It's a well-known fact that travel can make or break a relationship. Why test the waters with a nine-hour road trip or a flight home to meet the 'rents when the two of you could whisk away to a private stretch of sand in the Bahamas—or embark on a fun, booze-centered vacay overseas? To get you excited for your next trip together, we've put together a list of our top 10 most romantic getaways. Happy travels!
El Palauet Living, Barcelona
Sprawling suites and an air of romanticism define this stunning boutique hotel, picturesquely set in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighborhood. After you’ve settled into your ultra-luxe quarters and spent adequate time lounging beside (or in) the rooftop jacuzzi, you’ll want to set off to explore the bustling locale below (though the view from up top is hard to beat). Once you’re out on the town, check out Casa Vicens, Gaudí’s first house still standing in all its historic glory, and from there, take a break for a pick-me-up, which in Barcelona is likely either a glass of vermut (house vermouth with a splash of soda) or tinto de verano (red wine with lemonade). In Gràcia, there’s no better place for this than Plaza del Sol, where the energy is constant and the people watching is unparalleled. At some point during your stay, be sure to dine at 4 Gats in the Gothic Quarter, once counted among Picasso’s favorite haunts.
One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
A stretch of sparkling, pristine beach on the principal island of The Bahamas plays home to one of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean: One&Only Ocean Club. With its acclaimed spa and 107 gorgeous, beachy suites (not to mention the infinity pool, morning yoga, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Dune restaurant and bar), this property is a peaceful, romantic haven for couples with an affinity for the finer things. While you’ll likely spend the bulk of your time on property, should you venture out, pay a visit to John Watling’s Distillery for a tour and a rum tasting followed by dinner at Sapodilla, a Nassuvian classic, and a nightcap at The Island House, Nassau’s very first boutique hotel.
Filario Hotel & Residences, Italy
Live out your very own La Dolce Vita fantasies at Filario Hotel & Residences in Lezzeno, Italy. The quiet, under-the-radar property is set on the lakeside Como-Bellagio road, just 25 minutes from mega-watt Bellagio, so staying here means you’ll get the best of both worlds. The hotel’s infinity pool and terra cotta-studded beach below are worthy of an entire day of lounging (you can also rent a boat to explore the lake if that’s more your style), and from there, you’ll want to make it a date night on the town in Bellagio proper. Take a moment to visit the Basilica di San Giacomo or the majestic Villa Melzi and its sprawling gardens, and for dinner or a fancy drink, check out the world-renowned Villa Serbelloni’s breathtaking terrace.
The Distillery, London
Who says you can’t make your own gin and drink it too? At The Distillery, a boutique hotel on Portobello Road in London, cocktail connoisseurs and liquor-loving couples can not only learn about the entire history and composition of gin at The Ginstitute, but they can also design their own bottle (along with its contents), sleep upstairs in one of the four adorably designed and decorated guest rooms, and enjoy endless meal and drink possibilities at the hotel’s two lovely restaurants. So once you’ve successfully blended your own gin and consumed a fair amount of gin & tonics between the two of you, save some time to explore the stalls and happenings at the nearby Portobello Road Market, where you can pick up souvenirs to commemorate the booze-infused trip of a lifetime. Notting Hill is also worth a visit, perfect for a quiet, romantic stroll to walk off the cocktails.
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Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans
Step back in time at the glamorous Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, a newly reimagined old-world gem that once welcomed the likes of Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, The Doors, and Tennessee Williams, who penned a portion of A Streetcar Named Desire under this very roof. Needless to say, it’s a historic wonder full of romance and nostalgia—which is exactly why your first move should be to take the streetcar to its front steps. Naturally, the rest of your NOLA agenda should consist of eating and drinking almost exclusively, so once you’ve checked out Hot Tin, Caribbean Room, Bayou Bar, and Silver Whistle Café (all within the hotel itself), head over to the Vieux Carré for a night on the town en couple for Sazeracs or Ramos Gin Fizzes at The Sazerac Bar, Grasshoppers at Tujague’s, or beignets at Café du Monde (or a combination of all three).
JW Marriott Los Cabos, Mexico
There’s nothing like a freshly shaken margarita and a never-ending view of the water beyond the southernmost tip of Baja, where the Pacific meets the Gulf of California, and luxury resort JW Marriott Los Cabos conveniently offers both. The weather is almost always perfect, the breakfast and lunch buffets are impressive (and plentiful), the spa is world-class, and the service is inimitable — a combination of factors that make this resort the ideal place to spend time as a couple. If you’re feeling adventurous, book an excursion on a catamaran (snorkeling, anyone?), and to wind down, be sure to make a massage appointment at Jasha Spa before heading to a romantic dinner for two at Cafe des Artistes just next door.
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Belmond Royal Scotsman, Edinburgh
If you haven’t yet spent an entire vacation aboard a moving hotel-train hybrid, you’re missing out. The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a once-in-a-lifetime intimate travel experience comprised of private cabins, a cool, lounge-like observation car, and a spa; the train accommodates just 40 passengers and makes great stops along the journey through the Highlands. You can design your own itinerary, choosing from excursions like the Strathisla Distillery in Keith, the Rothiemurchus Estate for some clay pigeon shooting, and of course, an opportunity to explore a giant castle or two in true Scottish fashion, plus much more. This beautifully designed time machine will sweep the two of you off your feet, both figuratively and literally.
The Loren at Pink Beach, Bermuda
If you’re looking for under-the-radar elegant digs perched atop a cliff, look no further than The Loren at Pink Beach in Bermuda. This hotel is the first of its kind in the area—it’s got sleek, contemporary design, awe-inspiring ocean views, and absolutely incredible suites and villas, all designed to pay homage to Bermudian culture while providing impeccable service and total privacy. In short, it’s the perfect couple’s getaway. While you’re here, head over to Mid Ocean Golf Club for an afternoon of golfing and great dining, and if time allows, a grand tour of the Crystal Caves.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Greensboro, GA
Calling all outdoorsy couples: The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia is the lakefront paradise of your wildest dreams. With a massive, gorgeous spa, outdoor activities galore (hello, fly fishing), 99 holes of golf across five championship courses, and a cool six restaurants to choose from, everything about this place screams “luxurious adult summer camp” (though it’s also quite family-friendly). There’s also an incredible antique shop and a classic car museum nearby in case you prefer the great indoors.
Black Pearl, Reykjavík
For the couple who craves adventure and cooler temperatures, consider Iceland—more specifically, the Black Pearl in Reykjavík’s Centre neighborhood, located right on the picturesque waters that surround the harbors. This gorgeous, expertly-designed aparthotel is ultra-modern and very private, offering the peace of a residential building with all the bells and whistles of a luxury hotel. It’s the perfect place to stay, though there’s so much to see in Reykjavík that you’ll likely spend minimal time there. Get sweaty with a long hike to see the Gullfoss waterfalls then reward yourself with a float in The Blue Lagoon, where chances are you’ll see the Northern Lights (if not, you can always arrange a tour to see them another night).