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.
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces This Napa Valley gem is a favorite among wine-country-touring lovebirds. Each of the 48 freestanding guest lodges centers around a double-sided, indoor-outdoor fireplace. That means you can snuggle from the plush comfort of the lounge room on one side to the private outdoor terrace on the other, below the canopy of stars and breathing in that pine-scented Napa air. Photo courtesy of Calistoga Ranch
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces The activities at this high-design lodge in Chile’s Atacama Desert include exploring vast salt flats and bubbling geyser fields, climbing volcanoes, and hiking through some of the world’s most arresting and otherworldly terrain. So it’s thrilling to come home to a convivial lounge area where the waiters mix perfect pisco sours and there’s always a fire burning in the artful modern hearth—a long stone bench on which flaming twigs are piled. Even more gratifying: sitting fireside or on the terrace (which has its own fire pits) and watching the sun set behind the brooding Licancabur Volcano. Photo courtesy of Tierra Atacama
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces One of Boston’s hippest hotels, this boutique player in Beacon Hill sports modern gas fireplaces with brushed stainless steel in every room, along with other top-shelf luxuries like cashmere throws, private bars stocked with premium spirits, and Italian marble bathrooms with rain showers. Reluctant to leave the comforts of your room? The hotel can arrange an in-room massage fireside. Photo courtesy of Fifteen Beacon
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces There’s nothing quite like a sundowner overlooking the savanna at dusk, as the African wilderness comes to life. That treat comes daily along with guided game drives at this lovely lodge at the edge of Kenya’s legendary Masai Mara game reserve. The camp meticulously re-creates the romance of the 1920s safari experience, down to individual tents filled with turn-of-the-century antique furnishings and liveried waiting staff. Four family-size tents come with crackling log fireplaces in the lounge area, an idyllic spot to gather for story swapping as night closes in on the Mara. Photo courtesy of Cottar's Camp
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces A relative newcomer to the artsy Spanish Colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, this boutique hotel is already renowned for its avant-garde contemporary art collection and a groundbreaking spa—guests can have locally sourced ingredients blended into customized formulas for treatments. The fireplace in the tranquil relaxation area is a favored spot for guests to bliss out before or after a couples massage or soak in the hammam. Photo courtesy of Hotel Matilda
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces Inspired by the Adirondacks Great Camps of the 1920s that served as refuges for the Gilded Era titans of industry, this upscale lodge on Lake Placid is the perfect marriage of grandeur and coziness. A slew of winter wonderland activities—from ice skating on the resort’s own rink to cross-country skiing—become even more appealing when a roaring log fireplace (presided over by a solemn stuffed stag head) in the Kanu restaurant beckons. There are also nightly bonfires with s’mores on the grand patio, which is heated in winter. Photo courtesy of Whiteface Lodge
See More of the Most Romantic Hotel Fireplaces The fabulous circular fireplace at this Lake Tahoe mountain hideaway is surrounded by Adirondack-style lounge chairs—so you and your paramour can lay back and gaze into the flames to your heart’s content, although you’d be forgiven if your gaze is drawn outward to the sweeping views over the Northstar slopes. Feeling chilly? Head indoors to the Manzanita, the French-inspired Californian restaurant that also sports a crackling fireplace. Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton
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