You’re not like most couples on Valentine’s Day [uncorks Shrek butt plug], which isn’t to say you don’t dig a classic couple’s vacation activity, but we think you can do better than the old beachside massage package/wine tasting/hot air balloon venture (does anyone actually do that outside of Santa Fe or The Bachelor?? Let us know).
In fact, you know what? For your next couple’s vacation, leave the massages to us whilst you and your hunny explore more intriguing pastures; if you must do the spa thing, why not get tenderized by oak leaves together at a Russian and Turkish bathhouse? Feel like branching out even more? Take a pilgrimage to the best kitsch roadside hotels or sign up for a guided nudist hike. We really do live in the golden era of Airbnb experiences, and the world is your weird, briny oyster for the slurping before tantric sex.
Maybe you’re looking to skip town with your new situationship for a bit, or trying to add some spice to the stew of your five-year-strong relationship this Valentine’s Day; maybe you need a cozy spot for two, or four, or you and six long Furbies. Whatever your reason for getting out of Dodge, we’ve found a bunch of non-traditional vacations and rentals for y’all to dip into a sudsy and swimmable Champagne glass, bone in a grotto, or make out in a veritable Bio-Dome in Joshua Tree.
Bathe in a Champagne glass
Back in the pre-internet days, love resorts were clutch for swinging, groovy couples like Bunni and Randy to link up with other happening peeps; they’d pull up to a place like Cove Haven Resorts in Pennsylvania, and stay for a whole weekend of swan boat pedalling, karaoke, glamour shots, hiking, live music, and the hotel’s inimitable Champagne glass tub. Being loose with your goose isn’t a requirement to enjoy the iconic kitsch hotel, of course, but it can’t hurt to grow a handlebar moustache beforehand and wear some velvet pants.
Learn more about Cove Haven Resort on Tripadvisor
You’re still thinking about ‘The White Lotus’
… Maybe you even binged Mike White’s award-winning season with your fellow married friends (how brave of you), and you want to put everyone’s partnerships to the test check out Italy for yourselves. So here’s an idea: Instigate your own toxic love squares in Taormina, Siciliy, in the same village where Christopher Moltisanti Dominic Di Grasso gets chewed out by his distant-distant cousins in the series. The whimsical estate is smack in the middle of the countryside, and just a fifteen-minute drive from the Spiaggia di Isola Bella and Spiaggia di Mazzeo beaches. Plus, it sleeps up to ten guests (very orgy-friendly).
The Libretto; sleeps up to 10, $1,068 at Plum Guide
Stay at a designer house in Palermo…
This apartment in Palermo, Italy looks like the brainchild of Serge Gainsbourg and a well-read, brooding Italian widower. It was designed by the artist and designer Giuseppe Amato in the iconic Politeama Libertà district, which is at the heart of Palermo, and it’s complete with an elevator and three bedrooms—to say nothing of the bedframes, which will give you the ability to have sex in cursive.
Liberty Library; sleeps up to 6, $187/night at Airbnb
… Or this home on the “American Riviera
Don’t have time to go all the way to Italy? Try heading to Santa Barbara, California, a.k.a. the “American Riviera.” The city is beloved for its Mediterranean climate, pristine beaches, and great wine, and this home overlooks all of the downtown area. Grill something tender on the outdoor BBQ, and settle in for a night making out on the (linen!!) bedding.
Riviera Studio; sleeps up to 2, $248/night at Airbnb
Blast them off
A Futuro house will sweep architecture buffs, mid-century nostalgics, and alien sleuths right off their kiesters. They were first designed in the 1970s by the Finnish architect and designer Matti Suuronen, and now there are less than 85 left on this fine blue planet, according to the host of this one in Joshua Tree. Just imagine doing shroomies in a silky boi bathrobe here with your love.
Area 55 Futuro House; sleeps up to 4, $323 at Airbnb
All aboard the love boat
The houseboats of Sausalito, California have a long history as one of the more unique bohemian communities in the state; they were even featured in an Agnès Varda’s documentary on the area, and continue to entice travelers with their Waterworld-romantic feel. This floating guest cottage is the last boat of its kind on the northward leg of the dock, and has beautiful views of Mount Tamalpais.
Floating Guest Cottage; sleeps up to 4, $256/night at Airbnb
Attend elf school together in Iceland
[Chortles in Huldufólk.] Honestly, heading to Reykjavík for a long-weekend jaunt if you live on the East Coast isn’t that crazy or (comparatively) expensive if you want to feel like you’re on another planet; there are a bunch of round-trip flights from NYC in February for under $900, which is way cheaper than visiting space with Virgin Galactic. We also have an entire guide of what to do in Iceland, from staying at the best Airbnbs, like this Reykjavik cabin sitting right under the Northern Lights…
… to attending the Elf School, which is a real thing that exists. Sign your partner and yourself up for a crash course, and learn about the importance of elf folklore and influence on Icelandic culture. “It felt more like a casual evening with grandpa than just a tour,” writes one diploma-holder; “[the] teacher Magnus […] made the class such a wonderful experience,” writes another, “Totally recommend this for anyone travelling to Iceland.”
Learn more about Elf School on Tripadvisor
Hot lovin’ in the Cold War bunker
Remember that Dean Martin song? This converted bunker is in Roswell, New Mexico, so you might just see some little green dudes when you wind down into its 186-foot deep nethers for a romantic evening with your history buff/aspiring war criminal lover. There’s also a tour of the old Launch Control Center included.
Cold War Bunker; sleeps up to 2, $525/night at Airbnb
King of your own castle
Wing’s Castle was built in the 1970s by the late Peter J. Wing, who wanted to create a whimsical place for his family to call home in Millbrook, New York. Since then, it’s hosted everything from retired show elephants to its own version of Stonehenge. There are so many different rooms in the castle for you to pick, but we’re partial to the dungeon and the separate cottage, which are great if you’re rolling with a big crew.
Learn more about Wing’s Castle on Tripadvisor
You’re the spooky A24 couple
We know, we know—y’all aren’t big on Valentine’s Day because you’re too cool for corporate holidays, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seize the opportunity to rent out a converted goth silo and watch The Witch (one of your first date movies) again. The moody abode is situated on over a hundred acres in Litchfield, Connecticut, and is just a little over two hours from Manhattan by car. Plus, the primary restroom has an extra large soaking tub.
Silo House; sleeps up to 4, $739/night at Airbnb
The converted Parisian abbey
Contemporary medieval aesthetics are so hot right now, and few places on this bulbous Earth have the ye old clout of Paris, France. This luxury apartment is situated in the city’s Left Bank, and built on the only remaining wall of the 13th century Saint Germain-des-Prés Abbey. You’ll be nearby the Luxembourg Gardens, the Café de Flore—all the rive gauche classics.
The Abbey House; sleeps up to 6, $2037/night at Plum Guide
A Brutalist retreat in Oaxaca
If you’re lover is a fan of Ricardo Bofill’s converted 1973 factory home in Spain, they’ll fall bum over noggin for this Brutalist oasis in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s nestled amongst some lush greenery, has air conditioning, and it’s pet-friendly. Come for a week (and stay for the month).
Bright Oaxacan Loft; sleeps up to 2, $41/night at Airbnb
Your own personal waterpark
Why don’t you bring your WaterSlyde to this water slide oasis in the desert by Yucca Valley, California? The Joshua Tree-adjacent home has ample makeout spots in its pool—including a hot tub hidden behind a cave—and a large outdoor stage with a projector for watching Wild at Heart.
Hidden Yucca Valley Paradise; sleeps up to 8, $436/night at Airbnb
Joshua Tree glamping
In the words of Rec Room editor Hilary Pollack, “Glamping is a stupid word, but a great idea.” This private camp ground by Joshua Tree can welcome up to eight of your lovers/besties, and it’s complete with a pool table, private backyard, hot tob, and heating and air conditioning.
Desert Escape; sleeps up to 8, $269/night at Airbnb
For legal reasons, we probably can’t encourage you to spank the bank with your partner inside this Bio-Dome-esque rental in Joshua Tree, California—but, boy oh boy, wouldn’t that be fun?
Bubble Home; sleeps up to 3, $557/night at Airbnb
Happy romancing, ya freaks.
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