After a painfully long winter, spring is so close we can almost taste it. And getting away with the one you love has never seemed more appealing.
But when it comes to planning an epic romantic escape, not all hotels are created equal. Sure, high thread count sheets and room service are nice. But if you really want to elevate your game, you'll need to think bigger. From secluded spas to pristine beachside bungalows, we've curated a list of hotels that are truly worth writing home about.
Staying in paradise won't come cheap (though
we have you covered on that front, too). But it will be unforgettable. So pack your bags, grab your partner, and get your out of office message ready, because it's time to indulge in some next-level R&R.
Photo: Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, California There's a reason Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has so often appeared on lists of the world's best hotels. Set on 220 acres, the property boasts a massive spa, golf course, multiple pools, and no less than seven restaurants. There are several room classes, but we're partial to the two-bedroom spa suites, which have their own fireplaces and balconies. While you're there, be sure to grab a glass of champagne and take a stroll over to Illume by Paul Ferrante, an installation of 28 magnificent handmade glass lanterns that adorn the branches of a 200-year-old oak tree. This is true romantic vacation #goals.
Photo: Courtesy of El Palauet.
El Palauet, Barcelona, Spain Don't worry, Europe, we didn't forget about you. London and Paris may get most of the attention, but Barcelona is among the most romantic cities on the continent. And El Palauet — an upscale boutique hotel filled with elegant, modern touches — is the perfect hub from which to discover everything it has to offer. Enjoy breakfast in your spacious, sun-drenched suite, take in the view from your private balcony, then hit the city. When you get back, head to the roof deck for drinks overlooking the famed Barcelona architecture.
Photo: Courtesy of Pousada Maravilha.
Pousada Maravilha, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil The Pousada Maravilha is located on a tiny island off the coast of Brazil called Fernando de Noronha. You can stay in apartments or bungalows, though we recommend the latter. Each comes with a hot tub and an outdoor shower overlooking the ocean. But the No. 1 reason to choose this spot, aside from its breathtaking beauty? It’s very private — like very private. Only around 1000 people are allowed on the island at a time, which means there are likely to be times when you and yours have the entire beach to yourselves (true story).
Photo: Courtesy of Malliouhana.
Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Anguilla This boutique Caribbean property is a member of the Auberge Resorts portfolio, so it's not surprising that thoughtful, elegant touches are lurking around every corner. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy — water sports galore, golf, tennis, yoga — but you could also just snag a spot on the beach and hunker down with a cocktail (or five), dozing off to the sound of the waves. In the afternoon, hit the spa, then catch the sunset from your balcony before heading to dinner.
Photo: Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY We'd fantasized about visiting this Victorian castle resort for quite some time, and now that we have, we can say that it is as amazing as we’d imagined. It’s less of a hotel and more of an experience. Meals are included in the nightly rate, and are prepared by award-winning chefs. The list of complimentary activities is long and superb: guided nature hikes, lake and indoor pool swimming, boating on Lake Mohonk, yoga and meditation, and loads more. Mohonk's spa has 16 restorative treatment rooms, a menu of over 40 treatments, and an outdoor heated mineral pool that you won’t want to miss.
Photo: Courtesy of The Springs Resort and Spa.
The Springs Resort and Spa, La Fortuna, Arenal, Costa Rica Ever dreamt of staying at a hotel that's close enough to an active volcano to offer spectacular views, but not so close that you have to fear for your life? Say hello to the Springs Resort and Spa in Costa Rica. Check out the Arenal volcano from your room's private balcony while lying in a hammock. Sip tropical cocktails while relaxing by one of dozens of semi-private natural hot-spring-fed lagoons and pools. There’s also a giant Jacuzzi tub in each room. What are you still doing here when you could be there?
Photo: Courtesy of the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Saariselkä, Finland Tropical islands are great, but at this unique hotel in Finland, your accommodations will take the form of a glass igloo just 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where the Northern Lights viewing season lasts for eight months. The igloos are made of thermal glass, so you’ll be warm and toasty inside. Plus, because they’re glass, you'll be able to see the Aurora Borealis without even having to leave your bed. If you do make it outside, there are also five smoke saunas at the resort. Beach vacays, you're officially on notice.
Photographed by Benoit Linero.
The Nomad, New York, NY One reason to go to The Nomad is for the bar, a classic NYC tavern with a 1920s speakeasy feel, and delicious craft cocktails. Another is that it’s in NYC — so if you’re looking for a romantic tryst in one of the most impressive and exciting cities in the world, well, you're in luck. Enjoy a drink at the bar (did we mention the bar?) and then head upstairs. Take a bath in the clawfoot tub, slip into a plush robe, and order gourmet room service. Sightseeing can wait until tomorrow.
Photographed by Jamie Scull.
Chem Chem Safari Lodge, Lake Manyara, Tanzania Located on a secluded wildlife preserve outside Tarangire National Park, Chem Chem is a true bucket list travel experience. Each luxury tent is designed for the ultimate comfort and privacy. (In fact, you'll likely see more baboons, giraffes, and zebras roaming the property than you will other guests.) Opportunities for romance abound, from exquisite sunset cocktails on the shores of Lake Manyara to couples massages at the on-site spa. Explore the bush on foot with a Maasai warrior, take an afternoon dip in the glistening pool, or cozy up to a fire under the stars — this is slow safari at its finest.
Photographed by Samantha Stump.
Le Méridien, Bora Bora, French Polynesia Maybe in your wildest romantic dreams you imagine yourself in an overwater bungalow on a small island with sandy beaches and clear, blue water for miles. Turn those dreams into memories at Le Méridien, a beguiling resort in Bora Bora. Shack up in a bungalow with a magnificent glass floor so you can view the marine life, or opt for one with direct access to the lagoon and views of Mount Otemanu. Who said paradise wasn't real?
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Nueva Vida de Ramiro.
Hotel Nueva Vida de Ramiro, Tulum, Mexico Ah, Tulum — the romantic getaway capital of the Yucatan Penisula. And this lovely eco-friendly establishment, with its waterfront bungalows, is one of our favorites. Go for a stroll on an immaculate stretch of beach, and then throw back a few cocktails on a beach swing in the shade. This is a place we'd go back to in a heartbeat.
Photo: Kodiak Greenwood / courtesy of Post Ranch Inn.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California Big Sur is one of America's most breathtaking spots, and the Post Ranch Inn is its crown jewel. It's pricey, but once you step foot on the property, you'll understand what all the fuss is about. Each of the 39 guest rooms (plus one private house) offer spectacular ocean or mountain views, with luxe, rustic-chic decor throughout. Curl up by the fireplace, dip your toes in your outdoor hot tub, and experience total and utter privacy in a dramatic zen paradise.
Photo: Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India This hotel bills itself as “the most romantic hotel in the world,” and they're not kidding. For starters, it is an actual palace, located on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. And pretty much every single thing about the hotel is breathtaking. From the opulent rooms to the exquisite gardens to the over-the-top hospitality to the magnificent views of the Aravalli mountains, City Palace, and Jag Mandir. You won't want to miss a Jiva Spa Boat session (a massage on a boat on the lake). This is a definite YOLO experience.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Jackson.
Hotel Jackson, Jackson, Wyoming Nothing says cozy like a winter ski getaway. Jackson Hole is famous for its slopes, but a stay in this stunning luxury resort, located in the heart of downtown, is par excellence. You'll be near Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, with night skiing and sleigh rides at the nearby elk refuge among the many activities at your fingertips. Apres ski, cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy small bites from Figs, the hotel’s signature Mediterranean restaurant, or go in for a few handcrafted cocktails in the hotel library. Better yet, do both.