Carmel Valley

California’s sandy beaches, towering redwoods, rolling hills, world-renowned wineries and rugged coastal cliffs make it one of the most scenic –and romantic — destinations anywhere. And many of its hotels and resorts were designed with couples in mind, capitalizing on lovely views and tranquil atmospheres. Our top picks are truly special, intimate retreats with one-of-a-kind settings.

Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

Vineyard Romance Spa Treatment at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley Vineyard Romance Spa Treatment at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

This 57-room rustic-luxe retreat in Carmel Valley sits in a lovely setting among rolling hills and vineyards. Details such as vaulted beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and country-inspired decor help create an atmosphere that is homey and cozy. Rooms are large and comfortable with stone fireplaces, feather beds, and plush white bedding, and big bathrooms feature walk-in showers and two-person soaking tubs. Appealing amenities include an outdoor pool, pool bar, and inviting spa where wine-based treatments are available. It’s a sophisticated, romantic spot in Carmel Valley. Read More »

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The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.

Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.

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The spa pool at the Bernardus Lodge is a perfect spot to relax on your honeymoon.

This 57-room rustic-luxe retreat in Carmel Valley sits in a lovely setting among rolling hills and vineyards. Details such as vaulted beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and chic country-inspired decor help to create an atmosphere that is cozy and romantic. Rooms are especially perfect for newlyweds, featuring stone fireplaces, feather beds, plush white bedding, and patios or decks with private whirlpools. Large bathrooms are another delight, with walk-in showers and two-person soaking tubs. There are several restaurants here — including the famous Marinus restaurant with its chef’s table where diners can watch the chef cook (Julia Child is among the many famous culinary gurus to savor the experience). Additional appealing amenities include an outdoor pool, pool bar, and inviting spa where wine-based treatments are available.

Overall, the Bernardus is a sophisticated, romantic spot in Carmel Valley just waiting for couples to celebrate their nuptials. The lodge ups the ante, however, with the Vineyard Romance Package. Couples are greeted with chocolate, champagne, and a set of monogrammed robes before enjoying a candlelit dinner in their room and having a bath drawn for them by the resident Bath Butler. A couples treatment is also arranged at the spa, as is a VIP tasting at the Bernardus Winery. Cheers to that — and to you! Check out more honeymoon-inspired photos of the Bernardus Lodge here »  Read More »

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Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling like royalty, sleeping in some of the world’s most expensive suites, and eating in Michelin-starred restaurants? The time and money for that kind of trip can be tricky to come by, but it’s always good to be ready just in case the opportunity arises, right? We here at Oyster have been lucky enough to have visited thousands of hotels around the globe and across the states. The U.S. is known for having high standards when it comes to hotels, and hotels stateside offer some of the most decadent services around. So we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite luxury properties in the States for those planning a luxe trip — and for those who just like to dream. Enjoy!

The St. Regis New York

Rooms feature decadent decor and opulent bathrooms.

Rooms feature decadent decor and opulent bathrooms.

There are dozens of ultra-luxurious hotels in New York, but The St. Regis is second to none, with a refined atmosphere, extraordinary service that includes butlers on call 24-hours, Clefs d’Or concierges, a signature bath menu, gorgeous guest rooms, a great Fifth Avenue location (the better for shopping), and a stunning Beaux Arts lobby. (Phew! That was a long list.) It won’t come cheap, but the level of luxury offered here is not found in any other hotel in the city.

  • Our favorite luxe amenity: The packing and unpacking services offered by the guest’s personal butler

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River Ranch Cafe at the Carmel Valley Ranch

River Ranch Cafe at the Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is a 500-acre property offering modern luxury in a rustic, bucolic setting, with tall oak trees, organic gardens, and rolling vineyards. Rooms are decorated in soft tones and feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and Keurig coffeemakers. Enormous, immaculate bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers provide space to relax, along with small private decks and travertine fireplaces. The ranch’s many features include two outdoor pools — the River Ranch Pool, featuring a splash zone for kids, and the Lodge Pool — as well as an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye. There are seven fire pits perfect for nightly fireside s’mores, and endless activities — tai chi or beekeeping, anyone? — that can keep both couples and families entertained. And everywhere, amazing views abound. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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