Hot List

How to Spend a Day in Three of Our Hot List 2022 Winners

These award-winning hotels and their neighborhoods offer plenty to do around the clock, from Montana to Charleston.
Tables with light shining into room at Piaule Catskill
Sean Davidson

Presented by Capital One

With these three Hot List 2022 hotel winners, there is as much to do beyond their doors as there is behind them—from strolling charming wine country villages to exploring the mountains far from the city. Here, how to turn an overnight into a proper stay, complete with planning tips for places in Los Angeles, Montana, and Charleston.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Courtesy Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Four Seasons Resort and Residencies Napa Valley

In a sweep of Northern California known for its high profile wines and high end lodging, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is the area’s first luxury resort to truly marry the two. It’s a revelation to simply walk from your room to the on-property winery Elusa for a tasting–no private driver or a wine bus required. The resort is less than a mile from downtown Calistoga, a small town charmer that’s been drawing wellness pilgrims to its mud baths and mineral springs for a century. In keeping with the area’s ethos, the spa at the Four Seasons is a standout (do not skip the complimentary mud or a post-treatment soak in the oversized outdoor whirlpool). While Napa doesn’t yell “bring the kids,” this property, like most Four Seasons, is family friendly without compromising why you came to Napa, i.e., wine, spa and high-level food. There’s a family pool, in addition to a chic adult one, and the al fresco cantina Campo sits between the two and serves tasty tacos and margaritas.

With everything onsite, including the excellent bar and restaurant Truss with its wall of glass doors that open onto a huge terrace with a fire pit, it’s tempting to stay put. If you can pull yourself away, grab one of the loaner bikes and pedal into Calistoga, stopping in at the sweet Sam’s General Store for a coffee. For a throwback wellness experience, book a mud bath at Indian Springs, a hotel and day spa in town that’s been around since the 1860s. There are plenty of nearby wineries, but a tasting at Kelly Fleming Wines, about a mile from the resort, is a must for any Sauvignon Blanc lover. —Rebecca Misner

Thompson Austin

Chase Daniel/Thompson Austin

The Thompson Austin

This ATX newcomer is two hotels in one. An elegant lobby anchored by a check-in desk made of wood and green marble distinguishes the Thompson; across the room, rich furnishings surround a monolithic fireplace. Checking into tommie? Valets guide you through a neighboring door and into the West Texas-themed Coffee Bar. A room at tommie feels like the inside of a sleek airstream trailer—albeit one with panoramic windows and striking city views—thanks to minimalist decor and smart space-saving solutions. In contrast, the Thompson’s 212 spacious guest rooms have concrete ceilings and emerald headboards flanked by 70s-era lighting, as well as moments of femininity—shimmering accent walls and mixed metal finishes. Earlybird CBD gummies are left on your pillow at turndown.

The two hotels share a slew of restaurants—most notably Diner Bar, founded by James Beard Award Winner Mashama Bailey—as well as a rooftop garden and swimming pool. Downtown Austin is also at your doorstep. Jog to Lady Bird Lake to hook up with the city’s central hike and bike trail, or rent a kayak from the Austin Rowing Club. Refuel with a smoothie from waterfront Alta’s Cafe, and keep an eye out for blue herons and white egrets, which frequent these waters. Art lovers can walk to the Contemporary, which hosts rotating exhibits, as well as the Mexic-Arte Museum, home to works by Mexican and Latino artists. Evenings should start with cocktails from a nearby speakeasy like the Redheaded Stepchild—you’ll find the entrance by the “Floppy Disk Repair” sign—and end with two stepping at the White Horse, an edgy honky honk on Austin’s East Side. —Stirling Kelso

Piaule Catskill

Sean Davidson


Less than three hours north of New York City, this assemblage of cabins on stilts which jut up into the tree line, is redefining what a landscape hotel can be. Yes, nature is the essence of the place, with hop-on, hop-off trails cutting through its 50 acres of woodlands and a sleek lobby with common spaces seemingly built right into the hillside. But Piaule’s biggest strength perhaps is its marriage of easy minimalist design and a wellness program that feels refreshingly laxed compared to the drill-style approaches on trend right now. The duo behind Piaule Homeware opened the retreat with a Japanese-meets-Scandinavian aesthetic—simple, blond woods, loads of natural lights and elements—but decked out the high design cabins with wares from their own line like extremely chic wool blankets and ceramic mugs, all of which are available for purchase. The cabins are a huge draw, with their glass walls which open up to let the symphony of the woodlands in. But the center piece is the spa which has a sauna, steam room, and pool. It becomes the de facto hang out, with 30-somethings up from Brooklyn rotating between the three in bathrobes and slippers. Trust us when we say, you could make a day out of rotating between the three (and catching some rays outside the pool area in the warmer months with views of the mountains), capping it all off with a micro brew or wine on the terrace, directly above.

But this is the Catskills. Come with a car, you’ll want to explore the towns and trails the area has to offer. Hudson, now the defacto capital of cool in the Hudson Valley, is twenty minutes away and home to antique shops, cafes and boutiques all along trendy Warren Street, including Vogue favorite Behida Dolic Millinery. It is a great little town to help reset after days on the area’s trails and cooling off in the local swimming holes. Hot tip—the best food around, however, may just be 10 minutes from the retreat itself in the town of Catskill, where the Polish restaurant New York serves generous platters of kielbasa, plump pierogies, and hearty salads to fill you up after the most strenuous days exploring the area. —Erin Florio

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