Getaways

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: A case can be made that Grand America, a hyper-elegant hotel that’s like a Ritz-Carlton on steroids, is one of the best ski hotels in the US. The kicker is that the hotel is located in the middle of Salt Lake City, a good 40 minute

  Why It’s A Contender: Thailand is thick with spectacular, high-profile seaside hideaways with equally spectacular prices. Rayavadee, a Thai-owned resort near Phuket, offers luxury, excellent service and food, and one of the most breathtakingly romantic settings on earth. All of this comes at two thirds or even half of

  There are few vacations that are more romantic and evocative of place than a European villa rental. And while there are dozens of agencies that rent European villas and homes, there is only one HomesAway. Yes, this Toronto-based company has charming properties in all of the right locations. But

  WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: The inn was originally a limestone schoolhouse that was built in 1989. It was converted in the 1980’s to a luxurious 15-room inn. There are high, vaulted ceilings, cherry wainscoting, and a grand staircase. The inn certainly fits the definition of "warm" and "intimate," with

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: Once in a blue moon I’ll drive up to a property and instantly know that I’d be happy to settle in for a long while. And that’s what I felt when I came upon Sooke Harbour House, which overlooks an inlet on Vancouver Island and beyond

  What is the leading educational travel company? It has to be Smithsonian Journeys, a company that hires experts as trip leaders, crafts unique itineraries and more or less patented the idea of "behind the scenes travel." To learn more, I caught up with Smithsonian Journeys director Amy Kotkin during

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: This bed & breakfast is located two blocks from Jackson’s town square. The look is Scandinavian, thanks to pine walls and exposed beams. Owners Hans and Nancy Johnstone are both former Olympians (she’s the biathelete and competed in Albertville in 1992; he did Nordic combined at

When my wife Gayle and I contemplated taking our then six-month old daughter Emma to Villars, Switzerland a few winters ago, I wasn’t thinking of Alpine pistes and lazy slope side lunches. I was dreading the thought of the three of us crammed into a standard-size European hotel room. I

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER:  I would willingly strand myself at the Hospiz, a legendary white-walled hostelry with a medieval chapel at its heart ( it contains an enormous statue of St. Christopher and is still used for services) and one of Europe’s most important Bordeaux cellars below.You come for a

On a glorious spring afternoon in late April, the Capitol Limited, a regularly scheduled Amtrak train, pulled slowly out of Washington DC’s Union Station, bound for Chicago. Attached to the end of the train was an anomaly, a shiny blue dome railcar named Bella Vista. Built in 1955, the old