A room with a hammock at LOGE Bend in Oregon. Picture: Loge Camps
A room with a hammock at LOGE Bend in Oregon. Picture: Loge Camps

Great US hotels for active holidays

By Erika Mailman Time of article published Dec 9, 2019

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This summer, our family stayed at a LOGE hotel in Bend, Oregon, where we had a very atypical hotel experience. We took turns lounging in the bright orange hammock hanging from the ceiling of our room. We rode the free Raleigh loaner bikes down a paved trail, with sunlight filtering through giant evergreens. LOGE stands for "live outside, go explore," and the hotel chain makes it easy to do that. Each room of the Bend location is outfitted with hooks to hang your bike, ski racks, shelves for gear, and tile floors that can handle melting snow or mud. This property was formerly a disconsolate motel made over in fresh vintage Howard Johnson colours. Visit logecamps.com/bend

Here are more great hotels for active vacations:

Basecamp Hotel, South Lake Tahoe, California

Basecamp South Lake Tahoe's Great Indoors room. Picture:Basecamp South Lake Tahoe

This hipster spot aims to get you off the bed and onto the hiking trails, into the water or out on the slopes (it's a four-minute walk to the gondola to Heavenly ski resort). Some rooms have multiple bunk beds, for families or a group willing to share. Inside the Great Indoors suite, a tent straddles the king bed, and you can enjoy the picnic table and camp chairs, faux fire pit, and ceiling stars plus a regular bathroom. Visit basecamptahoesouth.com

Gwen Hotel, Chicago

Indulge in "urban glamping" on the Magnificent Mile in a huge, lavishly furnished bohemian tent on the 16th-floor balcony. The upscale s'mores are made with Mexican chocolate, cayenne marshmallows and a gold-leaf garnish. When you roll out of the tent, you can savour yoga on that balcony with its spectacular skyline views, rent a bike and use the concierge's bike map, or follow running trails around Lake Michigan. This experience is seasonal and includes round-trip airport transportation and a two-bedroom suite in case you want to retreat indoors. Visit thegwenchicago.com

Hotel Domestique, Greenville County, South Carolina

Cycling superstar George Hincapie opened this hotel in the city of Travelers Rest because of its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The biking routes through the mountains echo alpine climbs like those on the Tour de France and throughout Europe. Rent a Scott bike or bring your own, and staff will design a ride for you and pop it into the complimentary Garmin. You can also arrange a ride with a local professional rider to get a more focused workout. Drive one of three complementary BMWs to the nearby golf courses or vineyards, or swim in the saltwater pool. Visit hoteldomestique.com

El Capitan Canyon, Santa Barbara, California

The Creekside Queen Cabin at El Capitan Canyon. Picture: El Capitan Canyon.

By the beach, cedar cabins and safari tents offer luxury camping. Never had a tent massage? Remedy that right away. But first, earn it, by doing the lodge's challenge ropes course, dogging yourself downward in a yoga class or jumping on a complimentary beach cruiser bike. By leaving campus, you can kayak, horseback ride, surf the waves or tootle around on a Segway. Vineyards nearby? Check. Visit elcapitancanyon.com

Muir Trail Ranch, Fresno County, California

The historic ranch is a hiker's dream: You can't get to it without hiking, horseback riding or helicoptering. Everyone there is sinewy and bliss-eyed from the beautiful effort of arriving. Set in the John Muir Wilderness in California, halfway along the 211-mile John Muir Trail, the ranch can be reached via a five-mile hike from a lakeside trailhead (you and your baggage get a free trip across the lake, and a horse takes your pack to the ranch for you). Lay your sleeping bag on a real bed in a tent cabin or log cabin, eat communal dinner with other travellers, and soak in hot spring baths with views of a meadow and a granite peak. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stayed here. Open seasonally, June through September. Visit muirtrailranch.com

Primland, Patrick County, Virginia

The observatory at Primland. Picture: Primland.

Despite the name, you can be saucy at this property in Meadows of Dan. Eschew the mansion on the grounds (although you'll want to stargaze in its observatory) and stay in a private lodge, cabin or one of three treehouses for the experience Primland calls "ritzy but rugged." The treehouse named Golden Eagle was built by a French company and involves nary a nail driven into the host oak. Activities abound: 18-hole golfing on a course that made Golf magazine's list of the "top 100 courses anyone can play," guided tree climbing, biking, watersports, geocaching, horseback riding and a multitude of other things, including tomahawk throwing. Guests can don tweed hats and waistcoats and get their "Downton Abbey" on at the European Style Released Pheasant. Visit primland.com

Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Nestled in the Grand Tetons, this resort offers physical activity year-round. In summer, go white-water rafting, or ride the chairlift for 8,000 feet and then leap off the mountain with your paragliding instructor. In winter, you can sign up for a ski mountaineering clinic, wielding your ice ax and fixing rope to climb up the terrain, then skiing down in an exhilarating rush of "job well done." Take a dog-sled ride to the hot springs, go on a snowmobile safari into parts of Grand Teton National Park that are otherwise inaccessible, and participate in night skiing, heli-skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing. The accommodations are ski-in, ski-out in winter when the annual snowfall is more bounteous, the website boasts than at any other resort in the Lower 48. Visit snowking.com

Travaasa, Maui, Hawaii

It's hard to find a Hawaiian hotel that doesn't make you excited to swim, snorkel, or paddleboard under a bright and cheerful sun, but Maui's "experiential resort" Travaasa goes the extra step. On a typical day, there are a dozen activities, including standards such as horseback riding and outdoor yoga with a view of palm trees, and more offbeat choices including Hawaiian spear throwing, coconut husking and ulu maika, an ancient Hawaiian sport akin to bowling. Visit travaasa.com/hana

Tyler Place Family Resort, Franklin County, Vermont

This 165-acre, all-inclusive resort in Highgate Springs is like camp. Counsellors will lead kids through activities while adults rock climb, skeet shoot or garden, to name a few of the many options. Three meals are provided, and then you retire to your family's private cottage for the night.Visit tylerplace.com.

The Washington Post 

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