Winter in New England offers the perfect backdrop for a cozy romantic getaway. Think masses of fluffy snow swirling around outside, while you and yours snuggle by a glowing fire with wine and cheese, and savor in-room massages or brunch in bed with bubbly. So where to go? The North Shore abounds with hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts brimming with couple-friendly hygge, that popular Danish concept
of flannel-wrapped warmth and candlelit comfort. Here are several spots to consider with suggestions for sumptuous eats and excursions.
Plush pampering at Addison Choate
Head to the town of Rockport to pamper your partner with a stay at the Addison Choate. Marshall Tulley and his wife, Courtney, opened this hip boutique hotel in early 2019, featuring everything they wanted in a home away from home. All seven freshly renovated rooms and suites have plush rugs and bright pops of paint—and come with breakfast. To enhance your stay, request one of the five rooms with a soaking tub. The owners can arrange for bath bombs and, for a fee, other goodies, like a charcuterie or cheese platter and wine to share by a crackling fire in the living room. Steps away from the hotel, explore the town’s many art galleries and shops before tucking into seasonal specialties at Feather and Wedge, Caribbean-style seafood at the newly open Fleur Cuisine, or crispy, craft pizza at Short & Main up the road in Gloucester. Come Valentine’s Day, the hotel will offer a special package that includes chocolate treats, sparkling wine, roses, and more.
A Stately Escape at the Andover Inn
Surprise your significant other with a sojourn at the Andover Inn set on the 500-acre campus of Andover’s Phillips Academy, one of the oldest private boarding schools in the United States. The inn, built in 1930 and renovated last year, has thirty stately rooms and suites with new wallpaper, vanities, and furnishings. Frette linens and pillow-top mattresses allow you and your loved one to rest in total comfort before enjoying drinks and traditional New England fare at Samuel’s, the inn’s handsome 80-seat, dark wood–filled dining room. Nearby, you’ll find Phillips Academy’s Addison Gallery of American Art, brimming with works from prominent American artists, including Winslow Homer, John Sargent, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe. A short walk to town brings you to the Andover Bookstore, the oldest independent bookstore in America (since 1809). Farther on lies Les Fleurs, where you can treat your beloved to a beribboned, hand-tied bouquet before sharing a bountiful shellfish platter and champagne at Elm Square Oyster Co.
Waterfront luxury at the Beauport Hotel
At Beauport Hotel Gloucester, honor your affection for one each other in a cushy Ocean Front Junior King Suite with a warming gas fireplace. While all rooms come with pillowy down comforters, plush robes, thick terry towels, and L’Occitaine body products, you can preorder additional in-room indulgences like a bucket of Parmesan-truffle popcorn, mini celebration cake, and bottle of Veuve Clicquot. For an off-premises adventure, visit Cape Ann Museum, filled with works of local artists. Or, hook arms and amble along Good Harbor Beach near the hotel. Dine together at the hotel’s 1606 Restaurant & Oyster Bar, beginning with caviar on toast points with all the trimmings, followed by fresh fish and juicy steaks. Come Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will offer live piano music and cupid-friendly specialties, while the hotel features a package with sparkling wine, chocolates and other delights.
Retreat and relax at Briar Barn Inn
Escape to Rowley’s Briar Barn Inn to hunker down with your honey in a spacious King Suite. All thirty rooms at the inn have gas fireplaces and all but two rooms have stand-alone soaking tubs complete with bath salts and a loofah scrub. Relax at the spa with a couples massage or splurge on a foot soak that features a glass of sparkling wine and chocolates, along with a soak, scrub, and moisturizing treatment for your tootsies. Alternatively, surprise your partner with “A Spa Night In,” an in-room gift box filled with Prosecco, eye gels, a sheet mask, heart-shaped “Luv Scrub,” plant-based bath bomb, and various skincare samples. For an off-premises adventure, share wine flights at Mill River Winery or a suds tasting at Anonymous Brewing. Then, head to the inn’s restaurant, Grove, for cocktails and eclectic New England cuisine. End the evening on a sweet note by preordering the inn’s signature chocolate chip cookies to nibble by the dancing flames of your in-room fireplace.
Bask in Beauty at The Merchant
Whisk your “better half” off to The Merchant, a stylish renovated Federalist mansion in Salem dripping with jewel-tone velvet, elegant wallpaper, heavy drapes, and glossy paint. All eleven rooms in this Lark Hotels property have burning gas fireplaces, LED TVs with Apple TV, luxury linens, and heated bathroom floors. The King Lake Suite on the hotel’s fourth floor offers intimate seclusion and a big soaking tub. The room also has ladder access to the roof, where you and yours can bundle up and enjoy BYOB under the stars in the two Adirondack chairs. (The hotel doesn’t have a liquor license, but every room has wine glasses and a bottle opener.) Alternatively, stay in the George Washington King Deluxe, where the nation’s first president spent the night back when 18th-century architect Samuel McIntire owned the property. Admire art at the nearby Peabody Essex Museum before drinks and dinner at Ledger Restaurant & Bar. This warm and inviting eatery serves well-crafted cocktails and luscious locavore fare—think squash bisque and succulent duck with cranberry mostarda. Come Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will offer a three-course meal with an optional wine pairing featuring delicacies like caviar-topped oysters, steaks, seafood, bone marrow risotto, and chocolate-strawberry cake.
Three romantic refuges farther afield
Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham
Embrace the winter beauty of Cape Cod with your significant other in one of the 217 luxurious rooms and suites in the main lodge and cottage-style abodes of this Grande dame hotel. The opulent STARS restaurant serves upscale seafood and meats, while the spa offers indulgent treatments. Share well-crafted sips and curated bites through the resort’s various cooking classes, mixology classes, and wine tastings.
297 Shore Road, Chatham, MA, chathambarsinn.com
The Newbury Boston, Boston
Celebrate love city style at this glamorous, reimagined address that debuted in 1927 as the nation’s first Ritz-Carlton hotel. The fireplace suites have wood-burning fireplaces with an optional fireplace butler and your choice of fragrant wood types. The Romance Package includes a welcome flute of champagne, breakfast for two, and a late checkout. Toast each other at The Street Bar before dining at the hotel’s swanky, Italian rooftop restaurant Contessa.
One Newbury Street, Boston, thenewburyboston.com
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
Escape the season’s chill with your sweetheart in one of 20 stylish cottages or suites at this all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property in the heart of Vermont. Each stay includes cocktails and canapés in the evening, a multicourse dinner with spirits, activities, and breakfast (in bed if desired). Winter delights include everything from snowshoeing and sledding to alpine walks and cocoa for two in the woods.
452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard, VT, twinfarms.com