Like jewels hidden in plain sight, unexpected accommodations at home and abroad almost always prove that taking a detour, even if it’s just a few city blocks, can be as rewarding—perhaps more so—than just hitting the headliners. You may think you know a place by heart, or at least have scratched past the surface, but even if you’ve won big in Vegas or conquered Space Mountain and its massive lines, you can always find new adventures in well-trodden destinations as long as you know where to look.
Waldorf-Astoria Las Vegas
Waldorf-Astoria Las Vegas offers an oasis of calm in the heart of The Strip. Stay high above the fray at the 23rd-floor restaurant, Twist, by Pierre Gagnaire, the sole American outpost of one of France’s most admired—and discreet—chefs. As its name suggests, dishes offer a new spin on the classics; Gagnaire is renowned for his flair with fish, but there are plenty of tantalizing options from land and sea. Stick to the theme with the spa’s Ocean Botanical Detox Wrap, opt for other signature beauty rituals, or simply admire the skyline from the 8th -floor pool deck.
Across state lines in California, poised on the Point Vicente State Marine Conservation Area at the fringe of Los Angeles, Terranea Resort lets you dip into the best of the L.A. lifestyle—and even bypass the traffic by simply flying into John Wayne Airport instead of LAX. Bonus: As in the city, the beach isn’t really great for swimming, but there are four pools to get your sea legs on this stunning peninsula.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
On the East Coast, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort carved out quiet zones like the Solarium and the park’s lone adult-only pool to let visitors determine how much (or how little) Disney they want to do. Located in one of the more secluded corners of the park, the sprawling grounds with grazing wildlife edged by an Everglades sanctuary give this lakeside Spanish Revival property a more sophisticated resort appeal than other park-area respites. And even the Tom Fazio-designed golf course is Audubon-certified, so you know there’s loads of nature nearby.
The Greenwich Hotel
Though its name suggests otherwise, The Greenwich Hotel promises visitors a break in a less-trammeled corner of Manhattan. Co-owned by Tribeca resident Robert De Niro, the 88-room boutique hotel channels a contemporary loft look with an old-world sensibility, accented with Thai silk rugs, English leather settees, and handlaid Moroccan tiles in the bathrooms. You won’t need an Italian suit here—this is not like a power-meeting hotel in Midtown—but you’re highly likely to recognize some high-wattage figures at the bar or in the ever-popular Locanda Verde restaurant.
Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
Abroad, the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, just south of London Bridge near the buzzy Borough Market, occupies floors 34 to 52 of the iconic Renzo Piano building and commands stunning views of the city. For full dramatic effect, try cocktails at the Gong bar or take a dip in the indoor infinity pool—both are on the 52nd floor.
Le Mas Candille
Just across the Channel, on the French Riviera, take refuge from the hoopla of Cannes at the five-star Le Mas Candille in the hills overlooking neighboring Mougins. Once an 18th-century farmhouse, now a luxury retreat and spa with three pools, the tranquil Cote d’Azur escape is surrounded by cypress, pines, and hundred-year-old olive trees. Stress here is not allowed.