Gems Uncovered

Continued (page 2 of 3)

The Inn on the Twenty, Jordan, Ontario

A pair of newlyweds are motoring through Canada's Niagara Peninsula, MapQuest printout in hand, trying to find the Inn on the Twenty. Before they can say "Great White North," they realize they've passed it. That's fairly common for first-time visitors to this hideaway, snuggled in the tiny town of Jordan, on the area's renowned wine route. It's not that the inn is out of the way—it's located just 30 minutes from Niagara Falls. But it is decidedly under the radar, known only to savvy Statesiders who come for the luxurious digs with sitting areas, whirlpools, gas fireplaces, and marble hearths; the dazzling dishes, such as Québécois foie gras, paired with unusual vintages (the inn's owners also manage Cave Spring Cellars winery); and the too-good-to-be-true spa treatments, like the Wine Country Wrap, which includes—what else?—a grape-seed exfoliation.

Housed in a converted brick warehouse, the 24-room inn mixes chintz and heirloom furniture with modern overstuffed sofas and beds, a blending of styles that, like the two of you, mesh together in perfect harmony. Doubles from $207, May through October; 800-701-8074, innonthetwenty.com.

Inn on the Blue Horizon, Vieques, Puerto Rico

Ten years ago, when owner James Weis opened this chic outpost on the edge of an Atlantic bluff, tourists rarely visited Vieques, a sleepy isle just eight miles off the Puerto Rican "mainland." Now that the U.S. Navy has departed, lovely hotels and resorts are beginning to crop up on the island—but none straddles the line between homey and honeymoony better than the Inn on the Blue Horizon. Be prepared: This isn't the kind of place where you'll find luggage carts whizzing by or Muzak piped in around the pool. Instead, you're asked to take the phrase "mi casa es su casa" literally, helping yourselves to the bottles of rum and tequila lined up behind the beach bar, and browsing the assortment of Weis family heirlooms strewn among the flowy draperies and soft cotton bedclothes in your room. Equally welcoming is the hotel's atrium, an alfresco living room in the middle of a former plantation great house, which practically begs you to plop down in one of its cushy chintz chairs, prop up your feet on a coffee table, and read the latest Harry Potter to your holiday heart's content. Rather lounge on the beach? The inn is located on a hillside that overlooks the southern coast, and is a quick walk away from a remarkable swathe of sugar-soft sand that hasn't seen a footprint for days. Sure, you'll do more shelling than clubbing. But after you get used to living the low-profile life that's the hallmark of this secluded jewel, you'll want to stay here forever. Doubles from $160, December through April; 787-741-3318, innonthebluehorizon.com.

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