The Fall Olympic Games aren’t a real thing, but hotels around the globe have been unofficially competing in them for decades. With summer over and the winter holidays fast approaching, properties use every creative muscle they have to attract guests during this slower time. They race to announce seasonal activities and timely dinners. They fight for customers with elaborate packages.
The international hotels we found for your next autumnal escape don’t bend over backwards for the sake of attaining some kind of glory; seeing the smile on your face at the pool is reward enough. Still, that won’t stop our Forbes Travel Guide editors from handing out gold medals to these 11 hotels for demonstrating tremendous mettle during an often-challenging travel season.
Chateaux Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
The thing you have to remember about a Park City trip is that timing is crucial. Go too early and any outdoor activities prove unpleasant in the heat. Wait too long and hiking trails are covered in snow. Organize your visit to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Chateaux Deer Valley in September, though, and you’ll see mountains dotted with brilliant yellows and reds, and bask in a hotel that’s active but not to its extreme June or January levels.
Though plenty around the property can keep you occupied — Le Spa Chateaux and Cena Ristorante are two clear distractions — the perfectly positioned hotel sits near bustling Main Street and Deer Valley Resort, where folk star Jewel will close out the amphitheater’s live music season with a September 3 concert.
Inn Walden, Aurora, Ohio
If you want to alleviate stress in the most elegantly simplified fashion possible, make your way to Inn Walden. The Cleveland-area Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel could add something about September and October temperatures usually hovering around a comfortable 60 degrees, but that would just being boastful.
The property’s subtly sublime suites, all decked out in neutral greens and light brown hardwoods, are ideal settings for a weekend of recharging. Consider the stately dining room (jackets, please, gentlemen) and Four-Star Spa Walden (try the bamboo massage, ladies) mere enhancements to your blissful stay.
Pratt Place Inn and Barn, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Pratt Place Inn and Barn may be the most sophisticated college town inn in the country. While it’s located inFayetteville near the University of Arkansas, the historic Four-Star boutique property is tucked away on 140 private acres, making it the perfect respite for SEC fans who want to get away from fall’s football fanatics before or after a game.
Book one of seven rooms (each with a fireplace) for a charming, thoroughly Southern stay.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham, North Carolina
The loudest indicator that fall has made its way to Durham is the noise coming from Duke University’s Wallace Wade Stadium. If it’s a football Saturday, you might feel the earth move from the lobby atWashington Duke Inn & Golf Club, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property sitting less than a mile from the 50-yard line. (We’re pretty sure all of the Blue Devils T-shirts and caps will give it away, too.)
But even if you aren’t a big ACC football fan, you’ll appreciate the overnight deals (the Romance package includes champagne and candles), world-class cuisine (Four-Star Fairview Dining Room’s fall menu preview, September 15) and top golf on offer right now.
The Portland Regency Hotel & Spa, Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine, may be known as a summer destination, but you can still get your fill of lobster and maritime fun come fall if you attend Harvest on the Harbor (October 20 to 23), an annual food-and-drink event powered by local fishermen and chefs.
Book The Portland Regency Hotel & Spa’s Old Port Getaway Package (from October 11) to score high-end lodging just three minutes from much of the event as well as breakfast and brunch at onsite American restaurant Twenty Milk Street.