You and your sweetie want a vacation?
'100 Best Romantic Resorts' narrows the choices
(CNN) -- Here you are, on the brink of summer, and you still haven't decided on that special vacation for you and your significant other.
Perhaps you're still gun-shy from your last getaway -- you know, the one where you were promised a room with an ocean view? And that's exactly what you got, if you ignored the 10-story condos and convenience stores and that Dumpster between you and the beach.
Katharine Dyson, a freelance travel writer and author, feels for you. And she wants to help.
"The one thing I get asked most often is, 'Where can I go that's really romantic?'" she said recently. "There are so many places out there."
| INTERACTIVE GALLERY |
| MESSAGE BOARD|
Dyson has narrowed the field in her "100 Best Romantic Resorts of the World," (The Globe Pequot Press) currently in its third edition. The compendium offers the lowdown on getaways from the Virgin Islands to Indonesia, from Canada to South Africa.
'If I don't like it ...'
It should be noted that Dyson has visited each place in her book. Not a bad job. In her freelance duties, she often pens pieces on honeymoon locales for wedding magazines. But she's not one of those travel journalists who gives good ratings to resorts simply because she might get preferential treatment, Dyson said.
"I'm very straightfoward," she said. "If I don't like it, it doesn't go in the book. And if they give me a better room, I make sure I see the other ones."
The result of Dyson's research is a handy collection of getaways offered in two- or three-page snippets. Each review includes information on rooms, surroundings, food, available activities and ambience.
The book also has all the necessary contact information, plus practical tips on how to get the best deals.
So where's a romantic place to visit in the summer? Dyson likes the Caribbean this time of year, and her book offers 27 resorts in that salty, sandy region. Their amenities range from quiet solitude to vibrant nightlife.
"The Caribbean is a great place if you love the beach, because the prices are sometimes 30- to 40-percent discounted in the summer," she said. "And it can be no hotter than it is on the (New) Jersey shore, because you've got your trade winds and ocean breezes."
If the beach isn't for you, Dyson points to the hills -- particularly, resorts that make their money during the ski season, then offer deals during the warmer months.
"Some of the mountain resorts that in the winter cater to skiers ... are less expensive (in summer) but offer wonderful scenery, great resort facilities," she said, "The Equinox in Vermont is a big sprawling place that does a lot of business in the winter with skiers, but in the summer it has hiking, canoeing."
'One person's dream vacation ...'
In the latest edition of her book, Dyson said she's catered to the growing audience of travelers looking for a little adventure along with rest and relaxation.
"I think more and more people want a place where they can do something besides veg out," she said. "They want to be able to pursue something active, whether it be hiking or mountain biking or white-water rafting. So I added places like that this time."
Dyson has a warning for would-be travelers: Sit down with your companion and discuss exactly what kind of vacation each wants before deciding on a place.
"What is one person's dream vacation could be another person's nightmare," she said.
That's not what Dyson wants. There's too much riding on your summer getaway, she said.
"I think one of the most important vacations you'll ever take is one that you really want to be romantic with somebody special," she said. "And you should have a little help."
CNN Weather Forecasts
City Profiles: In-depth guides to more than 50 cities
World Maps and Guides: Maps and related site links
Find your magic with guides to romantic getaways
February 12, 1999
Destination: Romantic Destinations
February 10, 1998
The Globe Pequot Press
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.