PENSACOLA, Fla., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- So you want a real escape -- some place far away from hectic city life and traffic jams? BUT you still want all the amenities and pampering? No problem. Here are a few of our favorite go-to getaway spots!
With its rain forests and deserted beaches, it's easy to disappear in Costa Rica. Hotel Lapa Rios is located within a private reserve - making Costa Rica's more than 500,000 species of plants and animals easy to observe. Gourmet meals, an infinity pool, massage hut and yoga deck all on premises.
High within the Andes, you'll find legendary Machu Picchu. There, Sanctuary Lodge sits on the ancient Incan site, providing access that no other property can even approach. The lodge, managed by the Orient Express, is upscale, impeccably maintained and restricted to guests.
The Amansara, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was once the guesthouse of King Norodoom Sihanouk. Amansara sits near the mythical Angkor Wat, and provides private pools, gourmet dining and a world-class spa.
Zagreb, Croatia may be one of Europe's best-kept secrets. And one of Europe's most luxurious hotels is also one of the most affordable. The Regent Esplanade was built in 1925 to provide accommodations for passengers on the fabled Orient Express. Rooms are large, beautifully furnished, with personal bars and fireplaces. The Zinfandel Restaurant has won culinary awards for its contemporary interpretations of Croatian cuisine along with well-chosen Croatian wines.
Speaking of wine, The Gaige House Inn is a rural retreat in the California Wine Country's Glen Ellen district. An 1890 Queen Anne Italianate, the property is bordered by woods and a creek where deer sightings are common. Guests enjoy fireplaces, large soaking tubs, and double showers with skylights. Morning breakfast is complimentary, as are excellent wine and hors d'oeuvres each evening.
Montana's panoramic mountains and big skies at the Moonlight Lodge make for another superb escape. Lodging options range from spacious private homes and 4-bedroom lofts. Particularly popular are the cozy 2-bedroom Cowboy Heaven cabins. All rentals have full kitchens, fireplaces, and access to pools and hot tubs.
You say castles, not cabins, are more your style? Welcome to Chateau de la Barre tucked away in France's Loire Valley. The 600 year-old chateau sits on a 100-acre park with gardens and family chapel; 12 suites feature 18th Century antiques and tapestries.
Another option: Ashford Castle, situated on a magnificently landscaped 300-acre estate in Ireland's County Mayo. The castle dates back to the 2nd Century; its massive turrets are visible for miles. In addition to luxurious accommodations, Ashford provides lessons in falconry or archery. Horseback riding, golfing, fishing, and boating excursions are available as well. Royal treatment that non-nobles can happily afford.
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