Where are the best new romantic hotels this year? I searched from Miami to Montana, from California to the Caribbean to bring you wonderful new places for couples to canoodle.
Whether your dream is a get-away-from-it-all lodge, a riverside tent, a beachfront spa haven, or a sybaritic suite for sophisticates, you'll find it here. Romantic hotels on this list opened in 2005 or are scheduled for a 2006 debut.
Updated Best New Hotels List
Amanyara, scheduled to open on Northwest Point in March 2006, is the second Turks and Caicos property to make this list. The first hotel in the Caribbean from the prestigious Amanresorts brand, it is at the tip of a nature and wildlife reserve. Northwest Point Marine Park's acclaimed diving reefs are just offshore. Its 40 individual "pavilions" were named according to location and views: pond, ocean, and beach. A likely haven for musicians, the resort features its own recording studio.
With the arrival of The Setai
, Asian cool stakes a claim on Miami's hot South Beach. Ultra-high levels of privacy, service, and luxury distinguish the high-rise Setai from flashy neighbors. Guest rooms and suites are furnished with brand-name features that mean something: Duxiana beds (the world's most comfortable), Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, Lavazza espresso machines. Spa suites for couples to enjoy treatments together feature private steam and showers.
A boutique beach resort that opened in February 2005, The Palms
on Grace Bay consists of spacious marble-floored suites with mahogany four-poster beds and flat-screen TVs. Private terraces provide ocean views, and the luxurious guest rooms are located just steps away from powder-fine sands and azure waters. This $95 million property, a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World, includes a spa and a t'ai chi studio overlooking a water garden.
An unconventional resort in the Montana wilderness, the Resort at Paws Up
opened in June 2005. During warm months couples can overnight in a luxury tent near the Blackfoot River. It comes complete with feather bed and camping butler who delivers and presents your meals. In winter, cuddle in a large, luxurious cabin equipped with a private outdoor hot tub and savor starlight sleigh rides.
Located within New York State's vast Adirondack park, the all-suite Whiteface Lodge opened in May 2005. A luxury resort in the style of a classic mountain hideaway, the Lodge features oversized guest rooms with hand-crafted Adirondack-style furnishings, a fireplace, pillow-topped king size bed, fully equipped kitchen, HDTVs, free in-room wi-fi, and a jetted bathtub. Each unit has a private balcony overlooking the surrounding mountains.
Opened in August and closed for repairs in October due to hurricane Wilma, Le Blanc Spa Resort welcomes guests again in February 2006. Luxury suites at this adults-only property feature double Jacuzzis, one of the best settings we know for good, clean fun. The Spa includes five outdoor couple suites that face Nichpute Lagoon, offering water views. Other features at Le Blanc Spa Resort include three swimming pools, two of which are infinity pools with swim-up bars.
How can a hotel built in 1927 qualify for "best new hotel" status? After a $62 million-dollar facelift in 2005, this California Wine Country dowager is wearing a fresh face. Its restored lobby, the redesign of its 97 historic rooms, and new spa-like bathrooms should appeal to romantics who appreciate something old and something new. Close to many regional wineries, it's an ideal base to create your own version of "Sideways."
Opened October 2005, 27-suite Kú
is the more-affordable cousin of tony Cap Juluca
and located on the same Caribbean island. Its air-conditioned suites feature a balcony, dining and living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bath. All have a TV, radio, and DVD and CD player. Expect to spend a fair amount of time at Kú's 75-foot beachfront bar, the longest on the island and accessible from both the beach and the hotel. Live music several times a week accompanies dancing under the stars.
Opened December 2005, Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
is located on 144 acres on Grand Cayman, largest and most developed of the three Cayman Islands. It is set along a prime stretch of scenic Seven Mile Beach and has 365 guest rooms including 11 suites. All have a private terrace and king-size bed. Hopes are high for gourmet dining: The two signature restaurants on the property were conceived by seafood guru Eric Ripert of New York City's highly lauded Le Bernardin, NYC.
Robert DeNiro is planning to add a hip new hotel to his downtown portfolio, which already includes the Screening Room and the Tribeca Film Institute. His boutique, seven-story, brick-and-terracotta hotel at North Moore and Greenwich Streets in the historic neighborhood is scheduled to open at the end of 2006. It will have 83 rooms and feature skylights, angled windows, and distinctive Manhattan manhole covers built into cornices.