Our team of editors travels anonymously to uncover the world’s best hideaways. These intimate hotels display a strong individual character, a sophisticated atmosphere and the utmost dedication to personal service. Our well-traveled members are also drawn to such properties, and the following three are their favorites this year.
Big Sur, California
Post Ranch Inn is simply magical. Set high above the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, this peerless resort is a longtime favorite of Hideaway Report members. Voted the number one hideaway eight years in a row, it was finally dethroned — by one vote. Now it has recovered its crown. The 39 suites and one cliffside house on the 100-acre property feature outdoor hot tubs, woodburning fireplaces, private entrances and stupendous views. Also notable is what is absent: alarm clocks, televisions and guests under 18. All reminders that Post Ranch Inn is first and foremost about rediscovering tranquility.
What makes it truly special: With over 180 employees, the resort has one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the world.
County Laois, Ireland
Located at the foot of Ireland’s Slieve Bloom Mountains, Ballyfin Demesne is a 35,000-square-foot Regency mansion with 20 spacious accommodations. Once received by the warm and welcoming staff, guests can explore the estate’s art-filled spaces, manicured gardens and sprawling grounds ideal for fishing, shooting, archery, cycling, golf and hiking. The multitude of activities make it easy to work up an appetite for chef Sam Moody’s tasting menu, a nightly masterpiece created from the region’s bounty.
In the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, 4,200-acre Blackberry Farm marries Americana-inspired luxury with Southern hospitality. Rooms and suites feature antique furniture, woodburning fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, while multi-bedroom cottages offer screened-in porches, grills and private golf carts. An award-winning farm-to-table culinary program is the result of collaboration between the hotel’s garden and livestock teams, multiple chefs and passionate artisans like the on-site butcher and head cheesemaker.