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2016 Editors' Picks: Emily DeNitto

The products, services and experiences Worth editors loved in 2016

The products, services and experiences Worth editors loved in 2016.

Whether it’s outstanding service, impeccable artistry or exquisite manufacturing, excellence can take many forms. But what a person defines as excellent also depends on his or her own individual taste. In the Editors’ Picks series, Worth staff members share their favorite products, services and experiences for you to look into this year. Click through to see executive editor Emily DeNitto’s picks.

Kittitian Hill

Created with an eye toward sustainability and a commitment to employing and training Kittitians, developer Val Kempadoo’s new resort immerses visitors in island culture. It isn’t for everyone. Located on the slopes of Mt. Liamuiga, Kittitian Hill doesn’t have a beach on property (though it has a beach club and restaurant on a lovely beach 10 minutes away). To connect you to the environment, the villas and guesthouses have outdoor bathrooms (don’t be surprised if a monkey visits while you take a shower). And because the resort sits within a rain forest, the weather can shift dramatically and quickly (there’s nothing like a brief, intense rainstorm in the middle of the night).

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But if you’re looking for extraordinary peace, finely tuned customer service and a chance to learn about native food, history and culture, Kittitian Hill is a great choice. Most villas and guesthouses have their own infinity pools and unique views of the sea, the farm-to-table dining is at the highest levels and activities—from an “edible” golf course where you can pick fruit throughout, to custom body scrubs and massages, to meetings with noted Caribbean authors and artists—are meaningful and memorable. It’s a magical place.

Rates from $450 to $3,000 a night, reservations@kittitianhill.com, 855.846.3951, bellemontfarm.com

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Cape Cod, Mass.
A New England gem.

Another exceptional getaway is Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, located on the elbow of Cape Cod. Getting there at high season requires a Zen approach to traffic, but once you arrive, all worries recede. Many of the rooms feature dazzling bay and ocean views, fireplaces and private outdoor spaces. Service is warm and smart, and the property’s four restaurants provide excellent fare. There are gorgeous private beaches, pools, tennis and golf, but my favorite activity was a boat trip to the white sand strip of Outer Beach. You can explore this part of the Cape Cod National Seashore for an hour or all day, and getting there and back is half the fun. In season, you’ll boat through schools of seals. Their ethereal songs, a kind of high-pitched moan, are like nothing I’ve ever heard.

Rates from $425 to $1,595 a night. Valerie Haskell, director of reservations, vhaskell@wequassett.com, 508.430.6881, wequassett.com

Louis XIII de Remy Martin at Four Seasons Hotel New York

The ultimate way to enjoy a special drink.

Louis XIII is hardly new: A blend of 1,200 eaux de vie between 40 and 100 years old, each decanter of the cognac takes four generations of cellar masters more than a century to craft. But a new promotion from Four Seasons Hotel New York presents the drink in a novel light. On the 13th of each month, guests who reserve the hotel’s Royal Suite or Ty Warner Penthouse get a curated four-course dinner from chef John Johnson paired with Louis XIII included in the rate. I visited the penthouse for a similar meal in November, when the promotion began, and it was an extraordinary experience. The space, high above the clamor of 57th Street, is hushed, focusing your mind on the panoramic views and evocative tastes. The food—that evening including caviar, black truffle croustillante and lime kaffir granite—riffs on Louis XIII’s flavors. And then there’s the amazing cognac: smooth with hints of plum, honey and wood, and a moving sense of history.

Royal Suite: $13,500 to $17,000 a night, Ty Warner Penthouse: $50,000 a night, 212.758.5700, fourseasons.com/newyork; louisxiii-cognac.com

Clos Pegase 2013 Hommage Chardonnay

Calistoga, Calif.
A reason to choose chardonnay.

A little bored, I had stayed away from oaky, buttery chardonnays for a while when I tried this delicious Napa offering, and it changed my attitude immediately. Clos Pegase’s 2013 Hommage has complex flavors, including a welcome fruitiness combined with great umami. And it’s proof that you don’t have to pay a fortune to have a terrific wine experience.

$45, clospegase.com

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Max Beckmann in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York
The long underrated painter gets the show he deserves.

German Expressionist Max Beckmann fled that country in 1937, soon after his work was labeled “degenerate” by the Nazis. He ended up in New York, where he spent the last years of his life until he suffered a fatal heart attack one day in 1950 while walking from his Upper West Side apartment to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now that museum is celebrating his work with a show of 39 pieces, many created during his time in the city. It’s a stunning assembly, full of metaphor and ideas, emotion and politics—the kind of show where people linger over a work with their hands over their mouths or their eyes filling with tears.

Runs through February 20, metmuseum.org

Max Beckmann, “Beginning,” 1949

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

A layered new work from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

There isn’t a lot of action in this latest novel from Elizabeth Strout, who won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge in 2009. But there is such depth of feeling that of nearly everything I read this year, it has stayed with me the most. My Name is Lucy Barton is set mainly in a New York hospital where the protagonist, who has a mysterious illness, stays for almost nine weeks. Her estranged mother comes to be with her. Their conversations—and all that is unsaid, and unasked—form the core of this compassionate novel that quietly, powerfully reveals how hard it is to really communicate, even with those we love the most.

Random House, $26, 208 pages, penguinrandomhouse.com

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