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Your honeymoon is far from the only time in life you deserve a relaxing and romantic getaway. There are proposals and anniversaries to celebrate and times you just need to escape with a weekend getaway for couples.
Whatever the occasion or excuse, the thought of spending a few days in a beautiful and different setting is both exciting and alluring. But with so many destinations accessible within a short domestic flight, not to mention myriad hotels, it can be hard to narrow things down.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best weekend getaways for couples for an extra dose of romance.
Best Weekend Getaways for Couples of 2021
Best Overall: The Surfrider Malibu, California
Why We Chose It: This boutique hotel fulfills the California dream in an iconic location with excellent food, impeccable design, and plenty of opportunities to be active or chill.
- Warm, friendly service
- The rooftop restaurant is for hotel guests only
- Complimentary surfboards and paddleboards for guests to use
- The art and interior design throughout
- Not all the rooms have ocean views
- Can be on the louder side, depending on traffic
- No spa, but you can book massages in-room
As beach destinations go, it doesn’t get much more iconic than Malibu. And right across from its famous pier is this effortlessly chic boutique hotel, destined for icon status, too.
With just 20 rooms right on Pacific Coast Highway, it offers easy views of one of California’s most famous surf breaks and its longboarders from artisan-made hammocks. The vibe is more beautifully curated private beach house than inn (down to the Parachute robes, custom scented candles, and gourmet minibar stash).
Stylistically it’s impossible not to feel equal parts inspired and envious of the place, but fortunately, you can shop some of the goods to take home a bit of that Malibu aura. It feels super exclusive up on the roof, too, where only guests are allowed to dine on Ambrosian cheese plates and seafood from sustainable area farms and fishermen, paired with expertly selected vinos and savory craft cocktails.
When you’re not in full relaxation mode or out learning to surf (or SUP) on one of the Surfrider’s beautiful custom boards, order a gourmet picnic to take on one of the recommended hikes and get ready for an epic sunset panorama. Rooms start at about $325 per night.
Best Budget: Callicoon Hills, Catskills, New York
Why We Chose It: This summer camp–esque getaway is an affordable place to escape into nature for the weekend.
What We Like:
- The vibe is laid back and far from stuffy
- The nostalgia and history
- Plenty to do in the area
What We Don’t Like :
- Many activities are offsite
- There is no spa
- Kids may be running around
The Catskills are back, and a mountain region is an ideal place for drivable holidays that double as a nature-drenched retreat. This revitalized 65-room property opening June 2021 offers approachable luxury on the site of a 1905 resort, and also includes event venues including a barn, onsite Conover Club restaurant, and bar (serving American comfort food with cheeky twists, sourced locally), a coffee shop, and a King-sized pool.
Throughout, design buffs will appreciate the locally made furniture, eye-catching lighting, and ethically made rugs. The whole vibe feels a bit like adult summer camp, with possible activities in the area including fly fishing and hiking, as well as antique store perusing and microbrewery tastings.
There are also cute towns to explore, and even a few legendary art institutions—Storm King and Marina Abramovic Institute to name a couple—within driving distance. Bottom line: A trip out to Callicoon Hills can be as active or chill as you desire.
Rooms start at about $229 per night.
Best for Relaxing: Cara Hotel, Los Angeles, California
Why We Chose It: In the middle of Los Angeles is this serene gem of a boutique hotel with impeccable cuisine and design.
What We Like:
- The feeling that you’ve traveled far away (like to Europe)
- Romantic atmosphere, with candlelit, rose-studded tables
- Perfect place to relax
- Rooms are flawlessly soundproofed and quiet
What We Don’t Like:
- No swimming allowed in the shallow tranquility pool
- No spa
- Most attractions require driving
A trip to Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood may not sound like much of a vacation, but one step inside this new boutique hotel’s heavenly plastered entrance, and you’d swear you were in Europe. Or the Caribbean. Or maybe Morocco.
There are subtle and sublimely chic design references everywhere, from the palms and olive trees scattered around the reflecting pool to the exquisite custom crown molding and global artwork, exuding an exotic air that has truly transportive powers.
This transformed motel is now an extremely elegant and intimate spot to escape without going too far. The all-white rooms with balconies are stocked with fluffy robes and the most delectable minibar imaginable (we’re talking craft cocktails, artisan salted caramels, and other tasty snacks).
The restaurant is the heart of the place, with the talented chef putting care into every plate of sumptuous pasta with burrata and tomatoes and perfect cheeseburger by seriously vetting the ingredients he uses, all from California farms. Work it all off by hiking the many scenic trails of Griffith Park, just up the street.
Rooms start at about $209 per night.
Best for Young Couples: W South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
Why We Chose It: There’s nowhere hotter than this Miami Beach hotel for young couples looking for fun in the sun.
What We Like:
- Mr. Chow is right on the beach
- Range of spa experiences
- Every room has a balcony and ocean view
What We Don’t Like:
- Pool gets busy and chairs fill up
- Can be quite loud at night when DJs are playing
There are many so reasons Miami makes for a sexy couples’ getaway, namely the steamy beach city’s opulent hotels and incredible dining scene.
This ocean-view hotel certainly checks both of those boxes, with a significant design renovation of its plush guest suites, minimalist spa (don’t miss the Ultimate Bespoke Couples Experience, involving massages, facials, lunch, and Champagne), and bungalows. The new look of the former is modern beachy perfection, with balconies offering sweeping panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean in all its shades of brilliant blue.
Of course, there’s a pool and a variety of lively bars and eateries, plus rooftop tennis and basketball courts. There’s also the famous Mr. Chow restaurant at the beach, legendary for its mouthwatering Beijing duck and noodles. Making lovers’ vacations even easier is a personal concierge available 24/7 for needs ranging from yacht charters to grocery shopping.
Rooms start at about $449 per night.
Best for Anniversaries: Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina, Hawaii
Why We Chose It: This is a postcard-perfect beachfront resort where you go to make special memories—and splurge.
What We Like:
- Genuine aloha spirit of all staff
- Several beaches and pools to choose from
- Restaurants serve a wide range of delicious cuisines
- Multitude of activities and excursions
What We Don’t Like:
- A true splurge, not inexpensive
- Disney resort next door shares a cove
There’s nothing quite like a little bit of aloha spirit and some fresh flower leis to instantly put you in a vacation state of mind, and it’s hard to find a resort that does it better on the island of O’ahu. Far from the buzz of Waikiki is this western coast gem where you can go outrigger sailing and spot pods of spinner dolphins, visit sea turtles in a nearby cove, or play golf amid waterfalls.
Splurge on a room with expansive ocean views from your balcony—or one oceanfront—and savor the smell of salt air alongside dynamic sunsets there or down by the adult pool, where Dr. Mai Tai’s will mix up something rum-based to cure all your ailments. The dining at the resort is diverse, including the excellent Mina’s Fish House and Southern Italian restaurant Noe, by a Michelin-starred chef.
Consider trying your hand—and hips—at learning hula, instead of simply attending a luau, and definitely don’t leave without a trip to the spa, or even better, couples Lomi Lomi massages in a candlelit cabana and stargazing after dinner one special night.
Rooms start at about $938 per night.
Best for Wellness: Canyon Ranch Woodside, California
Why We Chose It: Indulgence comes in many forms, as this Northern California wellness retreat proves.
What We Like:
- Focus on self-care and connection
- Chef makes healthy taste decadent by using incredible local ingredients
- Many group activities and workshops are included
- Redwood forest is quiet and peaceful
What We Don’t Like:
- The pool is indoors—this is not the place for sunbathing
- Nightly rate includes food and some activities, but it’s not cheap
- Hard to avoid interacting with other guests
If wellness to you is about the setting more than the spa, the latest Canyon Ranch retreat is your kind of idyllic long weekend trip. It’s nestled amid redwood trees in a virginal wooden area ripe with hiking and pink sunsets that lead to de-stressing nights around a fire pit.
There are so many activities at the all-inclusive getaway (think cycling, yoga, meditation, watercoloring, breathwork, and mind-body talks) you might not be in your room much; but if you plan to keep your schedule light, opt for one of the treehouse-esque lofts where plenty of glass allows for wide views of the peaceful forest.
It may sound counterintuitive at a wellness retreat, but the cuisine is unreal. Of course, it’s healthy (as in made from the only highest quality ingredients that are locally grown, raised, and gathered) but in a sort of secret way, because it’s so delicious you’d never know. Don’t miss the hiking trip to Djerassi Ranch or a sublime treatment using nearby McEvoy Ranch’s olive oil–based skincare range.
Rooms start at roughly $1,000 per night.
Selecting a destination for a weekend getaway with your love can be challenging, but there are some ways to narrow it down. If you’re on a tighter budget and live in the Northeast, Callicoon Hills is a fun and easy place to spend a weekend. For those who aren’t as concerned with cost and have an anniversary or proposal to celebrate, the Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina is worth the splurge. The W South Beach is a winning option for younger couples looking for a party, while Canyon Ranch Woodside speaks to partners who are hoping to reconnect through wellness practices and intimate meals. Folks willing to fly will find a couple of options after landing at LAX. Drive north to Malibu, where The Surfrider represents all the best parts of Southern California, or head over to Los Feliz, where Cara Hotel transports couples with its très chic rooms, elegant environs, and mouthwatering food.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes a Good Weekend Getaway for Couples?
To have the best escape, look for a place with activities you like, a lively restaurant or food scene, and beautiful surroundings—whether it’s a beach or mountains. Some couples may prioritize amenities such as a spa, pool, or golf.
How Do I Plan a Romantic Weekend Getaway?
Start by identifying what you want out of the weekend—is it delicious food and wine? Do you want to be active? Do you want to go home with a tan? For extra romance, look for places that are popular for anniversaries and proposals.
Are Cities Good Destinations for a Couples Getaway Weekend?
Cities can be great places for a couples getaway, especially if it’s fantastic food and cocktails you’re after. While cities may not offer an immersion in nature that some seek on vacations, they have lots to do, from bars and restaurants to entertainment, sports, culture, and art. There are wonderful hotels in cities that can mix romance with all these elements for a memorable weekend.
How We Chose the Best Weekend Getaways for Couples
To select the best hotels for weekend getaways for couples, we extensively researched domestic destinations that appeal to couples and considered personal experience at dozens of properties over years. We placed a focus on what is current and new on the hospitality scene while ensuring the selections reflect timelessness, too. It was also important for us to represent different parts of the country geographically, providing readers with diverse and divergent tastes and interests that spoke to them.