A Gentleman’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Romantic Hotel

So, you are lining up a romantic weekend or vacation. Great! Whether you want a romantic hotel room for a night or a week, top-flight or budget, some advanced planning will insure that the accommodations are perfect for both of you.

The first and most important thing you have to do is – - talk! Yes, even if this is going to be a surprise getaway, you have to talk to her and find out what she likes (and doesn’t). I have been married for many years and I know my wife, Paula, pretty well, but I still would not plan a trip without finding out what she wants to do and making sure both of us will enjoy the trip.

Location And Stuff To Do

First find out what you both want to do . . . (in addition to that)! When I plan a trip, I often think that we could spend all day curled up in a romantic hotel room, eating chocolate covered strawberries, drinking good wine and snuggling. Having done this a few times, I have discovered that you usually need to take a break, at least by the second day, and get out of the room. OK, what then? You need some idea ahead of time so that you do not go directly from after-glow to boredom.

Both Paula and I like antiques and warm beaches. Paula likes go-and-see-it’s, like museums, parks, festivals, and some shopping. I like go-and-do-it’s. I want to do something like run, hike, walk or learn something new. So I might look for a romantic hotel where we can go antique hunting together in the morning, walk on the beach in the afternoon and then I might go for a run while she hunts seashells in the early evening.

Whatever your interests are, find a romantic hotel location that caters to what you want to do. After you have the location chosen, find a nice, romantic hotel.

Lodging Types

A romantic hotel is a hotel is a hotel – right? Wrong. There are a number of different types of lodging for you to choose from. From villas to campsites, there are a multitude of romantic accommodations available to you. The trick is not to rent the priciest digs you can afford, hoping to impress her. The real secret to success is to find the best spot for the two of you for this romantic getaway.

Below are some types of lodging and why you may want to choose that type, and why you may not want to.


If you can afford the best of the best, rent a private villa for the week or the weekend! On the plus side, you may get a private maid and cook. The locations are usually great, but isolated. Finding things to do outside of the villa may be a challenge. The cost may be reduced by having several couples share it, but that also may reduce the privacy.


Resorts solve the problem of what to do while on the trip. There are ski resorts, beach resorts, and other kinds as well. Plan your activities, find a resort and go for it. The things to be aware of are what type of people does the resort cater to? If it is families, be prepared for kids running down the hall and highchairs at dinner.

A Gentlemans Guide to Finding the Perfect Romantic HotelA Gentlemans Guide to Finding the Perfect Romantic Hotel

On the other extreme, “adults only” resorts may be perfect, or may be a be a bit too intrusive – be careful during spring break times. Lastly, if you are not part of an “all inclusive” package, watch out for the small items. The mini-bar can cost as much as the room!


Lodges tend to have isolated, usually natural, locations and the location is the activity. If you like walking in the woods and snuggling by fire, this may be the romantic place for you. Keep in mind that the food may be a bit rustic, like the accommodations.


Inns tend to be a bit smaller, and can be more intimate, than a resort. Many are located near historic sites and can be great sources of things to do or see. Some of the finer inns have great food and they can direct you to other historic restaurants in the area.


A cabin or cottage in the woods or anywhere else can be cozy and intimate. There may not be a lot to do, but for a weekend, a cabin can be perfect. You will not have all the amenities of a resort or lodge, but you should not have all the interruptions either. You may end up doing your own cooking, but preparing some simple foods for your sweetheart is a great way to leave a great impression. Bring a favorite quilt or blanket and turn the place into your own private spot.

Bed and Breakfast

This type of romantic hotel is just as the name implies, you get a room and breakfast. Breakfast is usually a group affair, so if you are looking for breakfast in bed, this is not your spot. If you like getting to know new people, including the other guests and the owners, this is the place for you.

Motels and Hotels

If you travel at all, you already know the most about hotels and motels. You can find rooms for $20 to $2,000 a night. For my tastes, I can usually find something that will suffice in the middle lower range. Be sure to ask about upgrades. I suggest that you call the location directly if this is a special occasion. Tell them that you are planning a special romantic week or weekend and ask what they can do to help. Everyone loves a lover, and you may find that they can put flowers, fruit and wine in the room before your arrival to make an average hotel room into a romantic hotel room. Balloons are often a possibility. They can also help make restaurant reservations ahead of time. Also, keep in mind that hotel rooms are an area where you can negotiate the price. Ask if they expect to be full when you are there. If not, ask if they will upgrade your room for free, or at a reduced rate. If you like what they do for you, tell your friends and go there again.

A Gentlemans Guide to Finding the Perfect Romantic Hotel


If you are the rustic type and can put up a tent and cook over a fire, go tent camping. There is something very private and exciting about being out by yourself in the woods. If you are not up for that, there are places where you can rent a camper and go. Public campgrounds are not very private, but can be a lot of fun, particularly if you like to get to know people. They can be even better if you go with a group of like-minded people.

Check-In Checklist

You found the location, you have checked in to the romantic hotel or other accommodation. Do this last thing to ensure a great time – quickly check out the room to make sure all is correct. There are few things that detract from an otherwise great romantic hotel room than finding that the toilet does not work after you have unpacked. Nearly as bad is putting up with a slow running toilet for 3 days – not romantic. So there you go, check for these things:

- Is the room correct – smoking/non-smoking, ocean view, etc?

- Is there hot water?

- Does the toilet flush?

- Do the faucets leak?

- Is the TV operable, can you find the remote?

Finally, if everything is basically OK, ask housekeeping for anything you need like extra pillows or towels.

Secrets Women Want You to Know
Whether you are going camping or staying at a villa, your girl is probably going to take more clothes than she needs and will need more time to pack and unpack. Plan for it instead of fighting it. She is taking all that stuff so that she can look good for you whatever you decide to do and whereever you decide to go. Stop her if it becomes physically impossible to move the luggage, but make sure you allow some time for her to unpack after you arrive. Romance is greater if she is not stressed after a long trip!

Romance Accessories

Some hotels have a romance package that will transform a plain room into a more romantic hotel space. The amenities include flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed, etc. If the romantic hotel or other accommodation does not offer it, arrange it yourself. You can order the flowers and bring the chocolate – have fun!