Renting a yacht for a week’s vacation always sounds good in theory — it’s just you, your traveling companions and the open sea. If there’s a crew, even better — you can just sit back and relax, worrying only about when your next cocktail will arrive. But for many of us landlubbers, a whole week at sea sounds, well, nauseating. We’d prefer our accommodations remain on nice, dry land with the opportunity for the perfect three-hour tour right at our fingertips. If you fall in a similar category, read on for a list of our favorite hotels that have in-house fleets, yachts and pleasure-cruising vessels, available for your enjoyment.
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort
Experience a dose of Southern “Grace” aboard this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort’s signature 60-foot antique yacht named to honor Palmetto Bluff’s original owner’s sister, famed society hostess Grace Vanderbilt. The 1913 vessel, one of the only still-mobile examples of pre-World War I motor yachts, can be chartered by the day or enjoyed on special cruises around Hilton Head throughout the year, including sunset shows throughout the spring, sommelier-led “sip and sails” and mimosa brunches.
Castle Hill Inn
What better way to see one of America’s quintessential sailing towns than from the beautiful deck of a private Hinckley yacht? That’s just what this Newport, Rhode Island Four-Star retreat offers. Depart from the same beach Grace Kelly once sunbathed on and enjoy a picnic in Mackerel Cove, explore Block Island or glide by the famed Gilded Age mansions and New York Yacht Club. The boat can be chartered at a guest’s request with custom itineraries as desired. Don’t have a full day or afternoon to spare? The hotel also has a Mistress, the private water taxi that departs daily from the hotel to downtown during the summer months.
After a long day on the links, it’s time to kick back with a cocktail and unwind. And there’s no better way to let loose than on this Sea Island Five-Star resort’s own boat, The Cloister Belle. Docked on the Blacks Bank River outside the hotel, you can partake in nightly sunset cruises, perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks – fancy a floating 19th hole, anyone?
Chatham Bars Inn Resort & Spa
One of Cape Cod’s most celebrated resorts, the Four-Star Chatham Bars Inn not only has a 100-year-long history, but it also offers some seriously luxe perks for water-loving guests. In addition to a 55-foot Hinckley yacht, a 34-foot Regulator, a 29-foot Custom Launch, two sailboats and a Parker center console, the hotel recently added two prizes to the fleet — a 40-foot sailboat and a 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout. Ideal for cruising from the Cape to places like Nantucket, these boats are also great for private cocktail cruises, lobstering lessons and sport fishing adventures.
Steamboat Bay Fishing Club
Have an angler in the family? He (or she) will be suitably impressed when you pull out the stops for this once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan adventure, complete with Steamboat Bay Fishing Club’s new all-inclusive resort and its fleet of custom-built, 27-foot aluminum Almar cabin cruisers. Fish, crab and shrimp in style, thanks to on-board refrigerators, charging stations, designer duds that were fitted pre-arrival for each guest, and expert guides who find you the best fishing spots, bait a newbie’s hook or just about anything else necessary to make the trip timeless for your party.