It could be argued that the act of taking a vacation, any vacation, is romantic—exploring the streets of an unfamiliar locale, attempting to read a foreign menu with a loved one, surrounding yourself with a language you don’t exactly understand. But for National Romance Month—specifically August, but any month can be National Romance Month—take some time to plan a special vacation.
These luxe romantic getaways are perfect for late summer and fall travel, from the beaches of St. Maarten to a private sail around Rhode Island.
St. Maarten is an island in the Caribbean that’s actually home to two different countries, divided by the French (Saint-Martin) and Dutch (Saint Maarten). If you’re looking for a romantic beach vacation where you don’t have to do much more than lift a hand to get a drink delivered right to you, this is the location to look into.
Where to Stay: Oyster Bay Beach Resort
There are many resorts to choose from on St. Maarten, but one stands out for its stellar location. Located on a coral reef, the Oyster Bay Beach Resort has the ocean views, activities, and white sand beaches that make up any romantic vacation daydream (yes, infinity pool included). Aside from lounging poolside, you can snorkel at the nearby reef; enjoy treatments at the on-site spa; dine at the hotel restaurant; experience water sports like parasailing, skiing, and boating; or take advantage of the local horseback and hiking trails.
Newport, Rhode Island
Known for its stunning seaside views and Gatsby-esque architecture, Newport is the perfect retreat for a romantic getaway.
Where to Stay: The Chanler at Cliff Walk
The Chanler at Cliff Walk is dedicated to making sure your stay is as romantic—and as customized—as possible. (Three words: aromatherapy bath service.) Your stay includes complimentary car service and the concierge will be happy to set up private beach picnics or arrange tickets to nearby shows or attractions. The hotel also offers complimentary bikes, the preferred (and most enjoyable) method of transportation around town.
This isolated country is romantic year-round—whether you’re snowed in during the winter or taking in waterfall views during the summer—but fall in Iceland is a truly magical time. Not only do you have a chance of catching the Northern Lights (they have been known to make an appearance as early as August), but there are a plethora of romantic accommodations.
Where to Stay: The Five Million Star Hotel, South Iceland
This hotel is actually a series of transparent bubble rooms on a private property outside of the town Fludir. Owned by a local farmer who will greet you when you arrive, the Five Million Star Hotel is not only an incredible place to see the Northern Lights, but it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime hotel experience. You can also book tours of the nearby attractions—waterfalls, hot springs—along with your stay in one of the bubbles.
Cascais is a small town a 40-minute drive outside of Portugal. Once a fishing village, it was turned into a royal summer retreat by King Luis I during his rule. Full of sandy beaches, historic structures, and beautiful hotels, this is the perfect place to take an ocean-side nap and dream about the royalty who once roamed the area. The local Citadel Palace is now a hotel with a restaurant and a great bookstore, and also hosts art shows.
Where to Stay: Farol Design Hotel
If you’re looking to wake up to the sound of waves hitting the beach, check out Farol Design Hotel. Not only is its location perfect, but it also houses an incredible collection of art. Sushi Design, one of the hotel’s restaurants, overlooks the ocean and is a gorgeous spot to take in the sunset. If you’re looking for a quiet moment with someone you love, ask for a few breakfast essentials and head to the pool deck for the ultimate view.
Big Sur, California
You don’t have to do more than drive around Big Sur to catch some of the romance. Grab your hiking shoes and drive to a secluded trail to take in the water views. The real draw around Big Sur is its national parks and natural scenes. Make sure and get some time out of your hotel to explore the surrounding area.
Where to Stay: Post Ranch Inn
Perched atop cliffs overlooking the ocean, Post Ranch Inn is the ultimate spot for spending some quality downtime with a partner. The Romance at the Ranch package offers a three-day romantic getaway, complete with four-course meals, massages, daily gourmet breakfast, champagne, and tons of activities (stargazing, nature walks, and yoga, to name a few).
Thinking of Maui, it’s impossible to not recall images of pristine beaches—whether you’ve been there or not. But there’s a lot more to this island than snoozing on the sandy shores, though that is definitely something everyone should do.
Where to Stay: Hotel Wailea
No kids allowed at this luxury hotel. The suites-only Hotel Wailea comes fully equipped with a pool, pool bar, and beach excursions. If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic vacation, check out the Suite Getaway Package, which features a four-hour beach adventure in a vintage Porsche Speedster convertible. The hotel also offers aerial yoga, mixology classes, kiteboarding, outrigger canoeing, aerial silk classes, and dining in the onsite treehouse.
Governor’s Island, New York City
There’s a lot to see in New York City, so it’s easy to overlook the nearby Governor’s Island. It’s only a quick ferry away from Manhattan and Brooklyn and the crowds are far smaller than in its neighboring boroughs. Relax in the hammock grove, bike around the island, play a game of mini golf, or reserve a grill for an afternoon picnic.
Where to Stay: Collective Governor’s Island
If camping is your idea of a good weekend, take it up a notch with Collective Governor’s Island. These glamping tents feature hand-picked furniture, daily delivered breakfast, rain-style showers, and a spa bath. Book the Summit Tent for the most luxe night you'll ever spend in a tent. Keep an eye open for the new Outlook Shelter, a full-service suite with a 180-degree glass encased bedroom.
Charleston, South Carolina
Maybe it’s the historic architecture dripping with ancient tales or the oak trees lining every street, but Charleston is undeniably one of the most romantic destinations in the United States. Take a cooking class at the Zero George Cooking School. Take a day trip to Sullivan’s Island, go on a ghost tour—the activities are endless.
Where to Stay: The Spectator Hotel
Southern charm, luxury, and incredible amenities all come together at The Spectator Hotel. This Charleston mainstay is located in the heart of the historic district, meaning there are plenty of streets to explore during your stay. Amenities include butler service, complimentary bikes to ride around town, a welcome cocktail, and a gourmet in-room breakfast.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
French-style architecture, dancing, art museums galore—Buenos Aires has so much to offer those in search of some romance. Spend the day exploring Jardín Botánico followed with a show at Teatro Colón and finish the day sipping a cocktail at the hotel bar.
Where to Stay: Melia Recoleta
This hotel sits in the same place President Juan and First Lady Eva Peron, one of the country’s most famous couples, used to live. Melia Recoleta is full of romantic nooks to explore and don’t miss the rooftop terrace and its hydro-massage bathtub.
It will only take one walk along the canal to feel the romance of this city. Take a candlelit cruise along the canal belt, visit the Vondelpark open-air theater, or take an afternoon stroll through the flower market.
Where to Stay: Pulitzer Amsterdam
Antique furniture, a freestanding bathtub, a super-sized king bed—those amenities alone are enough to up the romance of your vacation. The Pulitzer Amsterdam is located right on the canal and made up of 25 different but connected canal houses. Don’t miss the hotel’s gardens, tucked among the maze of houses.
Door County, Wisconsin
It’s all about the picnics in Door County. Catch the changing fall leaves and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors in one of Door County’s many parks. Check out Sunset Park, Peninsula State Park, Sand Bay, Schoolhouse Beach, or Rock Island State Park to scope out a secluded picnic spot. And don’t forget about the lighthouses—head to Old Baileys Harbor Light, Cana Island Lighthouse, or Plum Island Range Lights for a little history lesson with a side of photo ops.
Where to Stay: Ashbrooke Hotel
The Ashbrooke Hotel is one of the few adults-only spots in Door County. When you’ve had your fill of hiking, shopping, picnicking, or boating, head back to the Asbrooke for a bit of R&R. The hotel offers a 12-person Jacuzzi, an indoor lap pool, an outdoor sundeck, and Adirondack chairs sprinkled around the property for impromptu relaxing.