Guests enjoy winter's sun on the porch of this 19th-century planter's cottage in Henderson Village.

Here's an insiders' guide to escapes you'll love.

Whether you're seeking the elegance of an urban hotel or the seclusion of countryside cottages, you'll be enamored by our editors' choices of some of the most enchanting accommodations in the South.

Henderson Village, Perry, Georgia
Long winter nights make for spectacular evenings at this quiet resort hidden 100 miles south of Atlanta. At Henderson Village, a collection of 19th-century lodgings near I-75 in Middle Georgia, you've found your own romantic retreat far from the crowds.

Best Room: Whether you stay in one of the white wooden cottages or in a cabin with heart-pine paneling, you'll enjoy a handsome guest room. Supple sheets, plush towels, and Turkish robes welcome you, along with gas fireplaces that run on timers so you can fall asleep by the soft glow.

Don't Miss: Fill your days with golfing, shooting sporting clays, or horseback riding, or choose to explore the antiques shops in nearby Perry. At The Langston House Restaurant, savor breakfast at a table on the indoor porch. But at night, request a quiet corner in one of the smaller rooms. Don't skip dessert. The chocolate ganache with chocolate ice cream makes a rich ending to the perfect day ($6). 125 South Langston Circle, Perry, GA 31069; (478) 988-8696 or 1-888-615-9722. Rates: $175-$350. Annette Thompson

Related: 120 Romantic Messages for Your Loved One

The Rose Mansion, Salado, Texas
A frosty evening settles softly over the Central Texas town, 50 miles north of Austin. Fragrant smoke from a warming fire curls from a chimney at the 1870-vintage mansion, beautifully restored as a bed-and-breakfast. Guests stay in the main house and in rustic log cabins and cottages. Best Room: Stoke the coals in the stone fireplace, and snuggle up for the night in the Garrison Log Cabin. Don't Miss: Dining on marinated and sautéed quail ($18.95) or pan-seared salmon fillet ($18.95) at The Range, (254) 947-3828; taking A Good Time Carriage Ride, $55 for a half hour, (254) 771-2839; and browsing local shops. 903 Rose Way, Salado, TX 96513; 1-800-948-1004 or www.therosemansion.com. Rates: $100-$130. Les Thomas

Snug Hollow Farm Bed & Breakfast, Irvine, Kentucky
Three hundred acres of rolling meadows in an Appalachian valley provide the setting for a wonderful Bluegrass getaway nestled among the hills. A large, light-filled house greeted us, as did Barbara Napier, the owner and a talented cook. Best Room: Ask for the big room upstairs. There are quilts aplenty to take away the night's chill, and the large windows let the morning sunshine gently wake you. Don't Miss: For extra privacy, stay in the log cabin close to the main house. 790 McSwain Branch, Irvine, KY 40336; (606) 723-4786 or www.snughollow.com. Rates: $100-$210. Wanda McKinney

Le Pavillon Hotel, New Orleans
A stay at this gorgeous hotel puts guests just steps from the youthful bustle of the French Quarter. Le Pavillon's lobby captures all the romance of New Orleans with chandeliers the size of cars and lavish oil paintings. Best Room: The hotel has 226 rooms to choose from, but a stay in one of the 7 suites provides a glimpse of old New Orleans that few could resist. Don't Miss: Take a stroll down Bourbon Street to have dinner at Galatoire's, one of the city's most beloved and classic eateries. 833 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70112; 1-800-535-9095 or www.lepavillon.com. Rates: $169-$299. Morgan Murphy

McBirney Mansion, Tulsa
A stately 1920s manor built on a hill overlooking the Arkansas River, McBirney Mansion successfully balances its elegance with an easing comfort that is perfect for a romantic getaway. Best Room: For a luxurious stay, the Bishop's Suite reigns with its jetted tub and gas fireplace. Also consider the four-room suite Carriage House, though, for its spaciousness and privacy. Don't Miss: At breakfast, request a table on the glass porch. The courtyard views of the sunlight breaking through the oaks and magnolias perfectly complement the house specialty, Eggs McBirney, which is a version of eggs Benedict drizzled with a tarragon-cheese sauce. 1414 South Galveston, Tulsa, OK 74127; (918) 585-3234 or www.mcbirneymansion.com. Rates: $129-$225. Tanner C. Latham

Hotel du Pont, Wilmington, Delaware
Old-world elegance is the hallmark of this venerable hotel. Though it's been updated, this four-star, four-diamond property retains its best features--a luxurious lobby, spacious rooms, gilded ballrooms, and flawless service. Now celebrating its 92nd anniversary, the hotel still reflects the prestige of the DuPont company. It's nice to know some things never go out of style. Best Room: The 10 corner suites are designed to impress, but even standard accommodations feature separate sitting rooms and well-appointed baths. Don't Miss: Plan a meal to remember at The Green Room, the du Pont's awe-inspiring restaurant. The room itself dazzles with carved oak paneling, opulent drapes, and coffered ceilings. Then there's the French menu, featuring such classics as rack of lamb and tuna. It's the perfect setting for popping the question or celebrating something special. After dinner, stroll over to the in-house DuPont Theatre. Upcoming shows include The Graduate, February 4-13; Big River, February 15-27; and The King and I, March 4-13. 11th and Market Streets, Wilmington, DE 19801; (302) 594-3100, 1-800-441-9019, or www.hoteldupont.com. Rates: $179-$650; packages start at $249. Cassandra M. Vanhooser

The Hope and Glory Inn, Irvington, Virginia
When it opened in 1890, the Chesapeake Academy had two entrances--one for the boys and one for the girls. My, how times do change. Today, the old schoolhouse has been transformed into a delightfully whimsical inn. Rooms feature gauzy curtains, fine linens, and piles of plush pillows. A local folk artist crafted many of the mirrors and accessories. English cottage-style gardens add beauty and intimacy to an already charming place. "If you can't fall in love here," says co-owner Bill Westbrook, "you can't fall in love anywhere." Best Room: The inn boasts five charming cottages, each with a private patio garden. Don't Miss: In warmer months, guests enjoy the secluded outdoor claw-foot tub and shower. A meal at the fun and funky Trick Dog Café is a must. 65 Tavern Road, Irvington, VA 22480; 1-800-497-8228 or www.hopeandglory.com. Rates: $150-$340. Cassandra M. Vanhooser

 

This article is from the February 2005 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.

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