From fireplaces in cozy inns to roof deck views from new hotels built like latter-day palazzos, New England offers tradition and modernism, sometimes both in the same place.
Romance packages, especially around Valentine’s Day, might include bubbly and chocolates, or other add-ons. But whether romance means activities to share or seclusion and quiet, the choice is as varied as the couples themselves.
The Wentworth - Jackson, New Hampshire
The Wentworth — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Beautifully furnished private “cottages” with four poster beds, and suites with private hot tubs help make this truly elegant hotel a top choice for a romantic getaway.
Situated in a quiet, rural village in the Mount Washington Valley, known for its Nordic ski center, the backstory adds to its appeal: the inn was once a summer home, built in the late 19th century by Joshua Trickey as a wedding gift from a devoted father to his daughter and her betrothed, General Marshall Wentworth. The letter that Wentworth wrote asking Mr. Trickey for permission to marry his daughter, Georgia, is displayed in the lobby, where a big fireplace provides a cozy focal point.
- The Wentworth
Chatham Inn - Chatham, Massachusetts
Chatham Inn — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
This is where couples go to indulge in being, well, a couple. Indulge is the right word, indeed. The Chatham Inn delivers excellence in service, furnishings and food, making a stay effortless and cosseting, leaving you to explore this unspoiled town situated on Cape Cod’s elbow. Rooms vary, from a spa-like first-floor studio suite with an enormous soaking tub, to a two-tiered loft; each with cloud-like bedding for full relaxation.
With the fireplace aglow, the modern-styled Cuvée restaurant entices at the end of the day with a four-course prix fixe feast (and the finest wine pairings as an optional exploration). After that, all you have to do is retire to your room, which turndown service has prepared with flickering faux candles, robes and slippers, and bonbons by the bed.
Hidden Pond - Kennebunkport, Maine
Hidden Pond — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
The romance of seclusion amongst woodland while receiving ultimate pampering in a luxurious log cabin is Hidden Pond’s forte. Dine on exquisite food at celebrated Earth restaurant, and relax at the aptly-named Tree Spa where treatments are enjoyed in tree houses. Though the resort has a lost-in-the-forest feel, it's situated near Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach, a quiet hamlet with only a vintage-looking general store and one of Maine’s most beautiful white sand beaches.
Dock Square’s restaurants, art galleries and craft shops are a mere five miles away, but it’s likely that this 60-acre resort’s immersion in nature, the cozy main lodge’s stone fireplace and its Back Porch Bar, or even cuddling up in a hammock, is all the activity a couple may need before retiring to their own cottage’s fireplace.
- Hidden Pond
The Pitcher Inn - Warren, Vermont
The Pitcher Inn — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
If being marooned in a magical luxury inn in the middle of nowhere sounds romantic, then this Vermont gem is the place for you. Located in tiny Warren in the Green Mountains, the antique-filled Pitcher Inn looks historic, but it was built in 1997 in a traditional style, honoring the much-loved inn that stood there before it.
Big welcoming fireplaces, the heart of any New England hostelry, anchor the lobby lounge, while guest rooms and suites are uniquely decorated. One top floor pad is a loft-like, wood-clad suite with fireplace and kitchenette, which is decked out with vintage ski memorabilia.
- The Pitcher Inn
Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport - Boston, Massachusetts
Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Book a room on a high floor in this sparkling new hotel in Boston’s Seaport. This area sizzles with nightlife and restaurants nowadays. Views from the Patron Tower include the Harbor Islands and go all the way to the Blue Hills to the south.
With five restaurants and bars, there’s plenty to choose from right on the doorstep. Recline in the romantic restaurant Coquette, whose walls are lined with mural art depicting muses and cherubs, and whose menu adds a little French style to dining. Book a couples massage in the cave-like Breve spa, or just relax on the fifth-floor pool deck overlooking the city.
- Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport
The Beatrice - Providence, Rhode Island
The Beatrice — Photo courtesy of Warren Jagger
Be transported to Venice in a city that so closely aligns itself with that most romantic Italian location. That has to do with the preponderance of waterways that converge in Providence, a natural occurrence that spurred the carnivale-like annual WaterFire event, featuring gondoliers riding past lighted fires along the river.
Set in the 1887 Exchange Building in the heart of this small, but architecturally rewarding city, The Beatrice hotel continues that romantic Italian theme in its sleek, sophisticated restaurant, Bellini by Ignazio Cipriani. In this boutique hotel's modern guest rooms, sink into fine Mascioni linens for a dreamy night's sleep.
- The Beatrice
Delamar Greenwich Harbor - Greenwich, Connecticut
Delamar Greenwich Harbor — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Pull under the portico of this Italianate styled hotel situated on Connecticut’s Gold Coast in Greenwich. Then step into a grand lobby with gleaming gold-flecked marble flooring, reproduction 18th-century furniture and incredible artwork, well worth a thorough exploration. After a welcoming glass of prosecco, head to a spacious, well-appointed guest room.
Choose a room whose balcony offers water views overlooking the harbor and the hotel’s 500-foot marina. Relax in the small, serene spa, for some "us" or "me" time – your choice. Spend an evening in with drinks in the lounge, decked out with more intriguing art, and dine in at the elegantly earthy L’Escale restaurant, where windows overlook the large outdoor dining deck by the yacht-lined marina.
- Delamar Greenwich Harbor
Woodstock Inn & Resort - Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock Inn & Resort — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
Set in a Vermont village, just off a picturesque village green and surrounded by tall birches and American oaks, the Woodstock Inn was founded by the Rockefeller family in the late 1960s, and nowadays pairs a classic New England Federal-style exterior with a modern stylish boutique interior.
Guests can enjoy a multitude of activities, from swimming in heated indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, exercising in a massive fitness center, cycling and exploring the nearby ski area. Or you can relax in the regal library, where chess and backgammon boards are set up, or in the spa, which has a beautiful relaxation lounge.
- Woodstock Inn & Resort
Weekapaug Inn - Westerly, Rhode Island
Weekapaug Inn — Photo courtesy of Ocean House Collection
This luxury seaside inn is where many couples choose to tie the knot, and it’s where many escape to kindle romance, both new and old. Set in a quiet coastal town with picturesque, mom-and-pop business-lined streets, the Weekapaug Inn is a sophisticated, foodie-centric destination. The quiet town of Westerly is laid-back, perfect for recharging and reconnecting.
The hotel offers nature walks and talks with the in-house naturalist. And the inn’s Cinema Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience is a lovely low-key romantic activity, with heated blankets for cover. No ordinary outdoor movie set-up, classic movies are accompanied by a three-course upscale “TV Dinner” bento box meal, in addition to candy and popcorn.
Still, little beats simple views of the ocean, or those overlooking Quonochontaug Pond, especially during the golden hour.
- Weekapaug Inn
The Newbury - Boston, Massachusetts
The Newbury — Photo courtesy of Linda Laban
What began as one of the first Ritz-Carlton hotels is now an exquisitely detailed boutique hotel. The neo-classical exterior remains, as does the view over the beautiful Boston Public Garden. Relax in the guests-only lounge, The Library, and dine at Contessa, the 17th-floor conservatory trattoria, voluptuously lined with marble.
The 286 spacious guest rooms and suites include 42 rooms with original wood-burning fireplaces. Other holdovers from the past: afternoon tea in the re-styled Newbury Salon, drinks in the polished-up Street Bar and the stylish ambiance at the top of Boston’s most stylish street.
- The Newbury Boston