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9 luxurious fall escapes

(CNN) — Upon arrival at the Old Edwards Inn in North Carolina, you'll be greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne.

If you're tired from your travels, you can take it to your room, lingering in the rainfall shower before stepping onto the bathroom's heated marble floors and into a plush robe.

But we recommend enjoying your bubbly in the garden, where you'll have stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains drenched in the reds and yellows of the season.

"Mother Nature breaks out all the stops for fall here," says Amanda Sullivan, the hotel's marketing director. "Even a leisurely drive or a simple trek through the forested trails is taken to a whole new level."

In many places throughout the United States, these coming months are a perfect time for an escape: The air is crisp, the crowds have thinned and mesmerizing colors abound.

There's no need to rough it while taking in the autumn leaves. If you'd like to enjoy a luxurious vacation this fall, here are nine hotels to consider.

1. Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, North Carolina

This European-style property, which consists of a historic inn, upscale lodge and 25 cottages, sprawls across several acres in downtown Highlands, just two hours southwest of Asheville.

It's a seamless blend of historical and modern, with a wood-paneled library, antique furnishings and Old-World décor alongside sinfully soft Frette linens. Upscale amenities include clay tennis courts, a challenging golf course, heated mineral pools and a farm-to-table restaurant with an award-winning wine list.

The spa is also a big draw, with saunas, steam rooms and a solarium; some of the hotel rooms even adjoin the facility, so you'll never have to change out of that fluffy robe.

If you manage to tear yourself away from the hotel grounds, the area's hiking trails are a must in the fall. Or, visit during the Highlands Food and Wine Festival from November 9-12, where tickets to the main event ($100) will get you oysters, small plates, drinks and live music.

2. Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

For a quintessential fall experience, head straight to the Adirondacks, a protected area in northern New York that's bigger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Park combined.

Most striking from the water, this gorgeous stone and wood retreat is the only hotel located directly on the shores of Lake Placid. The entire property highlights the work of local artisans, and each of the 30 rooms and cabins are individually decorated in Adirondack style with comfy fabrics, hand-built beds and elaborate hand-laid fireplaces.

Its location allows easy access to boating, hiking and mountain biking, and every evening through mid-October, the lodge offers a free tour aboard its 35-foot mahogany Hacker-Craft or pontoon boat. If you visit from October 7-8, you'll even be able to watch professional ski jumping at the nearby Flaming Leaves Festival.

3. Lumière Hotel, Telluride, Colorado

Leather, wood and warm autumnal colors fill the 11 rooms and 18 "residences" at this boutique hotel. As do hickory floors, Egyptian cotton sheets and views of the San Juan Mountains. The residences, which vary in size from one to five bedrooms, offer chef's kitchens and ample living space (the three-bedroom residences average 2,600 square feet).

So, bring all your friends -- including the furry ones. Not only is the hotel on the slopes of Telluride Ski Resort, and thus mere steps from hiking trails, but it caters to pet owners with dog beds, bowls and treats.

Movie buffs should try to catch the eighth annual Telluride Horror Show ($150 for a three-day pass) from October 13-15. The film festival features a wide selection of hair-raising flicks -- at a time when the town is awash in golden Aspens.

4. Castle in the Country, Allegan, Michigan

This family-run B&B is housed in a 100-year-old pastel Victorian on 65 acres in southwest Michigan. With a stargazing deck and outdoor fireplace, it's a royally romantic place to grab a blanket and snuggle up.

All 10 rooms are decorated in a different style and color palate; eight are suites with private fireplaces and two-person Whirlpool baths. Breakfasts are made from scratch with fresh ingredients from local farms.

On Friday evenings in September and October, the B&B offers complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides followed by appetizers, apple cider mimosas and sparkling wine. You can also take advantage of the property's secluded luxury by kayaking on the private 80-acre lake, walking its miles of trails or getting a side-by-side couple's massage.

5. Poetry Inn, Napa, California

Napa Valley might not be the first place you'd think of in autumn, but harvest season is a wonderful time to visit. Not only do the grape fields turn golden, but all of the area's winemakers are in town and parties abound.

At this five-room inn, owned by vintner Cliff Lede, rooms are tasteful and modern, filled with sunlight and clean lines. They all have Italian linens and fireplaces, as well as marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and indoor and outdoor rainfall showers. The private terraces offer plenty of room for relaxing and, more importantly, expansive views of the surrounding vineyards.

To satisfy your palate, a three-course breakfast is included in the price of your stay, as well as wine tastings at Lede's nearby vineyards. (For non-guests, these range from $35 to $75 per person.)

Poetry Inn, 6380 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558; + 1 707 944 0650

6. Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington

This hotel, owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and just 30 minutes from Seattle, has a breathtaking location on the very edge of the 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls.

You might recognize it as the setting for the '90s cult classic "Twin Peaks"; it welcomes fans of the show with themed spa treatments and drinks. Thanks to an on-site apiary, the hotel is also famous for its honey. You'll find the results at the spa and on the menu — most famously drizzled atop its homemade biscuits.

Its 84 rooms are elegant but understated, in earthen tones -- probably so they don't compete with the views of the forest and river. Each has a fireplace, two-person Whirlpool tub and window seat or balcony.

Activities include hiking or paddling your way through the misty Cascade Mountains and nearby waterways. Or maybe you'll just want to perfect your apple, pumpkin or pecan pie at one of the lodge's upcoming culinary classes ($85 per person).

7. Topnotch Resort, Stowe, Vermont

At this family-friendly resort in the Green Mountain State, you'll be surrounded by nature's perfect playground. You'll also be surrounded by modern amenities, as the lodge -- which has been an area staple since 1959 -- recently underwent a $15 million renovation.

The 68 rooms feature wooden furniture, woven textiles and art inspired by the pristine natural setting. In the evenings, you can gather around fire pits, where there are s'mores for the kids -- and s'more martinis for the adults.

On the grounds, you'll find an excellent on-site tennis program, equestrian center, 35,000 square foot spa, hot tub and heated outdoor pool, as well as daily activities like wildlife walks and trivia nights. Dogs are welcome here, too; you can even request an in-room "Rover Reiki Massage."

The quaint town of Stowe hosts several events throughout the month of October, including Oktoberfest, the Foliage Arts Festival and Dine Stowe, during which you can sample specialty menus for $20.17.

8. The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

Big skies and big views beckon at this all-inclusive ranch 90 minutes from Missoula. From the food to the rooms, the entire experience is a thoughtful blend of Western adventure and lavish luxury.

The accommodations, which include a lodge, barn, houses and glamping cabins, have the coziness of a log cabin, yet due to ample sunlight, still manage to be airy. The décor features hardwood floors, ornate rugs and just the right amount of leather, with small touches -- like a cow hide here, a throw pillow there -- that make it feel Western without being cheesy.

In keeping with its roots, the 6,600-acre ranch offers an abundance of activities like horseback riding, fly fishing and shooting. Its annual Autumn Harvest Weekend takes place from October 12-15 and includes an intimate performance by LeAnn Rimes, farm-to-table meals, sampling of local ciders and a barn dance. (Rates start at $2,000 per accommodation, per night, plus a 20% ranch fee.)

9. The Lodge at Moosehead Lake, Greenville, Maine

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

If you're looking for a true getaway, try this idyllic B&B in the rugged state of Maine. Each of the nine rooms is decorated in a rugged style befitting its location, with four-poster beds, thick blankets and rustic touches like antlers and antique snowshoes.

The experience won't be lacking in luxury, though, as all rooms come with a fireplace, jetted tub and breakfast in the lakeside dining room.

Plentiful outdoor adventures include professionally-guided moose safaris -- from a canoe -- and private grouse and woodcock hunting trips accompanied by two English Cocker birding dogs. (Package rates include lodging and some meals and start at $1,255 for double occupancy.)

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