Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Most Romantic Getaways

Maui, Hawaii – the essence of romance, right? But it’s really a restaurant I’m focusing on. The Swan Court at the Hyatt Regency on Kaanapali Beach. Doesn’t that just sound romantic? My husband and I ate here when we were youngsters and it was so special and romantic, we never forgot it. The restaurant was a big splurge then, and there was no way we could have actually stayed at the hotel. Though we dreamed…Then, lucky us, we have lots of frequent flier miles. So last summer we returned to Maui for a family vacation, stayed at the Hyatt and, with more than a little trepidation, returned to the restaurant. Sometimes things don’t seem as special the second time around. But the Swan Court more than fulfilled our expectations. It was even lovelier than what you see in the picture.

As for the Hyatt itself, the lobby is rated #2 on all of Maui and it deserves the rating. (I think the Four Seasons is #1.) It’s a huge tropical space open to the outdoors. Quite unique. The hotel rooms are standard and the Kaanapali Beach itself mediocre (sad to say with a name like that), but the Hyatt is at the end of a string of hotels lining the beach with lots of restaurants and shops so there is plenty to do. At night, the whole stretch is supremely romantic with the ocean on one side, and twinkling lights and happy vacationers cuddling on the other.

Another favorite romantic getaway is the Hunstrete House near Bath, England.

A true country manor turned hotel, it is a quintessentially British country house type experience. The rooms are huge and furnished with beautiful antiques, the grounds spectacular, and the food wonderful. I almost felt like someone might curtsey to me! It’s very quiet, secluded and, well, romantic!

Finally, one of the most romantic experiences I ever had with my husband was dining at a mom and pop restaurant by the ocean on the way to the Florida Keys. It was called MacDonalds, which I only remember because it’s a family name of mine. We stopped when the endless drive to the Keys finally defeated us. We were starving. They brought us out to a deck right on the water, which swayed and murmured all around us, black as the night. The stars shone overhead. Candles flickered in the breeze. They served us plastic baskets of pink shrimp (which my husband determined were steamed in beer). We peeled the shrimp ourselves. Not a fancy place according to most definitions. But we both remember it as one of the most romantic experiences of our lives together. A perfect, starry night on the water with good food. Which proves that serendipity, and the person you’re with, rather than money, is the key to the most romantic events!

What is your most romantic getaway? I’m always looking for good ideas!

And don’t forget to join the blog to win a chance at a gift basket Nicole is giving away this month!

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