8 of the Most Beautiful Hotel Gardens in North America

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In the hipster oasis that is Seattle, art comes in many forms, including, um, gum? According to the News Tribune, this sticky situation offends many locals who believe that their city should be known for something other than a wall of gum. This bacteria-infested art installation is in an alleyway next to the famed Pike Place Market, meaning that locals looking to pick up some fresh-caught fish have to endure Instagrammers looking for their best angle against a wall holding the germs of at least a few thousand other people.
a close up of a flower garden

Whether you’re an avid gardener or just love to stop and smell the roses, the gardens in Rizzoli International’s latest book will inevitably rouse inspiration for future travels. The Art of the Gardenfeatures enchanting greenery from North American Relais & Châteaux (an association of the world’s finest hoteliers, chefs, and restaurateurs) properties, photographed by David Engelhardt. But it’s not all pretty pictures: the 240 pages of horticulture are accompanied by recipes from each of the properties showcased, and how-to sidebars on the design process.

Below, 8 flora-filled properties to start you planning your next stateside getaway.

a chair sitting in front of a mountain© Photo: David Engelhardt / Courtesy of Rizzoli

The Little Nell

Situated in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, The Little Nell celebrates the beauty of the state by infusing the property with native plants (yarrows, daisies, and blue columbine to name a few) at every turn. The Aspen inn offers al fresco dining at 11,212 feet (pictured above) or near the pool with views of a living wall of flowers, unarguably the retreat’s pièce de résistance. Garden designer Arabella Thoyts-Beavers used native grasses among the plantings, drawing inspiration from Piet Oudolf, the innovator behind New York City’s High Line. The ground’s gardens aren’t just for browsing: they produce ingredients for the restaurant as well as herbs for the spa.

a plant in a garden© Photo: David Engelhardt / Courtesy of Rizzoli

Glenmere Mansion

Just a little over an hour away from Manhattan, Glenmere Mansion hosts vibrant gardens that you will never want to leave. Reimagined and beautified by the legendary American landscape designer Beatrix Farrand in 1911, guests will see the mix of formal French and Italian panterres mixed with “more carefree” English plantings. The current owners, Dan DeSimone and Alan Stenberg, have painstakingly restored the estate, sticking to most of Farrand’s original plans (some of Farrand’s original trees and peonies have survived). Terracotta is frequently used throughout the space since it looks as elegant as stone, but can survive a Northeastern winter.

Auberge du Soleil

Come for the wine and stay for the gardens at Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil. Guests can enjoy sweeping views of the olive groves, vineyards, and mountains during their time at the California-meets-South of France escape. The gardens also feature one hundred sculptural artworks (many made by California artists). The property is even taking their fitness program outside, offering more qigong and yoga in the fresh air.

a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table© Photo: David Engelhardt / Courtesy of Rizzoli

Lake Placid Lodge

In true Adirondack fashion, Lake Placid Lodge seamlessly mixes rugged and regal. The lakeside destination was originally a private summer residence and fishing camp, built in 1882 for the titans of New York (the Roosevelt, Vanderbilt, and Guggenheim families enjoyed their time away from the city here). The summers are green, lush, and full of flowers, which are displayed throughout the property in breathtaking arrangements. When the temperatures drop, guests can experience nature from the inside out via iconic live-bark wood beams, twig furnishings, and the constant, comforting smell of wood fires.

The Charlotte Inn

The Charlotte Inn in Martha’s Vineyard is an Edwardian retreat blooming with vibrant flowers, perfectly displayed throughout the dense and dreamy gardens. Plant stands, stone finials, and fountains decorate green spaces that guests will want to get lost in. Gery and Paula Conover have owned the property for the last 47 years, and they pay homage to their love of England through their plantings. The Inn is situated just a half block from Main Street—close enough to the action, yet secluded enough for true R&R.

a bicycle parked in front of a flower garden© Photo: David Engelhardt / Courtesy of Rizzoli

Rancho Valencia

Located in one of San Diego’s loveliest suburbs, Rancho Valencia is worth a visit for anyone craving sunshine. Designed in the Spanish colonial style with lush and colorful gardens, the property is a tropical oasis that doesn’t require a passport to get to. Hibiscus flowers, Mexican sage, eucalyptus trees, honeybee hives, and palm trees are abundant on the premises (which includes a walking trail through the 45 acres). Guests can also enjoy an indoor-outdoor experience through private patios and outdoor fireplaces. “Even the walk-in closets have opening windows,” general manager Coni Thornburg says.

Ocean House

The gardens of Ocean House were actually designed to optimize the seaside views. Built in 1868 and restored in 2010, the Rhode Island escape boasts a variety of outdoor spots to browse, both grassy and sandy. The upper garden (the inn’s most formal), filled with traditional New England flowers like roses and hydrangeas, is worth exploring on foot, while fresh herbs can be experienced in the restaurant, and rose petals in the award-winning spa.

a wooden bench sitting next to a tree© Photo: David Engelhardt / Courtesy of Rizzoli

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Edwards Inn and Spa operates bountiful gardens, including the kitchen garden, which is filled with over 300 varieties planted according to color. Flower lovers will find refuge in this Appalachian retreat, even when the snow begins to fall: the inn’s flower shop, where “local dahlia aficionados love to gather to discuss the latest varietals,” is open year-round. Before your dinner of freshly harvested fare, sip on “The Gin and Tonic,” made from local organic gin and juniper berries picked at the peak of freshness from, of course, the garden.

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