We DINKs love our getaways made for two. And because we get a way so often, we're always looking for fresh ideas to inspire us.
To help inspire you, we pulled together 20 of the hottest romantic getaways this year.
Excerpts from Travel & Leisure
A Manhattan Moment: New York City
London’s Firmdale Group brings the spirit of Soho to a cobblestoned lane in the other SoHo. The new 86-room Crosby Street Hotel feels very much a part of its vibrant, intimately scaled neighborhood: the restaurant-bar has become a local favorite, and the salon-like lobby is filled from morning to midnight. Kit Kemp’s bold interiors manage to challenge and soothe the eye all at once: austere charcoal-gray wall coverings set off pastel headboards; soft silk curtains frame steel warehouse windows; gritty brick façades background a lush rooftop garden. Doubles from $495. —Peter Jon Lindberg
Barefoot Luxury: Islamorada, Florida
Even after serving as the backdrop for countless fashion-magazine photo shoots, the Moorings Village & Spa—18 brightly accented cottages connected to the beach by wooden walkways on a former coconut plantation in the Florida Keys—still seems like your own secret discovery. Lush, almost jungle-like landscaping gives way to a private white-sand beach with swaying hammocks and a thatched-roof dock. Book a snorkeling trip à deux withBay and Reef Co. (tours from $250) to view a multicolored swirl of marine life and the 136-year-old lighthouse; then return to your porch to feast on succulent stone crab. Cottages from $275. —Irene Edwards
Cooking in France: Paris
Amateur cooks now have access to the culinary secrets of Paris’s top chefs at the nine-month-old École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse. On a quiet residential block in the 16th Arrondissement, Romain Corbière, former head chef at Ducasse’s Le Relais du Parc, leads small classes with the help of such topflight toques as Christophe Moret, from Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. A day might start with a trip to a farmers’ market to pick up ingredients for a soupe au pistou, followed by a hands-on demonstration of dishes like blanquette de veau. Classes from $248 per day. —Claire Downey
Après-Ski Cuisine: Beaver Creek, Colorado
High above the small town of Avon, Beaver Creek sits, like Oz, at the end of a serpentine road. Known for its downhill slopes, the town also has snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and plenty of après-ski appeal. Reward yourself with a five-course dinner at the elegant Beano’s Cabin, a mid-mountain log cabin accessible only by sleigh ride. Or sample Wolfgang Puck's cuisine at Spago in theRitz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. In the summer, enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the Rockies, or go hiking in them. The Vail Valley is also home to over nine courses, including Red Sky Ranch and the Beaver Creek Golf Course. 970-754-3463; Dinner for two $210; reservations essential. —Meg Lukens Noonan
A Low-Country Drive: South Carolina
There’s something particularly romantic about South Carolina’s low country: roads lined with moss-draped trees lead to tiny coastal towns, where there are plenty of places to try the region’s famed oysters. From Charleston, head north for 40 miles on Highway 17 to the fishing village of McClellanville, stopping at T.W. Graham & Co. Seafood Restaurant (lunch for two $35) for a lunch of fried oysters. And in Georgetown, the Rice
Paddy Restaurant(dinner for two $92) is known for its oyster pies. Twenty miles north is Murrells Inlet, where bivalves come steamed or on the half shell at the Inlet Crab House Restaurant & Raw Bar (dinner for two $61). —Sandy Lang
Thanks to its latitude, Hawaii is a celestial mecca (it’s one of the only states with views of both the North Star and the Southern Cross). At the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, director of astronomy Eddie Mahoney ushers couples to the rooftop, where a 16-inch reflector telescope is set up next to strawberries and Château Michelle champagne. Ask Mahoney to point out your astrological constellations, then head downstairs to Kaanapali Beach to watch bioluminescent creatures light up the waves. Doubles from $311; Romance Tour of the Stars package $70 for two. —Kathryn O’Shea-Evans
A Scandinavian Cabin: Furillen,Sweden
The pleasures are simple on the tiny islet of Furillen, off Sweden’s Gotland Island: clear blue skies, deserted beaches, and fresh seafood. Here you’ll find Fabriken Furillen, a former limestone quarry transformed into Sweden’s farthest-flung design hotel. Locally sourced sheepskin rugs and handcrafted Midcentury furniture give the seemingly spare six cabins an alluring warmth, while Bang & Olufsen stereos and flat-screen TV’s lend the 15 rooms in the main house a modern edge. Doubles from $289. —Catesby Holmes
Storybook Town: Heidelberg, Germany
The pedestrian Hauptstrasse in Heidelberg, Germany, is lined with classic cafés—Schafheutle, Rossi, and Knoesel—that overlook the Neckar River, serve up first-rate Milchkaffee and luscious chocolate tortes, and offer the best vantage point for people-watching. Stay at the Heidelberg Suites, a converted 19th-century villa across the Karl Theodor bridge, where 26 rooms are done up with heroic busts, deer antlers, and etched mirrors; most have views of the city’s medieval castle. Doubles from $422. —Shane Mitchell
Perfume Mixing: Montpellier,France
Lavender, geranium, and mint are some of the scents that may inspire you duringGoLearnTo.com’s weekend perfumery course in France’s verdant Languedoc region. In a sprawling 18th-century farmhouse near Montpellier, study base and top notes and concoct your own signature scent. In the evening, meals—spit-roasted pork paired with wine from nearby vineyards—are served before guests retreat to the antiques-filled rooms. You get to take your bespoke creation home in a carry-on container that meets airlines’ requisite three-ounce limit. Four-day courses from $633, including lodging and meals. —Rachel Felder
A Venetian Palazzo: Venice
Beyond the crowded Rialto, this city is more than gondolas and Gorgonzola. In the serene Accademia neighborhood, just beyond the Campo San Stefano, the 22-room Palazzina Grassi has a superb collection of Modernist glass from Murano masters in a sparkling space designed by Philippe Starck. The bar is molto romantico for Prosecco cocktails and the canal-side restaurant turns out a perfect raviolo. Doubles from $483. —Shane Mitchell
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