Top Hotel Picks: Summer 2017

From San Fran to Scotland, the best in hotel getaways, weekend road trips and far-flung adventures.

Uri Buri restaurant

Old Acre, Israel

Back to School

The 12-room Efendi Hotel – born from two restored Ottoman palaces, one of which houses a 400-year-old Turkish hammam – serves as a gateway to the Galilee region thanks to its Crusaders Seminar. The four-day, scholar-led tour focuses on the history and culture of the region, with special emphasis on cuisine: The hotel’s owner, Uri Jeremias, owns the nearby Uri Buri restaurant, famous for some of the best seafood in the country.


Gleneagles

Auchterarder, Scotland

Scottish Play

An hour’s drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, the castle-like Caledonian resort of Gleneagles, now approaching its 100th anniversary, offers every possible amenity, from a sprawling leisure club to the two-Michelin-starred Andrew Fairlie restaurant. Its fame derives from the four splendid golf courses right out the back door – one of which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup – but Gleneagles is really a portal into the aristocratic life, with skeet shooting or horseback riding in the morning, tennis or trout fishing after lunch, cigars and whisky in the evening. A rare delight is the falconry school: Don a protective glove and make friends with a hyper-intelligent Harris’s hawk.


Le Gourmet restaurant, Oro Verde Guayaquil’s executive chef, Antonio Perez

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Francia Fusion

At Le Gourmet restaurant, Oro Verde Guayaquil’s executive chef, Antonio Perez, promises French food with an Ecuadorean twist – and he knows something about French-Spanish fusion. Born in Puerto Rico and trained around the world, he oversaw the first-ever Spanish translation of Le répertoire de la cuisine, Louis Saulnier’s 1914 guide to his mentor Auguste Escoffier’s cooking, considered the gold standard for French culinary reference works. At Le Gourmet, find French cuisine inspiring dishes like snook fish with vegetable barigoule and Mayan chocolate-custard ice cream with Ecuadorean cocoa.


Hotel Zeppelin

San Francisco, California

San Fran Glam

Viceroy is known for its edgy, no-two-alike hotels, and that character comes through loud and clear in its new ’70s-rock-themed property. But as much as the exterior of Hotel Zeppelin resembles the cover of Physical Graffiti, these three offerings are very much of the here-and-now.

Tech Talks While you sip craft cocktails or Sightglass coffee (a San Fran favourite) in the lobby lounge, cast an eye around the room to catch a flash of the elusive mural art: black-light-exposed poetry.

Rec Room Reboot In search of a digital detox? Unplug on a floor devoted to games like shuffleboard and quick-shot hoops, or play new-school electronic bingo.

Hotel to Go Even off-site, Zeppelin has you covered with bikes from Martone Cycling Co. and a concierge service, Hello Scout, that provides personalized recommendations via text messages.

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