Feel the love in these gloriously romantic retreats.
What better way to celebrate your love than at one of the world’s most romantic hotels? Beautiful sunsets, tucked-away tables for two, private plunge pools, and spa pampering for couples … need we say more?
Abbaye de la Bussière
WHERE: Burgundy, France
At the super-luxe Abbaye de la Bussière, a former 12th-century Cistercian abbey in the heart of Burgundy, ceiling-high stained-glass windows, soaring arches, marble statues, and thick medieval walls transport you to another time. The most luxurious rooms are filled with antiques, rich toiles, and even Jacuzzis, with large windows overlooking the surrounding meticulously maintained gardens. The on-site lake is the perfect spot for a private toast over a glass of wine made on the grounds of this most exclusive of estates. Shetland ponies add to the fairyland feel.
WHERE: Bali, Indonesia
Escape to your own fantasy suite at The Mulia, a dreamy hotel overlooking sparkling white sands and calm blue waters. Add the finest champagne and caviar, a private outdoor Jacuzzi, an ultimate couples pampering session, and a romantic dinner for two under the stars, and you’ve got your own little private paradise.
INSIDER TIPCheck out their menu of romantic possibilities, including flowers, signature Valentine confections, even a live Teppanyaki prepared by a Japanese chef.
WHERE: Maui, Hawaii
As breaching whales swim past your airy suite, you and your love have some decisions to make. Take a drive around the island in a retro 1957 Porsche Speedster, with a map marking the best hidden beaches? Paddle an outrigger canoe in the age-old Hawaiian tradition? Take a sunset sail, with the option of dinner aboard? Or simply pull up matching beach chairs, side by side, and watch the blue Pacific crash into white sands. All is possible at the Hotel Wailea, an intimate, adults-only, boutique hotel set on 15 acres of tropical gardens overlooking the seductive Wailea shoreline.
INSIDER TIPThe hotel is not right on the beach, as one might expect a luxury Hawaiian hotel to be. That said, limousine service is available to transport you to the nearby beaches in style.
French Quarter Inn
WHERE: Charleston, South Carolina
Champagne and chocolates kick off a romantic retreat at the French Quarter Inn, a luxe, cherry-wood-accented sanctuary with a Rhett-and-Scarlett-worthy staircase right in the heart of old town. Other little extras: a seven-pillow menu (down, buckwheat, foam, etc.), fresh-baked cookies and milk at bedtime, and, if you care to emerge from your perfectly appointed, European-designed room, a private horse-drawn carriage awaiting at your doorstep, ready to whisk you through magnolia-filled historic streets.
INSIDER TIPFor the ultimate in romance, the Full Suites include a private furnished balcony, a cozy living room with fireplace, and a luxe white marble bathroom with premium spa amenities.
WHERE: Paris, France
Live—and sleep—in grand Parisian style at the Shangri-La, a wedding-cake confection with elaborate friezes, a sweeping staircase, and balconies where you can almost reach out and touch the oh-so-close Eiffel Tower. Special touches for couples: A VIP welcome complete with champagne, chocolate, and berries; dinner on your private balcony while gazing upon the glittering lights of Paris (and the Eiffel Tower); and waking to breakfast-in-bed-for-two in your perfectly appointed room.
WHERE: Hermanus, South Africa
It’s the setting, foremost, that you’ll fall in love with here. Perched upon rocky cliffs overlooking the whale paradise of Walker Bay, the all-inclusive, boutique Birkenhead House provides a coastal experience in South Africa’s fabled Cape Winelands region like none other. Couples are pampered with sumptuous suites, glam décor, a deck and infinity pool for afternoon lounging, and glittering bay and mountain views everywhere you look. An amazing roster of activities includes ocean-inspired spa treatments, mussel gathering with the hotel’s chef (and learning how to cook them), surfing, and, when they’re there, whale watching from the shore.
WHERE: Würzburg, Germany
Live out a storybook romance at this real-life castle perched high above the baroque city of Würzburg and surrounded by vineyards. Individually designed rooms blend elegance and tradition to perfection. Heart-shaped pillows, flower petals, chocolates and strawberries, and a five-course candlelit dinner for two make your special occasion even more alluring. For a private moment, escape to the garden terrace overlooking the town below—the perfect place for a sunset toast.
WHERE: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Grab your hiking boots and head to this traditional yet contemporary retreat in Liechtenstein’s capital city of Vaduz (possibly the world’s smallest capital, with just one main street). Whether you’re trekking up snowy peaks, rambling across wildflower-sprinkled meadows, or pausing for a picnic overlooking Alpine panoramas, this little principality packs a lot of punch. And after a day of enjoying crisp mountain air, you’re in for a lot of pampering: scattered rose petals, a private balcony overlooking the fairy-tale Castle of Vaduz, and alate-riser breakfast buffet served until 2 p.m.
INSIDER TIPOne of the most romantic spots is the Eagle Nest, home to the hotel’s open-air Restaurant Marée; not only will you be dining on Michelin-starred cuisine, you’ll overlook spectacular Rhine Valley views.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
WHERE: Cusco, Peru
In the heart of the sacred Urubamba Valley, this stunning Spanish-Andean paradise is all about the surrounding views of the imposing green mountains. But you’ll also discover a romantic retreat prepared to seduce you. You’ll have your own private casita, with a crackling fireplace, Peruvian antiques, and alpaca blankets made for snuggling. You have no obligation to emerge. But if you do, think about joining the twilight walk in the foothills while learning about the Southern Hemisphere constellations with an expert guide (the same stars that guided the ancient Incas to build their stone cities). Then sit down for a lingering candlelit dining room, where exotic cuisine based on ancient culinary secrets dazzles you.
INSIDER TIPInkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is dedicated to flowing its profits back into the community. Meaning, your romantic retreat is helping to make the world a better place.
WHERE: Jalousie, St. Lucia
In this beloved land of honeymooners, with its crystal clear waters, sultry Piton views, and tropical cocktails, Ladera stands out in the hotel realm for its singular “open-concept” approach. Meaning, your luxury suite, perched on a cliff overlooking the sparkling sea, has only three walls. You are literally (and physically) surrounded by nature, with the starry night sky twinkling above and frogs serenading you to sleep. But this isn’t summer camp. You’re in the lap of luxury, with a private plunge pool, a tropical garden for romantic strolls, an open-air restaurant overlooking those famous Pitons, and a free shuttle to the nearby beach.
WHERE: Prague, Czech Republic
The Augustine is an ancient monastery that’s been masterfully transformed into a luxury hotel. During the day, use it as a base to cruise the Vltava River in a vintage boat, watch the whirling figures of the famed Astronomical Clock, or take a hand-in-hand stroll in the surrounding Mala Strana neighborhood, filled with centuries-old houses. But night becomes simply magical, especially if you’ve reserved the three-story Tower Suite. The former astrological tower takes in spellbinding, 360-degree views of Prague, including the illuminated Prague Castle, best admired from the plush King bed.
INSIDER TIPTotally indulge with the La Vie en Rose couples’ massage package, with damascene rose oil delighting your senses.
WHERE: Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
If it’s seclusion you want, look no further than Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, where a private speedboat whisks you across glittering teal waters to a sheltered cove. Here, a collection of teakwood, eco-chic villas hides away on foliage-graced hillsides and along the rocky beachfront. Romantic reigns with big, comfy beds draped in elegant white silk, open-air showers, and private plunge pools. And if you’re not sure what to do with your long days, just ask your private butler for recommendations, like a private sunset cruise in a traditional wooden boat, beach yoga, and Vietnamese massage.
INSIDER TIPFor something really special, the wine cellar can be transformed into a romantic restaurant for two. Or, order room service to your private bungalow, delivered in a wicker backpack.
The Royal Malewane
WHERE: Kruger National Park, South Africa
There’s something about a safari—mysterious, exotic, adventurous—that exudes romance, and there’s no more romantic way to experience the call of the wild than at a super-luxe safari lodge. The Royal Malewane in Kruger National Park is one such place, with beautifully decorated suites outfitted with private plunge pools and game viewing decks. After a day of exploring the bush and spotting the Big Five, indulge in a candlelit dinner under the African stars, serenaded by the sounds of the African bush.
INSIDER TIPFor an extra special romantic touch, indulge in a hot-and-cold sunken bath at the Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa.
Four Seasons Bora Bora
WHERE: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
In your own overwater bungalow on a private motu (island), the beauty of the South Pacific embraces you from all sides: the surrounding velvet-green mountains, the cloud-free, porcelain blue sky, and the shimmering turquoise lagoon. You have one deck for sunning, another for dining, a plunge pool (as if swimming in the South Seas isn’t good enough) … and—the best part—a soaking tub for two, with an open wall providing stunning views. Spend your days swimming with gentle rays, lounging on a white-sand beach, or indulging in a spa treatment, topping it off with a private, Polynesian-style Taurua dinner as the sun sets over the lagoon. It doesn’t get more romantic than this.
INSIDER TIPThe resort offers various romance packages, including vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, and, of course, weddings.
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu
WHERE: La Malbaie, Quebec
It may be cold outside, but this palatial, century-old resort hotel perched high above the St. Lawrence River warms through and through. This is the place to go for a horse-drawn ride through the snow, capped off with a warming cocktail at Les Verrières, its floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at flowery gardens and the river beyond. A fancy feast at the award-winning Le Charlevoix restaurant is always romantic, though if you’d rather take room service in your luxurious suite, where a bubbling Jacuzzi with river views awaits, we don’t blame you.