There’s no better way to fully enjoy the flavors of autumn than by visiting an indulgent seasonal retreat. Whether you want to be dazzled by fall foliage and pick pumpkins, or take cooking classes and relax with spa treatments, there’s a bevy of adventures to be had at these five luxury hotels.
Romantic, intimate and just plain special, Hotel St. Germain is seamlessly (and charmingly) tucked into Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood. This Victorian-style boutique hotel is a unique spot worth seeing on its own, but its “Lost World” dinner series make it a must-visit this fall. Through December, the hotel will host themed meals that will allow you to explore various subjects via photos, art exhibits, mixed media, music and food. Hidden Cities, held on the October 25 and 26, will look at lost metropolises ravaged by history while showcasing an updated menu influenced by the ancient cultures. On November 22 and 23, the lure of the Kennedys will be examined in One Thousand Days of Camelot, a gathering with dishes served for weddings and state dinners at the Kennedy White House. And on December 13 and 14, Treasure, Wine and Art — with the help of a multi-course French wine dinner — will delve into the true account of the curators who worked to rescue important artwork from the Nazis. The George Clooney-starred movie based on the extraordinary story, The Monuments Men, opens on December 18.
Lake Tahoe locals will tell you autumn just might be the best time to visit this California resort town, despite it being known for its scenic ski terrain and gobs of summer activities. The area bursts with fiery fall colors, crisp (but pleasant) air and a bevy of things to do and see without the July crowds. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is taking full advantage of the change of season — on October 19, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel will supply a candy apple bar, a pumpkin patch in the woods, hot cider tasting and pumpkin painting. Manzanita, the hotel’s Four-Star restaurant, will host Harvest Beer Dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., which includes a three-course, fall-inspired dinner with pairings of seasonal brews. And, of course, if there’s any lingering guilt from the culinary indulgence, ease it away with The Fall Spa Getaway for Two package, a deal that includes accommodations for two and one of three seasonal treatments (fall organic massage, fall organic facial or fall manicure and pedicure) per day during your stay.
This Five-Star luxury beach hotel celebrates fall in an entirely different way — by spicing up the romance. Autumn marks couples’ season at Four Seasons Maui, a time when lovebirds have the chance to rekindle connections and have an adventure with more than 20 different duo-specific activities set in tropical surroundings. Through November, foodie couples can hit up cooking demonstrations, learn how to mix up the resort’s signature cocktails (such as the blueberry mojito) and attend one of the many scheduled local beer-tasting events. Adventurists can plunge into all the water activities, from snorkeling and paddle boarding to kayaking and guided canoe trips. We think all partners will enjoy the sublime treatments at the Four-Star spa. Our pick? The oceanside couples massage, performed in an open-air thatched hut.
If you’re looking for some old-fashioned outdoor fall fun for the family, then hightail it to this Southern California spot: Kids and adults can gaze upward for a tutorial on the stars by the Four-Star resort’s archeoastronomer on October 19, go for a hayride on a tractor-pulled wagon on Saturdays through November 9, and pick and paint pumpkins in the property’s patch daily through November 10. The Family Fun Package lets clans experience all of the above, in addition to s’mores roasting at the outdoor fire pit and a 25 percent discount on registration at the children’s activity-filled Camp Oak.
Another Ritz-Carlton hotel is filling fall with sensational seasonal events (and a couple of great deals). All through October and November, the Four-Star hotel will buzz with autumn activities. The cleverly named Great Pumpkin Package is available Saturday nights in October and includes a pumpkin-carving kit, trick-or-treating around the resort and spooky stories at the Pollywog Theatre. Also in October, weekly cooking classes will revolve around pumpkin recipes, while spiced pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie martinis will be available in the lobby. Come November, families can book the Fire and Ice Package, which includes unlimited skating at the resort’s lakeside rink and s’mores at turndown. But the services at the Four-Star spa are what really show off fall’s bold flavor — go for the cider and cinnamon pedicure, or the s’mores body glow for sweet-smelling, smooth skin.
Photos Courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Ojai Valley Inn And Spa