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Romantic Escapes

Romantic Escapes

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Whether you’re looking to explore a new city together (ahem, Paris), scale mountains side-by-side, retreat to a secluded beach, or some combination of the three, these spots kind of do all the work. And while a honeymoon is a perfect excuse to check a far-flung destination off the bucket list, there are a bevy of romantic getaways stateside for more low-key affairs (or if you’ve burned up all those vacation days on the wedding itself). Needless to say, each of these spots are equally good options for re-igniting an old flame, or stoking one that’s been burning for many years.

Las Ventanas

Las Ventanas

Carretera Transpeninsular Km 19.5, San José del Cabo, Mexico | +52.624.144.2800

The crown jewel of the Rosewood resort family, Las Ventanas is situated between the historic town of San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. The limestone suites are outfitted with original artwork, wood-burning fireplaces, and ample outdoor space. Up the romance quotient by consulting the appropriately named Department of Romance—a group of specialists dedicated to infusing your holiday with extra special touches (couples massages, elaborate moonlit dinners). At the spa, guests adhere to a four elements-themed treatment menu: grounding Earth, nurturing Water, balancing Fire, and energizing Air.

One & Only Palmilla

One & Only Palmilla

Carretera Transpeninsular Km 7.5, Centro, San José del Cabo | +52.624.146.7000

If the words Cabo San Lucas conjure visions of Sammy Hagar doing tequila shots, let the words One & Only Palmilla replace them with dreams of tropical paradise. Originally built in 1956 as a fifteen room luxury escape for the President of Mexico, it's been transformed over the years into a 115-room resort with lush gardens, a pristine beachfront, and top notch service, food, spa, and amenities (think welcome tequila and pillow menus for everyone; personalized robes and an iPhone to communicate directly with the butler when you check into a villa). They experienced extensive damage from Hurricane Odile, but are open and thriving once again.

Cuixmala

Cuixmala

Carretera Melaque-Puerto Vallarta Km. 40, 48983 Huejutla de Reyes, Jalisco, Mexico | +52.800.590.3845

Originally built as a private retreat for British billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, this Moorish-style, sustainability-minded manor is spread out over 25,000 acres of lush Costa Alegre beach and jungle, which you’ll share with the resident zebras, antelope, tropical birds, and other wildlife (guests are also encouraged to take part in Cuixmala’s Turtle Protection Program). Technically, there are only thirteen rooms on property, but four of them are group-friendly palatial villas that come with pools, multiple bedrooms, and private chefs. For a more economical and decidedly more romantic option, the nine secluded garden casitas, with their private terraces and access to the stunning pool, are a great choice. The regional fare served at any of the multiple on-site restaurants either comes from Cuixmala’s own organic farm or sourced from neighboring farms.

Cap Juluca

Cap Juluca

Maundays Bay, AI-2640, Anguilla | +1.264.497.6666

Anguilla isn’t the easiest spot to access by any stretch—after a flight from Miami to St. Maarten, you’ll need to board a boat to transfer you to the island—but that’s actually the point. Cap Juluca has all of the amenities you’d expect from a luxury Carribbean resort (comfortable décor, excellent service, top-notch spa, and a lovely pool), but when it comes down to it, this spot is really all about the beach. The rooms are stretched along on that's both private and a mile long; so each room looks out over the dreamy white sand and classic, brilliantly blue water. The white-washed, Moroccan style buildings each have double doors that open up to the ocean, so you can hear the sound of the waves and feel the Caribbean trade winds wash through the room as you snuggle up under the Frette linens.

Imanta

Imanta

Montenahuac, Punta de Mita, Mexico | +52.329.298.4242

Iman means magnet in Spanish, and Imanta really does draw you in. It’s one of the best resorts we have ever been to—totally secluded and authentic. Located in a perfectly remote area outside Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Gold Coast, where the softest sand beach meets 250-acres of dense tropical rainforest on the ocean. It’s the kind of place where you can horseback ride through the jungle and end up on the beach. It feels truly one of a kind here, with no hint of commercial chain. Fish dishes are based on what is caught fresh that day. All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that open up to beautiful outdoor stone bathtubs and showers.

La Casa Que Canta

La Casa Que Canta

Playa La Ropa, Camino Escénico, Mexico | +52.755.555.7000

Don’t be put off by the outdated website—this is one of the best small resorts for romance we’ve found. Every single one of the intimate, terra-cotta-colored villas at La Casa que Canta has incredible views of the sea from the cliffs they’re perched on, and almost half the suites have private plunge pools. If yours doesn’t, the saltwater infinity pool looking down on Zihuatanejo Bay will not disappoint. From the flower-petal designs on the bed for turn down to the many nooks and crannies throughout the property, to the candlelit dinners, this is an ideal getaway for two.

Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach

Val des Pitons, Soufriere, Saint Lucia | 800.235.4300

One you arrive to Sugar Beach, you won't really want to leave—and that's kind of the point. Flanked by St. Lucia's twin volcanic Pitons, the property, tucked away on the island's west coast, is set amongst 100 acres of rainforest (meaning hummingbirds and butterflies are par for the course). Admittedly, it's a bit of a journey to get here, whether you fly in from the north or the south of the island, the road is steep and windy, but it's well worth the hour-long-drive. The recently renovated colonial-style cottages are the move—they're perched on the hillside and have their own claw-foot tubs, terraces as big as New York apartments, and are swathed in entirely in white from the slipcovered furniture to the four-poster beds. Each room has a private plunge pool,if you’re feel too lazy to wander down to the Caribbean, but should you make the effort, it’s one of those resorts where the main activity is ordering piña coladas to your beach chair while taking in the epic view. The spa is a necessary indulgence here, as the seven treatment rooms are tucked into private thatched-roof tree houses, and are the perfect spot for a bamboo massage or hot rock therapy.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba

Carretera Federal Cancún Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya | +52.984.875.8000

Rosewood Mayakoba is a huge resort that’s very well run and well-manicured. You’re surrounded by water, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and freshwater lagoons on the other, which you traverse by boat to get around. (You can always get around by bike, which is popular with guests.) It’s hard to get a bad room as they’re all villas—private plunge pools, sun decks, and outdoor showers come with each. (They’re really spacious and great for friends traveling together.) If you want to hole up at the spa every day of your visit, you wouldn’t be blamed—it’s a totally special space, housed on a private island overlooking limestone lagoons and offering up an extensive menu of Mayan-influenced spa treatments and rituals. Come evening, be sure to book a spot at La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen—an 18-seat dining experience under a large Ceiba tree on the property’s 20,000-square foot garden where everyone from hotel guests and staff dine together on a menu crafted from locally-sourced produce and sip wines and tequilas from the region.

Playa Grande Beach Club

Playa Grande Beach Club

5 Aut, 33000, Playa Grande | 844.589.2070

On Dominican Republic’s slightly more wild north shore, interior designer Celerie Kemble and her financier husband wanted to create a low-key beach retreat that had the intimacy of a friend’s private home. Here, Kemble applies her playful aesthetic, a kind of Palm-Beach-meets-island-living-vibe to the immaculate grounds: there are high-back wicker chairs, ikat throw pillows, copper bathtubs, seagrass rugs and cane furniture. Each white-washed bungalow (there are six one-bedrooms and three three-bedrooms, best suited for families traveling together) has its own distinct feel and is lovingly curated with vintage pieces Kemble has hand-picked on her travels as well as those designed by local craftsman. Cool lattice-framed cabanas dot the lap pool, should you tire of the views on the mile-long private beach. Come evening, much of the activity centers around the Beach Club, which serves up a Caribbean-inflected menu and, of course, strong cocktails and a lively atmosphere.

The Cove

The Cove

Queen's Highway , BS, Gregory Town 1548 | 866.644.4452

The only international property from the Enchantment Group (a.k.a. the good people who brought us Mii Amo), The Cove delivers on everything you'd want from a Caribbean vacation, starting with the pristine white sand, which you'll find in spades at the protected, private cove it occupies. The tranquil rooms, decorated in soft, gentle whites and neutrals, feature sliding doors that open directly out to ocean views framed by swaying palm trees. At 57 rooms, The Cove is much more intimate than their namesake resort, though it's unsurprisingly kitted out with an incredible infinity pool and spa. There are two excellent restaurants (and a wonderfully lazy bar) on site, but should you want to venture further afield, the candy-colored town of Harbour Island is a short ride away, and concierge can also organize every adventure imaginable, from kayaking to fishing to sailing.

Hotel San Cristóbal

Hotel San Cristóbal

Playa Punta Lobos Carretera Federal, Todos Santos

Todos Santos has long had a quiet appeal for both artists and surfers who have appreciated the town’s understated, laid-back vibe. So it’s no surprise that finger-on-the-pulse hotelier Liz Lambert (of Austin’s Hotel San José and Hotel St. Cecilia) would head south of the border before everyone else caught on. About fifty miles north of Cabo San Lucas, this thirty-two-room beachfront property is a thoughtful reflection of its surroundings: Stamped concrete tiles, locally made furnishings, and colorful Guatemalan fabrics anchor much of the inside-meets-out design. (A tip: The ocean king has a beautifully tiled, generously sized soaking tub that looks out onto the ocean.) The infinity swimming pool has an unobstructed view of Playa Punta Lobos, and there are plenty of indoor-outdoor spaces and hammocks meant for whiling away the afternoon, plus fire pits for gathering when the sun goes down. Benno, the restaurant on the property, expertly melds Mediterranean and Mexican flavors, while relying heavily on the freshly caught fish of the day that comes in by the truckload. Also standouts: The cocktail list, which centers around small-batch mezcal and tequila, and the wine list, with some surprisingly good Mexican wines.

CasaSandra

CasaSandra

Holbox Island | +53.5.242.9030

Since it's only about an hour's drive from Cancún, Holbox, a barrier island on the north edge of Yum Balam, is a brilliant option for people hoping to take advantage of plentiful direct flights, yet stay out of the Spring Break fray. Nestled up against the West-facing beach (which means sunsets over the ocean), CasaSandra is the best luxury location on the island, with a lovely restaurant and a private feel, even though you're walking distance from the town, which is blessedly free of tourists. The hotel offers a three-day couples' package that includes a private boat tour and romantic dinner on the beach for a romantic—but zero-planning—long weekend away. Quick tip for first-timers: Bring plenty of cash, since there are no banks on the island and ATMs are unreliable at best.

The Other Side

The Other Side

Eleuthera, Bahamas | 242.333.2276

Fans of Harbour Island who are likely familiar with the storied Ocean View Club, will be delighted to know that its charming proprietors Ben Simmons and Charlie Phelan have quietly opened a new spot just across the way in Eleuthera. The Other Side has a decidedly different feel—it’s luxuriously nomadic, a bit more wild, and blessedly unplugged, making it perfect for those who truly want to disconnect. The design, which centers around communal and private sleeping tents, hardwood floors, and four-poster beds, and sundecks, is reminiscent of a scene from Out of Africa, and it's the kind of place where you can fall asleep to the sound of the water lapping in the distance. There’s plenty to do on the property, including morning yoga, paddle boarding, diving into swimming holes or even tend to the on-site vegetable garden if you wish, but you can also just relax at the swimming pool, which is pretty enticing on its own. The Other Side, like many other spots on Eleuthera and Harbour Island, is open from November through August.

Strawberry Hill

Strawberry Hill

New Castle Rd., B1, St. Andrew | 867.944.8400

Most Jamaican resorts are all about the beach, which is precisely what makes Strawberry Hill—situated high on a mountaintop looking down over Kingston on one side, and Blue Mountains National Park on the other—such a breath of fresh air. Owned for more than twenty years by Chris Blackwell (the founder of Island Records), the estate was famously an escape for Bob Marley and his musical entourage in their heyday. Today, the place retains all the local charm, but with distinctly dressed-up amenities, including a world-class restaurant, an appealingly low-traffic pool, and heavenly beauty products (called Blue Mountain Aromatics) made with mint and rosemary harvested in these very hills. The studios themselves, updated with rich wooden four-poster beds, are simply decorated, and outfitted with mosquito nets so you can throw open the shutters and enjoy the mountain breeze without fear of being eaten alive. And though you're within an easy drive of gorgeous Caribbean beaches and Kingston's lively cultural scene, the gardens and ample hiking in the hills provide enough excitement that you may not want to leave at all.

Le Toiny

Le Toiny

Anse de Toiny, 97133 Saint Barthelemy | +59.0590.27.88.88

Though it's undeniably fun, St. Barths isn't traditionally the most quiet, or secluded, place for a honeymoon—which is exactly what makes Le Toiny, a recently renovated haven a healthy distance from town, so appealing. There are only 14 suites here, each with a view of the ocean and its own private pool, and the intimacy means the high-touch, Relaix & Chateaux-trained staff is available to tend to your every need, whether it be organizing a romantic beachside dinner or loading you into a Jeep Wrangler for a ride to the tennis courts. The décor, expertly handled by designer Bee Osborn, is comfortable and neutral, with beachy accents like roped door handles and reclaimed wood side tables. The restaurant and suites here are up on the hillside for better views, but the water access is still potentially one of the island's best: A short walk (or ride in one of those Jeep Wranglers) will land you at the brand-new private beach club, with a full bar, hammock, beach chairs, and a shop stocked with coverups, tanning oil, and other beach essentials.