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My latest U.S. News and World Report Travel article

PHOTO: Courtesy of U.S. News and World Report Travel

Be sure to read my latest U.S. News and World Report Travel article "America's 8 most romantic hotels" at this link here: Full text below.

When it comes to finding a romantic place to stay, it's important to look for a hotel that delivers the perfect atmosphere and amenities for relaxing and reconnecting with your better half. But finding a hotel that ups the ante with striking views, candlelit dinners, fairytale-like settings and secluded spots for cozying up together and strolling hand-in-hand can present a challenge. Thankfully, these dreamy hotels know just how to set the mood with breathtaking backdrops, plenty of pampering and romance-kindling experiences. Just in time for Valentine's Day, here are eight enchanting places to stay, from Park City, Utah to Montecito, California.

The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel

With its elegant ambiance and top-notch service, The Plaza is an iconic New York City outpost. Featuring a sophisticated setting, the Rose Club is a can't-miss spot, as is the Champagne Bar. And beyond upscale interiors, the hotel boasts a sprawling 8,000-square-foot Vinothérapie Spa. When you're not getting pampered, you and your sweetie can indulge in memorable meals at the Champagne Bar, which offers inventive cocktails and sweeping views of Pulitzer Fountain. Or, for a little more entertainment, you and your honey and head to the Persian Room or the Rose Club, which hosts live jazz on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The Langham, Chicago

Sophisticated and contemporary, The Langham offers a covetable address in downtown Chicago, along the banks of the Chicago River, creating an enchanting setting for couples. You and your sweetie can enjoy cocktails and delicious Mediterranean-inspired fare at Travelle, the hotel restaurant helmed by chef Tim Graham. For a meal to remember, ask to be seated at the chef's table. And if you and your better half are in need of a little more rest and relaxation, get pampered with a rejuvenating massage or body treatment at the Chuan Spa.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

With authentic bungalows decked with bamboo bed canopies and deep-soaking tubs, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is nothing if not enchanting. In addition to the resort's impeccable service and picturesque surroundings, there are plenty of places to help restore romance, including the Hualalai Spa, which offers soothing and personalized treatments such as a Hualalai Island Stone massage and a Coffee Mocha Scrub. The property also offers a variety of spa packages for couples, including the Romance Escape, which includes an 80-minute Island Glow Body Scrub, a 50-minute bath and an 80-minute aromatherapy massage for $625 per person. Another package for couples is the "Lumi" Massage Duet, where spa therapists come to guests' rooms with massage tables, chocolate and dessert wine, so couples can enjoy pampering treatments in utter seclusion.

Hotel Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square

Whether you want to walk hand-in-hand along the national monuments at night or explore the National Mall together by day, the Hotel Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square offers a convenient location for visitors, within walking distance of iconic landmarks and attractions. After painting the town, you and your honey can unwind in upscale rooms appointed with black-and-white artwork, LCD TVs and plush linens. Plus, you can enjoy an array of in-suite spa services or make your way downstairs to the modern ICU Urban Bistro, which offers contemporary fare. Afterward, enjoy a nightcap at Le Bar, which offers creative cocktails.

Hotel Ella

Set in the heart of Austin, Texas, Hotel Ella's refined atmosphere attracts luxury-seekers with its intimate setting and historic surroundings. Set in the Goodall Wooten House, the 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel offers a storied setting. Inside each of the property's 47 spacious rooms, guests have access to mahogany accents, marble bathrooms, sumptuous bedding and 47-inch flat-screen TVs. And outside the accommodations, lovebirds can canoodle in a cabana by the pool and enjoy leisurely alfresco meals. In the evening, imbibe in a specialty cocktail at Goodall's Kitchen & Bar or take a stroll in the property's romantic gardens.

The Mayflower Grace

Located in the idyllic town of Washington, Connecticut, about 90 miles northeast of New York City, this boutique hotel offers an intimate atmosphere for couples. Each of the resplendent rooms features classic New England accents, like fireplaces, soaking tubs, canopied beds and mahogany furnishings. And beyond the well-appointed guest rooms, guests can indulge in decadent spa treatments, restore well-being with yoga classes and take romantic strolls along the property's beautifully landscaped gardens. If you're planning a romantic getaway this Valentine's Day, consider springing for a prix fixe dinner for two or getting pampered with an indulgent treatment at the 20,000-square-foot spa.

San Ysidro Ranch

Nestled among 500 acres at the Montecito foothills near downtown Santa Barbara, San Ysidro Ranch offers a tranquil Southern California escape for discerning couples. Guests are drawn to the Santa Barbara hideaway for its natural beauty, romantic amenities and refined ambiance. Each of San Ysidro Ranch's 41 guest rooms are housed in private bungalows, and feature stone fireplaces, outdoor patios and goose-down bedding. And here, you can even reserve the Kennedy Cottage, which as its name suggests, served as John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy's 1953 honeymoon hideaway. After soaking in your surroundings, enjoy a romantic meal at The Stonehouse, which offers ocean views from its outdoor patio, or head to Plow & Angel, which features exposed brick walls and an intimate setting.

Waldorf Astoria Park City

This Park City retreat ups the cool factor with its fairytale-like setting in the Wasatch Mountains. Here, you and your sweetie can cozy up by a crackling fire in your spacious room appointed with leather furniture, beds outfitted with sumptuous linens and a 42-inch flat-screen TV. After unwinding in your guest room, you can get your heart racing together on the nearby 4,000 acres of fresh powder or unwind at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, which offers pampering treatments, like couples massages and detox body wraps. Once you're feeling replenished, you can cap of your day at the new Arctic Ice Lounge, which features ice sculptures and creative cocktails.

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