WHETHER IT’S RUGGED ROMANCE ON A COLORADO MOUNTAINTOP OR BEACHFRONT PARADISE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, THESE RESORTS WILL DELIGHT AND ASTONISH
BY AMBER GIBSON
VICEROY LOS CABOS
Baja California Sur, Mexico
Stark white concrete, glass, and water are the primary architectural elements at Viceroy Los Cabos, creating a sleek and sexy aesthetic that’s equally minimalist and modern. There are 192 rooms here, including 86 suites, and all come with private terraces and daybeds (many terraces also have bathtubs to enjoy ocean views from), along with minibars stocked with tasty local snacks, including bean to bar creations from Aranda Chocolates.
Since Viceroy took over the property, which opened as Mar Adentro in 2015, they’ve upped both luxe factor and quality of service. Its 11,000 square foot spa is one of the newest additions, so sip tea made with local diamana leaves to relax before a housemade dragonfruit scrub exfoliation and soothing massage.
Although the ocean on this stretch is typically too rough for swimming or water sports, there are ve pools to choose from. Infinity versions cascade down to the beach, and the adults only rooftop pool has new set of angel wings by Los Angeles based artist Colette Miller, the perfect backdrop for a couple’s photo.
For dinner, there are two equally romantic open air options. Eat nigiri and cook wagyu tataki on a sizzling pink Himalayan salt stone at Nido, surrounded by the mirror like reflecting pools in a mangrove wood nest. Or sip cocktails on the rooftop at CieloMar, where the wood burning oven churns out a parade of re kissed hits from roasted cauliflower and charred bread brushed with truffle and honey to whole grilled snapper and tender local octopus.
New two, three , and five bedroom residences were just unveiled a few months ago oceanfront villas that are ideal for an adults only escape with multiple couples, as well as multi-generational family vacations.
Rates start at $425.
Paseo Malecon San Jose Lote 8, Zona Hotelera, 23400 San José del Cabo,
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BODRUM
Since the days of its ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus, the Bodrum Peninsula has been beloved for its picturesque seaside. Now, rather than a strategic port city, it’s the most luxurious summer getaway in Turkey.
The 136 guestrooms include 13 villas and 29 suites, the latter sporting private pools and gardens. Resort buildings dot the lush hillside and are gently terraced down to the azure blue waters of Cennet Koyu (aka Paradise Bay). From the sea, the resort blends into the landscape, thanks to green roofs planted with native flora. Four villas and the Waterfront Suite were added this year, but the Bougainvillea Suite is arguably the most romantic of all, not least for its private location and plethora of magenta blossoms. In all rooms, sunshine streams in from skylights, with marble and wood interiors that are simple but spacious.
All three dinner restaurants are located right on the water for exquisite sunset views. Share lamb loin with semolina gnocchi along with house made pasta and wood red pizzas at Assaggio, or visit Bodrum Balıkçısı for tantalizing Turkish mezze and daily catch from the Aegean Sea (red mullet, scorpion fish, grouper, sea bass, and monk fish) that you can select from the fish case.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum adds a local touch to wellness and beauty with lavender, sage, and olive oil from the resort’s garden. Naturally, the Turkish hammam experience is popular a thorough scrub and cleansing on warm marble followed by a soothing body mask and scalp massage.
The newest addition this season is a Chanel boutique; it’s the brand’s first free standing store in a five star hotel, and is filled with beachy resort wear. Then show off your new wardrobe at Blue Beach while snacking on sweets from the Mandarin Cake Shop paired with surprisingly excellent Turkish sparkling rosé. Executive pastry chef Ejder Tunalı is truly an artist.
Open late April through October, with rates starting at $915. Cennet Koyu, Çomça Mevkii, 48400 Bodrum/ Muğla, Turkey, mandarinoriental.com/bodrum
SAN YSIDRO RANCH
This hideaway has undergone a complete renovation after mudslides impacted some of its grounds. Traipse down a long winding drive lined with 400 year old olive trees and French lavender to check in at the bougainvillea covered hacienda. The property has long been a favorite among heads of state and A listers, including Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, and Lucille Ball. John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned here in 1953, and you can stay in their namesake hand carved stone cottage! It sports the largest private deck on the ranch, complete with an outdoor rain shower and sunken hot tub.
Explore the 500 acre property with your lover while breathing in the fresh, woodsy scent of mature oak, lemon, pepper, and eucalyptus trees and listening to crashing ocean waves. Sweet jasmine, orange blossoms, and roses add to the romance (Vivien Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier exchanged midnight wedding vows in these gardens.) The 41 vine covered cottages are all one of a kind, decorated with antiques collected by owner Ty Warner in his global travels.
The spa just reopened in June, and features Swiss skincare line, Valmont. A couples massage includes a candlelit soak in the spa tub, infused with the ranch’s own rosemary and lavender. You can even book an in room hot stone or Swedish massage in your cottage.
Dine beside the wood burning replace at The Stone house or outdoors with ocean views. Standout dishes include lavender scented duck breast and heirloom beet salad with goat’s milk yogurt. Many utilize herbs and vegetables from the ranch’s own organic garden. There’s also an old adobe cottage built in 1825 that’s elicited many proposals.
Rates start at $1,045. 1399, 900 San Ysidro Ln, Montecito, California, sanysidroranch.com
This island in French Polynesia once a haven for Tahitian chiefs and first visited by Europeans when William Bligh arrived in 1789 while looking for an early group of HMS Bounty mutineers (prior to the eventual large scale mutiny) was purchased by Marlon Brando in 1967. Opened in 2014, The Brando is a breathtaking 35 villa property, developed with the cooperation of the late actor’s estate and with the participation of eight of his eleven children.
Common amenities include the Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa, expansive sitting and media rooms, two bars, the Hinerava pearl shop, The Boutique on Tetiaroa (offering local art, apparel, and accessories), and three restaurants. The Michelin star awarded cuisine of Guy Martin is offered in the Beachcomber Café and Les Mutinés by Guy Martin, while Chef Kaito Nakamura’s Japanese flavors await at Nami. But it’s the glorious privacy and sumptuousness of the villas that draw couples here (and there’s room service, of course). Each 1,033 square foot one bedroom villa (there are two and three bedroom options also) is carefully designed to blend into and enhance the serenity of its surroundings. A walkthrough dressing area adjoins the bedroom, where a king size bed (twin beds available on request) invites gazing at the lagoon through oversized windows and a screen of pandanus, flowering mikimiki, and coconut trees. The adjoining bath includes an al fresco bathtub behind a wooden screen.
Rates start at $4,700 (two night minimum). Tetiaroa Private Island, Arue Tahiti, French Polynesia, thebrando.com
CLOUD CAMP AT THE BROADMOOR
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
The Broadmoor is Colorado’s grandest and best known resort built by Spencer Penrose in 1917 at a cost of $3 million ($60 million today) to be nothing less than the “Grand Dame of the Rockies” and the Cloud Camp atop Cheyenne Mountain is its most remarkable and romantic expression. Hopefully altitude sickness is not a concern, since the camp, completed in 1926, is 9,200 feet high, some 3,000 feet above main resort. There are only 19 rooms here, including seven in the main lodge, all filled with Native American and Western art and artifacts. For additional privacy, book one of 11 guest cabins or the one of a kind Fire Tower Suite, built (you guessed it) atop a historic fire tower. To reach it, clamber up 145 wooden steps past majestic pines and giant boulders hard work that’s rewarded with panoramic views of the plains and Colorado Rockies, including Pikes Peak. The suite (seen here) is cozy, to be sure, with just one double bed, but offers plenty of windows for stargazing, plus a private observation deck above with a desk, chairs, and a telescope.
All Cloud Camp guests can enjoy views from private outdoor hot tubs and/or get some (pace yourself!) exercise on the highest pickle ball court in North America. Or, go hiking or try a hand at archery to work up an appetite for hearty mountain cuisine like Rocky Mountain trout meunière with local green asparagus hollandaise, honey lacquered duckling, and apple blackberry pie.
Rates start at $900 for Cloud Camp, $1,000 for the Fire Tower Suite (based on double occupancy) and includes food, beverage and activities. Cheyenne Mountain Highway, Colorado Springs, Colorado, broadmoor.com/ cloud camp.