A road trip through New England is one of the great American travel experiences. By now, I have lost track of the number of times I have meandered through the leafy countryside or strolled around peaceful village greens, each dominated by a gleaming white church with a sky-piercing steeple. On this occasion, I decided to concentrate on Vermont and planned a circular 350-mile journey that began and ended in Burlington. Aside from checking on classic Harper properties such as Twin Farms and The Pitcher Inn, I stayed at four new hotels that I am now pleased to recommend. I also discovered a number of commendable restaurants, many of which serve farm-to-table cuisine that relies on Vermont’s superb meat and produce. The state is justifiably famous for its cheeses, and I called at several of the better-known dairies. I also sought out local distilleries, which I found to produce surprisingly excellent gin, vodka and bourbon.
Like many Americans, I have a soft spot for San Francisco. I return there often, but over the years I have been consistently frustrated by my inability to find a superior boutique hotel. On my recent trip, however, I had the pleasure of staying at The Battery, a newly opened 14-suite property in the Financial District. The accommodations are graciously appointed, the public spaces are flamboyantly decorated and the rooftop 6,200-square-foot penthouse is sensational. I also found time on my visit to explore the recently renovated and extended San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
September sees the publication of our annual Readers’ Choice, and this issue contains our lists of your favorite U.S. and International Hideaways (Auberge du Soleil and Aman Venice respectively), as well as numerous other award categories. And I am pleased to be able to say that, despite the prevailing global uncertainty, 40 percent of respondents say that they intend to travel more in the coming 12 months than they did in 2015-16.