Spending a little one-on-one time with a partner at a romantic hideaway may sound like the stuff of dreams. But the cost of a special night in a secluded or distinctive spot is cheaper than you think. Here are 20 hotels that hit all the right notes, including rates starting at $125 or less at certain times of year. Beware, though -- prices on Valentine's Day weekend will surely soar way over budget. Instead, book a getaway in the coming weeks or months as a Valentine gift.
PONDEROSA LODGE, ESTES PARK, CO
Situated along the Fall River and surrounded by a forest of pine trees, the Ponderosa Lodge offers comfortable, serene, and simple accommodations. Reviews at Expedia note the romantic setting and the close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. Rates vary by season, but a riverside room goes for $77 in the winter, and the smallest rooms cost $120 during the peak summer season. Nature watching is gratis year-round.
SILVER HEART INN, INDEPENDENCE, MO
The Silver Heart Inn is a bed and breakfast 20 minutes from the heart of Kansas City. It offers five cozy and refined guest rooms, each with unique door and some priced at $116 a night. Nearly all reviewers on Expedia say they would recommend the inn to others, with the breakfasts and home-like atmosphere earning top marks.
THE GODFREY HOTEL, CHICAGO, IL
The Godfrey in Chicago's Near North neighborhood is a frugal choice for an urban getaway. The on-site spa features the usual array of services (extra charges apply) as well as massage treatments for couples. Reviewers at Priceline praise the modern, chic door but recommend booking a room far from the rooftop lounge. Rates start at $98 a night.
FOREST HOUSES RESORT, SEDONA, AZ
The Forest Houses Resort features 16 cabins, including five that rent for $125 or less a night. Each boasts its own set of charms, affording guests seclusion amid 20 acres of woods and hard by a mountain stream. Online reviewers have lavished praise on the picturesque canyon location, noting that they found the peace they came for.
THE VILLAS AT CARTER PLANTATION, SPRINGFIELD, LA
Located an hour outside New Orleans and Baton Rouge, The Villas were built on historic plantation property that dates back to 1804. The property is covered with lush forests and vegetation, and the accommodations are appropriately genteel. Guest reviews on TripAdvisor enthuse about the peaceful, oasis-like setting. Each villa contains seven suites, and weekend rates posted on travel sites start at $122 a night.
BRUNDAGE BUNGALOWS, MCCALL, ID
Each of the seven small cabins at this romantic hideaway features a full kitchen, fireplace (wood or electric), TV, and free Wi-Fi. On Priceline, reviewers rave about the snug and comfortable quarters and the privacy of the location. The cozy personal-cabin accommodations at Brundage Bungalows start at $110 a night.
HOTEL 340, ST. PAUL, MN
Inhabiting a century-old building in downtown St. Paul, Hotel 340 struts European-style door and charm. Reviewers at Yelp note that guests get an actual room key, so rare in modern times -- and so romantic. There's a choice of rooms and suites to fit different budgets, with a standard queen starting at $111 a night.
SAVANNAH HOUSE HOTEL, BRANSON, MO
The grand entrance of the Savannah House Hotel screams luxury, but don't be misled. Rooms start at $94 a night and include hot breakfast and evening ice cream, cobbler, and cookies. Reviews on Priceline have lauded the staff's friendliness, the comfortable rooms, and the stunning view of the Ozarks from the front lobby, but caution that the path to the hotel is pretty steep.
TOWERING OAKS HAVEN, VALLEY VIEW, TX
This seven-room bed and breakfast with wine bar on 22 acres near wine country and fishing is a quiet, romantic hideaway in north Texas. The handful of reviews on TripAdvisor use words such as "bliss" and "gorgeous" to describe the inn, noting it's far enough away from Dallas to feel like a true getaway without being a travel burden. Rooms at Towering Oaks Haven start at $110 a night.
ALEXANDER INN, PHILADELPHIA, PA
LINDEN ROW INN, RICHMOND, VA
Linden Row Inn in downtown Richmond was, at one time, the boyhood home of Edgar Allen Poe. Today it sits on the National Register of Historic Places and is filled with 19th century antiques. On TripAdvisor, the garden courtyard is said to be quite romantic. Guest reviews commend the quiet, gracious atmosphere and the value. Rooms start at $107 a night.
THE PARTRIDGE INN, AUGUSTA, GA
The Partridge Inn is a local institution that has long attracted celebrities from the political, business, and entertainment worlds. But romantic partners feel equally at ease in a setting that pairs history with modern conveniences. Much of the original 1836 structure, including the grand exterior, has been maintained and renovated, and the site is sufficiently removed from area sprawl -- two points that score with reviewers on TripAdvisor. Rates start at about $125 a night.
LAND'S END RESORT, HOMER, AL
Located at the far end of the interstate highway system and right at the water's edge, Homer is the last stop on the modern American frontier. Prices start at $89 at Land's End Resort, where guest reviews at Travelocity approve of the breathtaking view of bay, birds, and wildlife, but suggest the place could use some updating.
HOTEL DECO XV, OMAHA, NE
A luxury hotel within walking distance of the colorful Old Market downtown area, Hotel Deco XV is a budget find. The building is a local landmark and the elegant and lavish rooms follow art deco design principles. On TripAdvisor, previous hotel guests rave about the friendly staff, the chic decor, and the terrific showers. Nightly rates start at $87.
GREEN SPRINGS INN, ASHLAND, OR
Green Springs Inn is a romantic, rustic hideaway tucked into the Southern Cascades. Guest reviews at Expedia remark on the tranquility, amazing scenery, and attentive staff. Six of the eight lodge rooms feature a Jacuzzi, and nightly rates start at $111; higher rates apply for the nine individual cabins.
BUFFALO BILL'S IRMA HOTEL, CODY, WY
Sweethearts who love rustic charm will appreciate the Old West history seeping out of Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel. Built in 1902 by the legendary scout, hunter, and showman, the hotel is right near Yellowstone National Park. On TripAdvisor reviewers praise the quaint, comfortable rooms and the attention to period details, such as claw-foot tubs and pull-chain toilets. Rates start at $80 a night.
CATSKILL LODGE, WINDHAM, NY
HOTEL LOMBARDY, WASHINGTON, DC
The historic Hotel Lombardy is on famous Pennsylvania Avenue, within walking distance of popular landmarks in the nation's capital. Built as a private residence in 1926 and turned into a hotel in the 1970s, it contains art and furnishings with European and Oriental flair. Satisfied guests reviewing the hotel on TripAdvisor like the cozy atmosphere and marble bathrooms. Rooms start at about $110.
SITZMARK CHALET INN, RUIDOSO, NM
The cozy and rustic family-owned Sitzmark Chalet Inn in the mountains of southern New Mexico suits the wilderness environment perfectly. Guests checking in for a romantic getaway should definitely try the giant whiskey barrel steam sauna. Reviews on TripAdvisor tout the comfortable rooms, homey feel, and quiet nights despite the facility's aging appearance. Nightly rates start at $76.