I'm convinced the reason my husband tolerates my requests to change rooms when we arrive at some of the hotels we go to is because he knows it'll be worth it. He's right.
I've got some essential needs that must be met for the optimal hotel experience when we travel to faraway places. I need a room that has good light, is not noisy (not next to the elevator or lobby) and I must be able to open the window and the air must circulate. Not too high maintenance, right? My husband and I have a check-in routine. Once we have been shown our room, if it does not meet the above criteria, he sweetly tells me he will wait in the lobby until I've landed on a room that works for me. To my mind, that's a great husband.
There are three inns/hotels that we've been to in the last few years that stand out as blue ribbon winners in the most romantic category, and not surprisingly, they required no room changes at all. These places were modest in size and none had elevators. All three of these inns were winners, as we instantly fell in love with our room, the environment and our special destination. Sleep at this 50-something phase is precious... but we're not only talking about sleep. There's something spicy and romantic about being in a faraway place in a hotel or inn. It's essential to find the right place that invites you in and beckons you to get under the covers.
One of our favorite places to stay is on Martha's Vineyard, and we love the Hob Nob Inn in Edgartown, MA. The rooms are small and cozy, the beds are four-posted and high off the ground and the sea air fills the space. This inn is romantic for all those reasons. Plus we adore the home-cooked breakfast of scones, oatmeal and fresh fruit.
We visited Costa Rica this past December with the boys and fell in love with our hotel. The Harmony Hotel in Nosara has it all. The rooms are bungalow-style with their own porches and outdoor showers. There is a rustic elegance to the place and we could go to breakfast and lunch in our bathing suits after a hard morning of surfing. This place was cozy, simple and homey and a short barefoot walking path to a spectacular beach made for a simple lifestyle. We loved the dogs that wandered the property and the guests were great to hang out with at the simple lobby bar. We rated this place as most romantic mid-winter hotel ever.
A real adventure can make you feel young and wild, not to mention passionate and that's what happened when we ventured into Myanmar, two years ago. We found a place on the Irrawaddy River in Bagan called, Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort. Awesome! We borrowed old kick-break bikes from the hotel, pedaled around the village of Bagan and immersed ourselves in local culture. We dined under parasols overlooking the famed Irrawaddy River and if that doesn't tee-up the romance I don't know what would. Apparently this place had been a favorite of Mick Jagger's crew. We agree with Mick and wished he was there when we were. It was inexpensive, cozy and low-key as of two years ago.
Yes, travel takes money and time and research but hey, so do relationships. There's nothing better than the residual memories, photos and lingering romance that come from a great room and a great destination. Oh yes -- one key ingredient for the magic to really work -- a great partner.