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USA: South

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1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : OCONNELL

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Patrick O’Connell
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Owner and Grand Chef of the Inn at Little Washington
My route from Washington DC to the plantations of South Carolina

More than 50 years ago Relais & Châteaux was first conceived as a travel itinerary from Paris to the South of France with stops at charming and unique properties along the way. This travel route was affectionately known as La Route de Bonheur – the route of happiness.

For the first time we are proud to introduce our own East Coast Relais & Châteaux Travel Route from The Inn at Little Washington to Planters Inn. This journey will take you to some of the most unique and fascinating properties in the world—each offering an unforgettable sense of place, inspired by the history and culture of its region. May our American Route of Happiness stimulate all of your senses and provide you with enchanting memories to last a lifetime.

Bon Voyage and welcome to the magical world of Relais & Châteaux.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a four-night stay from $915*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Stage 1: one night, two days

The Inn at Little Washington

An experience you may not be able to find anywhere else in the world
The Inn at Little Washington
The Inn at Little Washington is as close to a storybook destination as you can imagine. The country oasis is a romantic getaway that sheds all chaos and concerns from everyday life, and makes guests feel as if they have stepped back in time (with all the modern-day conveniences) to a more simpler way of living. Historians will love being in Washington, Virginia, one of America’s most preserved villages, and today’s workaholic will enjoy the fresh air and calm breezes that waft through the Inn. If you have a few spare moments, spend them on the porch enjoying the sunset over one of America’s great landscapes. One word of advice: check your voice mail and call home before you hit the road. Once you get to Washington, Virginia, you will have little to no cell phone reception.

Close to the property...

The Inn Shops

Every good vacation needs a good shopping excursion. Located within walking distance from the Inn at Little Washington are the Inn Shops, part of the Old Tavern. Built in 1740, the Colonial building features a series of five decorated period rooms that showcase one-of-a-kind tableware, jewelry, antiques, and home furnishings from the 1800s.

Dinner at The Inn

A private dining experience unlike anything else. With only 30 tables, we treat every diner to an intimate and luxurious dining experience. Our staff can help choose a wine from our 14,000-bottle wine cellar to accompany your dinner. Dining is the perfect way to wind down a long day of travel and sightseeing, and a great way to reconnect with your travel partner and plan the next day s events.

On the route...

National Mall

Washington’s National Mall is where it all takes place. The Mall is home to years of protests, events, exhibits and leads the way to some of Washington’s most famous monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian Museums (I can never pass up an opportunity to walk through the Air and Space Museum). As you walk the grassy Mall, stop at the Washington Monument, walk through the Vietnam and Korean Memorials, and end near the Capitol Building.

Smithsonian American History Museum

Along your walk you’ll pass the Smithsonian Museums. From American Art to Air and Space, history knows no limits in these buildings. Stop off at the American History Museum to view the first flag our nation flew, George Washington’s uniform, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the leather jacket worn by "The Fonz".

The Newseum

One of the most powerful new museums in Washington, and a personal favorite for retelling the stories of the past, is the Newseum - a 250,000-square-foot museum of news from five centuries. Here we’re reminded of the most news breaking events in our history, from Watergate to the attacks on 9/11, and how reporters and photojournalists covered every event that shaped our nation.

The White House

A few blocks from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue is The White House, which is currently open for tours. If you want to tour the grand home, make sure to contact your member of Congress’s Washington, DC office about a month before your trip to secure White House tour passes.

Visit Old Town Alexandria...

Head out of Washington DC toward Old Town Alexandria, where the 18th century meets modern day tourism. Stroll the 250-year-old cobblestone and brick streets that lead you past boutiques, antique shops and endless cuisine options. The Hard Times Cafe is home to world famous chili and the famous Chili Mac plates.

Skyline Drive

As you leave The Inn at Little Washington, head south for a Skyline Drive, where you’ll view the grounds of the Shenandoah Valley. Located just 12 miles from the Inn, the drive was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression and offers 75 scenic overlooks to stop and take photos, picnic and enjoy the views.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : OCONNELL

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Step 2 : 1 day, 1 night

Clifton

Presidential history in Virginia
Clifton
Built in 1799 at the request of Thomas Mann Randolph (Jr), the governor of Virginia and the son of President Thomas Jefferson, this splendid colonial-style residence is part of the very history of the United States of America. It is here that the family of John Singleton Mosby, the famous officer in charge of the “grey ghosts”, found refuge during the Civil War. Even today, the atmosphère and the hospitality remain unique. It is a journey through time which extends to the Rivanna River and, in the distance, the beautiful hills of Monticello…

Close to the property...

The wines route of Monticello

Renowned for being a wine region in America (American Viticultural Area), Monticello offers a certain experience for wine amateurs. A remarkable amount of work has been undertaken by the winemakers of the area for nearly thirty years. Virginia has become a veritable destination for winemakers who come to enjoy varieties as different as viognier, cabernet franc and norton. This wine route meanders through more than 1,000 hectares of vineyeards, in the loving memory of Thomas Jefferson…

The wines route of Monticello

The residences of the Presidents, Charlotesville

A registered Unesco World Heritage site, Monticello is not just the old residence of the President Thomas Jefferson, the Father of the Declaration of Independence; it is also an architectural masterpiece with 43 rooms which is accompanied by some of the finest gardens in the country. The fifth President of the United States, James Monroe resided for twenty-four years (1799-1823) in Ash Lawn-Highland, close to Monticello. Its Victorian-style house has charming antique furniture. Finally, the residence of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and one of the main authors of the Constitution, is located in Montpelier, in the vicinity of a forest where I love to walk.

Monticello Ash Lawn-Highland Montpelier

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : OCONNELL

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 3: one night, two days

The Fearrington House Inn, Restaurant & Spa

Celebrated cuisine and a relaxing spa in an elegant village of charm
The Fearrington House Inn, Restaurant & Spa
North Carolina’s award-winning Inn is everything you would expect from Relais & Châteaux, with a little bit of southern charm thrown in. The little retreat in Fearrington Village is the perfect getaway for those who appreciate good food, good wine, and good southern hospitality. Every time we’re there, we somehow fall back in love with Fearrington House and its quaint, but luxurious, charm.

Close to the property...

The Gardens

What better way to unwind than with a walk through one of the country’s most lush and lovely gardens?

Start at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, often referred to as the "Crown Jewel of Duke University." The gardens span a stunning 55 acres and is widely recognized as one of the best public gardens in the United States. Continue your drive to the North Carolina Botanical Garden, where you’ll be invited to walk the nearly 1,000 acres of lush landscape and green gardens. The Botanical Garden hosts various "theme" gardens throughout the year. Since the Botanical Gardens are a part of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you can walk the campus while you’re here.

The Beer Garden and restaurant

After your walk through the south’s most stunning gardens, enjoy the English Afternoon Tea at the Inn or if you are in the mood for more casual atmosphere, head over to Roost, the Beer Garden. Don’t worry if brew isn’t meant for your palette — Roost offers a selection of wines by Fearrington sommelier Max Kast. For an exceptional dining experience, savor acclaimed Chef Colin Bedford’s farm-to-fork cuisine at the Fearrington House Restaurant

NC Museum of Art

After a light lunch at the Belted Goat, visit the stunning new NC Museum of Art in Raleigh - In 2010, this important Southern art institution reopened in a new home - a 65,000 square foot modernist marvel that has gotten rave reviews. The wide ranging collection includes the Southeast’s finest collection of Old Master paintings, works by 20th century African American artists and an African art gallery

On the route...

Lafayette’s Tour

As you make your way south toward Planters Inn, head along the Lafayette’s Tour Scenic Byway, where you’ll see some of North Carolina’s oldest and most historic plantations and southern architecture. Named for General Lafayette of France who followed the route during his tour of the country in 1825, you’ll enjoy picnics at state parks and find yourself transported back in time when plantations were the main form of economic survival in the South.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : OCONNELL

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 4: one night, two days

Planters Inn

One of America’s most romantic historic cities
Planters Inn
Located in Charleston’s historic district, Planters Inn is a charming hotel that welcomes guests with all the grace and style one would expect from a southern belle. With only 64 rooms, this luxury Inn makes every guest feel as if they’re family, whether you’re home to southern roots or not. Planters Inn embodies the historical significance of the south with all the luxury and lavishness of today. Your long drive on day five will be well rewarded with dinner at the Inn’s four-star Peninsula Grill.

Close to the property...

Boone Hill Plantation

The Boone Hill Plantation is one of the country’s still working plantations. Take a walk through the gardens, explore what was once the slave cabins in the south.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Before leaving Charleston, stop by the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, a pre-Revolutionary War plantation house where history comes to life in the vast gardens, antebellum cabin and outdoor trails that wind through the 17th century plantation.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : OCONNELL

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard