A Kauai mega-resort this is not. The polar opposite of its sprawling southern coast neighbors – with their water slides and countless poolside bars – Koa Kea offers a true escape, and exactly what we expect from one of the most romantic hotels in the U.S. The 121 rooms, decked out with chaise lounges and Hawaiian hues, come with their own balconies or lanais, while the rest of the amenities keep things romantically quiet; there's a simple, deep blue swimming pool, a top-notch restaurant that turns out elegant plates of sashimi, and a luxury five-room spa to fill your time between strolls along the waterfront.
Ian Schrager brought sexy back to Gramercy when he overhauled this 1924 icon with a serious dose of boho cool. Expect jewel-tone guest rooms featuring velvet headboards and “drinking cabinets” stocked with crystal glassware; a crimson lobby with a dominating crystal chandelier and 10-foot fireplace; and two buzzy bars, the Jade and Rose, where walls are hung with tapestries and rotating pieces of art by the likes of Warhol and Basquiat. The cherry on top: guests have exclusive access to the otherwise residents-only Gramercy Park.
As far as coastal America goes, it doesn’t get more beautiful than Big Sur—which might explain why celebs make a beeline for Post Ranch Inn, set on a 1,200-foot-ridge overlooking the Pacific. For ultimate privacy, book one of the 40 adults-only standalone homes or suites, with floor-to-ceiling views of the Santa Lucia Mountains or the water. With no TVs or clocks and complimentary in-room minibars, you won't have many distractions.
Unlike its flashier cousins on Wailea Beach, this 72-room sanctuary – set on a 15-acre hilltop is as tranquil as they come. The apartment-style suites are spacious and light-filled, with open-air showers and private lanais, and sweeping views of three outlying islands. Designed exclusively for couples, the hotel's adults-only policy keeps the vibe deliriously romantic; canoodle poolside in a private cabana with a tropical cocktail, enjoy a massage in the secluded gazebo, or wine and dine on seafood in the award-winning restaurant while watching the sun slip behind the horizon. JS Tip: don't worry about the lack of beachfront. Cars are on call to whisk you down to the shore, picnic lunch in tow.
See Red Rock Country in all its glory at this 70-acre Southwest-style resort. Formerly a private ranch, the hotel is made up of adobe casitas bordered by pine trees and the rust-colored cliffs of Boynton Canyon. Inside, kiva fireplaces and Native American patterns echo the surrounding terrain. Spend your days taking dips at the resort’s pools, hiking and biking nearby trails, playing tennis, or kicking back with your person at the Mii Amo spa.
The seaside town of Newport has long been a vacation spot for society’s upper-crust. Just look to the Gilded Age mansions built by families like the Vanderbilts and the Astors at the turn of the 20th century. You can still visit some of them today, including the Breakers, now a house museum, and the Chanler at Cliff Walk, a European-style hotel with one of the best ocean views in town. JS Tip: Don't miss dinner at the ultra-romantic Spiced Pear, then head out to the lawn for s’mores by the fire pit.
What this 50-cottage wine country retreat lacks for in size it makes up for everywhere else, from the Michelin-starred restaurant and guests-only spa to the exceptional pool and spectacular views of the vineyards and olive groves. Each Provençal-inspired “maison” comes with wine- and cheese-stocked fridges and French doors that open onto huge terraces (most also have wood-burning fireplaces and deep soaking tubs, which we encourage you to use as often as possible). You can find romance in almost every corner here, but we recommend you dial it up a notch with an evening stroll through the sculpture garden, a soak in the spa’s heated infinity pool, and a bottle of red for two on the restaurant's terrace.
It's easy to fall in love during a stay at the Salamander, set on 340 picturesque acres of wildflower-filled meadows and manicured lawns in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. This is horse and wine country, and the resort makes the most of it: the 168 rooms come with gas fireplaces, equestrian motifs, and balconies overlooking the grounds. For added romance, book the spa’s Couple’s Suite for some well-deserved pampering after days filled with cooking classes, horseback rides, and wine tastings.
For couples, privacy is gold—which might help explain the steep (but oh-so-worth-it) price-tag for a stay at Amangiri. Its 34 hyper-modern cement suites are set within a desolate 600-acre swath of Utah desert, complete with twin rain showers, soaking tubs, and glass doors that open onto outdoor lounges with their own fireplace and sweeping views. The central pool is its own architectural marvel, built right into the base of a mesa. You can find “better” views during a hot-air balloon ride over the windswept landscape, or stay on terra firma and opt for a Navajo-inspired spa treatment, followed by a taste of the hotel restaurant's wood-fired cuisine. Like we said—oh so worth it.
Wintertime was made for cuddling—so, we suspect, was Lake Placid Lodge, in the heart of the Adirondacks. Cabins (and log cabin-like rooms) come with rustic wood-carved beds and chairs, flannel drapes, stone fireplaces, and lake views, and the enclosed dining terrace keeps guests warm with heat lamps and blankets. Lake Placid itself has its place in Olympic history and is worth exploring: take a spin on a bobsled around the Olympic track, go mushing with a team of huskies, or ice-skate around the frozen lake. When the snow (or just the chill) takes over, the lodge is well-prepared. Wind down with a round of billiards or backgammon in Maggie’s Pub, head to the soaking tub, or cozy up around the nightly bonfire.
Staying at the adults-only Wauwinet is like time-traveling to 1800's New England: period architecture, tasteful chinz fabrics, and antiques are everywhere. Nine miles from downtown, the property offers a particular kind of quiet that couples crave—especially in low season. The only real buzz centers around Topper’s restaurant, which draws a steady crowd for its impeccable seafood, award-winning wine list, and Nantucket Bay views. What we love best, though, is the attention to detail. Guest rooms are freshened up with wildflowers every day and a friendly staff is at the ready to organize lobstering trips aboard Wauwinet Lady, tours in the property’s vintage Chevy Fleetmaster, and anything else your heart desires.
Couples have long loved this 1928 Mediterranean-style mansion, whose 1,000 surrounding acres on a barrier isle south of Savannah lend it a particular kind of Southern charm. With so much to do onsite – a 100-seat theater, three swimming pools, seven restaurants, and PGA golf courses, to name just a few options – there's little reason to leave the property. Planning a date night? After an afternoon spin on the resort’s antique yacht, dine in the five-star Georgian Room, considered one of the finest restaurants in the state.
Once a lodge for wagon drivers in the 1800s, the original Pitcher Inn burned down in 1993. That said, the newest iteration is even better. Housed in a white clapboard building, the hotel's 11-rooms are individually designed with antiques and colorful Vermont motifs—“Mallard,” “Schoolhouse,” and the “Mountain Room,” are just a few examples. There's also a downstairs tavern with a pool table and wood-burning fireplace, an intimate restaurant overlooking the river, and a library that serves daily afternoon tea. If you're worried you'll get cabin fever, Sugarbush ski mountain is just a five-minute drive away.