Dear Christine, my hubby and I are celebrating 10 years in September. Any suggestions for a nice getaway? I am in Malden (so, about 5 miles from Boston). We are willing to travel a little!
Great question and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Jon and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary soon as well, so I've been researching this very topic. Below are a range of options that I investigated, ordered by proximity to Boston.
Note: given that Jon and I only have the time to do a one night getaway, proximity to Boston was important so we could avoid spending a lot of time in transit. I also wanted to find an inn that offered spa services, and was set against a green and peaceful backdrop.
Country Garden Inn & Spa
Rowley, MA (~40 minutes from Boston)
The Country Garden Inn & Spa is a short range getaway, but admittedly, based on the online photos, the look of the accommodations just wasn't as lush as I was hoping for. I recall seeing descriptions such as "clean and comfortable" in online reviews -- definitely good features for a hotel, but I wanted something more like "serene and beautiful."
Blue, The Inn on the Beach
Newbury, MA (~45 minutes from Boston)
Blue, The Inn on the Beach indeed conjures a serene and beautiful beach cottage vibe via the website. I was very interesting in booking there (I liked the close proximity to Newburyport for browsing around), but all of their getaway packages are for two days. When I emailed the inn about a one night package, they responded with separate accommodation (starting at $345) and couples massage ($275, including gratuity) rates. Though beautiful, I passed on this option because I really wanted to find a one-day package that included meals.
John Carver Inn & Spa
Plymouth, MA (~45 minutes from Boston)
The John Carver Inn & Spa offers one night getaway packages but I ruled this location out quickly because: a) they were booked the night I was looking for; and b) the vibe wasn't quite what I was looking for (based on the photos from the website).
Stonehedge Inn & Spa
Tyngsboro, MA (~45 from Boston)
Admittedly the first thing I thought of when I discovered Stonehedge Inn & Spa was Stonehenge. However, this is where I ended up booking. Stonehedge fit the bill all the way around. It's less than an hour from the city, looks lovely and green, and they offer a one-night spa package that is well spelled out and available for booking online. Extra bonus? You can enjoy the spa facility any time the day of arrival so I booked our spa treatments for earlier in the day (before 3pm check in) so we could get our day rolling earlier. I hope Stonehedge brings the awesome!
Daniel Webster Inn & Spa
Sandwich Village, MA (~65 minutes from Boston)
The Daniel Webster Inn & Spa looks like a sister inn to the John Carver (based on web format and availability). I passed on this option for the same reasons as the John Carver.
Portsmouth Harbor Inn & Spa
Kittery, ME (~65 minutes from Boston)
When I queried about awesome spa getaways on Facebook, my friend Patti responded: "If by awesome you mean ritzy then this isn't the place, but for a cozy B&B spa close to Boston, Portsmouth Harbor Inn & Spa can't be beat. BEST couples massage we have ever had and it's a quick walk over the bridge into Portsmouth for fabulous dinner options."
The Cliff House Resort & Spa
Ogunquit, ME (~1 hour, 20 minutes from Boston)
My friend Christina recommended I check out The Cliff House Resort & Spa and it looks gorgeous (I suppose it's hard to go wrong when situated along a beautiful rocky cliff on the Maine coast!). I definitely would love to try them in the future, but it was a little further than I wanted to travel for this visit. They also did not offer one-night getaway packages.
The Spa at Norwich Inn
Norwich, CT (~1 hour, 50 minutes from Boston)
I have heard repeated raves about The Spa at Norwich Inn. This is another option I would love to try in the future.
Lenox, MA (~2.5 hours from Boston)
I visited Canyon Ranch about 8 years ago with a girlfriend and it lives up to the hype; it's truly lovely. However, it was too far for this visit and also seems to me like less of a drop in for one night type of location.
Cranwell Resort, Spa, & Golf Club
Lenox, MA (~2.5 hours from Boston)
I visited the Cranwell Resort, Spa, & Golf Club for the first time this past weekend, for a work retreat. It was gorgeous and green and the spa was wonderful (I got to swim laps, sit in the hot tub, and also get a massage and pedicure...all awesome). The service was really great all around.
My room (king bed) was nice and spacious and had a pretty little patio. They also offer free wireless (which is great for a business trip, but perhaps not for a 10 year anniversary celebration!). It occurred to me that I might not have initially been drawn to Cranwell since "golf club" is part of their brand and I have no interest in golf, but I would definitely visit again. (I barely noticed the golfers while I was there, by the way.) Also, I hope someone I know gets married there someday; there were a couple of weddings this past weekend and I loved the idea that everyone could enjoy the wedding on the property, lodge there, and get some spa treatments and do fitness classes if they wished.
Finally, if you're willing to travel further out of the city, my resourceful friend Christina offered yet another lead on the topic: Michael Blanding recently wrote an article for Boston Magazine about the best spas in New England. Aside from Boston's Mandarin Oriental (which I didn't consider due to said desire for a nature-y location), the destinations were a bit too far for the purposes of my getaway, but I would definitely explore them as options in the future when we have more flexibility with time.
I'd love to hear where you end up booking Kimberly! Happy anniversary!
Image credit: Stonehedge Inn & Spa
Have a question for Christine? Drop her a line! And of course feel free to comment in if you have recommendations beyond those made above.