Working 9 to 5 looks completely different these days, thanks to remote work. As much as some people embrace it, others are tired of looking at the same four walls. Well, what if those four walls opened to views of white sand beaches and palm trees, layers of snowcapped and forested mountains or so many acres of rolling pastureland you feel you’ve (happily) fallen off the grid?
Shake up the workaday routine by running away to one of these workation destinations. (As long as you get the job done, what does the boss care – or does the boss even need to know?)
STEPS FROM THE OCEAN
The easy-breezy elegance of the private Cottages at Lido House, arranged in country club-style ambiance on the Balboa Peninsula, is a magnet for stressed-out execs whose work/life balance has been upended by the pandemic. Part of Marriott’s peerless Autograph Collection of distinctive independent hotels, the five three-story hideaways, each named after local islands and given a custom-curated designer interior, celebrate that effortless, iconic sensibility for which California’s Newport Beach is famous.
The Balboa Cottage is described as having a “retro-playful aesthetic (that) joins California effervescence with East Coast sensibility.” The Bay Cottage, a Newport-meets-Nantucket haven, reflects a “jet-set perspective infused with contemporary décor.” Each sumptuous yet homey cottage has plenty of room to stretch out and relax and enjoy the good life or plug in and get to work in an inspirational setting with a beachy vibe.
Enjoy dinner at the Mayor’s Table, the onsite restaurant plating seafood delectables inspired by the Pacific Ocean. Sip handcrafted cocktails at Topside, the only rooftop venue in Newport Beach. Amenities include swimming pool, Boost Spa, marina and those beautiful white-sand beaches, beckoning just steps away. www.marriott.com
ROCKWELL SKI SLOPES
The covered bridges and spotted dairy cows add an idyllic and bucolic touch to Stowe, Vermont, the ski capital of the east. Considered the quintessential Norman Rockwell small town with its church steeples, red barns and charming antique shops, it feels like a simpler time and place, one perfect for getting your balance back.
Located in the Green Mountains at the foot of Mount Mansfield – Vermont’s highest peak – Stowe is a winter playground with Nordic and cross-country skiing, dogsledding, fat biking, sleigh rides and snowmobiling. The perfect work-away-from-home for these activities and more is Topnotch Resort.
The clean, minimal design of the guestrooms and suites encourages focus for a business-before-play mindset while Topnotch’s two- and three-bedroom Resort Homes are an ideal solution for large families looking to get away and still spread out. With open floor plans, mountain views, granite kitchens, designer baths, fireplaces and more, accommodations are both roomy and cozy, designed for equal parts entertainment and relaxation as well as work. When the workday ends, there’s the Topnotch Spa for a massage or facial. You’re not going to get this at home. www.topnotchresort.com
HISTORIC KENTUCKY FARM
Tune in to a historic two-bedroom log cabin; peace out on 1,000 acres of rolling Kentucky pastureland on Mt. Folly Farm, an official Kentucky landmark. Located in Winchester, about 20 miles east of Lexington, it is equipped with Internet plus ground floor library, workspace – even an empty filing cabinet. The cabin has all the amenities of an office, without actually being an office.
That’s because it’s an off-the-grid hideaway on a working organic hemp farm, one where guests are free to hike, stroll, bike and go birding and, depending on COVID regulations, help with planting the farm garden and feeding the goats.
The cabin offers views all around, from the front lawn with it large oak trees to the goat holler to the greenhouse and farm gardens to the granary where farm owner Laura Freeman and her crew stone-mill corn and grain. Just yonder is Laura’s Mercantile at the Crooked House, a farm store stocked with Laura’s Hemp Chocolates, Homestead Alternatives Hemp Tincture, heritage grains from Mt. Folly and other regional specialties, available to guests and operated on the honor box method.
Inside are equipped kitchen and modern bathrooms, dining room and family room. Antique furnishings help tell the story of the cabin’s history. www.visitwinchesterky.com
FUTURISTIC LAKESHORE LOFT
Just wow. The Extreme WOW Suite at the W Chicago-Lakeshore is 1,600 square feet of drop-dead fabulous. Tricked out with urban design elements, its expansive windows overlook either cityscape or Lake Michigan from 22 floors up above Chicago’s hustle-bustle Loop neighborhood.
Signature king-size W bed, semi-private dressing salon, custom-built wardrobes, two full baths and in-room soaking tub. Gorgeously equipped kitchen, fully stocked bar and polished gathering space for drinks and so much more – all dressed up in sleek décor with pops of color, curving couches, luxury linens and plump pillows.
The suite is ready for indoor play with retro arcade game and flatscreen TVs and to get down to business with USB outlets and high-speed Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a fitness center and heated indoor pool, the restaurant, CURRENT, serving European cuisine with local flair and multicultural flavors, and a gathering hotspot called the Living Room, known for craft cocktails and DJ music. www.marriott.com
SCENIC BED AND BREAKFAST
Known as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of the South for its more than 40 bed and breakfast and historic inns, Natchez is home to the Clermont Bluffs Bed and Breakfast, a charming enclave for spiriting off to work with an inspired view: that of the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi.
Not only that but this Victorian-era home, picture-perfect with its estate setting, also takes in the bottomlands, a network of deep crevasses where pre-Europeans encamped on the riverbanks, fishing and hunting.
The large luxurious rooms were designed to blend modern comfort and historic charm. Each room has a king bed, brand new tile bathrooms, comfortable sitting space for in-room relaxation, smart TVs, fine linens and ample pillows. www.clermontbluffs.com