No time to jet off to Europe but need a relaxing getaway? These eight great escapes are so near but will feel so far away.
The Four Seasons—already known for its service—has added a self-care program personalized to a guest’s goals, such as weight loss or stress reduction. Pre-stay chats with a nutritionist, a life coach, and an aromatherapist mean you’re greeted with a custom plan that includes spa services, a made-for-you menu at the property’s restaurants, and a healthy-cooking consultation with the chef. At night, turn-down service delivers a bedtime setup including scrubs, soaps, and herbal tea. 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-342-0444.
Miles from DC: 105
This Southern belle in Richmond is famous for its Gilded Age opulence, including wide marble columns and a cascading staircase rumored to have inspired the famous descent in Gone With the Wind. Since 1895, it has welcomed guests both powerful (US Presidents) and famous (Elvis). The hotel has retained its historic grandeur while acquiescing to 21st-century guests’ demand for modern touches, such as TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors. The hotel anchors the downtown arts-and-dining district, so you can walk to restaurants, shops, and museums including the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. 101 W. Franklin St., Richmond; 804-649-4750.
Miles from DC: 35
Lansdowne may be a favorite corporate retreat, but it has also earned the loyalty of locals. It’s home to three golf courses and a serious golf program whose pros are particularly adept at working with newbies. Recently refreshed rooms have tasteful design elements such as leather headboards. In the revamped spa, some products are derived from grapes culled from surrounding vineyards. 44050 Woodridge Pkwy., Leesburg; 703-729-8400.
Miles from DC: 82
At this sophisticated estate on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, rooms include suites with private balconies overlooking the Miles River. A whitewashed bar with a strong whiskey selection and a pair of sitting rooms linked by a charming secret bookcase passage are popular gathering spots. New tennis courts opening in June and a new golf course lure guests outdoors, as does a sailing program that includes rare yachts. The inn’s restaurant, Stars, has recently brought on a Relais & Châteaux–pedigree chef, whose menu includes Chesapeake Bay crab caught by local watermen. 308 Watkins Ln., St. Michaels; 410-745-2200.
Miles from DC: 125
This resort on a tributary of Virginia’s Rappahannock River is a laid-back place to knock about, where you can borrow a kayak or a paddleboard and explore marshy inlets and get up-close views of nesting ospreys. There’s a small spa and fitness center, but the yoga and meditation classes are stars of the wellness program. Afterward, take a seat by a window overlooking the water at the hotel’s Chesapeake Restaurant and ask for sweet local oysters—fried, raw, or roasted. 480 King Carter Dr., Irvington; 877-665-5977.
Miles from DC: 10
During the workweek, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is mostly about business, but come the weekend it takes on a more romantic ambience. Belvedere Bar, in the 19-story glass atrium overlooking the water, is a good place to grab a cocktail, especially at sunset. Meanwhile, Relâche Spa offers couples massage rooms, a whirlpool, and a steam room—plus the option for a twosome to book the entire spa for the evening. 201 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill; 301-965-4000.
Miles from DC: 42
The Pendry embodies the “play hard” feel of the neighborhood, Fells Point.The hotel’s industrial-chic design revitalized the circa-1914 pier building that juts into the Patapsco River. The gym’s glass walls make working out a spectator sport. The infinity pool, with its cocktail bar and private cabanas, wouldn’t be out of place in Miami Beach. A museum-worthy art collection includes the courtyard’s gigantic bronze horse sculpted by Fernando Botero—a nod to the man behind the hotel, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, who has an affinity for horses. 1715 Thames St., Baltimore; 443-552-1400.
Miles from DC: 42
Set amid the hills of Virginia horse country, Salamander is the region’s premier equestrian resort. Experienced riders can hone their skills, while beginners can opt for gentle trail rides. At the spa, a joint-soothing massage called Rider’s Relief was designed by a former show jumper. Rider or not, reserve a table at Harriman’s Virginia Piedmont Grill to dine on nuanced plates such as carpaccio of pear with ricotta, drizzled with honey from the property’s hives. 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg; 844-303-2723.
Distances are measured from the Washington Monument.
This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of Washingtonian.