John G. Knecht
Laurie Brookins
Aug 2020

From intimate hideaways in the center of town to splendid retreats on dazzling seas, these properties embody a sense of leisure apart from the madding crowd.

For the complete list of Platinum List Award winners, click here.

Image courtesy of Boon Hotel + Spa

Boon Hotel + Spa
Guerneville, California
Situated in Northern California’s delightful Russian River area, Boon was acquired by chef-hotelier Crista Luedtke in 2007. Luedtke breathed new life into the hotel (and Guerneville itself), repurposing, streamlining, bumping up the chic factor and adding two restaurants, a bar and spa. Cuisine is organic, local, utterly fresh and inventive.

Image courtesy of Brody House

Brody House
Budapest, Hungary
Built in 1896 as a grand medical practice and residence, this neoclassical structure weathered World War II and the Hungarian Uprising, fell into disrepair for a half-century, then became a hub of modern creativity. Each of its 10 old-world rooms honors an artist, and the hotel remains a center for aesthetes. Try out the splendid bar.

Image courtesy of Casa Maria Luigia

Casa Maria Luigia 
Modena, Italy
Chef Massimo Bottura, owner of the three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana, recently opened this country house in rural Emilia-Romagna with partner Lara Gilmore, filling it with contemporary works of art. Nine-course tasting menus are served at the superlative Francescana at Maria Luigia.

Image courtesy of The Horse Shoe Farm

The Horse Shoe Farm
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Comprising 85 acres of farmland bordering the French Broad River, The Horse Shoe Farm is a Blue Ridge Mountain oasis. Dotted with gracious lodgings accommodating between four and 44 guests, the property boasts an on-site spa as well as other structures catering to wellness. The appealingly appointed Silo Cookhouse is a focal point for dining and gathering.

Image courtesy of Hotel 850 SVB

Hotel 850 SVB,
West Hollywood, California
Named after its address, 850 N. San Vicente Boulevard, this gem features a 1918 facade leading to a bastion of luxe coziness. Inspired by intimate overseas hotels visited by owner Jeff Klein, the property features luxe rooms designed by Rita Konig and social spaces including a lobby lounge, the Living Room for breakfast or a self-mixed cocktail, and a roof deck with outdoor fireplace, upholstered seating and city views.

Image courtesy of Hotel La Morada

Hotel La Morada
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Occupying a charming two-story colonial building steps from the town’s main square, La Morada has an inner courtyard with characteristic arches and columns. Three categories of light-filled rooms are tastefully decorated with crisp white linens, whitewashed beams overhead and accents of pale gray or gleaming wood.

Image courtesy of Perivolas Lifestyle Houses

Perivolas Lifestyle Houses
Santorini, Greece
The cliff face holding Perivolas’ 20 suites was, when purchased in 1969, dotted with 300-year-old caves previously occupied by fishermen and farmers. Featuring terracing using native stone, the property offers stunning views of the Aegean. Dine at the guests-only Mediterranean restaurant and take advantage of fitness, yoga and spa.

Image courtesy of Shishi-Iwa House

Shishi-Iwa House
Karuizawa, Japan
Ten guest rooms, each with a balcony or garden, include a kitchen, art-filled living room and access to the communal Grand Room. The curvilinear building was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, and each window frames images of the surrounding forest. “Pop-up” chefs can be arranged, and there is a private bar on-site.

Image courtesy of Wentworth Mansion

Wentworth Mansion 
Charleston, South Carolina
Built in 1886, the Wentworth showcases grand Second Empire style throughout its 21 rooms and common areas. Expect fireplaces, Tiffany glass, ornate wood and antiques. Dine on dayboat fish with celeriac, basil espuma and Meyer-lemon sauce, and relax in the rustic yet sumptuous spa.

Image courtesy of The Whitby Hotel

The Whitby Hotel
New York City, New York
Three blocks from Central Park, The Whitby was created by superstar British tastemaker Kit Kemp, known for her playful, color-splashed contemporary design. Amenities include a state-of-the-art gym, bar, seasonal restaurant, 130-seat cinema, private outdoor terrace and the much loved Orangery for business lunches and champagne receptions.

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