Best Of 2011

Best Hotel: Four Seasons St. Louis

The term "staycation" is so 2008 — but, hey, you know what else is so 2008? The current economy. Gone are the transatlantic flights, the weekends in Manhattan, the multiday Disney World expeditions. This is a time for brown-bagging lunch and busting out those Excel skills to create a monthly family budget. But because responsibility should be rewarded, we're recommending that you set aside some extra cash for an amazing night or two at the Four Seasons. Simply unlike any other hotel in St. Louis, the Four Seasons transports guests to an absolute paradise, where needs are not simply met — they're anticipated. Unpack your overnight bag in one of the hotel's elegantly appointed rooms and draw back the shades for a majestic view of the Arch. As you dress for dinner, catch up on the news by watching the flat-screen TV embedded in the bathroom mirror. When it's time to dine, take the elevator to the eighth floor and enjoy modern Northern Italian cuisine from award-winning chef Fabrizio Schenardi, whose veal-and-truffle ravioli will have you in raptures. Repair to the Sky Terrace afterward for cocktails and one of the city's most breathtaking views. In the morning, let the wonderful aestheticians at the on-site spa work their magic (the warm-stone massage and antioxidant-vitamin C facials are particularly popular), and then spend the balance of the day lounging poolside. This is one in-town getaway that feels like a true vacation. After the summer's economic ups and downs, grabbing some well-deserved R&R is so 2011.

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