An Insider's Guide to Travel: News, Tips, Information & Inspiration

Luxe Lavs

Luxe Lavs: Experience Americana at Hotels Across the U.S.

Share on: Share on Google+

To celebrate the birthday month of the U.S., this Luxe Lavs column focuses on American history in hotels across the country. These four hotels epitomize the unique style and vast range the U.S. has to offer both visitors and locals.

Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico

bishop2Santa Fe is the United States’ second oldest city and it has a deep history steeped in Native American culture. New Mexican cuisine is rich in history and flavor as well. Its signature green chilies and blue corn are found in dishes from breakfast to dinner and everything in between. Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa was founded on these old customs—food and spiritual renewal. It is wrapped around a famous 156 year-old chapel, featured in Willa Cather’s novel Death Comes for the Archbishop. Staying true to the New Mexican style, the lodges are adobe and the rooms have kiva fireplaces, private courtyards, and art and tile work throughout. We found the bathrooms to be perfect examples of the serenity that the tile work and desert air provide. The bathrooms are large with skylights for natural lighting. Separate showers filled with tile and chrome shower heads are great for quick rinsing after a hike. The sunken tubs are perfect for long soaks after a delicious meal, and for watching the sky change colors. The ShaNah Spa products are in each bathroom and although the packaging is simple, one smell of the sage, lavender, and cedar signature scent and guests are transformed. The soothing aromatherapy takes guests back to a simpler time.

The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana

rock creek

Nothing says Americana like being immersed in the middle of nature on a real Western ranch in Montana among miles of grassy ridge lines, wildflower meadows, and mountain-country lakes. The Ranch at Rock Creek was originally a mining spot in the late 1800s and became a cattle ranch somewhere around the turn of the century. After a lifetime search for the perfect ranch, current owner Jim Manley purchased the property in 2007 and created a place that would allow guests to live the excitement of cowboy life on a real Western ranch with all the amenities of the finest hotels in the world. For the all-inclusive stay, you can choose among nine lodge rooms, and 9 private cabins and log homes. The Canvas clamping, rustic-style cabins have a private attached bathroom in addition to a personal bathroom in a bathhouse. Our personal favorite can be found in Sara Jane’s cottage with its master bedroom’s en-suite bath and large copper soaking tub. Who wouldn’t want to soak in that after a day of horseback riding, hiking, biking, or fly-fishing?

Capella in Washington, D.C.


Washington D.C. is the center of American politics and our national symbol. One of the largest museums in the world, The Smithsonian, is located here, along with a plethora of hotels to house the visitors who come to see the collection. We found a hotel that feels like a private residence with museum quality artwork, a rooftop infinity pool, and unique details set in the heart of Georgetown. Capella Washington, D.C. is a hotel where guests feel they are living inside a museum, without the reverence that comes with a museum tour. Comfort is key and the rooms have mixed-era furniture that hints at 18th century and 20th century Contemporary at the same time. Because of this, the bathrooms were even more exceptional and a stylistic surprise. Ultra sleek modern dark marble floors and sinks, frosted glass showers, and bronze tiled walls create an uber-modern experience, but the major work of art is the tub. Our favorite was the perfectly round stand-alone tub underneath the window. The free standing water faucet that fills the bath is an added design bonus. Capella’s 24-hour Personal Assistant program is ready to curate anything guests desire, from a specialty massage service in the rooms to a private museum tour. We, of course, would have them curate a perfect tub experience, filling it with bath products and perhaps champagne, after a long day sightseeing.

The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park, New York


The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park, New York is situated along the waterfront in Lower Manhattan, overlooking the abundant landmarks, monuments, and museums in the area. This 298-room hotel can’t help but ooze Americana, with lower Manhattan’s history. It was a bustling harbor town and the “first stop” for millions of immigrants to the United States, via Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Guest rooms overlooking New York Harbor are equipped with high-power telescopes to enhance enjoyment of these famous landmarks. Interior designer Frank Nicholson’s overall ambiance for the hotel infuses what Ritz-Carlton executives call “next generation Ritz-Carlton,” a more modern design, with lighter woods and tones, and a more youthful and contemporary atmosphere. We chose the Ritz-Carlton Suite, whose marble bathroom has the striking harbor view with a separate soaking tub, stand up spa-shower, and his-and-hers sinks with Asprey of London amenities. Top that off with the Ritz’s truly individualistic offering—a butler-drawn customized bath with an extensive menu of relaxing and revitalizing options, accompanied by a special food and beverage presentation…what a life!

For more unique luxe lavs destinations, check out:

By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for