There’s something innately therapeutic about digging your hands into soil or watching plants peacefully compete for the sun’s attention. In today’s fast paced world where people are relentlessly connected to work and stressors, it’s easy to forget the value of spending some reflective time outside – in silence.
Luckily for us, there are independent hotels from coast to coast that allow guests to escape the rat race and enjoy the serenity of a beautiful garden – even while traveling for business or pleasure. After the meditative outdoor retreat, people can couple their newfound energy with a fresh, organic meal.
The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort’s garden rests on the floor of what the Native Americans called the “Na-sik-elt”, or the Narrow Bottom Canyon. The inn’s two-acre certified organic garden grows everything from leeks, beets, radishes and bok choy to sunflowers, cilantro and strawberries. Guests can sit in the gazebo and stare up at the surrounding mountains as staff tends to the crops or they can take a stroll and observe dozens of native bird species that call the garden home. After a mind-clearing afternoon spent in the valley’s lush garden, an appetite can be soothed eating fresh produce prepared in one of the resort’s restaurants.
Sun Mountain Lodge – Winthrop, Washington
While the Sun Mountain property is maintained by a professional landscaper, John Thomson, and a few seasonal interns, it’s the wildness of the land that makes this experience so liberating. The inn sits atop 3,000 private acres of some of the most diverse and picturesque landscape in the country. Guests can sit on a garden bench and gaze at the vistas below, canoe on the 120-acre Patterson Lake, or horseback ride through fields of wildflowers. With 300 days of sunshine on average per year, people leave this expansive natural wonderland relaxed and with a new sense of adventure.
The Essex Resort & Spa – Essex, Vermont
When people think of Vermonters, they often picture simple, pragmatic, old school New England farmers. The Essex Resort & Spa lives up to the “living off the land” ideal and fuels their legendary culinary institute and restaurants with natural, delicious ingredients from their very own organic garden. While The Essex has the comforts and amenities of a 5-star inn, it also raises chickens and pigs out back, its crops come from local, non-GMO seeds, and leftover scraps are composted to complete a natural cycle. The relaxing Essex is set on 18 acres between Vermont’s Green Mountains and beautiful Lake Champlain. Guests can take cooking classes using herbs from the hotel’s garden, enjoy a full-service spa, or play 18 holes of golf while soaking up the pristine wilderness and farmlands that abut the course.
The Lodge at Woodloch, a Destination Spa Resort – Hawley, Pennsylvania
If you want to actually dig your hands into soil and take some gardening techniques home with you, The Lodge at Woodloch’s Garden Programs are right for you. The luxurious Poconos resort offers guests the opportunity to get personal horticultural experience from the hotel’s Master Gardener, Alison Peck. Just 95 miles from New York City and Philadelphia, “students” can embrace a philosophy of personal awakening and learn about Organic farming practices – including companion planting, promoting beneficial insects, cover cropping, rotation planting, and composting.