THE LAKE HOUSE ON CANANDAIGUA FINGER LAKES, NEW YORK
Finger Lakes is a group of 11 lakes in upstate New York. Native American legend says the Great Spirit looked down on the region and gave his blessing by placing his fingers down – he’s a god, he can have 11 fingers. And now this is home to The Lake House on Canandaigua, which opened mid-August; the Spa will be opening in late fall. The drive to get there is of course the quintessential, ‘New England in the fall’ road trip, however, you can arrive by seaplane and land on the lake. With 125 designed guest rooms, an outdoor pool — you’ll want that in the summer — a timber framed events barn, the spa and wellness center, it’s a total package. The Rose Tavern has wines from the Finger Lakes — that may not heavily be in the plus column, to be honest — and locally grown and sourced ingredients, and there’s cooking classes if the mood takes you. You can wander in the gardens and, of course, by the lake.
AREA15 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
AREA15 — do you think it is a play on AREA 51? Both are in Nevada…but AREA15 is the world’s first, purpose-built experiential art and entertainment complex. Just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, AREA15 is a cornucopia of art installation, immersive activations, shops, bars, restaurants and event spaces (socially distanced, duh!). Experiences open now include Art Island, with festival-inspired artwork, whatever that means, Birdly Virtual Reality Experience — you can fly through the skies of New York or Singapore — and a visit to prehistoric worlds, like no-one ever saw or read Jurassic Park! Or you can play a futuristic racing flying game.
If you want to go, pre-registration and masks are required, but entry is free.
ULTRALUXE JET-TO-VILLA RETREAT SAN JOSE DEL CABO, BAJA CALIFORNIA
Here is something a bit special: Private Jetaway, a luxury travel company, and Ritz-Carlton’s Reserve brand, Ritz-Carlton-Zadún, (why exactly do they need a “reserve brand” — isn’t that a bit like “but mine goes to 11!”?) have joined to present the ultimate in luxury jet-to-villa vacations to San José del Cabo. Total door to door and all the ‘new-norm’ services in between. Pick up from your home in the US to the airport, whisk you off in a private jet to Cabo San Lucas, to a private terminal for all the boring airport stuff, on arrival and when you leave. Once there your home is one of three villas with 24-hour service to cater to your every need and whim, which is when you know this going to cost you an arm and a leg, because, seriously, what do you need at 4 a.m., legally, that you can’t get for yourself?
And there’s a host of pastimes to keep you occupied. privatejetaway.com
SAN LUCAS ISLAND NATIONAL PARK GULF OF NICOYA, COSTA RICA
San Lucas Island was once the home of a notoriously brutal prison, which made Alcatraz seem like Club Med in comparison! The prison was shut down in 1991 and now San Lucas Island is home to Costa Rica’s 30th National Park – located on the Pacific Coast on the Gulf of Nicoya. The island has always been a wildlife refuge, and as such is home to spiders, snakes, pheasant, deer and howler monkeys. Now visitors can explore the old prison buildings, hike new trails which weave over the 1.8 square miles of land and coastal areas. Rich in history and classed a cultural heritage site, there are guides available to assist in your discovery and understanding of the history of the island. Howler monkeys, hiking, an old prison, beautiful landscapes and history, what are you waiting for?
VIRGIN HOTELS NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
On historic Music Row is the Virgin Hotel Nashville – with 262 chambers (which is what Virgin Hotels call their guest rooms — pretentious, right?) which can be separated with a sliding barn door, originally designed for guests’ privacy but now with social distancing means guests don’t come into contact with room service or maids dropping off towels. “Lucy”, Virgin’s “virtual assistant”, can adjust your room temperature and order room service, and is now touchless. Ha! Remember when you had to adjust the room temperature yourself? By going over to the control panel and using your fingers?
There’s a Pool Club with an indoor/outdoor bar on the 14th floor. The DJ Funny Library Coffee Shop is a good place for breakfast, albeit with a conflicted and very unnecessarily complicated name.