Whether you want a getaway to the mountains or the beach, or you want to golf, hike, bike, climb, raft, spa or just enjoy some summer fun, we go from Switzerland and France to the Caribbean, Hawaii and West Virginia with five great resorts that are hard to get to unless you have access to a private jet.
1. Canouan, The Grenadines
They say the third time is the charm, but in the case of gorgeous Canouan Island in the Grenadines, we’re hoping it will be more like a cat’s nine lives. Rosewood, Raffles and the owner of Sandy Lane in Barbados have all given it a shot, and next up is Mandarin Oriental, which will hope to attract its loyal fans. Currently operating as The Pink Sands Club, you will find an 18-hole championship golf course, five restaurants, overwater spa bungalows and an assortment of villas and suites. It’s a bit like being on your own private island, and the fact that it has a history of spotty commercial flights has been the main downfall for this gateway to your own “Pirates of the Caribbean” adventure. Luckily the airport, 10 minutes from the resort, has a runway long enough to handle nonstop private jet flights from as far away as Europe.
Top accommodations include the 3,703 sq. ft. Italian-designed Three Bedroom Patio Villa with Studio (above) fashioned from natural stone, wood and glass, with an internal courtyard and private pool deck, infinity and Jacuzzi. The Studio can be used for security or a nanny if you wish. If you are going as a couple try the centrally located 1,615 sq. ft. One Bedroom Ocean View Penthouse features views of the beach, lagoon and bay from a full-length balcony, with a private dining room, kitchenette, living room and guest bathroom. To check out more villas and suites click here.
2. Deauville, France
France’s version of the Hamptons is a good base to explore the beaches of Normandy and the region’s rich and moving World War II history. Its Anglo-Norman architecture will make you feel like you are walking through a village of gingerbread houses and you will dine on fresh seafood in the plentiful sidewalk bistros. Flying into Deauville Normandie Saint-Gatien Airport Airport will save you a two-and-a-half hours train ride and the bumper-to-bumper peak season traffic as Parisian’s head north to escape the capital’s heat.
Five miles from the airport, Hotel Barriere Le Normandy Deauville is built in tune with the charming local aesthetic and is steps from the white sand beaches and ocean front tennis courts. In addition to an extensive spa, there’s a casino and golf at its nearby sister hotel. The one-bedroom 1,100 sq. ft. Presidential Suite includes a 430 sq. ft. terrace. There are more suites here.
3. Gstaad, Switzerland
Famed as one of Europe’s most elite ski destinations, during the summer it’s an outdoor playground from hiking, climbing, rafting and biking to horseback riding and even paraflying if you’re really adventurous. Getting to Gstaad from either Geneva or Zurich means at least two to three trains or several hours by car, or even longer when narrow mountain roads get backed up. Gstaad Saanen Airport can handle private jets as large as the Gulfstream G650 or Bombardier Global Express and is just three miles from The Alpina Gstaad.
The Alpina Gstaad offers both a Six Senses Spa and two Michelin starred restaurants – Megu and Sommet, plus a fondue restaurant. Named by The Telegraph as one of the 50 most beautiful suites in the world, the Panorama Suite is a 4,305 sq. ft. duplex apartment with three bedrooms over two floors, and offers superb views both to the north and the south. The rooms center around a huge main living room adorned with a grand fireplace and floor-to-ceiling chimney piece. In the style of an elegant residence in the Alps, the lounge opens out onto a large, private terrace. On the other side, hidden from view, is a kitchen that allows guests to prepare their own meals in the suite.
The large master bedroom has its own balcony, fireplace for those cool mountain nights, walk-in dressing room, and bathroom – equipped with a large, free-standing bath, oversized shower heads, and a television screen built into the mirror. A grand staircase leads up to the top floor of the suite, where the skylights frame the mountain peaks. Here you will find their own private spa, jacuzzi, fitness and massage area, another fireplace, and a bedroom with classic timber latticework and its own veranda. You can find more suites here.
4. Lanai, Hawaii
A former pineapple plantation, its principal owner is now billionaire Larry Ellison who hired Four Seasons to manage its beach resort. Once you get there you’ll be like a local, and with dozens of private beaches, its own shipwreck, trails for four-wheeling and horseback riding, sporting clays and two championship golf courses plus an extensive spa, many guests say it reminds them of old Hawai’i. With no nonstop flights from the U.S. mainland, chartering a private jet means you will add two days to your vacation that would otherwise be spent connecting in Honolulu.
The resort has numerous signature and large suites, including two presidential suites and its top suite, the two-bedroom 3,984 sq. ft. Alii Royal Suite (above) located on the second floor with prime ocean views. You can add a bedroom by connecting it to a one-bedroom suite. On its own there is a formal living room with adjoining powder room, a media room and a separate dining room seating six. The bathroom includes a double Japanese soaking tub, a double walk-in steam shower with seating. The large private lanai is fitted with a dining table, lounge chairs and an oversized daybed, perfect for relaxation. A walk-in closet, library area, drop-down television, and binocular tripods for observing the bay are some of the extras.
5. White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia is located on 11,000 acres with over 700 guest rooms and suites. Its underground bunker was designed to house the U.S. Congress during the Cold War in case of a nuclear war. When if first opened in the early 1900s the location was at the crossroad of multiple railroad lines, which were the lifeblood of the economy. Now it’s rail service is down to several Amtrak trains per week and the drive from Washington D.C. can take over four hours. Luckily, Greenbrier Valley Airport is 12 minutes from the resort. There’s championship golf (host of the Greenbrier Classic July 2-8, 2018), an extensive spa, lots of outdoor activities from hiking, zip lining and biking to rafting and climbing. There are eight different restaurants on property that serve dinner. There’s even a casino.
In terms of accommodations, there are a number of suites, but for a unique experiences stay in one of the Greenbrier Estate Homes which range from three to six bedrooms. Each of the homes were at one time a private residence, and each of them vary not only in size but in both exterior and interior design. The three-bedroom Colonnade Estate Home (above) oozes southern charm. You might think you are on set for a remake of “Gone with the Wind.”
If you prefer a more traditional suite, The Windsor Club is the resort’s version of an executive floor and its Presidential Suite (above) offers seven bedroom spanning two floors and is entered through a private foyer. It features its own library, den with half bath, large living room with grand piano, reception foyer, private patio and a large dining room. President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the North American Summit Conference there in 1956 and the the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Prince Ranier and Princess Grace of Monaco are among the notables who have slept in it. To see more suites and cottages click here.