Weekend Trip: Six Romantic Getaways To Book Right Now

Even in the best cities in the world, there are times that escape feels so desperate a necessity that any borrowed friend-of-a-friend’s dilapidated cottage upstate seems like it would do the trick. From dreamy and not-too-far-away to dreamy and across-the-pond, these six romantic getaways are sure to get your imagination, and your heart (and libido) stirring. Book one now. You won’t regret it.

1. Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk

Just a quick Jitney trip away lies Montauk–which sheds the pretension of the neighboring Hamptons, but keeps the pristine oceanfront real estate. Thanks to a spa, salt water pool (with ocean views (!)), and yoga classes offered, you can get the perks of a tropically detoxifying retreat in just a 2.5-hour trip. End the night watching the sunset or sipping champagne by the fireplace.

Gurney's Firepit
Photo: Courtesy of Gurney’s Montauk Resort

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, New King Room
Photo: Courtesy of Gurney’s Montauk Resort

Gurney's Property - Sunset Image
Photo: Courtesy of Gurney’s Montauk Resort

2. Ace Hotel and Swim Club, Palm Springs

For a west coast romantic getaway, look no further than Palm Springs: this desert mecca of mid-century modern architecture doubles as a hip destination for anyone who wants California weather, sans the glitz of L.A…and should you want for just a hint of glitz, The Ace Hotel might just be the perfect resolution. If it’s pure, unadulterated relaxation you seek, “The Feel Good Spa” offers couples packages–in fact, anything from facials and seaweed body wraps, to earth clay wraps and body brushing can be done in twosome form. And, since no vacation has ever felt long enough, couples can indulge in a personal massage lesson to learn inspired, professional techniques to use at home. Outdoorsy types can soak up the SoCal sunshine via bike rentals–even better–the hotel can arrange a private dinner on the stargazing deck, which overlooks the pool and mountains.

Photo: D.L. Thompson and Jon Johnson

aceps-spa-indoorroomPhoto: Douglas Lyle Thompson

Ace_Palm_Springs-OverviewPhoto: D.L. Johnson and Jon Johnson

3. The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell, Round Top, TX
Looking for a romantic American getaway that’s truly off the beaten path? Try Texas. Just 75 miles from ultra-hip Austin lies mecca, as told by the queen of shabby chic. Each cottage offers privacy and comfort. Couples spend time reconnecting with long walks and quality time spent together.  Trying to win some extra boyfriend/girlfriend points? Flowers can be added to the room for an extra special touch.

Photo: Courtesy of “Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures,” Cico books

Photo: Courtesy of “Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures,” Cico books

Prairie Driveway Exterior
Photo: Courtesy of “Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures,” Cico books

Prairie Exterior copy
Photo: Courtesy of “Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures,” Cico books

4. The Berkeley Hotel, London 

Here’s one for the sartorially inclined couple. If you missed the jaw-dropping Alexander McQueen retrospective when it debuted at the Met’s Costume Instutute in NYC in 2011, fear not–the corsetry, the chance to be thisclose to pieces from the groundbreaking Highland Rape collection is just one reason to head to the UK. It’s now at the V&A–a British institution, if you’ve never been. (Plus, even if you’re going for just an extended weekend, a flight to England is a solid hour less than almost any other country in Europe and the same goes for the time difference). If the exhibit isn’t enough, revel in the quirky spirit of English fashion at The Berkeley Hotel (that’s Rachel Zoe’s favorite to you) where you can enjoy Pret-a-Portea–proper high tea that pays homage to McQueen favorites. Of course, The Berkeley is more than just cookies and tea sandwiches…there are the balcony suites overlooking Hyde Park, duos can enjoy treatments at the Bamford Haybarn Spa, and unwind from the buzz of London by the rooftop pool.

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Photo: Courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group

Treatment Room 028 copy
Photo: Courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group

Berkeley Opus Suite_28-08-13_0207a
Photo: Courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group

Pret-A-Portea, Spring/Summer 2015Photo: Courtesy of Maybourne Hotel Group

5. St. Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico

Though leaving the premises of the St. Regis Bahia Beach would be, by no means, necessary, the couple who likes their vacation with a healthy mix of the highest-end luxury (think: a Jean-Georges restaurant on the premises) and a bit of authentic culture, look no further than this gorgeous Puerto Rican retreat, where the ocean is warm, the pool is massive and the cabanas are made for making out–but the charm and pastel colors of Old San Juan are just a short drive away. Kayak in the on-property lake, hike holding hands through the nearby El Yunque rainforest, or simply read by the pool, you’ll leave having enjoyed a restorative serving of both piña coladas and Vitamin D. Though adventure on and around the premises abounds, rooms come equipped with sun-drenched patios and walk-in showers. Even better, giant baths that are an insanely simple dial-zero to the butler away from filled with bubbly–in the bath and your glasses. Prepare for 24/7 romance.

St.Regis Bahia Beach Resort Puerto Rico
Photo: Courtesy of St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

St. Regis Bahia Beach Pool
Photo: Courtesy of St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

Suite Room
Photo: Courtesy of St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

The St. Regis Bahia Beach private beach
Photo: Courtesy of St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

6. KiCHIC Resort, Peru

Located on the edge of a traditional Peruvian fishing village, Mancora is fast emerging as one of the world’s best beach destinations (you heard it here first)! KiCHIC offers a unique hideaway where guests find call rooms, located between gardens of coconut palms and maye pepper trees facing the northern ocean breeze, home. For an especially romantic indulgence, spring for the Piedra room which has its own open-air bathtub on a private terrace made out of local flagstone, or the Himalaya. Should you decide (and no judgement, if not) to ever get out of bed, you can take your pick of surf lessons, kayaking, and outdoor movies every weekend.

Photo: Courtesy of KiCHIC

Photo: Courtesy of KiCHIC

357A0789Photo: Courtesy of KiCHIC

Photo: Courtesy of KiCHIC

Puerto Rico Dispatch: St. Regis Remede Spa Is Nature Chic

The last thing I want to do when I’m in the Caribbean is stay cooped up inside a spa. But I also have some pretty decent back ailments. So when I booked a treatment at St. Regis Remede Spa, I arrived half an hour early to enjoy the facilities. The spa is 10,000-square feet, so I was sure it would be a nice little playground I could get lost in. If you’ve been to a St. Regis Remede Spa, you know how tight they run that pampering ship for guests, from service to lounges, down to the comfort of the sandals.

I have to admit, I had one of those jaw-dropping moments of confusion when the front desk attendant opened the entrance door from within the air-conditioned lobby. The entire spa was outdoors, the first of its kind in Puerto Rico. The walkway was flanked by ponds full of Koi fish. I entered the gentlemen’s lounge, which then took me back outside to the water facilities. There was a cold plunge pool, large hot tub with cascading waterfall, outdoor showers, and a lounge — all neatly adorned by lush landscaping. I sat in the hot tub and caught a sliver of moon. It was pretty awesome, as I drank a glass of champagne.

What I also like about the Remede Spa is that their menu list isn’t four pages long. You can basically just choose a customized massage and tell the masseuse what you want exactly done (same with a facial). My masseuse was super friendly, with hands like mitts, and such forearm strength, she must have passed a football around a couple times back in the day. The massage involved paraffin for the feet, aromatherapy oils for the hair, and a hot towel on my back. The best part is that, because we’re in the Bahia nature reserve, she didn’t need to turn on tranquil music, as the sounds of nature made the best soundtrack.

Puerto Rico Dispatch: Partying at Surfer Beach Town Luquillo

When you travel, the general rule of thumb is to do as the locals. I say just go with them. On the northeast coast of Puerto Rico, I was getting a little antsy at St. Regis Bahia Beach, which is completely removed from any nearby town. While it’s a gorgeous retreat, I wanted to see what this side of Puerto Rico had to offer. So I was grateful to have met a handful of locals who had no qualms about letting me hop into their car and go for a ride. Yeah. I live on the edge.

They took me to their town, Luquillo, a sleepy surfer beachside city, curbed by a gorgeous beach, La Pared, which is known to be one of Puerto Rico’s most beautiful stretches of sand. At night, when we arrived, locals gathered along the coastline, marked by benches and soft-bulbed streetlamps, near the popular Boardriders bar. It’s a young town, so students and young ex-pat beachbums alike drink beers and socialize, while horseback riders gallop along the streets and the salt-stung air creates an atmosphere you can’t really duplicate. It’s urban and gritty and a little dilapidated but its equally raw and rewarding and somewhat romantic. It’s a side of Puerto Rico that’s far removed from any active tourist hub, thus authentic and worth checking out.

In Luquillo, virtually everyone knows one another and, as a tourist, I seemed to blend right in after casually meeting more locals than I can remember. It’s a town where there’s not much to do, so you surf by day and booze at night. After my fourth beer, it was time to call it quits and I saluted that beach that I never got to see during the day — which only means I have a good reason to return.