Comments : 36

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………

I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.

?What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service. ?Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!

?And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….


?This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
?Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have ?woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable. ?The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building


We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the?best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool


This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living?room, they all have fireplaces?
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!


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Terry on

I always enjoy constriction pictures and I’m very happy to meet Teddy.

Stacey on

It’s funny how i just completed construction and you’re now in the middle of yours. So exciting! I’m just popping in one last time before my head gets buried in boxes. Love the homes you featured too! Happy Monday. XX

Brandon @ Southgate on

A few years ago, after a disaster of a vacation, we adopted what we call the “Greater Than or Equal To” policy. On vacations if we can’t stay somewhere that is at least as nice as our home, we just don’t go. If you adopt that same policy, you are going to have a very hard time finding a vacation spot once your new house is done! Love seeing the details! Was there an existing house that you all had to demolish on the property?

carolyn bradford on

I, too was wondering if there was an existing house before you started construction? We have re-modeled 3 houses ( one being the first place that I actually had my shop in ) and the last being our home now. In the middle, there was a 110 year old farmhouse which I thought had cured me of wanting to tear down and rebuild! However, after seeing these beautiful photos…I’m beginning to think I’ve had a long enough break from it!! It’s absolutely stunning!! I am trying not to covet but seeing the limestone, the chimneys, the beautiful windows and the lovely grounds is making it difficult!! Seriously, though…I cannot wait to see more pics as it continues! Thanks for sharing!!

Party Resources on

I love it! I have been to the Mayflower and Twin Farms. I am dying to go to Blackberry Farm. Happy Monday!

Greet on

I love all these wonderful places you showed here today but I must confess that I really fell in love with your home!! It is gorgeous, I so love to see the building process!! Oh I would love to come over and help you with the interior design. I can’t keep my eyes away from the picture of your breakfast room! The limestone is fabulous!!!!!!I am so curious about all the finishing part of it!! Thank you so much for sharing the process with us! It is most interesting!!

designchic on

The Mayflower is the perfect spot for me right now…a spa and a relaxation room!! Dying over your cupola. It is so gorgeous!!

Divine Theatre on

On a police officer’s salary our vacations are limited. That’s why I am attempting to make our home into a getaway, of sorts.
We are scrimping and saving so that we can adopt children from faraway places!
Although our lives are so different, they are very much the same, I think!
I enjoy every last one of your posts!

The Preppy Princess on

Such a scrumptious post! It’s wonderful to see the updates on your project, the limestone really is gorgeous.

And while I’ve not been to any of the beautiful places you showcase so magnificently, your images and descriptions make me want to go see them all. Now.

Thank you for a wonderful post to start the week!

The Devoted Classicist on

I was particularly happy to see the Mayflower Inn mentioned as I was just thinking about a post on it myself. I was involved in the planning process of the renovation and furnishing twenty years ago. When I do, I will include a link to your blog.

Luciane at on

My goodness! This is a great post, Tina!

Your house is just amazing… Do you pinch yourself sometimes? That will be YOUR house! Oh, my!!! πŸ™‚

Great vacating places… I wish I could travel right now. I’m so tired of the winter.

Have a blessed week, my friend!


Luciane at

Post of the Day: A day at the Ranch.

Mary Ellen on

I had the same question buzzing through my head as Carolyn about an existing home on the property.

The property your home is on is beautiful and I know you will so enjoy your gorgeous home when it is all done!! When is completion date set for?

bee blessed

Danielle.freshquince on

Sorry, but I’m going to have to number my comments just to keep track of my thoughts…
1. So glad you stumbled on Fresh Quince, as I’m delighted to find The Enchanted Home.
2. The Help was a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the movie.
3. Your home is coming along magnificent…wow it’s tremendous and inspector Teddy looks to be doing his job swimmingly.
4. Thanks for sharing all of the lovely hotels, lodges, Inns you have been to or plan to go to…what a visual treat.
5. I completely agree a great hotel for me is one that feels like home and is welcoming…size doesn’t matter.
Hope you have a wonderful week, Danielle

idratherbeshopping on

omg, i am so so loving your home updates! looks fabulous..the limestone is gorgeous! these getaways are fab too. bardenesso is in my neck of the woods (i’m in sf) and i’ve heard its fab!

i too love the help…can’t wait to see the movie version!


Linda in AZ * on

* LOVED seeing & reading about this masterpiece… you are most likely “in heaven” with it all, DESPITE a headache or two!!!~~~ Well worth it in the end, right?

You certainly chose some fabulous places~~~ I was surprized at how MANY of these places we’ve visited (and LOVED!)! We just spent (well, in August) a week at Stein Erickson Lodge (Deer Valley, UT)… it’s VERY HOT here in AZ then, and the mountain air in UT was as MAGNIFICENT as ever (we used to have a ski place in Park City, so it was “old home week” for us~ every minute was glorious!)… and so beautifully cool at night!!!

LOVE YOUR BLOG and INTEND to follow it~~~ It’s SUCH a joy to see someone having her dreams come to fruition!!!

Thank you & warmest wishes,
Linda in AZ *

Linda in AZ * on

*** P.S. We’re planning a trip to Ojai (Resort & Spa) shortly… it sounds fabulous!!!***

Amy Vermillion on

Tina, the house is amazing! Inspector Teddy is a darling. I would add the Homestead (Virginia) to that list and Jekyll Island Club (Georgia) -my FAVORITE.
I agree with the above poster who said they don’t stay anywhere unless it’s at least as nice as one’s home. Why bother otherwise?
Thanks for sharing the home’s journey!

Pink Martini on

I feel like I’ve just been on vacation reading your post! I’ve always loved the slate roofs of the east. We can’t even have shake and shingle roofs where I live. All roofs must be clay or concrete due to the extreme fire hazard we are located in. boohoo. The materials you are choosing for your home are just wonderful πŸ™‚

Pink Martini on

Have you ever been to The Golden Door or Cal-en-Vie spas in San Diego?

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms on

Your home is absolutely spectacular! I will be following your blog to watch the progress.. thank you for stopping by today, your comments were very much appreciated!

eclecticrevisited on

your home is looking tres magnifique…
beautiful images of homes away from home…

Ideezine on


How exciting to see the puzzle pieces fitting together and set in place for the next forward motion. How grand. I love the presence of limestone on a home, building or standing alone. It creates a historical appeal my absolute favorite.

I haven’t read The Help by Kathryn Stockett so I’ll have to experience it before the movie is completed.

Travel/hotels/hospitality: carry adventure, allows separation from regular routines, excitement to learn something new, the experiences of design and interpretation within different climates. Greatest benefit is how it changes us on the inside…our perspective.

Teddy is getting ready for his hospitality duties upon his home completion and any questions someone might ask him about the construction phases. Teddy is very smart and loves his job duties as inspector.

The greatest advantage technology affords us today is to capture what we love and long to have more travel to far away places. Photos connect us with less words to explain our point, hone our tastes, and widen/narrow our style preferences. Many photos, travel, experiences hold our emotions that are present instantly or appear delayed or out of nowhere later.

Sometimes the question is: “am I going/doing/experiencing somewhere different or returning to somewhere else familiar?” It’s all so good for us and keeps our dreams in suspension until the correct timing is to live them.

Many Blessings.


LiveLikeYou on

Thanks for these wonderful places to stay. I’ve been to two of them already– so I know I’ve come to the right list!!! Bookmarking this for future travel. And you’re house is beautiful!

Cristina @FUJI FILES on

What I would give for a cupola!
It’s all so beautiful, and I can’t imagine anything more relaxing than the Mayflower Spa.

xx Cristina

Christina L. de Armas on

WOW your new home is looking FABULOUS!! Its so stunning and breathtaking, I cant wait to see the final product which I am sure you are too.
Chrisina @

Mona thompson on

Some fabulous getaways, but your home update was by far my favorite. Looking over the top!

Mandi Smith T on

OK, loved The Help. Dying to know who will play Hillary!

As for the house, the limestone is spectacular. The pictures are truly stunning. They make me hold my breathe when I see them. A true estate.

On the vacay topic, love blackberry farms and to add to your list, The Cloister is amazing as well as The Grand Del Mar in La Jolla, CA. All are worth a stop! I would go back in the wink of an eye to any of these spots! M.

Karen T. on

Love your breakfast room bay & the cartouche(s). I’d have a hard time choosing only one of the vacation destinations. As great as they all appear, I’m sure none are as fabulous as your new home will be. A “stay-cation” sounds good to me!

classic β€’ casual β€’ home on

Your new home is spectacular. Aren’t you so excited??? We have stayed at the Stein Erickson…and the others look fabulous.
Have a great week.
Mary Ann

Susan on

Your new home is coming along nicely – I love the pictures of Teddy on patrol πŸ™‚

Love the pictures of all the hotels/resorts that you have shared with us – I’ve never been fortunate enough to stay at any of them, but they all look pretty inviting, and you’re right – they do look more like luxurious homes than cookie cutter hotels!

Chic Coastal Living on

Gorgeous home! The limestone work is beautiful! Can’t even imagine what the inside is going to look like!

A Town and Country Life on

Love Stein Erickson, we go there for our sons birthday every year.

Your new home looks fabulous. I finished my lake house a year ago, and although it was a lot of work I am so pleased with the results. I miss the design process so am happy to follow along with you on yours! I look forward to seeing your progress.

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