Looking for an amorous getaway for Valentine's Day — or any other day? Here are some of our favorite romance-inspiring lodgings:
Bartlett Pear Inn
Yes, the decor is all about pears, but not because the owners are crazy about the fruit. It's because the husband wanted the inn to reflect his wife's maiden name of Bartlett. How romantic is that? And that's just the beginning at this gracious B&B on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where feng-shui principles make sure that your bed faces the door and the spaces pertaining to love and marriage are properly painted Valentine's Day red.
28 S. Harrison St., Easton, Md. 410-770-3300. bartlettpearinn.com. Rooms from $149 Dec.-Feb., from $169 March-Nov.
It's not a romantic chalet in the mountains of southern Germany, but it's just as good as one. This Alpine-flavored West Virginia hostelry overlooking the Potomac River will transport you to the hills of "Heidi" while pampering you with all the comforts of home. The restaurant, complete with dirndl-clad waitresses, is more than good, and the river views are just beautiful.
164 Shepherd Grade Rd., Shepherdstown, W.Va. 304-876-2551. www.bavarianinnwv.com. Rooms from $95.
Colonial Williamsburg historic houses
When the daytime crowds thin out, stroll the brick sidewalks by moonlight with your special someone. Night is an enchanting time at the living history museum, and you can make your visit even more authentic by staying at one of the restored historic buildings. You may never want to go back to the 21st century.
Williamsburg, Va. 800-447-8679. www.colonialwilliamsburg.com. Rooms from $169.
Grand Summit Hotel
Think madcap 1930s romantic comedies, Cary Grant and Greer Garson and misunderstandings and make-ups, and you'll get a sense of the atmosphere at this grand lady with a dash of the country lodge in the hills of northern New Jersey. The restaurant's excellent, the art is eye-catching and the neighborhood's pretty. So forget that quarrel and make up already.
570 Springfield Ave., Summit, N.J. 908-273-3000. www.grandsummit.com. Rooms from $145.
For an urban getaway — or staycation — this Kimpton hotel radiates a sexy vibe, thanks in no small part to the not-so-subtle use of its signature color. The lobby can get a little chilly in the winter, but why hang out there when your room is 450 square feet? Besides, you can lounge all day in your leopard-print robes and feel positively animalistic.
1315 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-232-8000. www.rougehotel.com. Rooms from $159.
Inn at Meander Plantation
After a day of touring vineyards in Virginia's wine country, retreat to this gracious historic manor, where you can stay in the 1776 house or a detached cottage. The breakfast is superb, the innkeepers are friendly and the scenery is stunning. Also pet-friendly.
2333 N. James Madison Hwy., Locust Dale, Va. 800-385-4936. www.meander.net. Rooms from $185.
Inn at Willow Grove
The operative words are "elegance" and "whimsy," both of which are in more-than-ample supply at this gorgeous lodging on a former Virginia plantation outside Orange. The decor is lush and subdued, except when it surprises you with sudden splashes of color and unexpected pops of fancy, be they cow paintings in the bathrooms or a chair made of book spines. Be sure to have a meal in the stylish restaurant.
14079 Plantation Way, Orange, Va. 540-317-1206. innatwillowgrove.com. Rooms from $265.
Lackawanna Bed & Breakfast
This 19th-century Virginia house has only three guest rooms, so you won't be overwhelmed by other visitors. It's very prettily situated, with a view of the Shenandoah River, not far from downtown Front Royal, where you can take a walk before dinner.
236 Riverside Drive, Front Royal, Va. 540-636-7945. www.lackawannabb.com. Rooms from $154.
Mansion on O Street
Room after room after room (100 of them, in fact) crammed with art and books and objets of the most fanciful and exotic kind lend this fantastic crazy quilt of a hotel an air of mystery and magic that can't be beat. Just succumb to the lure, have fun wandering among the maze of halls and themed suites, finding the secret doors and passages, ogling the decor and living in a kind of all-embracing romantic dream.
2020 O St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-496-2000. www.omansion.com. Rooms from $350.
Savage River Lodge
Snuggle in front of the fireplace in your own private, pet-friendly cottage at this resort in western Maryland. The restaurant serves above-average food in a romantically rustic setting, and you won't have to leave your room for breakfast thanks to the morning muffin delivery.
1600 Mount Aetna Rd., Frostburg, Md. 301-689-3200. www.savageriverlodge.com. Rooms from $225.