranked it tops in the Northeast, number five in the United States and 15 in the world. It has won the Forbes Five-Star Hotel Award, and was a Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice in 2016.
The oh-so-exclusive Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont is an intimate, all-inclusive country hideaway, located 15 miles north of Woodstock, NY. Steeped in romance and folklore, Twin Farms is sure to ignite the flames with those we love. destinations
The 1795-era farmhouse was purchased in 1928 by Nobel prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis for his wife, journalist Dorothy Thompson. The property sits on 300 acres of meadows and woodlands in an unspoiled valley. Hand-painted murals, rich maple and pine woodwork, American folk art and museum-quality contemporary oils adorn the rustically elegant accommodations and lounges. Public areas include the Dining Room, Barn Room, Pub, Cabana and Fitness Center. Arriving by helicopter? Just land on the property’s helipad. destinations

Twenty distinctive lodgings (including a self-contained four-suite “Farmhouse at Copper Hill” overlooking a pond) feature king-size feather beds and sitting areas with wood-burning fireplaces that open onto screened porches. Whimsical cottages are tucked away in the property’s secluded woodlands. Rooms (not including taxes) start at $1500 a night; cottages start at $3,000 a night; and the chalet starts at $3600 a night. Kids under 16 are not welcome (except during two set weeks a year), but dogs are welcome in certain accommodations.
The exceptional cuisine is backed by a 15,000-bottle wine cellar. On-site activities include hiking, biking, tennis, pond swimming, fly fishing and canoeing during the warmer months. Golf is available nearby. In winter, guests enjoy private downhill ski slopes, trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well as ice skating and sledding with all equipment provided. The property also offers a fitness center, Japanese-style soaking tub (Furo) and The Bridge House spa. Love a picnic? Twin Farms will fill a
basket with goodies of your choice.

At Twin Falls, your stay can be adventurous, social, serene or private. It’s your wish. Let them attend to every detail and you will feel like it was money well spent.


There’s something about a beautiful old mainstay that’s hard to beat. Sometimes we don’t have to think past the classics. Billed today as a “fantasy fit for a movie,” the iconic “pink palace” – The Beverly Hills Hotel – is a 20th century tale of glamour, riches and romance.

Built in 1912, before there was ever a Beverly Hills (it was incorporated in 1914), the Mission Revival-style resort was built on 12 magnificent acres in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. By the 1920s, Beverly Hills was the home of many of the biggest celebrities of the day – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Will Rogers, to name a few. In the 1940s, the restaurant was renamed the Polo Lounge in honor of celebrity polo players who toasted victories after their matches.
By the 1950s, the hotels’ popularity with royalty and celebrities soared. Guests included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, King Albert of Belgium, the Crown Prince of Monaco, John Wayne and Henry Fonda. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the Rat Pack could be found drinking the night away in the Polo Lounge, Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand checked into bungalows 20 and 21 while filming Let’s Make Love. Many celebrities continued to stay there for many more decades.
What makes this historic resort a perfect choice is its close proximity to the epicenter of luxurious fashion, Rodeo Drive, one of the top shopping experiences in the world. From Aduemars Piguet to Armani, Bulgari to Burberry, Celine to Cartier, Dior to David Webb, Louis Vuitton to LaPerla, Patek Philippe to Prada, Ralph to Rolex, Valentino to Van Cleef & Arpels, and tons in between, extravagant and expensive are the optimum words.

In addition to the Polo Lounge restaurant and the Fountain Coffee Room at the hotel, other legendary Beverly Hills restaurants include Spagos, La Scala, Lawry’s The Prime Rib and The Grill on the Alley. Today’s pricey and hip hot spots include Matsuhisa Restaurant, Sushi Sasubune, Avec Nous, and Nobu.
Cost to book the Presidential Bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel? Over $15,000 per night. Cost of shopping on Rodeo Drive? Tens of thousand depending on your taste. Cost of dining? Depends on the bottle of wine you select, but it will definitely be one of your most expensive culinary experiences.
From luxury digs, to label shopping, to decadent dining, a trip to The Beverly Hills Hotel will definitely fill your senses, your closet and your tummy in a very satisfying way.

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