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9 cool hotels for leaf peeping, from Central Park to the Rocky Mountains

Aug. 29, 2022
9 min read
couple walking up steps with castle-like resort in the background
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In the fall, few things are more magical than a scenic drive down a tree-lined road awash in color. From deep reds to sunset-like oranges and vibrant yellows, autumn brings so much color into our lives, along with crisp air, light jackets and maybe even a pumpkin spice-something-or-other.

If you're planning a fall foliage getaway for a little leaf-peeping, there are tons of great hotels around the U.S. and Canada to anchor your autumnal adventure.

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Eastwind Lake Placid

LAWRENCE BRAUN/THE POINTS GUY

A new boutique hotel with Scandanavian design influences, Eastwind Lake Placid is a renovated motor lodge that’s open year-round. Here, you can book one of 17 rooms or, the better option, book one of eight chic cabins that’ll put you even closer to nature.

The cabins start at 170 square feet and include a deck and an electric coffee kettle so you can sit outside with a fresh pour-over to take in the morning air surrounded by the leaves before heading out for a hike in the mountains or a meal near Mirror Lake.

How to book: Regular, but design-forward rooms at the Eastwind Lake Placid start at $299 a night while cabins are a bit pricier at $429 a night.

Mohonk Mountain House

MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE

If you want to admire ember-hued leaves while staying in a fairytale-like castle, head to the dreamy Mohonk Mountain House. About 90 miles out of New York City, this resort is set in 40,000 acres of forest — just think of all those leaves!

The resort offers fun activities all year long, though fall is arguably the most beautiful time to visit. Spend your time here hiking, horseback riding, ax throwing or canoeing. In the evening, gather the family for a campfire or outdoor movie night under the stars.

The price for a stay at Mohonk Mountain House includes three meals a day (excluding alcohol), as well as afternoon tea and cookies.

How to book: Mohonk Mountain can be pretty expensive this time of year. Expect to pay over $700 a night during the week and potentially upwards of $1,000 a night for a weekend stay. Don’t forget, though, meals are included, so you won’t have to spend much extra when you’re actually there.

JW Marriott Essex House

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Not every leaf-peeping trip needs to be up in the mountains or out in nature. In fact, one of the best ways to see some changing leaves is with a side of world-class entertainment, shopping and dining. Experience it all with a trip to New York City and a room at the JW Marriott Essex House.

Right on Central Park, this hotel offers rooms with stunning views of the park, and you can even arrange a custom picnic in the park to enjoy amidst the foliage. Afterward, hit the shops on Fifth Avenue, catch a Broadway show or visit one of the incredible museums within walking distance of the hotel.

How to book: In October, rates at the JW Marriott Essex House start at $589 a night for an entry-level room. However, for a Central Park view expect to pay more than $715 a night. That same incredible view goes for 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points plus $200 in cash or 140,000 points alone.

Related: How to travel to New York City on points and miles

Miraval Berkshires

MIRAVAL BERKSHIRES

In New England, Miraval Berkshires in Lenox, Massachusetts, is a TPG-favorite resort all year long. Arguably the best time to stay at this wellness-focused, adults-only sanctuary is in the fall. Then, you can go on a digital detox surrounded by the glorious colors of autumn while being pampered like royalty.

At Miraval Berkshires, nearly everything is included in the price, including meals (sans alcohol) and lots of activities ranging from yoga to archery and cardio drumming. Recently, the resort expanded to include a Gilded Age mansion. It's also offering a special package that includes free transportation on a luxury bus from New York City now through the end of October.

How to book: Miraval Berkshires is a member of World of Hyatt, but for a double occupancy award night, expect to pay between 57,500 and 72,000 points. Spending cash? Expect to pay over $1,000 a night.

Right now, with the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you could get an off-peak night at this stunner of a resort by earning 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from opening your account.

Additionally, you can earn up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 bonus points per $1 spent in the first six months from opening an account on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point, on up to $15,000 spent.

W Aspen

MARRIOTT

You might think of Aspen as a winter-first destination, but let's not sleep on its fantastic fall foliage, OK? To root yourself there to see the changing of the leaves, the W Aspen is a great spot with plenty of amenities to enjoy.

At the base of Aspen Mountain, this resort offers funky rooms (including some with bunk beds), a heated rooftop pool, fire pits and bike rentals. Staff members can even organize a paragliding experience to view the leaves from a totally new height.

How to book: Find cash rates for this hip Aspen hotel as low as $332 a night in October reaching all the way up to $569. Marriott Bonvoy members can trade in 77,500 points a night for an award night here in autumn.

The Cloudveil

MARRIOTT

Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, The Cloudveil is a luxury hotel in the heart of Jackson, Wyoming, that's big on design and style.

The hotel is the perfect place to stay for a fall trip to some of the incredible nearby national parks, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone, which glow amber as the leaves change colors.

Come for the leaf peeping but stay for, well, everything else. From suites with massive soaking tubs to an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, not to mention a delicious restaurant, this hotel hits all the right notes.

How to book: Find cash rates at The Cloudveil in October for as low as $360 a night. But be warned that most of the month is much costlier, with some nights even reaching over $900 a night. Award nights are usually 100,000 points per night, though some lower rates are available at the end of October.

Related: A beginner’s guide to visiting Yellowstone National Park: Everything you should see and do

The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa

EQUINOX GOLF RESORT & SPA

For a real adventure out in nature that's up close and personal with the fall foliage, The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Vermont is a sure bet.

There, you can golf on an incredible course that's turned amber and orange for the season, learn to fly fish at the Orvis Fly Fishing School and take a boat out on Emerald Lake or Lake Shaftsbury. You can also hit the ropes course or ride New England’s longest zip line at Bromley's Sun Mountain Adventure Park.

After a big day of adventure, hit the heated pool for a swim or head to the spa for a relaxing treatment.

How to book: During peak leaf peeping dates in October, rates can be found as low as $374 a night.

The Park Vista - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Gatlinburg, Tennessee. JIM WILTSCHKO/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

To see fall in its strongest form, the place to go is Tennessee's Smoky Mountains. The place to stay is The Park Vista - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Set 1,000 feet above the charming town of Gatlinburg, this hotel is a great home base for a trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and nearby Dollywood, Dolly Parton's popular theme park.

The hotel is also home to two restaurants, including Firefly's Patio Lounge where you can sit outside in the fresh Tennessee mountain air and sip an Old Fashioned while watching the leaves fall.

How to book: Cash rates at this Smoky Mountain hotel during leaf-peeping season start at $260 a night while award nights can be found starting at 55,000 points per night for Hilton Honors members.

Related: A beginner’s guide to visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

GRAND HOTEL

If you want to see the leaves change while staying in a grand, Victorian-style resort, it's time to head to Mackinac Island in Michigan.

Cars are not allowed here, but horse-drawn carriages are available for some very special transportation. Hotel guests can enjoy activities like golf, tennis and horseback riding, while surrounded by the changing leaves.

There are 16 on-site restaurants and bars to check out during your stay, as well as an activity center with mini-golf, BMX trails and a nature center.

How to book: Prime leaf peeping dates in October see room rates between $380 a night and $535.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases