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While New England is probably the first place that comes to mind when envisioning a fall foliage getaway, there are many great international destinations too. Whether you’d prefer to stay a bit closer home, perhaps heading north to Canada, or travel overseas, one of the best ways to enjoy it is to stay at a luxury hotel or resort in the heart of all that glorious color. These options make for some of the best escapes in autumn.
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Just like the name belies, this resort makes for an ideal couples’ getaway with its romantic setting nestled among vibrant fall foliage at the edge of unspoiled wilderness on Galeairy Lake. The area’s only five-star luxury resort, it’s made up of cottages and suites that are all uniquely designed from opulent Old European to natural Algonquin style. All sit along the lakefront and come with private hot tubs, cozy wood-burning fireplaces. Look forward to breakfast in bed, five-course dinners and luxurious spa treatments too.
The Lake District of England is famous for its scenic beauty and is one of Europe’s best cities for autumn travel. With the warm autumn light, surrounded by ruby and gold-covered hills, it becomes awe-inspiring. This is where you’ll find Storrs Hall, an 18th-century hall that lies on Lake Windermere boasting beautiful grounds and fabulous accommodation made up of rooms, self-catered loges and a luxuriously converted boathouse on the water. The latter offers total privacy, a fire pit, steam room and a hot tub.
The Grand Hotel Tremezzo offers an ideal spot on Lake Como, one of Italy’s most spectacular lakes, with its sapphire waters surrounded by impeccably-manicured gardens, magnificent estates, emerald forests and snow-capped peaks. In autumn, you’ll be able to enjoy the views splashed with dazzling yellow and orange hues. The top spa destination in Europe has a floating pool on the lake, a terrace for sipping cocktails and even water limos. It’s spa features a heated indoor infinity pool and an outdoor whirlpool and offers al fresco yoga classes too. There are multiple restaurants and bars on-site, while rooms offer a variety of views, with the best showcasing a view of the water.
Autumn is an ideal time to visit Ireland, with far fewer tourists than summer brings along with fresh mountain air and trees covered with a lovely golden hue. Wicklow National Park is one of the best places to enjoy it, home to cascading waterfalls and one of the most important monastic sites in the country, Glendalough. For a luxurious place to base yourself, you might want to stay at the Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort. Just a short drive away, it not only hosts two championship golf courses but an upscale restaurant, lavish spa, a heated indoor pool, hot tub, steam rooms and a gym.
One of the world’s most stunning mountain regions, the Swiss Alps are famous for their majestic peaks and striking autumn foliage. Nira Alpina, set in the Engadin Valley of Switzerland is ideal for enjoying it all, providing rooms with large balconies or terraces with views of Lake Silvaplana and the mountains. The interiors feature natural materials like Swiss Spruce and Italian stone along with high-tech amenities like flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, free Wi-Fi and granite bathrooms with waterfall showers and deep soaking baths. On-site is an upscale restaurant, a seasonal Italian restaurant and a bistro, bakery, rooftop bar, lavish full-service spa and a fitness center.
Many tourists visit the tiny village of Flam as part of the trip on the Flam Railway, one of Europe’s most famously scenic rides. For those who want to stick around this remote location at the end of the Aurlandsfjord, the Fretheim Hotel is worth more than a night with multiple amenities, including a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountain peaks from the lobby with its large glass windows. It also hosts an outdoor hot tub, sauna, restaurant, wine cellar, lobby bar and library. The Historic Rooms are the most luxurious, boasting pine wood floors, antique furniture, china tea sets, working old-fashioned radios and bathrooms with clawfoot tubs.
Kyoto offers gorgeous red, gold and orange hues that frame beautiful sights like Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, and Hoshinoya resort offers a serene spot alongside a river to enjoy all of it. Made up of comfy minimalist cabins surrounded by nature, guests can also enjoy seasonal outdoor activities like cooking classes, fishing and campfires. Helicopter flights, available in late November and early December, offer a bird’s-eye view over it all.
Bavaria is famously beautiful in the fall, and Das Kranzbach offers a stylish spa retreat to enjoy all the fiery autumn colors of the German Alps. An elegant historic country house, it sits next to a large spa and hotel complex that blends into the beautiful surroundings. Guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, treatment rooms and sports facilities along with an exceptional restaurant. There’s a variety of opulent rooms, in varying shapes and sizes in the original building, all with modern amenities.
A turreted white castle, Domaine de la Tortinière is one of the most magnificent hotels in the Loire Valley. Autumn is an especially wonderful time to be here with the colorful foliage, grape harvests and festivals galore. The property lies adjacent to beautiful wooded parkland and hosts an outdoor heated pool, a rowboat for guest use and a restaurant with a view of the picturesque valley.
Vila Bled lies just above the crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Bled, enjoying a dream-like setting in the Slovenian Mountains. This storied hotel was once the residence of Yugoslav President Tito and has seen many illustrious guests, including Indira Gandhi. There’s a private boathouse offering free boat rentals for an hour a day as well as a spa area with a whirlpool, sauna and steam room. The 24-hour restaurant offers a daily four-course menu and international fare. All rooms come with jaw-dropping views of the lake, which in the fall, is framed by brilliant foliage.