Wow. Our whole world can change from Valentine's Day to Valentine's Day, can't it? Very few of us realized, last Valentine's day, what was in store for the coming year. Which makes it even more important to appreciate the ones we love this year. And to appreciate this special holiday. This year - for the first time in a year - we have hope. And what better place to experience that hope than at a beautiful, atmospheric resort where Valentine's Day can take on a very special meaning. Here are my favorite spots in America at which to celebrate Cupid this year...
#5 - ROYAL GORGE CABINS, CANON CITY, COLORADO - The Royal Gorge region of Colorado is breathtaking...there are simply no other words for it. And the spectacular gorge of the same name is just one of many wonders here, both natural and man-made. Convenient to both Denver and Colorado Springs, the freestanding cabins here feature romantic privacy, fully-equipped kitchens, and stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. You'll see plenty of snow-capped mountains; but because of the region's "banana belt" micro-climate, winter temperatures are almost always in the 40s and 50s. The cabins feature flat-screen TV's, eat-in kitchens, leather sofas and an eat-in granite bar, along with a double-sided gas fireplace with wood frames from the original Royal Gorge Bridge...which can be enjoyed both indoors and out. And the outdoor decks provide perfect spots for a romantic Valentine's Day sunset over the glistening peaks. In nearby Canon City, you can find some cute little restaurants as well as markets where you can stock up your cabin's kitchen with goodies. The Winery At Holy Cross Abbey will offer you the chance to sample some great Colorado wines...and, of course, to bring them back to your cabin. Don't forget, also, to get in your car once or twice to explore the region; every bend in the road brings ever-more spectacular vistas. And the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, with its dramatic views that seem to go on forever, is a fun place to spend V-Day!
#4 - THE WATERS HOTEL, HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS - Nestled in Hot Springs National Park, The Waters is a perfect spot for a unique Valentine's Day weekend. A multimillion-dollar renovation of a revered building on Bathhouse Row has yielded a boutique hotel with a combination of vintage charm and up-to-date comforts and amenities. This is no cookie-cutter hotel! Each of the 62 historic rooms are, in fact, totally unique, and each is true to the building's (and the region's) colorful history. The rooms are filled with art and crafts from local artists and artisans, and local shops offer one-of-a-kind amenities that immerse guests in the flavor and charm of Hot Springs. And, to top it off, this stately stone building is now a member of the prestigious Tapestry Collection By Hilton. The hotel has a good restaurant. And the rooftop bar offers dining service, as well, along with unparalleled views of Hot Springs. The town is a walker's delight, and the surrounding streets are filled with interesting eateries and shops. Just outside the front door is Bathhouse Row, which gained fame far and wide for the healing powers of its hot mineral-spring waters. Valentine's Day is a great time to be here, because you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind romantic experience in these soothing mineral waters...and a unique Valentine's weekend you'll long remember.
#3 - THE GLEN HOUSE, GORHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE - If you're looking for an intimate Valentine's Day escape amidst the Currier & Ives aura of New Hampshire's White Mountains, spend the weekend - or the week - at The Glen House. This is a homey New England inn with only 68 guest rooms, and legendary personal service. And if you'd like to get some schussing (either alpine or cross-country) or snow-shoeing in, just down the road is the town of North Conway, recently named "Best Skiing Town In North America" by USA Today. The views from The Glen House are stunning; the inn overlooks 6,288-foot Mt. Washington, tallest peak in the northeastern U.S. For a dramatic, never-to-be-forgotten experience, ride the Snow Coach up to the summit of Mt. Washington for stunning views you'll love sharing with your Valentine. Après-ski, the fitness area and the indoor pool at The Glen House also draw visitors. Sunsets, as you might imagine, are truly romantic, especially from the fire pit on the deck. The hotel's bar area, named "Most Beautiful Bar in New Hampshire" by Architectural Digest, offers a fireplace and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the snow-covered Presidential Range. The Notch Grill will be providing comfort-food favorites and special treats on Valentine's Day; and there's also a special lodging package for the weekend, called "Snow In Love." And if you're not in love when you arrive at the Glen House, you almost certainly will be by the time you leave.
#2 - COTTON COURT HOTEL, LUBBOCK, TEXAS - Cotton Court Hotel describes itself as "Urban. Unique. And Boutique." And it's definitely a slice of Texas you may not have experienced before. The hotel offers an interesting lodging experience in the heart of a lively Texas city, and is inspired by the personalities, design, history, and lifestyle of this city. Located on the central artery of Broadway, the brand-new (just opened last fall) 165-room hotel sits just one mile from Texas Tech University, with its athletic and cultural events. It's also just minutes from the colorful Depot District, anchored by the Buddy Holly Museum in the old train depot, a truly heartfelt tribute to a local Favorite Son. In the Depot District, Lubbock's nighttime comes alive with shops, restaurants, bars, and music. Cotton Court Hotel was built to be a homey refuge for the modern traveler. The hotel features a relaxing courtyard that's lit up at night, and guest rooms opening to sweeping porches with Acapulco rocking chairs. Cotton Court's name, as well as its design, is influenced by Lubbock's history in the cotton industry, as well as the region's Great Plains roots. You can savor authentic tastes of Texas at the hotel's Midnight Shift Restaurant & Bar, or stroll around to sample the town's eclectic dining options. Cotton Court Hotel is definitely urban...but with a relaxed local feel. And if you're coming for Valentine's Day, ask about the special Romance Package!
And now, here's my choice for my top Valentine's Day spot in America this year...
#1 - TETON SPRINGS LODGE & SPA, VICTOR, IDAHO - Teton Springs is a unique mountain getaway. And a Nature-kissed, very romantic place to spend Valentine's Day. Situated in the heart of Yellowstone-Teton territory, and just a short drive from the breathtaking peaks of Grand Teton National Park, this boutique hotel offers 36 casually-elegant suites in the main lodge and a variety of 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom luxury log homes. The one-bedroom suites are woodsy, Western and comfortable - and perfect for a romantic weekend - with living room, kitchen, master suite and double-jetted tub. At Teton Springs, everywhere you look you're enveloped by the majesty of Nature, with the Teton & Big Hole mountain ranges to the east and west as well as the Caribou-Targhee National Forest to the south. Guests at the lodge enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities offered through the Bronze Buffalo Sporting Club, including snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and fat biking. You're also just a short drive away from unparalleled skiing and snowboarding at Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee Resorts. And surrounding waterways include the South Fork of the historic Snake River and also Henry's Fork river. You can choose a Valentines' Day escape with package discounts at the noteworthy Stillwaters Spa & Salon (many people come here just for the Spa!), complimentary bottle of champagne (in suite), and dinner specials at the excellent Grille Restaurant. And any winter weekend here should include a nighttime walk or two, with the sounds of the soft snow under your feet and an overhead blanket of a million stars twinkling in the black Western sky.
There you have it...my Top 5 Valentine's Day Hideaways In America for 2021!