By Norah Bradford
It makes perfect sense that Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of winter; after all, what’s more romantic than escaping the city and cozying up with a loved one? No matter what kind of getaway you choose, though, finding the right hotel is the most crucial factor for making your trip memorable.
THE MOLLY GIBSON LODGE
Calling all powder hounds—the great outdoors is beckoning. High-altitude adventures await you in Aspen with a naturally luxurious setting! The Molly Gibson Lodge is located at the center of this snow capital amidst the restaurants, bars, retail and Ajax Mountain. Situated right on Main Street in downtown Aspen just 3.5 miles from Pitkin County Airport, the Molly Gibson Lodge allows you the freedom to experience shopping, fine dining and the beautiful sights and sounds of this snow capital. Unique to the Molly Gibson are the Molly King rooms, with a sumptuous level of detail to the little things with one fundamental question to address—do you choose to stay in the Molly King room with the fireplace or the in-room Jacuzzi tub? Info: mollygibson.com.
FOGO ISLAND INN
Our friendly neighbors to the north offer the perfect opportunity for a romantic escape. Just imagine you are together at the ends of the Earth—and you’ll find yourselves at the award-winning Fogo Island Inn located off the coast of Newfoundland. Located on an idyllic island, Fogo Island Inn was designed by Newfoundland-born, Norway-based architect Todd Saunders. The 43,000 square-foot Inn is perched on stilts and hugs the North Atlantic coastline, offering unbeatable views of the sea and sky. The Inn’s architecture is bold, optimistic, and distinctly of this place. The 29 suites feature floor to ceiling views of the island and amenities include a library, cinema, wood-fired sauna and outdoor hot tubs. Info: fogoislandinn.com.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK
Feel the love at one of the great hotels in London, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, which is continually striving to ensure the highest levels of service. With its extensive renovation of the entire hotel, the full beauty of this 115-year-old structure will shine. For the luxe experience why not stay in a Knightsbridge Suite (go ahead, splurge!). The generous living room features a velvet sofa, a reading chair, and a mirrored coffee table. The striking glass chandelier, gilded mirror artwork and hand tufted carpets and rugs reflect the beauty of nearby Hyde Park. New experiences at the hotel include Cookery Classes in concert with Divertimenti Cookware specialists. And, of course, there’s always The Spa to soothe the body and soul. Info: mandarinoriental.com/london.
THE KEMPINSKI GRAND HOTEL DES BAINS
St. Moritz, Switzerland
The quintessential skiers’ paradise, Switzerland is a heavenly destination. For many though, it is St Moritz that holds the title as the best ski resort in the Swiss Alps. It is famed for its astonishing natural beauty, excellent variety of sports, and unparalleled luxury accommodation. Head for a five-star romance amongst the jet-set ski slopes of St. Moritz in southeastern Switzerland and stay at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains for a dose of Grand Budapest Hotel. Located in the Upper Engadine and accessible by road, rail, and air, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains boasts a spa and three restaurants. Stay in a Grand Deluxe Room, enjoy the mountain view and work out those ski—or even après-ski-induced aches and pains in the lavish bathtub. Info: kempinski.com.
RITZ-CARLTON NEW ORLEANS
New Orleans, Louisiana
Historic Spanish-style architecture and undeniable Creole influence make the Big Easy one of the country’s most popular destinations. Spend your days exploring the Victorian mansions in the Garden District, and the eclectic boutique and antique shops along Magazine Street. Then, stroll back to your luxurious accommodations at the resort-like Ritz Carlton New Orleans. The top-notch spa and beautiful public spaces allow you to recharge in the utmost elegance. Rooms feature antique-inspired decor with antebellum charm, fine linens, and over-sized king beds. Upgrade to the Club Level and enjoy a parlor like lounge with its concierge, complimentary wine and spirits, and varied gourmet food. The spa offers guests a full-treatment menu along with a cafe to regroup after treatments. Info: ritzcarlton.com.
Crystal clear waters, an iconic curve of beach, and a lively urban setting draw couples to Oahu’s largest city. By day, sun-worshipers and surfers descend on the tourist mecca of Waikiki Beach. Spend your day people-watching or riding the gentle Pacific swells; then grab a mai tai at one of the many beachfront bars and enjoy a picture-perfect sunset against the backdrop of Diamond Head Crater. Romantics love the luxurious Halekulani (translation: “house befitting heaven”)—and from the moment you step into the lobby, the attention to detail and excellent service wrap you in privilege at this beachfront location away from Waikiki’s bustle. Spacious guest rooms, artfully appointed in marble and wood, have ocean views and an extra-large lanai. You’ll also find excellent dining options at Orchids, which hosts Sunday brunch, and at La Mer with its Belle Epoque bar. For a day of divine pampering, check into the award-winning SpaHalekulani. Info: halekulani.com.
SNOW KING RESORT
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Everyone from skiers and snowboarders to spa-lovers can find breathtakingly scenic places to pursue their passion in Jackson Hole. Aside from incredible skiing, outdoor lovers will find romantic sleigh rides in the National Elk Refuge, snowmobile tours in and around national forests, and even dog-sled rides to occupy the hours.
After a full day exploring the slopes and natural wonders, it’s time to retreat to your heavenly haven at Snow King Resort, where you’ll find the wilderness has been tamed! Surrounded by the Bridger Teton National Forest and a short six blocks from downtown Jackson, you’ll find spacious accommodations with all the luxurious comforts—with plenty of mountain views. The Haydens Post restaurant serves traditional American cuisine as well as signature dishes. The Lounge has light dining and a full drink menu. Sometimes, though, you just need to “chill.” A massage or workout can rejuvenate for even more adventures to come. Info: snowking.com.