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Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces (PHOTOS)

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After a day out in the snowy Adirondacks, you pull up two chairs and a bottle of Cognac by the crackling fireplace at New York's Whiteface Lodge, where a golden glow suffuses the dining room.

If you've been stuck in the winter doldrums, nothing will change your outlook on the season faster than a dose of heartwarming fireside romance--and that doesn't require booking a trip some place frigid. We've road-tested hotel fireplaces the world over, from the California coastline to Chile's starkly beautiful Atacama Desert. The most bewitching include historic hearths whose stones could tell a thousand stories as well as contemporary fireplaces in urban boutique hotels.

Some hotels treat guests to a gas fireplace in the privacy of your room, while others use a roaring fire to make a bold design statement at the center of the lobby or restaurant. Then there's the hip, art-filled Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It's most famous for the spa, which sports its own apothecary -- and its own fireplace.

Whether your idea of the perfect fireside tryst involves snowy slopes or the African savanna, there's just something about snuggling up with your loved one while gazing into the flames and nursing hot chocolate--or something a wee bit stronger--that sets the mood, on Valentine's Day and every day.

Read on for the hotel fireplaces that are heating things up.

--Emma Sloley

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