American Seaside Escapes
Surf Lodge; Montauk, New York
A super laid-back vibe and beachy-chic décor make this hotel one of F&W editors' favorites in the area. Australian chef Chris Rendell recently became executive chef at the hotel's restaurant and serves summery seafood dishes in a space that's a total throw-back to 70's surf culture and Bruce Brown's iconic Endless Summer movie. The hotel's 2,600 square-foot deck is a late-night hotspot and food destination: fish tacos, lobster tolls and Hawaiian plate lunches are served from 11 p.m. until 3 a.m.
Hidden Pond; Kennebunkport, Maine
This gorgeous resort is made up of 16 colorfully clapboarded two-bedroom cottages on 60 acres of balsam and birchtrees. For people who like to cook, what makes Hidden Pond especially exciting is the 800-square-foot organic garden. Guests have unlimited access to it and can pick whatever they want for free-strolling through the bentwood trellis at the entrance, grabbing a pair of shears and a reed basket from the rustic farm shed and cutting anything they desire, including flowers. For guests who don't feel like cooking there's Earth, star Boston chef Ken Oringer's new garden-inspired restaurant.
The Royal Hawaiian; Waikiki, Hawaii
A pink-stucco palace built in 1927, the Royal Hawaiian has hosted famous guests ranging from Clark Gable and Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Shah of Iran. The original Mai Tai Bar is located here and chef John Matsubara hits the Honolulu Fish Auction most mornings to select fresh fish for his seafood restaurant, Azure.
Chatham Bars Inn; Chatham, Massachusetts
This landmarked hotel overlooking Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean has some of the most luxurious accommodations on Cape Cod. The Main Dining Room specializes in seasonal New England seafood and has spectacular panoramic views of the ocean.
The Moana Surfrider; Waikiki, Hawaii
Recently refurbished, this white wooden hotel serves a proper afternoon tea on the plank-floored veranda.
The Willows Inn; Lummi Island, Washington
Built in 1910, the main building features a restaurant and five all-white rooms; four alternative stays include a cabin and a yurt (a circular tentlike structure with a kitchen, wood stove and bath house). Inspired by a turn at Copenhagen’s acclaimed Noma restaurant, Blaine Wetzel, an F&W Best New Chef 2012, creates visually stunning dishes with produce and eggs from the inn’s organic Nettles Farm. Wetzel also cures his own meats, using Mangalitsa pork, and hosts Sunday-night feasts starring spot prawns caught in nearby Rosario Straight.
“Lummi Island is nearly uninhabited, it’s majestic and unspoiled, it’s the quintessential Northwest,” says Wetzel. “There are mountains that come out of the water, bald eagles, orca whales, wild salmon. It’s peaceful.”