Just because you’re going somewhere with your significant other does not automatically make it a romantic getaway. There’s a lot to be said for the couples’ trip that’s not meeting the family for Thanksgiving or the winter holidays — one that isn’t spent in airports waiting for transfers, on the Peter Pan bus to your hometown, or sleeping in your parents’ ultra-luxe guest rooms on a pullout sofa.
Be it a quintessential beach escape or a far-flung retreat, upscale resorts for just the two of you can be downright relationship-building. Here are a few of our favorite lovebird spots, from India to Italy.
Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California
Imagine seeing the grandiosity of Big Sur while soaking in a luxe infinity pool. Or sinking into the plushest bed after a walk in the woods, sipping wine by a roaring fire in your suite, gazing out floor-to-ceiling windows over the Pacific Ocean. Those are among the charms at Post Ranch Inn: a modern, understated chateau where the California woods meet the sea. If you’re thinking of tying the knot here, the inn offers many wedding packages, including the opportunity to have your ceremony in a private redwood forest.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai in Thailand
Splendor in the grass is quite literally what guests can expect at this intimate Thai resort located in the middle of sprawling rice fields. This Four Seasons outpost is renowned for its attentive service, massages, modern suites, and what one guest called a “luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle” feel. Go highbrow or au naturel here: You could visit with water buffalo, bicycle around the estate, and learn how to work the rice paddies, or you could go a bit more ritzy. The dining here is fabulous, whether one opts for private in-room meals, cocktails at the Ratree Bar and Lounge, or a multi-course feast at the terrace restaurant overlooking the Mae Rim Valley. Couples who love to cook should check out the Thai cooking course, which includes a trip to local markets.
Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee
This sprawling, 4,200-acre bucolic resort nestled near the Great Smoky Mountains singlehandedly added “luxury farm” to the American vernacular. If you and your partner like to chat about heirloom seeds and organic gardening, this resort and its Farmstead Field School are for you. Learn about chemical-free gardening and seed saving, and cuddle some cute animals while staying in plush, Norman Rockwell-esque cottages. The food and wine here are some of the best in the nation, with two marvelous restaurants helmed by chefs Cassidee Dabney and Sarah Steffan, and a wine program that earned the James Beard Award for excellence. The staff here truly couldn’t be more accommodating.
The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, India
If your idea of romance is a bath in a tub full of rose petals with a view of the Taj Mahal, well, this is the place to make that happen. Every room of the Oberoi Amarvilas boasts views of the gleaming white-marble monument. The grounds are downright opulent and the attentive staff will help you get tickets to the Taj itself so you can skip the queue. And if you want to avoid strangers and just have some privacy, butlers will bring your supper right to your balcony.
Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy
Opened by four Italian siblings in 1951, this spectacular Amalfi Coast hotel set in an 18th-century villa is popular for a reason. The views of the water and the homes stacked along the cliffs are extraordinary, and the region itself has affected fans such as author John Steinbeck to the extent that he wrote, “Positano bites deep.” Be sure to get a room with a veranda overlooking the bay, and make time for the champagne and oyster bar. If you ask, waiters will bring you bubbly to sip right in the pool.
St. Regis Bora Bora in French Polynesia
No request is too large for one of the world’s best resorts in the South Pacific: You can have “Marry Me” written on your bed in rose petals, or a private helicopter tour over a pristine beach with those words inscribed in coconuts. With their engagement coordinators, private islands and excursions, spas, personalized fireworks, and special pearl-diving trips, the St. Regis is practically designed for romance. There’s a reason so many people honeymoon, get engaged, or have weddings here: every detail, from the thatched-roof overwater villas to the outdoor showers, will make you fall in love with your other half all over again.
Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont
Twin Farms — an intimate 1795-era lodge in Vermont — is the place to go if your definition of romance involves rolling New England hills and a cozy, B&B-vibe. One smitten critic describes it as feeling “like you are staying as the guest of an eccentric billionaire” — in a good way, of course. It’s an all-inclusive experience right down to skiing lessons, meals, and fly fishing, to name just a few perks. Your room might include a stone-set hot tub (right next to the stone fireplace) giving new meaning to the term hot tub. The per-night fee is pricey, but treats like champagne and cheese trays delivered to your room are complimentary, as are the s’mores by the fire pits outside after nightfall. It’s romantic and decadent, and there are no children under 14 allowed.