Mother’s Day getaways from Australia to closer to home

 Villagio Inn & Spa, Yountville, Calif.
Villagio, a Tuscan-inspired luxury hotel and spa in the Napa Valley, is possibly the best bang for the buck in what is typically an expensive destination.
(Villagio Inn & Spa)

If you’re feeling the need for a getaway either on or after Mother’s Day, may we suggest the following as ideal for some downtime with a beloved, a group of girlfriends, alone or with the kids?

Heritage House Resort, Little River, Calif.

Those who’ve been around since the ‘70s might remember a charming movie titled “Same Time, Next Year” with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. It was filmed in and around Heritage House, which sits on 37 acres of wild Mendocino coast. After a five-year renovation, the historic hotel, which dates to 1877, reopened last year as a luxury retreat. The rooms, scattered around the woodsy property, feel like private cottages and have grand views of the ocean, private decks, rain showers, fireplaces, overstuffed comforters, Frette linens, L’Occitane amenities and just about everything required for a romantic retreat. Its 5200 Restaurant & Lounge has also opened to much fanfare, offering farm-to-fork dining. Doubles from $225. (707) 202-9000,

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, Calif.


Northern California’s Lake Tahoe area is a year-round escape. In winter, this slope-side luxury resort has the services of a snow concierge as well as a cross-country ski track and an ice skating rink. In spring and summer, it’s equally picturesque, with only the activities changing. The surrounding mountains and lakes mean you can hike for days with views of the Sierras. Near the resort there’s horseback riding and fly-fishing, and what was the ski track in winter becomes an 18-hole championship golf course when the snow melts. After a day in the sun, head to the spa for a sports massage, then to the Six Peaks restaurant for a dinner created with artisanal, regional produce. Doubles from $150. (800) 327-3353,

Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia

This is a long way to go for a Mother’s Day treat, but it’s worth the trek. This sleek new hotel has views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, both iconic global structures. Start with a eucalyptus martini, followed by dinner in the Park Hyatt Dining Room, a showcase for a global fusion of flavors, fresh produce and well-traveled kitchen talent. Afterward, roam the hotel’s notable modern Australian art and photography collection and walk the waterfront. The hotel is in the Rocks, a quaintly historic section of Sydney with great shopping nearby. Pass some time at the hotel spa, which has organic and holistic Australian treatments, such as a native clay and hot oil massage. Doubles from $820. 011-61-2-9256-1234;

Granada Hotel & Bistro, San Luis Obispo


This fine old building, rumored to have been a house of ill repute in the 1920s, has been thoroughly modernized and is now SLO’s only luxe boutique hotel. It has a hip mod-boudoir feel with brightly reupholstered vintage furniture, chandeliers, velvet curtains and exposed brick walls. The Bistro and outdoor patio are hopping nightly; the restaurant serves a fantastic duck confit on ciabatta. The hotel has bikes for guests’ use, so there’s no driving while sampling at the local wine-tasting rooms. Doubles from $199. (805) 544-9100,

Tadrai Island Resort, Mana Island, Fiji

Imagine catching a 10 p.m. flight from LAX, then the following morning wearing a sarong at breakfast at the five-star Tadrai (pronounced Tandrai) Resort. It’s a direct flight to Fiji’s Nadi International Airport, then a 45-minute ride on a private jet boat to Tadrai. Each of the resort’s five 1,000-square-foot villas stands alone at the edge of a white beach, and each has a plunge pool, Fijian modern art, outdoor and indoor showers, and a stone bathtub that overlooks the beach. You can eat in the restaurant (if you have a favorite, they’ll boat it in for you), you can have a private chef prepare your meals in your villa, or you can summon a picnic basket and escape to one of Tadrai’s four beaches. As for keeping busy, there’s stand-up paddle-boarding, snorkeling, surfing, catamaran sailing and kayaking. Doubles $1,750; includes all food and non-premium alcohol.

Villagio Inn & Spa, Yountville, Calif.

Villagio, a Tuscan-inspired luxury hotel and spa in the Napa Valley, is possibly the best bang for the buck in what is typically an expensive destination. The rooms are large, have fireplaces, in-room wine cellars, sunken tubs and balconies with views of the vineyards or the historic town of Yountville. The spa is a spectacular destination in itself, with 13,000 square feet of space. Its list of services can take you around the globe, with Arabian, Mediterranean, Asian, Indian and Western treatments performed with fresh ingredients. Afterward, eat at the hotel’s farm-to-table Italian restaurant, Bottega, helmed by celeb chef Michael Chiarello (of NapaStyle fame). Doubles from $300. (800) 351-1133,

Palihouse, Santa Monica

If you can’t travel far but still want to get away, try an old-fashioned vacation at the sophisticated Palihouse. The recently remodeled hotel was known as the Embassy Hotel Apartment, from 1927, and used to house upscale Angelenos for summer stays. With Moorish-influenced Mediterranean architecture, the hotel now calls itself a “boutique beach lodge” laden with antiques, dark-painted walls, overstuffed furniture and huge bay windows. The accommodations are divided into two categories: classic rooms (small and cute) and residences ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 2,850-square-foot two-bedroom apartments with living rooms and fully equipped kitchens for longer stays. Its location, just blocks from the ocean and a stone’s throw from the Third Street Promenade, can’t be beat. Doubles from $300. (310) 394-1279,


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