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50 Romantic Retreats

It's February again, the month that celebrates love. So, we've located 50 new (or newly updated) hotels that make privacy a priority. Whether your version of a tryst means a secluded beach, indulgent spa treatments, a burst of urban energy, or a respite from mundane reality, these seductive retreats will have you both swooning

by the sea
The smell of salt in the air. Cool water at dawn. A shore as soft as a cloud. Under these conditions, intimacy comes easily

Esperanza, MEXICO At the resort's new spa, on a bluff above the Sea of Cortés, hibiscus baths and tropical-essence massages act as potent relaxants, especially when followed by an hour in an indoor steam cave—or in a hidden garden by the sea, where humpback whales migrate right offshore. The resort's 56 guest rooms and suites have oversized tubs and handcrafted furniture, and the infinity pool hovers above a private cove, with a distant view of the southernmost tip of Baja.
Doubles from $550, suites from $3,500; Km 3.5, Carretera Transpeninsular, Cabo San Lucas; 866/311-2226 or 52-624/145-6400; www.esperanzaresort.com

Albergo Miramare, POSITANO A favorite with honeymooners, who prize its tranquil, out-of-the-way location off one of the steep, skinny staircases in Positano, the jewel of the Amalfi Coast. The 15 guest rooms have balconies overlooking the sea, revealing panoramas that will have you renewing your vows (and congratulating yourselves for paying so little for such majestic views).
Doubles from $165; 27 Via Trara Genoino; 39-089/875-002; www.starnet.it/miramare

Hotel du Vin, BRIGHTON The English seaside vacation is again reinvented, this time with Egyptian-cotton bed linens and beach-hut style. Step outside the 37-room hotel, turn right, and wander up the Victorian-era pier with its carnival rides and Brighton Rock candy. Or turn left to shop in the cobblestoned Lanes. Go nowhere and there's still lots to see: the vine-covered courtyard, the clubby bar and its billiard table, the cigar gallery. Any table in the airy bistro is ideal for sipping Chablis—and plotting a memorable weekend.
Doubles from $180; 2-6 Ship St.; 44-1273/718-588; www.hotelduvin.com

The House, BARBADOS The crisp blues and whites in the 31 suites are the perfect foil for the jungle of bougainvillea and other tropical flora outside. Despite the landscape, though, Paynes Bay's newest hotel somehow fits in. Those wanting time alone can order from the in-room menu (called Flavors to Awaken Your Senses) or indulge in a five-course dinner for two under a gauzily draped four-poster shelter—with nothing but sand underfoot.
Doubles from $1,143; Paynes Bay, St. James; 800/326-6898 or 246/432-5525; www.eleganthotels.com

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