July 18, 2024

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5 Romantic Hotels for Valentine’s Day

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Whether you want to stroll along a beach or cuddle beside a fire, these getaways prove that romantic accommodations come in many forms, including a new luxury resort in Mexico, an estate in the English countryside, just-opened cabins for stargazing in the Catskills, a farmhouse in California wine country, and hotels with February discounts on the coast of Maine. No matter where you go, you’ll find Valentine’s Day dinner menus and activities for two, like couples’ massages and private yoga sessions — though many rooms at these properties are so plush, you just might decide to ditch your plans and stay in.

This month, you and your partner can escape to the Catskills and hole up in one of 11 new private cabins called the Rounds. Nestled in the woods and close to Hunter’s ski slopes, they all have vaulted ceilings and an oculus for gazing up at the stars without sacrificing warmth or comfort. Their nearly circular shape and uncluttered, contemporary décor are a departure from what you might think of when you hear the word “cabin.”

Choose either a standard 12-sided Round, or one of the roomier Round suites, which have wet bars, sunken circular lounges and day beds. There’s also an accessible suite that the property says is compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations. All of the Rounds have fireplaces and outdoor cedar soaking tubs available for you to take a plunge, even in winter.

Mingle with fellow guests at the Apex Lodge, a communal space for the Rounds with a bar and fireplaces. You can also use the amenities, like the barrel sauna, the Glice skating rink (polymer panels designed to look and feel like ice), and the restaurant, Prospect, at the 38-room-and-suite Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, the re-envisioned 1960s motor lodge at the same address. Prices from $450 a night.

If your idea of romance involves a white sandy beach, this new 182-room-and-suite resort may be the sunny respite you’re looking for. Set amid a 620-acre nature reserve, the property’s tropical plants and birds, mangroves and two miles of beachfront make for a romantic backdrop within a luxury resort community called Kanai. (Kanai is also home to the St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya, which opened last year, and both hotels are part of Marriott International.)

You can hit the beach or unwind at the spa, which has indoor-outdoor treatment rooms (including a couples’ suite), hydrotherapy pools, an outdoor pool and a Turkish hammam. A walk around the lush resort takes you past reflecting pools, a bamboo yoga space and a sandy path that leads to the So’ol Beach Club, where you can swim in the pool and, afterward, linger over seafood at the chef Tomás Bermúdez’s casual restaurant, So’ol, which, according to the hotel, takes its name from the Mayan word for “oyster.” Sample more regional flavors at Ki’is (a Mayan word that the hotel translates as “zest”), a restaurant from the chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano.

There’s also Kitchen at Edition, where you can savor classic Mexican dishes and ceviches. For tequila, mezcal, regional wines and cocktails, try the Lobby Bar. And for healthy bites like salads, hummus and fish, including bluefin tuna spring rolls, head to the Pool Bar adjacent to the main lobby building.

Like the hotel’s surroundings, the rooms are airy and bright. All of them have terraces, and if you and your partner want to cool off without a crowd, you can splurge for a room with a private plunge pool. Prices from $637 a night, part of a special opening preview rate that also includes a $100 resort credit that you can use for things like dining at the hotel, available until Feb. 22.

Best known as summer playgrounds, some of Maine’s southern coastal towns are throwing a Paint the Town Red celebration, hoping to entice lovebirds to brave the cold for deals at shops, restaurants and hotels. Among this year’s participants is the Kennebunkport Resort Collection — several properties, including the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, the Kennebunkport Inn, the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort and the Grand Hotel — where, through Feb. 29, you can get 10 percent off the standard nightly rate when you book the LoveKPT package. Upon arrival, you’ll receive amenities meant to make sparks fly, including Champagne, macarons and body scrub from Maine’s Tree Spa at Hidden Pond.

No matter which property you choose, you’ll be near restaurants and boutiques, as well as scenic winter hiking spots like the Smith Preserve.

Having trouble deciding? Consider the locations and vistas. The 36-room-and-suite Kennebunkport Inn, built in the 19th century, puts you in the middle of the village hubbub; the 29-room-and-suite Cape Arundel Inn & Resort will provide you with bird’s-eye views of the ocean; the 25-room-and-suite Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has a lively restaurant and is on the banks of the Kennebunk River; while the Grand Hotel has just 17 cozy rooms and is in the easygoing Lower Village neighborhood of Kennebunk. Prices from $139 night at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, from $189 a night at Kennebunkport Inn, from $129 a night at the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, and from $119 a night at the Grand Hotel.

If you and your sweetheart love history almost as much as each other, you might want to stay for a while at this 41-room-and-suite rural estate. It’s near the Hauser & Wirth Somerset gallery and about 45 minutes from the city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site founded in the first century by Romans who used its hot springs as a thermal spa. You can tour the city’s Roman ruins and beautiful Georgian buildings and then trace more of the area’s history at the Villa Ventorum, a reconstruction of a Romano-British villa dating to A.D. 351 that was found on the Newt in Somerset estate. You’ll also be able to explore the estate’s gardens, woodlands and orchards, as well as exhibitions that delve into the history of horticulture.

Valentine’s Day dinner (85 pounds, or about $107, a person) at the inn’s Garden Café will include baked Bruton Brie with garden vegetables and pickles; butcher’s steak from British White cows reared on the estate or a dish with lion’s mane mushrooms grown on the property; and your choice of mourvèdre-poached rhubarb or dark chocolate and hazelnut tart; and, to end the evening, rosemary-and-caramel truffles.

Treats of a different sort will tempt visitors throughout February, including a “dawn walk” through the estate’s gardens and woodlands (£45) and a course on pruning fruit trees (£150). Or kick back at the spa with a couples’ full-body exfoliation (£190 for 60 minutes).

When you eventually retire to your room, you’ll find contemporary décor in calming colors and earth tones, whether you’ve chosen to stay in Hadspen House — the main house, built in the 17th century, and its reimagined stable yard buildings — or in the Farmyard, a marriage of former agricultural buildings and graceful furnishings. (There’s also a private two-bedroom cottage called the Gate Lodge.) Rates from £625 a night, including breakfast.

Near the hustle and bustle of Sonoma County’s wineries, this 25-room inn provides an intimate hideaway. Head to the Wellness Barn with your companion for guided forest bathing sessions ($200 for two), private yoga instruction ($200 for two) and side-by-side massages (starting at $215 a person for 60 minutes). If you’re feeling playful, wander over to the courtyard for a game of croquet. You can go for a hike together behind the inn, bike around the area, or try kayaking or canoeing on the nearby Russian River. Later, grab a couple of roasting forks and homemade vanilla marshmallows and indulge in free s’mores and conversation by a fire pit.

You’re in wine country, of course, and the concierge can arrange wine-tasting itineraries with the inn’s partners. Or stay put and participate in the free educational wine tastings that take place in the evenings. At the inn’s Farmhouse Restaurant, a fireplace and candlelight set the mood to linger over tasting menus and wine pairings with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. And if you want to pull out all the stops, a six-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu costs $300 a person (wine pairings are an additional $150 a person).

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at Farmstand, the inn’s all-day restaurant, which also serves comforting farm-to-table dishes — such as wood-fired pizzas, salads and desserts — poolside or, if you prefer, in your suite. All of the rooms are serene, with down comforters, organic beauty products made in Sonoma, complimentary snacks and refrigerators (at night expect milk in your fridge and homemade, gluten-free, triple chocolate chip cookies at your bedside). For privacy and space, try a barn suite with double-sided fireplaces, or the recently remodeled cottages with gas fireplaces, soaking tubs and heated floors. Prices from $528 a night.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024.

Stephanie Rosenbloom

2024-02-07 10:02:45

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