Best of New England: Connecticut
Hotel : Business
THE STUDY AT YALE
The 124 rooms, outfitted with Frette linens and Vermont-made wool blankets, are certainly comfortable. Even better, they’re also practical, offering complimentary WiFi, Mitel phones, convenient desks, and in-room safes large enough to store a laptop. And if you need some inspiration, stroll over to the Yale School of Art next door, or grab a bite in the 100-seat Heirloom restaurant, which serves up continental cuisine that’s perfect for a power lunch. // 1157 Chapel St., New Haven, 203-503-3900, studyhotels.com.
Hotel : Waterfront
THE DELAMAR GREENWICH HARBOR
Delamar’s highbrow clientele is a reflection of Greenwich’s status as the world’s CEO capital. The opulent 82-room hotel on the coast is perfect for a weekend splurge: Dock your yacht at the private pier and indulge in an exotic lime-and-ginger salt scrub at the spa before dozing off amid Italian linens and a cloudlike down duvet. // 500 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, 203-661-9800, thedelamar.com.
Hotel : Boutique
HOTEL ZERO DEGREES
Considering its ultramodern vibe, you’d never guess this spot was once a YMCA. Thanks to a $5 million transformation, it’s now a New York–style boutique hotel, done up in a bold palette of dark wood, red and steel-gray furnishings, and pop art. The 97 rooms are supremely comfortable, and the cozy lobby is a lovely place to enjoy the complimentary breakfast in front of a fire. // 909 Washington Blvd., Stamford, 203-363-7900, hotelzerodegrees.com.
Inn : Lakefront
For sheer heart-stopping beauty, nothing beats this mansion’s perch at the foot of Pinnacle Mountain, overlooking Lake Waramaug in Litchfield County. Though the 20-room Dutch Colonial manor offers massage services, a dining room, and a fitness center, the truly unbeatable amenities are the mountain trails and the bucolic lake. // East Shore Road (rte. 45), New Preston, 860-868-0541, bouldersinn.com.
Inn : Historical
THE GRISWOLD INN
One of the country’s oldest operating inns, the “Gris” is situated in the quaint hamlet of Essex, close to shops, galleries, and the majestic Connecticut River. The traditional “hunt breakfast,” offered on Sundays, harkens back to 1812, when the British occupied the inn. And the Tap Room bar is filled with artifacts (and top-flight spirits). // 36 Main St., Essex, 860-767-1776, griswoldinn.com.
Inn : For Gourmands
HOMESTEAD INN AND THOMAS HENKELMANN
This Relais & Châteaux property, a Victorian manor house run by husband-and-wife team Thomas and Theresa Henkelmann, boasts 18 deluxe chambers and suites. But its best feature is its restaurant, which serves French cuisine with a contemporary spin, such as lobster salad with asparagus tips and sauce andalouse, and goat cheese beignets. // 420 Field Point Rd., Greenwich, 203-869-7500, homesteadinn.com.
Inn: General Excellence
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA
Movie stars on holiday in the Litchfield Hills — or those meeting with locally ensconced producers — love this small country-house hotel, which sets the state’s pampering standard. With 60 acres of gorgeous grounds, luxury linens, expert service, a top-tier restaurant, and one of the best spas in the country, the Mayflower is an Oscar-worthy experience. // 118 Woodbury Rd., Washington, 860-868-9466, mayflowerinn.com.
You can pretend to be a sailor, an artist, a helicopter pilot, or a kid in a treehouse in one of the over-the-top themed cottages of this ultraluxe 113-acre resort. But unlike the cheesy fantasy resorts of, say, the Poconos, the residences here are the epitome of taste (and at a very steep price). The surrounding grounds allow you to hike, bike, or paddle without leaving the property. // 155 Alain White Rd., Morris, 860-567-9600, winvian.com.
Alternative to Staying at a Casino
INN AT LOWER FARM
Despite its quiet setting, this 18th-century Georgian Colonial farmhouse is close to many big-name attractions. Mystic Seaport, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun lie within easy reach — if, that is, guests can be pried away from the relaxing (and affordable) setup here. It’s the best alternative to paying a premium to stay in a nondescript tower. // 119 Mystic Rd., North Stonington, 860-535-9075, lowerfarm.com.
THE INN AT KENT FALLS
The rooms look straight out of a country estate in House Beautiful, the gardens are lush, the breakfast is generous, and the location (in the heart of Litchfield County) is excellent. What’s not to love? Piling on the charm, staffers offer a signature concierge service for guests, and can create personalized spa, yoga, and romance itineraries, among others. // 107 Kent Cornwall Rd., Kent, 860-927-3197, theinnatkentfalls.com.
COPPER BEECH INN
With its carved-mahogany four-poster beds, thick tapestries, and comforters that call to mind the interior of a fine Parisian hotel, this Connecticut River country house sets the gold standard for New England inns. There’s even a French-inspired restaurant to match — and it’s all conveniently located about 45 minutes from historical Mystic and the casinos. // 46 Main St., Ivoryton, 860-767-0330, copperbeechinn.com.