The Best U.S. Hotels and Resorts for Social Distancing
The ideal way to vacation and social distance at the same time this summer? Book a hotel that offers private accommodations such as bungalows, villas, and other free-standing lodging. You'll get all the perks of a resort stay, without having to share common spaces, for a win/win summer vacation.
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Privacy is the ultimate luxury
In a recent survey by Travelocity, 90 percent of family respondents said that refundable accommodations were a top priority when traveling this summer, which means choosing a hotel over a vacation rental in most instances. However, according to a Destinations Analysts report, more than 60 percent of American travelers report being nervous visiting destinations that might be crowded. So how do you get the traditional perks of a hotel without the crowds of people you usually find in their common areas at check-in, hallways, and elevators? The answer is to find properties with private villas, bungalows, casitas, and cabins. These free-standing accommodations at resorts and hotels around the country allow you to enjoy all the perks of a vacation destination (including easy cancellation and rescheduling policies) while staying removed from crowded public spaces and germy hallways and elevators. You might even say that privacy is the ultimate luxury hotel perk this summer. Before you hit the road, familiarize yourself with these travel rules the CDC wants you to follow.
Note that many regions of the country currently have two-week quarantine restrictions for out-of-state visitors, so check before you book, or choose a staycation in your own state.
Cedar Lakes Estate, Port Jervis, New York
A 500-acre private estate in Port Jervis, just 90 minutes from NYC, Cedar Lakes Estate was actually a summer camp when it first opened in 1929 and was later an elite training camp for Olympic athletes in the 1980s. Fast forward to this decade when sisters Lisa and Stephanie Karvellas, who spent their childhood summers there, transformed the camp into a chic spot that hosts upscale corporate retreats and high-end weddings. They’re pivoting once again this summer into a private hideaway with 18 luxury cottages for all-inclusive week-long stays that immerse you in nature, yet provide the perfect amount of privacy. Another alternative is to book one of these cute cabin rentals for a secluded summer getaway.
Bolero Casitas at Europa Village, Temecula, California
Tucked into California’s under-the-radar Temecula Valley Wine Country is Europa Village, a multi-winery resort, where you’ll find Bolero, a Spanish winery with 10 private casitas (small Spanish villas). These luxurious casitas have secluded courtyards with cozy furnishings and charming accents, vaulted ceilings, plush furnishings, and in-room tablets to book resort amenities, including wine tastings, for no-touch service perfect for social distancing. Since you’ll probably be sipping some vino while you’re here, find out why expensive wine tastes better than cheap ones.
Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Nestled on Isle of Palms in South Carolina and occupying 1,600 acres of oceanfront paradise, Wild Dunes Resort is a quiet beach getaway perfect for couples, families, and friends wanting a social distance-friendly vacation. Guests can choose from 240+ unique, private vacation home and condo rentals. With keyless check-in options, a contact-free dinner delivery service, and contact-free activities such as bike and beach chair rentals, it’s a truly secluded, safe, and worry-free retreat. If you’re traveling in the next six months, you’ll want to invest in these 11 things.
Cheeca Lodge, Islamorada, Florida
Cheeca Lodge & Spa, the luxury resort located in the middle of the tropical and remote Florida Keys, offers private villas in its new The Casitas at Cheeca Lodge. The Casitas have either one- or two-bedroom accommodations, with plenty of elbow room in 750 to 2,100 square feet. Special features include large furnished porches, fully-equipped kitchens, bathrooms with rain showers and large soaking tubs, and washers and dryers, so you can truly be self-sufficient. Or, if you don’t want to do it all yourself—this is vacation after all—they also come with personalized butler service. And, exclusive to Casita guests only, the remote resort area features a private beach, pool, and tennis courts, which makes it easy to enjoy the sun, without any crowds. Thinking about renting a home? Start with these 50 best beach house rentals in the United States.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, Arizona
With the picturesque Camelback Mountain as its backdrop, this luxury urban resort offers easy access to Sonoran Desert hiking and golfing. And its eclectic, mid-century inspired 185 spacious bungalows that make it equally easy to social distance while you enjoy the perks of a resort stay such as a large pool where you can also reserve private cabanas. Enhance your socially distanced stay at “The Retreat,” a resort-within-a-resort with 20 bungalows all with private outdoor area and use of an exclusive pool area. For vacation ideas beyond a spacious resort, consider these 10 ways to still get away this summer.
Edgewater Resort, Door County, Wisconsin
Located in the scenic Door County town of Ephraim, the historic Edgewater Resort overlooks the picturesque Eagle Harbor and serves as a true Midwest escape. In addition to a number of spacious, waterfront suites, the property offers several cozy white cottages for guests seeking private lodgings. Cottages range from studio size to one- or two-bedroom accommodations, all of which are pet-friendly. Cottages allow guests ample seclusion, but are still located just steps from the shoreline and are within walking distance to Door County’s many charming restaurants, public art galleries, local shops, and historic buildings. Nearby are walking/biking trails at Sister Bay Beach and Peninsula State Park, or visit the iconic Cana Island Lighthouse.
Lake Placid Lodge, New York State
Although best known as a snow-season destination as the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics, this historic Adirondacks resort also has numerous summer activities filled with fresh mountain air, but without the crowds that come in ski season. There are numerous trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding; golf; rock climbing; and ample opportunities to enjoy the lake with boating, fishing, and swimming. The 30 cabins are set in secluded areas of the North Woods, so it is never crowded and there’s plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors at a distance from other guests. Even the dining options offer multiple outdoor porches where tables are able to be spaced far apart. Flying to your destination? Find out what air travel looks like after coronavirus.
Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is set just steps from the slopes of the Grand Tetons in the resort area of Teton Village, one of the most stunning mountain towns in America. Take advantage of all the wide-open outdoor space whether you take a private tour of Yellowstone, enjoy some of the best mountain biking, go fly-fishing in the Snake River, or even whip through the country on an ATV tour. Luxe personal accommodations here are called “private retreats” and are big enough to fit the whole family with 2-, 3-, and 5-bedroom layouts. And there’s a host of luxe amenities that will make you happy you came on vacation, like a heated pool, so you can swim even on chilly mountain nights, a resident astronomer for gazing at the clear night sky, and even a private rock climbing course with via Ferrata.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
Bringing the best of New England to life, Twin Farms is the ultimate all-inclusive, adults-only vacation destination in New England. The luxury Relais & Châteaux property is sprawled over 300+ acres of a private estate, with only 20 uniquely-themed accommodations including stand-alone cottages and a four-bedroom farmhouse. Summer is one of the best times to visit (before the peak fall foliage crowds roll in), with extensive outdoor activities to enjoy like canoeing, croquet, hiking, trail riding, picnicking, and even a bee tour of the resident apiary, a perfect social distancing activity.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a private getaway this summer in the rolling green mountains of North Carolina, you will be delighted to discover the guest residences at Old Edwards Inn, a collection of bookable private homes, cabins, and cottages including all of the resort’s signature luxury amenities—such as the pool, golf course, and spa—along with access to a private concierge. Each residence stay comes with complimentary arrival amenities (think: s’mores set up, champagne and cheese plate or a basket of fresh bounty from the resort’s farms) as well as the option of building in additional experiences such as private musical performances, guided hikes and adventures, and spa treatments and more. Avoid these travel mistakes to have the best vacation ever.
Inn at Death Valley, California
At the Inn at Death Valley, the 22 new casitas surrounded by a palm tree grove come as a result of a recent multi-million dollar renovation and provide perfect proximity to the nearby national park. Despite its ominous-sounding name, Death Valley National Park is a surprisingly romantic destination, and the rugged, epic splendor of the 3.4-million-acre national park offers plenty to explore. If the summer sun is too hot in the desert, come back to the resort to enjoy the bougainvillea-laden date palm gardens with their natural spring, the perpetually 85-degree spring-fed pool, and the Spanish-style Mission Gardens. The towering palm trees are reminders that The Oasis at Death Valley is, in fact, a genuine oasis. And Death Valley’s clear, typically cloudless skies and its distance from sources of light pollution (and people) have earned its designation as the country’s largest International Dark Sky National Park. Find out 10 things you won’t see in hotels anymore.
Hidden Pond, Kennebunk, Maine
Tucked into the shady woods of Kennebunk, Maine, this 60-acre luxury resort is reminiscent of summer camp with private cabins located down wooded paths, bikes to use for the duration of your stay, a tree-house spa, and a barn house restaurant, Earth. For this summer, the secluded property has shifted to a weekly rental model; prior to your arrival, a member of the resort team will reach out to you with a “Guest Request Form”—you can request everything from groceries to extra towels, and they’ll have it all waiting for you when you check in to minimize contact with the staff. You’ll still be able to enjoy all the serene outdoor spaces and even visit secluded Goose Rocks Beach nearby, where the hotel arranges special access for guests.
Massanutten Resort, Virginia
Sprawling across 6,000 acres, Massanutten Resort resembles a self-contained village offering family mountain fun at its best, with plenty of room to spread out since the majority of its accommodation options are modeled after private homes or townhouse-style condos. With panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, each option features convenient access to outdoor restaurants, outdoor pools, a Family Adventure Park. There’s even an on-site grocery store so you don’t have to venture to the outside world. Find out 13 everyday habits that could (and should) change post-coronavirus.
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Perched atop the mesa in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club feels like it’s set on the top of the world, with expansive vistas of the snow-capped Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains and awe-inspiring views of its eponymous natural landmark. New private spa casitas offer a full kitchen, dining room, spacious living area with fireplace, and a private patio and outdoor fireplace featuring glimpses of Garden of the Gods. Activities include golfing at its 27-hole championship course, tennis, three outdoor swimming pools, a kids club, and an array of wellness and spa programs. Now more than ever, it’s important to know the red flags you’re about to stay at a bad hotel.