Sometimes the best getaway is just a car ride away. Instead of spending precious vacation hours in transit, book a stay at one of Long Island’s fine hotels, just a short drive from home. These six have all the amenities and top-flight restaurants in-house; you don’t have to venture out all weekend if you don’t want to.
1. The Preston House & Hotel
Where there were once only chain hotels and roadside motels, there is now a boutique inn. The Preston House & Hotel has brought upscale, intimate rooms and an exemplary farm-to-table restaurant to Riverhead. The location is convenient — equidistant from Hamptons villages and North Fork wineries.
Twenty rooms and suites in the brand-new hotel building feature king-size beds with luxury linens; the décor is industrial chic but cozy, with honed concrete floors and sheepskin rugs. A fitness center has moody lighting and the motivational slogan “Vanity is the Flatterer of the Soul” painted on a wall. Guests here are well-fed in an 88-seat restaurant serving elevated dishes using local, organic ingredients. The restaurant is housed in a 1905 home built by Civil War veteran and Suffolk County’s first salaried sheriff, Henry H. Preston.
WHERE 428 E. Main St., Riverhead
INFO Rooms from $179 per night; 631-775-1550, theprestonhouseandhotel.com
2. Oheka Castle
This magnificent 1920s Gold Coast mansion, the second-largest private home ever built in the United States, is now Long Island’s most lavish hotel. The 127-room château, with grand circular staircases, slate roofing and elaborate plaster moldings, was situated on the highest point of Long Island and featured formal gardens designed by the legendary Olmstead brothers.
Today, there are 32 guest rooms and suites furnished in high Gatsby-era style, an extravagantly decorated bar and restaurant, a fitness center and those gardens, re-created from the original plans and boasting eight reflecting pools and three fountains. The romance of the place is palpable, and it is no wonder that Oheka Castle is a wildly popular Long Island wedding venue.
WHERE 135 West Gate Dr., Huntington
INFO Rooms from $395 per night; 631-659-1350, ohekacastle.com
3. Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
This full-service resort with dramatic ocean views offers waterfront and water-view rooms and cottages year-round. The rooms are furnished in sleek, midcentury style, with splashes of nautical blue. A 2,000-foot stretch of private beach is made for long, contemplative walks.
The list of amenities is too long to print in full but includes two full-service restaurants, a coffee bar, a seawater pool, a Russian steam room and a Finnish rock sauna. The spa offers Pilates, yoga, water aerobics, spinning and more fitness classes. The salon has a large menu of massage and beauty treatments. Before you head off-site, take advantage of the concierge’s recommendations for the best restaurants, shops, beaches and hikes in Montauk and other nearby towns.
WHERE 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk
INFO Rooms from $290 per night; 631-668-2345, gurneysresorts.com/montauk
4. The Roslyn Hotel
This boutique hotel has bright white rooms with punchy lime green and purple accents. Amenities include a library lounge with fireplace, hot breakfast buffet included in the room rate and a shuttle service that will take you anywhere within a three-mile radius. The village of Roslyn is charming and architecturally distinguished. Old Northern Boulevard, with an eclectic collection of shops and cafes, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Notable landmarks include the Trinity Episcopal Church, designed by Stanford White.
One of Roslyn’s biggest attractions is situated right in the hotel. My Father's Place, the Roslyn rock club where Bruce Springsteen, U2, the Ramones and Bob Marley played in the ’70s, has been reopened here by its founder, Michael Epstein, with 200 seats and full calendar of new and established acts. A restaurant connected to the club serves pub food and more upscale dinners.
WHERE 1221 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn
INFO Rooms from $123 per night; 516-583-9803, theroslynhotel.com
5. The Garden City Hotel
This large and gracious suburban hotel is an attractive choice for a quick getaway or a family reunion (with 269 rooms, there’s space for everyone). There is a Red Door spa on site for massages, facials, hair, makeup and nails. The arrangement bar, an upscale flower shop in the lobby that provides bouquets for hotel events, also sells exotic blooms to visitors. Long famous for its Sunday brunch and Saturday afternoon tea, the hotel has recently turned over its King Bar and Red Salt Room to "Top Chef Masters" contestant David Burke, who serves luxurious comfort food.
Work off your dry-aged rib-eye at the hotel’s fitness center and indoor heated pool. Take a walk (or run) through Garden City. Nearby attractions include Nassau Coliseum, Old Westbury Gardens and the Cradle of Aviation Museum. World-class shopping (Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton) is just two miles away at the Roosevelt Field Mall.
WHERE 45 Seventh St., Garden City
INFO Rooms from $176 per night; 516-877-9385, gardencityhotel.com
6. Danfords Hotel, Marina & Spa
Request a boat slip and you can arrive at this boutique hotel on Port Jefferson Harbor on your yacht. Or arrive by car — there’s plenty of parking. The hotel has 86 guest rooms, with mahogany accents recalling fine yacht trim.