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Features

Great Getaways

Winter escapes close to home

So the holidays are over, winter has come and we’re all in a position to get smacked with a hefty case of the seasonal blahs. Until the first rays of spring arrive in a few months, the following are suggested retreats that don’t involve getting on a plane or going beyond Long Island and the five boroughs.

East End Escape

Most people perceive the Hamptons, North Fork and all points around the tip of Long Island as being strictly reserved for summer jaunts. Truth is that even though the temperature is considerably lower this time of year, it’s far less crowded and tailor-made for that get-away weekend. Among the places you can stay are:

Panoramic View Resort

272 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk, NY 11954

631-668-3000 - www.panoramicview.com

A 10-acre sanctuary located off of 1,000 feet of beach. Studios, one and two-bedroom units are available in addition to three private beach cottages.

Or:

Ocean Resort Inn

95 South Emerson Ave., Montauk, NY 11954

631-668-2300 - www.oceanresortinn.com

Located steps away from the Atlantic, the Ocean Resort Inn offers luxury suites, use of a private courtyard and a location that puts it right in the heart of Montauk with plenty of shops and restaurants readily accessible.

A popular place to kick off your day is at Mr. John’s Pancake House (721 Montauk Hwy., Montauk, NY 11954 631-668-2383), famed for its delectable brunch and assortment of crepes, pancakes and waffles. Once you’re done and looking to work off that meal, head over to Montauk Point State Park. Here you can avail yourself of visiting the Montauk Point Lighthouse (which was completed in 1796), a number of hiking and nature trails, surf fishing, cross-country skiing and if you’re lucky, a quick glimpse of the local seals sunning themselves on the nearby rocks. Follow it up with dinner at the Zagat-rated:

Harvest On Fort Pond

11 S. Emory St., Montauk, NY 11954

631-668-5574 - www.harvestfortpond.com

Aquatic Adventure

So you’re looking to do something a little edgier. What about sharing a tank with a shark, or for the more cautious adventure, puttering around with penguins. Both can be done at:

Long Island Aquarium

431 E. Main St., Riverhead, NY 11901

631-208-9200 - www.longislandaquarium.com

The Shark Dive adventure plunks you in the Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit in a cage, where you’ll be accompanied by a trained Shark Dive Instructor, a wetsuit, scuba gear and an underwater mask that allows normal breathing and underwater communications. No scuba certification is necessary and in the end you’ll receive a souvenir beach towel, souvenir shark tooth from the Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit and photograph of your dive emailed to you.

The Penguin Encounter allows you into the Penguin Pavilion, where you get to learn more about Mr. Popper’s favorite fowl for 45 minutes. Photos are permitted and each visitor receives one beach ball.

Once you’re done playing Jacques Cousteau, you can relax at:

Sannino Vineyard and B&B

1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic, NY 11958

631-734-8282 - www.sanninovineyard.com

Here, you can take advantage of a number of specials including Wine and Dine Mid-Week, VIP Wine Blending Class or just a winery tour.

Local Luxury

If a convenient locale and a centrally located point of operations is on your punchlist of places to run away to, look no further than:

Roslyn Claremont Hotel

1221 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn, NY 11576

516-625-2700 - www.theroslynhotel.com

This four-story boutique hotel is a perfect location from which you can visit the Nassau County Museum of Art, Clark Botanical Gardens, Sands Point Preserve, Old Westbury Gardens or (weather permitting), play a round of golf at Harbor Links. Accommodations run from the Executive (King) room to the Superior (Queen) and Parlor suites, all modernly updated rooms that include complimentary high-speed Internet access, iPod docking stations and European marble baths to go with complimentary parking, hot breakfast buffet and the usual amenities.

Royal Treatment (NYC)

If you want to feel like you should be strutting around sporting a crown or tiara, look westward to midtown Manhattan, where you’ll find:

New York Palace Hotel

455 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022

212-888-7000 - www.newyorkpalace.com

The recipient of a $140 million transformation, this luxury hotel features spacious west-facing king guestrooms that include romantic views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, the Palace Courtyard and the midtown skyline. For a limited time only, you can receive an instant upgrade to a Cathedral View or Premier Skyline View Room for the price of a Superior Room. The New York Palace’s extraordinary location finds you steps from Rockefeller Center, Broadway theaters, world class shopping and museums. There is also a concierge team standing at the ready to help guests design a city escape to place you squarely in someone’s heart.  In addition to six new bars and restaurants, the storied courtyard leads to a landmarked mansion that is home to the critically acclaimed cuisine of Villard Michel Richard.

Royal Treatment (Long Island)

Formerly known as the Otto Kahn Estate, this Gold Coast landmark was transformed into its current incarnation by Long Island developer Gary Melius, who purchased the grounds back in 1984.

Oheka Castle

135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 11743

631-659-1400 - www.oheka.com

The background and history of Oheka is far too extensive to include in the space provided.

But there are a number of package deals available including a visit to the picturesque vineyards of the North Fork, where you can experience a wide range of wines.

It includes:

• Luxurious overnight accommodations in a Chateau Room

• 7 hour chauffeured limousine (To and from Oheka Castle)

• Your own individual picnic lunch to enjoy during your tour

• A map of the Long Island vineyards

• Strawberries dipped in Belgian chocolate in your room

• Continental breakfast served the next morning

Limousine departs Oheka at 10:30 a.m. the day of the wine tour. Tour day may be either on the day of arrival or departure (choice made at reservation).

There are add-on options: Extra night stay (25% off standard rate), in-room massage, 3-course dinner at Oheka, guided tour (inquire for rates).

As well as an upgrade option: Room upgrade ($100/room category upgrade), hot breakfast (inquire for rates).