Hotels have a magical way of bringing couples closer together, whether they have been married for 40 years or are enjoying their first weekend away. So how could they not deliver on romance? Crisp sheets, piles of pillows (even better when topped with a chocolate), and a beautiful room to call one’s own, at least for a little while. For natives and visitors alike, New York City has no shortage of couples’ activities, from dining at Michelin-starred restaurants and visiting famous landmarks to taking sweet strolls through Central Park and along the Hudson River.
Pair it all with the right hotel for a Valentine’s Day, birthday, or anniversary treat and you’ll be thoroughly smitten. Each neighborhood has its own distinct charm. Whether you want to bond over surfing the early-morning waves at Rockaway Beach, or gaze into each other’s eyes over drinks at Bemelmans, or ice-skate in Brooklyn with a view of the Manhattan skyline, we’ve selected 11 hotels in the NYC area for a romantic vacation to remember (even if you don’t leave the room).
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE
With its prime waterfront perch, the 1 Hotel in Dumbo truly has the most spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Inside, the LEED Gold property showcases the work of local artists and masters the urban oasis vibe with an abundance of greenery and sleek reclaimed materials. While the rooftop bar and pool are obvious hotspots in the summer, this winter the space has been transformed into a glacial landscape of sculptures and custom seating, all carved in ice. Don’t worry—Moose Knuckles parkas will be on hand to keep you warm.
A Tuscan villa vacation without ever leaving the Tri-state area? It’s absolutely possible at Glenmere Mansion, a Relais & Chateaux property in Chester, New York, just an hour north of the city. With 150 acres of rolling farmland and exquisite gardens, plus excellent food and wine, the 18-key former Gilded Age country home turned hotel will instantly transport you to the Italian countryside. Need we say more?
THE BEEKMAN HOTEL
New York has no shortage of hotels with history but the Beekman has the added cachet of occupying an 1880s Queen Anne-style building that was one of the city’s first skyscrapers. What’s more, even before that, the site on which the edifice stands used to be the home of the Mercantile Library Association and was where Edgar Allan Poe published The Broadway Journal. A perfect evening of romance begins with cocktails in the Bar Room, nestled underneath the hotel’s most famous architectural marvel: its soaring nine-story atrium.
The Rockaway Hotel
MARGIE’S AT THE ROCKAWAY HOTEL
Taking the subway out to the Rockaway Hotel is a staycation with real escapist vibes. Influenced by 1960s surf culture, with ocean views to boot, the property is the perfect way to max out a beach weekend without ever really leaving New York City. Plus, there is a full-service spa for some much-deserved couples’ R&R and a fun restaurant, Margie’s, for simple American fare with a seaside twist, accompanied by live music on the weekends.
The Whitby Hotel
Thanks to interior designer Kit Kemp’s signature quirky aesthetic, the Whitbyfeels like a whimsical little British hideaway in midtown. Start mornings with coffee on your private terrace—all 86 individually designed rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and most are equipped with balconies—overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and unwind in the evenings with a movie while relaxing in the soaking tub. In between, head downstairs for scrumptious afternoon tea in the Orangery, or Friday night jazz and Negronis at the bar. For off-campus romance? Harry Winston, Cartier, and Tiffany are just a hop, skip, and a jump away (hint, hint).
COURTESY OF THE LOWELL
To call a hotel a “home away from home” is often a cliched expression but in the case of the Lowell, a jewel box of a property nestled on a quiet block of prime Upper East Side real estate, it’s really true. And especially so in the sublime penthouse suite, with its three terraces, wood-burning fireplace, and de Gournay wallpaper. Even if you don’t want to shell out $19,000 a night, trust that all of the rooms are just as impeccably appointed. And for Valentine’s Day this year, the hotel has collaborated with jewelry maison Chopard on a special package that includes a one-night stay, a gift from Chopard’s Happy Hearts collection, and reservations at Majorelle.
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Since it opened to much fanfare six years ago, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has served as a sleek, gleaming, super-tall bastion of luxury hospitality in Lower Manhattan. All 189 rooms are spacious and contemporary chic, with marble bathrooms and deep soaking tubs. But for a real splurge, spring for the 2,400-square-foot Empire Suite, which boasts an airy, light-filled open-floor layout complete with an office, media room, and 10-person dining table. And no matter what, take advantage of the hotel’s massive marble-lined spa and 75-foot indoor lap pool, which take up an entire floor.
Ask any New Yorker and they’ll tell you that Bemelmans Bar is one of the city’s most magical spots with its iconic murals by Madeline author—and T&C contributor—Ludwig Bemelmans (he did them in exchange for free room and board). The nightly live music and fabulous martinis are also impossible to resist, which is fine since you can just cozy on up to the hotel itself, an Upper East Side institution within walking distance of Central Park and the Met.
The Inn at GrayBarns
This former 17th-century stagecoach stop in Norwalk, Connecticut, an hour outside of New York City, is home to just six rooms, all of them king suites, as well as a tavern and mercantile. Details like the original post and beam structures and reclaimed wood floors nod to GrayBarns’ past, while modern luxuries like Frette robes, Le Labo toiletries, heated floors, and rain showers root it firmly in the present. Best of all? The property is adults-only.
The William Vale
THE WILLIAM VALE
Williamsburg’s The William Vale is constantly changing to accommodate the seasons. For winter romance, take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor red cedar saunas for a deeply relaxing detox. Then go for a spin on the rooftop rink with the Manhattan skyline twinkling in the background before heading to the Winter Village pop-up at its signature restaurant, Westlight, to snuggle up in a private chalet and indulge in seasonal cocktails and fondue. For Valentine’s Day this year, The William Vale is also offering an over-the-top package that includes a stay in the two-story penthouse suite, a couples spa session, and champagne and truffles to be enjoyed from your own private outdoor jacuzzi.
For couples who love the downtown scene, check in to the Ludlow in the Lower East Side. Exposed brick walls, dark wood floors, large factory-style windows, eclectic furnishings, and a cozy lobby bar are a draw for the cool kids, as is its restaurant, Dirty French, a bistro by the team behind Carbone. Many of the rooms have personal terraces and all of them have downtown views that are best appreciated while soaking in one of their window-side bathtubs