Luxury Hotels Are Making Couple's Stays More Romantic Than Ever — Here's How

Hotels are introducing creative new ways to celebrate romance.

A couple in a car on the grounds of the Cheval Blanc St.-Barth resort.
A couple in a car on the grounds of the Cheval Blanc St.-Barth resort. Photo:

Courtesy of Cheval Blanc St-Barth

After all the strain the pandemic placed on couples, it’s perhaps surprising to learn that romantic escapes are as popular as ever. “Even in times when travel might look a bit different, a trip remains a highly valued way of bonding with a partner,” says Madeline List, senior research analyst at Phocuswright, which studies the travel industry.

In fact, more than two-thirds of travelers are making plans to get away with a partner before the end of 2022, according to MMGY Global, a consultancy. Those trips tend to be longer, too, with about one quarter of long trips booked for a romance-focused vacation, List says. 

Great Lawn of the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort
The great lawn at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California.

Ryan Forbes/Courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach

Whether travelers are sampling a new cuisine together or teaming up to navigate an unfamiliar city, a trip can help individuals view their partner in a fresh light, according to Mudita Rastogi, a clinical professor with the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “New input in a relationship gives us opportunities for curiosity, laughter, passion, and conversation, all of which can help us boost our romantic quotient,” she says.

No wonder, then, that hotels worldwide are rolling out the red carpet with options that go way beyond the cheesy — and messy — rose-petal spread.

Private pool in a guest room at the Sandals Grenada resort
A private pool at Sandals Grenada.

Javi Saguillo/Courtesy of Sandals Resorts

“There is no single or right way to define romance, and that in itself is a beautiful thing,” says Marsha-Ann Donaldson-Brown, the director of romance at Sandals Resorts. One new initiative is the “romance library” in the lobby of Sandals Grenada, from which guests can borrow racy titles to read together. “Connection takes effort,” Donaldson-Brown says, “so planning time with one another can bolster that sense of love, comfort, and reassurance as we get back into our routines.”

Two daybeds beside a pool at the Chablé Yucatán resort
A cozy spot for couples at Chablé Yucatán.

Courtesy of Chablé Hotelst

Many properties do “we time” through wellness. At the Mexican resort Chablé Yucatán, the Sacred Soulmates retreat takes couples through shaman-led Mayan rituals, energy-cleansing routines, and a relationship-renewal ceremony in a temescal, plus let’s-work-together activities such as a private cooking class. The Opus Westchester, an Autograph Collection property in White Plains, New York, goes over the top with three hours of spa treatments for two, matching take-home Frette robes and slippers, and a caviar-and-mimosa breakfast in bed. Cheval Blanc St.-Barth Isle de France does aromatherapy differently: in partnership with Guerlain, it works with couples to blend a custom unisex scent.

Guest room terrace at the Cheval Blanc hotel in St-Barth
The guest room terrace at Cheval Blanc St-Barth.

Courtesy of Cheval Blanc St-Barth

More adventurous duos might rekindle their spark at Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, which can arrange a private helicopter flyover of Monaco, a loaner Aston Martin for day trips along the Riviera, a dinner for two prepared by executive chef Christophe Cussac, and a stack of chips to wager at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. More bookish types should consider Charleston, South Carolina’s HarbourView Inn, where staff will bring in a local writer to craft an original piece of prose or poem that tells a couple’s love story. And at Rosewood Miramar Beach, in Santa Barbara County, California, the “love-language concierge” draws inspiration from Gary Chapman’s legendary book "The 5 Love Languages" when putting together individualized experiences for couples based on their unique ways of expressing love. One recent guest asked the property to arrange for hundreds of roses and candles to be set up on a quiet stretch of beach for a sunset surprise that spoke to their partner’s love language of “receiving gifts.”

Exterior of the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo
The exterior of the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo in Monaco.

Will Pryce/Courtesy of Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo

A version of this story first appeared in the November 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline "Rooms for Two."

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