Ocean House, Rhode Island
Built in 1868 on a windswept bluff with views of the Atlantic, the Victorian hotel once catered to moneyed aristocrats but was eventually torn down. Redone to the tune of $146 million, the property is as grand as ever: expansive decks and manicured croquet lawns are a nod to old-world glamour, while the light-filled 49 guest rooms and 39 suites have modern bathrooms (oversize soaking tubs; marble tiles) and custom-made dark wood furnishings. On the ground floor there's the farm-to-table Seasons restaurant, with a veranda overlooking a private white-sand beach-the perfect spot to idle away an afternoon, cocktail in hand. What more could you want for a summer getaway?
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.