It’s never too early to start thinking about a winter (or spring) escape. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s nice to have a plan in place to deplug and recharge someplace that’s an easy drive away.
Bonus points if your destination includes good food.
Whether you want to cozy up by a fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate at an Airbnb in the Catskills or visit a hotel in the heart of Philadelphia featuring a bar specializing in bourbon flights or check out an historic 19th century estate tucked away on a hill in Kingston, the following spots will help you either forget about winter’s chill or inspire you to embrace it. All of these destinations, by the way, work just as well for spring, summer and fall.
Scarsdale resident Dena Setzer knows branding. She also knows what people want on their holiday. Which is why she’s thought of everything when it comes to renting out her four-bedroom/three-bathroom Hunter Airbnb. That means a Joola outdoor ping pong table, a fire pit, an extra large hot-barrel sauna, a roomy Nordic hot tub, and an expansive 900-square-foot deck complete with an outdoor Weber propane grill, vintage Brown Jordan furniture and a view of the mountain. There’s also lots of firewood, both for indoors and out (including sticks for S’mores), and two Serena & Lily birdcage chairs for hanging with a book and a cup of coffee (or wine).
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Inside the home, guests will find an eclectic decor with a wood-burning fireplace, 16-foot slider windows that lead to the deck and a “killer cat” theme. One recommendation: Stopping at Smoke House of the Catskills and picking up food for cooking. Or Setzer can help arrange having a private chef or mixologist come to the house.
The former copywriter — Setzer worked for Chanel USA, L’Oréal and Estée Lauder — has been vacationing in the Northern Catskills for 12 years and used to stay at nearby Scribner’s. But during Covid, she and her husband decided to purchase a home, renovate and list it on Airbnb. Within three months of renting it out, they reached “Superhost” status. And there’s more in the works. The couple plan to launch two more properties later this year. Stay tuned for updates on Setzer’s Instagram @killercatmountainhouse or through Airbnb at airbnb.com.
Location, location, location defines this hotel, across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and within easy walking distance of the Reading Terminal Market, Independence Hall, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s also near plenty of shopping including the ever-popular discount European chain, Primark, as well as the stores of Center City. Aside from its central spot, the hotel has its own back story and unique architecture. What once was the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, it still sports its old vault, soaring ceilings and regal vibe. Aside from easy access (and a garage for parking your car unless you take the train), the 581-room hotel is known for its restaurant, Bank & Bourbon, which serves traditional American fare with a modern twist, along with those aforementioned bourbon flights. Should you need more pampering, there’s also an on-site Joseph Anthony Retreat Salon & Spa with a robust menu of massages and facials including the super relaxing Turkish Bath experience offered in a special tiled, heated room complete with a Swarovski crystal ceiling. 1200 Market St.; 215-627-1200 or 877-878-3629; loewshotels.com/philadelphia-hotel
Step back in time with this 1873-era home, built for the prominent brick manufacturer John H. Cordts, who used to oversee his business from here. Located amidst the Hutton Brickyards property, where there are luxe cabins you can also stay in, the 12 guest-room mansion features a Second Empire-style exterior that remains virtually unchanged, boasting a Gilded Age vibe that can’t help put you in a relaxing mindset. Inside, the place has been updated in a palette of warm whites and French grays, with original 19th-century details mixed with contemporary touches. There’s an inviting oak bar and a restaurant that feels like an old parlor featuring locally sourced dishes such as Highland Farms venison, pork pie and apples with cider molasses, pecans, and raw onions. The historic city of Kingston, which was New York’s first capital in 1777, is a short drive and features plenty of American Revolutionary history. Four “musts” on your list: Rough Draft, a super cozy bookstore that sports a bar serving beer (and coffee); Rosie General Store with gourmet sandwiches, pastries and provisions; Half Moon Rondout Café for the most amazing babka and decadent doughnuts, and Zaborski Emporium where you can scope out antiques. 132 Lindsley Ave., 845-514-4853, huttonbrickyards.com/edgewood
This hotel is not only gorgeous — it’s a 1914 property perched on the city’s famed Recreation Pier, which some may recognize from the NBC police drama “Homicide: Life on the Street” — but it has a great restaurant, giving it reason enough to visit. Located in the historic area of Fells Point (watch out for the cobblestone streets!), its Pier Chop House is focused on seasonal ingredients, purebred beef, sustainable seafood and farm-raised poultry. Also tucked into the lobby: The intimate Cannon Room featuring local favorite Sagamore Rye along with other whiskeys, wines and spirits. Come warm weather, this is the place to be with an outdoor seasonal bar and pool boasting views of the harbor, marina and city skyline. The hotel is also within walking distance (or a water taxi ride) to other attractions such as Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center. 1715 Thames St., 443-552-1400 or 443-552-5539, pendry.com/baltimore
Closer to home
Prefer something closer to home? Check out the variety of deals offered now through Feb. 4 as part of NYC Hotel Week. Guests can expect 24% savings on standard room rates at 150 hotels across New York City, including the Ace Hotel Brooklyn, Conrad New York Midtown, Le Meridien New York Fifth Avenue, Luma Hotel Times Square, Margaritaville Resort Times Square, Moxy Williamsburg, New York Marriott Marquis, Opera House Hotel, Penny Williamsburg, and the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, Booking details at nyctourism.com/hotelweek.