Mr & Mrs Smith is a boutique lodging outfit that combs the globe for exquisite, one-of-a-kind properties so you don't have to.
Recently, they cut ribbons on their first West Coast outpost in Santa Monica.
To celebrate, we asked them to introduce us to five of their flagships west of the Rockies.
Here they are.
1. Hotel Jerome
Erected in the 1880s and assigned to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, this cowboy-casual 94-room inn is an Aspen landmark. On your itinerary: day hikes, designer shopping and nightly pit stops at J-Bar — a saloon that dates back to the Prohibition and later served as writer's room and tippling station to Aspen's poet laureate, Hunter S. Thompson. Pro tip: go over Labor Day weekend to celebrate the 25th ann'y of America's premier music festival of the 1%, Jazz Aspen Snowmass.
2. The Resort at Pedregal
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
San Pedregal ain't your run-of-the-mill coeds-and-Coronas Mexican hideout. Perched at the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, the sprawling cliffside property has all you need to keep you and your progeny occupied. Get the suite with the private fire pit. Your to-do list for the week: 1) Swim with dolphins. 2) Hit the nearby Tarzan rope swing. 3) Try all four on-site eateries (foremost: El Farallón, an old-school fish shack with a menu dictated by the daily catch). 4) Get dragged away kicking and screaming by your wife when she tells you it's time to go home.
Lake Powell, Utah
In short: an all-stops-pulled, off-the-grid desert paradise within day-tripping distance of Lake Powell, Zion National Park and quite possibly the most gape-worthy overlook in the contiguous 48, Horseshoe Bend. This is where you go after securing round three of funding. And if and when you do: splurge. Which is rather easy at Amangiri. There are suites with private pools. Big ones. There's an on-site "Gallery" that hucks jewelry and Southwestern art. There's a 2,300 square-foot spa offering traditional Navajo healing practices. And there are via ferratas. Do not skip them.
4. Ventana Inn
Big Sur, California
The only entry on the list you can reach on wheels by nightfall, Ventana is a leathery, oak-beamed lodge that peddles Cali's signature mountain/ocean divide with aplomb. To wit: every nearby beach is only accessible by hike, so pack your trailblazing boots. Seriously, though, hike's worth your while: Big Sur's horizon-to-horizon beaches are among the most glorious and unblemished you've likely seen. Take a load off upon your return with a Japanese hot bath and Chef Paul Corsentino's four-course tasting menu. The only digs in the vicinity we'd rather call home: The Hearst Mansion, which oh-by-the-way you can get to in an hour.
5. Wickaninnish Inn
Vancouver Island, Canada
"Nature is your entertainment centre at the Wick," according to Mr & Mrs Smith. Translation: Disconnect phone from outlet. Press power button. Bury in drawer till checkout. In lieu of idle texting and Candy Crush: watching a Pacific sunset while waves beat about the craggy bedrocks you see above, for starters. But the joint also hosts bear and bald eagle watches, fishing expeditions, sea kayaking and more. Forget to pack your raingear? Check the closet. You'll find stalwart his-and-hers getups from Helly Hansen waiting in there for you. For grub? Seafood, natch. Don't skip the mussels.