Private-island romance is closer than you think at Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa | Little Torch Key, Florida
A private island escape is closer than you think. This secluded spot sits off of Mile Marker 28.5 on Little Torch Key, and is only accessible via sea plane or private boat.
The 15 standalone bungalows (each containing two suites) are the epitome of tropical chic, with thatched roofs, mosquito-netted beds and outdoor showers. Winding paths lead to private beaches or dockside hammocks, ideal for sunning and snoozing.
Hit the pool bar to enjoy a few Gumby Slumbers, the resort's signature drink, and sign up for a private dinner on the beach. Distractions are minimal: You'll find a great spa, fitness center and free WiFi, but no televisions, telephones or guests under age 16.
Sunsets are a daily gift at Pueblo Bonito Pacific Resort. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Resorts and Spas
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa | Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This 18-and-over all-inclusive relaxes you from the minute you check in, with its soothing spa vibe. Its décor takes its cues from the surrounding desert, with earthy neutrals and a central cactus garden. The 154 rooms range in size from deluxe to oceanfront suites with separate living rooms, butler service and oversized balconies facing the sea.
The Armonia spa is a must at Pueblo Bonito; considered one of the top spas in Mexico, it features products from Spain's Natura Bisse line and a sexy couples' suite.
Guests also have access to the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, just 10 minutes away, and the nightlife of downtown Cabo, just over the hill.
The resort fronts one of the prettiest beaches in Cabo, but due to tides it's better for strolling than for swimming; stick to the two pools for dipping.
A tiered pool and epic views are just two things to love about Costa Rica's Villa Buena Onda. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Villa Buena Onda
Villa Buena Onda | Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
It doesn't get much more boutique than this hotel, set above the Pacific on Costa Rica's Guanacaste Coast. There are a mere eight rooms, set in a hillside villa overlooking the Pacific, most featuring wide windows to let in the light and the views.
Days are filled with touring and exploring; everything from a coastal cruise with beach barbecue to boating along the croc-filled Tempisque River to ziplining through the rainforest. When you return, chill by the saltwater pool, take a cooking class or just indulge in three-course meals, the latter included in your room rate. (Alcohol is extra, as are tours and spa treatments.)
A 16-and-up age policy applies year-round, upping the relaxing ambiance.
If winter romance means snowy trails and hot toddies, make your way to Twin Farms. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Twin Farms
Twin Farms | Barnard, Vermont
If you're looking for a truly exceptional winter getaway, this 20-room hotel just outside of Barnard will surpass expectations.
The circa-1795 was the home of writers Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Johnston before finding new life as an exclusive country getaway. The arts still hold high esteem here; wander though the interior and you'll spy works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Ed Ruscha, to name a few.
The 20 rooms and cottages are all uniquely decorated, from the Moroccan-style Meadow Cottage to the earthy Farmhouse, done by acclaimed designer Thad Hayes. Explore the farm's 300 acres by ski or snowshoe, then return for hot toddies by the fire.
Quality at this level costs a pretty penny, no doubt, but when the all-inclusive experience includes farm-to-table meals and selections from a 20,000-bottle wine cellar, it's worth it.
The gift of wellness comes packaged in gorgeous surroundings at Chiva-Som, in Hua Hin, Thailand. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Chiva-Som
Chiva-Som | Hua Hin, Thailand
To start the new year in the healthiest way possible, head to this world-renowned destination spa, set in Hua Hin overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. The name means "Haven of Life" and they practice what they preach, offering customizable packages on everything from weight loss and fitness to stress management. Most guests wander about in Thai pajamas by day, going for treatments and attending healthful classes - on everything from Pilates to healthy cuisine.
Speaking of the latter, Chiva-Som is especially beloved for its food: guests can stick to the low-calorie spa meals included in the plan, or indulge on fresh Thai cuisine and drinks when they want to splurge.
If you want to visit, plan ahead; the resort restricts to guests age 16 and over, and sells out far in advance, due in no small part to its devoted celebrity clientele; devotees include Kate Moss, Elle McPherson and David and Victoria Beckham.
There's no kids table for holiday meals at Couples Tower isle in Jamaica. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Couples Resorts
Couples Tower Isle | Frankfurt, Jamaica
This popular all-inclusive brand was designed with romance in mind, and has four resorts in Jamaica, each one exclusively for guests aged 18 and over.Set on the coast near Ocho Rios, Tower Isle is the flagship, with 220 rooms and suites set along the coast.
Go simple with a garden room or splurge on a one-bedroom suite facing the ocean, complete with terrace, fully stocked mini-bar and Jacuzzi bathtub. By day, try your hand at SCUBA diving, hit the spa or do some au natural sunbathing at their offshore private island, which also has a beach bar and lunch buffet.
Live music, dance classes and beach bonfires keep the fun going until the wee hours.
Drink in epic views from your balcony at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood/Post Ranch Inn
Post Ranch Inn | Big Sur, California
Craving a holiday road trip? Hit the Pacific Coast Highway between Carmel and San Luis Obispo for one of the country's most gorgeous drives.
Your destination is equally sweet: Post Ranch Inn, a 39-room boutique hotel with jaw-dropping views of the curvy coastline.
They offer a great selection of packages, building in sybaritic extras from private dinners to spa treatments. (Daily breakfast, free WiFi and stocked mini-bar come gratis with every room.)
The heated infinity pool makes dips a must year-round, and they feel especially sweet after a day hiking the coastal cliffs. Nightlife means dinner at Sierra Mar, followed by stargazing sessions from your balcony.
Swimming pool trumps fireplace at The House on Barbabos. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Elegant Hotels
The House | Bridgetown, Barbados
This chic adult-only hotel sits on Barbados' western Platinum Coast. The vibe is upscale beach house (hence the name), and the 34 suites have perks like feather-topped beds, jetted tubs and rainforest showers.
Upgrade to a one-bedroom and you'll be treated with a VIP airport greeting (including express service through customs) as well as an hour-long massage.
Equally sweet is the all-inclusive pricing which covers everything from waterskiing to afternoon tea to oceanfront dining at Daphne's.
If you do want to explore, Elegant Hotels has four sister hotels along the coast; guests of one enjoy privileges at all five, and you can hotel-hop by water taxi.
A killer sunset is about as dramatic as it gets at Likuliku Lagoon. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Likuliku Lagoon Resort | Malolo Island, Fiji
If you're looking for an exotic escape, nothing says romance like the South Pacific. Likuliku Lagoon is a family-owned resort that has won top accolades around the world.
Give yourself a present by checking into one of the 35 thatched-roof bures (the Fijian word for "bungalow") lining the beach, all with outdoor showers and some with plunge pools.
Feeling extra-special? Opt for an overwater bure, perched on stilts above the lagoon. The surrounding waters are a protected marine preserve, ideal for snorkeling and diving; you can also hike the island's walking trails, or take a tour to Solevu village and participate in a kava-sipping ceremony.
Menus change daily, showcasing local ingredients including seafood and tropical fruit.
A fireplace is even better when it comes inside a couples' treatment room at Travaasa Austin. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Travaasa
Travaasa | Austin, Texas
Some couples connect most by doing. If that sounds like you, check into this unique resort spa just outside of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. They call themselves "experiential," which means the focus is on doing.
The resort breaks activities up into five tracks: Adventure, Culinary, Culture, Fitness and Spa & Wellness. You can stick to one track, or mix-and-match activities as the mood strikes. Options run the gamut from geocaching and an obstacle course on the Adventure path to a mechanical bull workout for Fitness, wine tasting for Culinary and Texas two-step classes for Culture.
Choose from inclusive or a la carte pricing, depending on your budget and appetite. A full slate of spa treatments ensures you'll go home relaxed no matter how much you pack in.