Friday, February 14, 2014

Romantic Travel: Five Surprising Finds in the West

Cozy room at Timberline Lodge
(Courtesy: Timberline Lodge)
What makes romance may be different for everyone. While some want to experience a luxury cruise with champagne toasts and rose petals on their beds, others opt for something less showy, off-the-beaten-path, so to speak.

Here are some great ideas for a romantic getaway that you may not have considered:

1. Getaway to a Historic Lodge in Oregon. Imagine a dinner of Northwest Alpine cuisine and views outside of snow drifts. As day skiers leave the mountain, you get to stay at a historic lodge on the mountain. This can be yours at Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge. The lodge rooms are filled with period furniture and comfy feather beds.  Specials may make staying and skiing more affordable than you would think. Timberline is one of those beautiful historic lodges that combines the romance of the past with the convenience of the present day.

2. Enjoy the art of historic Santa Fe, New Mexico. In Santa Fe, not far from the historic Plaza there is a beautiful hotel on spacious grounds that is known as the "art hotel." La Posada de Santa Fe is a luxurious hotel steeped in Santa Fe History. You can select a little casita room with fireplace and walk the grounds to dine at their fine dining restaurant or listen to music in the bar located in the on-site Victorian Staab House. The art you will see throughout the hotel is for sale!
Art of Winslow's La Posada

3. Listen to the Trains in the Night at La Posada in Winslow Arizona. Another La Posada was once a Harvey House hotel. Situated by the train tracks in Winslow, Arizona, you'll find a beautifully restored Harvey House hotel with restaurant and martini bar on-site. The gardens add a romantic touch. The owners re-created the romance of a bygone era when people traveled the romantic Southwest by train. And, the artist-owner has filled the hotel with her fascinating art pieces,  combining the past with the contemporary. La Posada is a historic gem in a forgotten Route 66 town.

View from Crater Lake Lodge
(Courtesy: NPS)
4. Watch the Sunrise at Crater Lake. Another historic lodge can be found at Crater Lake, Oregon. It is right on the edge of the crater. You can rock away your cares in a patio rocking chair or, if you have a crater-side room, sit on your bed and watch the sun rise over the beautiful blue lake in the crater. The historic Crater Lake Lodge originally opened in 1915. The lobby has a large stone fireplace, typical of the era.  The lodge has an on-site restaurant.

5. Stay at a Historic Guest Ranch in Arizona. There are several excellent guest ranches in Arizona where you can enjoy fine dining coupled with activities such as horseback riding and golf. Rancho de los Caballeros is located in the
Horses at Days End at Rancho de los Caballeros
(Photo Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose)
beautiful Saguaro studded desert in Wickenburg, Arizona, just north of Phoenix. Rancho de los Caballeros was founded in the '40's and maintains the romance of that era while adding luxury touches. But the desert is the star at this hotel. You can stay in a casita with a patio and watch the sunset before walking over to the dining room for a relaxing meal.