Everyone likes to feel special. The finest boutique hotels are the ones that go out of their way to ensure that each guest gets a slice of individualized bliss. From a palazzo in the Berkshires to a rooftop in New York City and a scenic retreat on Florida’s Gulf Coast, these places make it a point to pamper. And they have the seasonal packages and personalized amenities to prove it.
This 19-room, palazzo-inspired palace, originally purchased by New York business and real estate tycoon Henry Cook in 1893, is set on a 22-acre park. Gorgeous carvings, inside and out, are the work of more than 150 artisans who came from Italy to work on the Berkshires’ Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property. Though the architecture is classical, the amenities are thoroughly modern: Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, complimentary Wi-Fi and standard Bose Bluetooth speakers. The Idyllic Berkshires Getaway package at Wheatleigh is the perfect antidote to a snowy winter trapped in the city. A two-night stay (through May 20) includes a half-bottle of Billecart-Salmon champagne, a $100 restaurant credit (we suggest spending it at the Five-Star Dining Room), an upgrade at time of booking (if available) and s’mores and cigars at the outdoor fire pit.
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Exclusive St. Barts offers the ultimate retreat for jet setters. This couldn’t be any clearer at Five-Star Cheval Blanc. Owned by French luxury brand LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessey), Cheval Blanc sits on Flamands Bay and boasts one of the prettiest white-sand beaches on the island. On top of the vistas, the 40-room resort provides accommodations for any taste: beachfront, garden-set and hillside rooms, suites and bungalows. The four 1,500-square-foot Beach Suites, with private infinity pools overlooking the bay, are our pick. Let one of the resort’s experienced “alchemists” help plan your day (picnic on the beach or sunset cruise, perhaps?), or head to the spa on your own and have a beauty coach set you up with a personalized treatment.
Keswick Hall and Golf Club
Four-Star Fossett’s Restaurant offers exceptional dining while Keswick Hall’s 600 beautiful acres and the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows serve as the jaw-dropping eye garnish. The Five-Star resort’s Gourmet package is the ideal way to sample what the 48-room estate has to offer. The decadent deal consists of accommodations, breakfast for two, a $130 credit toward the aforementioned dinner and more. Fossett’s, which is known for its seasonal, local cuisine, has Chesapeake oysters on the half shell and Eastern Shore crab cakes that are not to be missed. When you’ve placed your fork down, walk off the excess calories on the fairways of the resort’s new Pete Dye-designed Full Cry golf course.
The Pearl Hotel
The 55-room Pearl Hotel, the first property to open at the relatively new beachfront town of Rosemary Beach (founded in 1995) at the end of Scenic Highway 30-A on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is poised to become a classic. The boutique darling celebrates its newly acquired Forbes Travel Guide status with a Four-Star Experience Package. When you book a four-night stay, you’ll receive a $444 hotel credit that you can use for dinner at Havana Beach Bar & Grill, a treatment at Spa Pearl, room service to be enjoyed on your balcony overlooking the gulf or however else you’d like. Other package perks include complimentary beach setups, free valet parking and freshly baked treats at turndown. The deal is available through December 25 (use the promo code “Forbes”).
Archer Hotel New York
The novel premise at this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property, which opened in May 2014, is that Archer, a mysterious Gatsby-like presence you never see, is the benevolent master of the 180-room, über-stylish Garment Distinct hotel. Acknowledging that New York City is one of the most romantic places in the world, Archer’s Say “Yes” package helps those popping the question to prepare. Our secretive host has seemingly thought of everything for the love kit: a personal proposal concierge to assist with everything from planning details to giving a last-minute pep talk; romantic accommodations; a reserved table at the hotel’s Spyglass, a rooftop bar with tremendous peeks of the Empire State Building (tip: book an Empire View suite for great vantage points, too); amateur photo and video of the event (upon request); an in-room treat from executive pastry chef Zac Young (an alum from Bravo’s first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts). Plus, you get the promise of an Archer friends and family rate when you return the following year on your proposal anniversary.
Hotel Valencia Santana Row
This San Jose boutique beauty offers a compelling alternative to Napa Valley with its Wine Weekend Getaway package. After all, the Santa Cruz Mountains vino region does have plenty of impressive wineries. The two-night package (Friday and Saturday only) comes with a room, a bottle of local wine and an artisan cheese plate upon arrival, a prepared picnic lunch basket for a day of wine tasting and exclusive discounts at select wineries. The 215-room hotel charms with its location in the center of trendy Santana Row and a fresh new look — the lobby has been expanded and rooms now boast custom-designed beds with oak-plank headboards and Italian white marble bathrooms.