A Dozen Romantic Getaways
- Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica
- Montage Resort and Spa, Laguna Beach
- Lake Arrowhead Resort, Lake Arrowhead
- Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage
- Cardiff by the Sea Lodge, Cardiff-by-the-Sea
- Plan B
At Shutters, you can revel in sunsets, seagulls, and stretches of powdery sand from the seclusion of your beach patio; or walk right outside the hotel lobby and lay your beach towels side by side. Then slather suntan lotion on each other and let the balmy breeze caress your skin as the rhythm of the waves lulls you to Fantasyland. Especially ONEderful is Shutters’ acclaimed spa, ONE, a favorite of celebrity couples. Our advice: Make like Brangelina and get thee to Shutters!
Art for heart’s sake is how we think of this gorgeous seaside resort. Taking its decorative cue from Laguna Beach’s world-famous art festivals, Montage’s idyllic setting seems lifted from an impressionist seascape. The service, spa and cuisine here are impeccable, the accommodations plush as can be, and the room service among the most indulgent we’ve experienced. Wallowing in Montage’s first-class pampering is a sure-fire way to kindle amour in the OC.
Deep in the San Bernardino mountains is a heavenly lakeside retreat that’s famous for playing Cupid: Lake Arrowhead has created Love Letters, a tempting selection of packages “designed to enliven the senses.” Our favorite: “Dirty Weekend/Good Clean Fun,” which includes peacock feathers and chocolate body paint…need we say more? Should you want a little extra help, consult the accommodating staff about creating a special Lake Arrowhead Resort weekend with your loved one.
The seduction begins the moment you enter this opulent oasis. Old World architecture, a spicy color scheme, flower-edged pathways and splashing fountains provide an exotic backdrop to your time together. Warm desert nights are ideal for stargazing or a midnight swim in the adults-only pool. Sure, world-class golf and shopping are within walking distance…but the plush bedding in your suite encourages lingering under the covers. French doors open onto a private patio, just the place to share room service goodies and sun-drenched mountain panoramas.
Reminiscent of a quaint Nantucket B&B, this enchanting hostelry makes its home in a quiet oceanfront town north of San Diego. The most beguiling of the Lodge’s themed guestrooms is the Sweetheart Room, a circular hideaway located in a fairytale tower. Here, hearts feature prominently: they’re carved into the grand, scrolled-beam ceiling; a custom heart-shaped whirlpool tub faces a double-sided fireplace—there’s even a custom heart-shaped skylight! The Lodge’s rooftop garden is an exhilarating aerie for toasts to the glorious sunset…and of course, each other.
Okay, so maybe you can’t get away for the entire weekend…well, there’s nothing like a candlelight dinner at a romantic restaurant as prologue to a steamy evening. Some of our personal faves: The Ranch House (Ojai), The Firehouse (Sacramento), Shadowbrook (Santa Cruz).