Love is always in the air at these romantic hotels from coast to coast.
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
America's Most Romantic Hotels
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
Those Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Vanderbilts really knew how to live. Around the turn of the last century, the American aristocracy began to stake out the Adirondacks as their personal paradise—the primeval forest and billion-year-old rock formations made the perfect setting for their splendid vacation homes, known as the Great Camps. Lake Placid Lodge, built three years ago in the Arts and Crafts tradition, is a Great Camp for the new century, supplying a similar experience for those of us not of the ruling classes. The whole place is like a fantastic treehouse. Beds have fanciful wood carvings, and the dining tables and chairs are assembled from logs and branches—no nails. Every room and cabin gets a lake view and a fireplace laid by local masons stone-by-stone.
When winter comes to these parts, it stays—you can throw boiling water in the air, and it will freeze before it hits the ground—so it’s tempting to huddle indoors, perusing one of the largest collections of Hudson River School paintings outside of a museum. There are billiards and backgammon (and the property’s only TV) in Maggie’s Pub, a casual restaurant named for the resident golden retriever. Dine on the enclosed terrace, warmed by heating lamps and lap blankets. If you do skate on the frozen lake, you’re rewarded at the nightly bonfire with hot chocolate or more serious liquids. Or take a spin on the skating oval in the village—Lake Placid has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, and this is where Eric Heiden won a record five gold medals in the 1980 games. Almost any sport done on snow or ice is available, from a dogsled through the woods pulled by huskies to a bobsled around the Olympic track through the Labyrinth, the Heart, and the Zigzag turns. Back at the lodge, a soaking tub awaits, along with a brown bag of cookies on the turned-down bed. Rockefellers, eat your hearts out.
Price Tag: From $500, including breakfast and activities.
—Aimee Lee Ball
Imagine you and your better half cuddling fireside as the sun dips behind the distant mountains. The only sounds are from the wild; the only sights are canyons and the stark desert. No, you’re not in the Sahara. You’re at Utah’s ultra-romantic Amangiri resort.
With Valentine’s Day looming and no end to winter in sight, who doesn’t dream of stealing away on vacation? But you don’t need to travel to the ends of the earth (or beloved spots like Paris or the Caribbean) to find that spark-kindling setting. From seaside New England to Washington State’s wine country, we’ve uncovered dreamy properties certain to get you in the mood—whatever your idea of romance and your price range.
You can take your love to literal new heights at Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn, a cliff-top hotel whose treehouses and cottages perch a thousand feet above the Pacific. The policy of no clocks or televisions encourages couples to reconnect, while perks like a gratis convertible inspire drives along scenic Highway 1 with impromptu picnics on any of the breathtaking beaches.
Of course, romance doesn’t require endless water views; cozying up in a country bed-and-breakfast has its own appeal. Hillside Victorian cottages with a white picket fence and fairy-tale-like setting draw couples year round to Landrum, SC, where they check into the affordable Red Horse Inn. Blame its high occupancy rate on the waterfalls, rocking chairs, and in-room candlelit dinners.
Related: 50 Best Romantic Getaways 2010
Great country inns know just how to take care of their guests, and indeed many of our favorite romantic hotels are a quick jaunt but worlds away from major cities. It’s about a two-hour drive from Phoenix to an enchanting resort of adobe suites with kiva fireplaces set among the red-rock canyons of Sedona, while 2 1/2 hours gets you from Atlanta to a Blue Ridge Mountains retreat.
And sometimes, romance is just a subway ride away. Lovebirds who want to fall in love with their hometown all over again—or flock to a hotel with urban sophistication—can look no further than actor Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel in New York City.
Read on to find the perfect romantic hotel for you two and make that daydreamed getaway a reality.