For the romantics: the romantic hotels
The world is for those who are in love with it. Here is a list of some of the most romantic hotels selected by Gayot. From sophisticated urban pieds-à-terre to chic secluded safari tents. We know that there are even more and maybe even more beautiful places so suggest us also your favourites. But first here is the Gayot list:
Because a romantic getaway is made even more so by an intimate dinner with a good bottle of wine, there are few better places for an amorous escape than Napa Valley. While this wine region is filled with lodgings perfect for passion, there’s something special about Auberge du Soleil, situated on a scenic hillside surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Made-for-couples rooms come with large stone fireplaces and hot tubs, as well as French doors that open onto private terraces with sweeping views of the valley below. The spa shares this idyllic vista and features a treatment suite for two. As for that romantic meal, the inn’s legendary restaurant serves locally sourced cuisine and has one of the most extensive wine lists in the valley.
One of the most striking settings in the West Indies, the secluded beachfront along Meads and Barnes Bays is home to the lavish collection of guest rooms, suites, penthouses and villas that make up Viceroy Anguilla. Celebrated interior designer Kelly Wearstler is behind the contemporary interiors, whose white backdrops and silvered accents reflect the natural environment. Couples are sure to be enchanted by the beachfront villas with private pools and decadent outdoor travertine showers. For the perfect “date night,” begin with sunset cocktails at The Half Shell, a secret hideaway carved from the cliffs, followed by alfresco dinner at Cobà and dancing to calypso sounds at the chic Sunset Lounge.
In the tweeting, text-crazed 21st century, there is one thing that old-fashioned romantics can still count on. The Ritz. It’s more than nostalgia that makes this grand dame a favorite with lovers. It’s a tradition of service, discretion and a luxury so absolute that it inspired its own word — ritzy.Champagne and piano melodies set the tone in the classic Vendôme Bar, while regal guest rooms and suites serve to remind why this hotel inspired Proust, captivated Hemingway and seduced the incomparably stylish Coco Chanel into making it her home. For the ultimate intimate escape, Prestige Suites spread the City of Lights at your feet and pamper with indulgences sure to please your paramour.
Selous Game Reserve
Feeling wild at heart? Then you’re sure to appreciate Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve. Imagine having more than 55,000 square kilometers of African wilderness all to yourself… almost. Lukulu Camp hosts no more than eight guests at a time, making this one of the most exclusive escapes in the world. Because there are no permanent structures, the camp can relocate to take advantage of the best views — most often it is spread out along the Luwego River among shady acacia and tamarind trees. In this lush setting, sightings of elephants, lions and leopards are paired with luxuries sure to soothe even the most savage of beasts. Drawing on bygone days, sumptuous private tents feature handcrafted furniture made of recycled hardwoods and open-air showers with steaming hot water for easing sore muscles after the day’s safari, which can be customized just for two.
Enniskerry, County Wicklow
The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt
The dramatic, Palladian-style The Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt is a dream come true for those wishing to discover the romantic spirit of the Emerald Isle. Although located near Dublin, it enjoys a bucolic setting in the middle of Powerscourt Gardens in the scenic Wicklow countryside. Floor-to-ceiling views from the opulently furnished guest rooms and suites range over the gardens and Sugarloaf Mountain, enticing guests outdoors, where fresh air can be enjoyed with a round of golf on one of two championship courses, followed by a pint of Guinness at McGills pub and dinner at Gordon Ramsay‘s first-ever restaurant in Ireland.
In the hillside village of Fiesole overlooking Florence, Il Salviatino drifts like a Medieval dream above one of Italy’s most romantic cities. Serving as a palace in the 1400s, the privately owned villa has been lovingly restored by local artisans, blending ancient frescoes and mosaics with a rich contemporary décor that is opulent without being over the top. Among the swooningly aristocratic guest rooms, the best choices for lovebirds include the two-level Marcello Suite in the tower and the Ojetti Suite with a private balcony overlooking the Duomo. Couples can dine on dishes sourced from local grandmothers, indulge in treatments at Devarana Spa or simply seek out a quiet corner of the gardens for a tryst à deux. That’s amore!
What could be more memorable than arriving at the private dock of your chic sun-kissed suite by boat? This is just one of the many singular ways that Rosewood Mayakobá will make your stay special. Only 30 minutes south of Cancun, this 1,600-acre jungle resort weaves through lush lagoons on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. In the company of herons, cormorants and manatees, you and your beloved can hide away in a luxe retreat that has sheltered some of the most notable celebrities in the world. Whether you spend a day at the nearby Mayan ruins or in the resort’s private island spa, each experience is sure to appeal to the romantic in you.
For many, a farm holiday might not sound like the height of romance, but those who have been to Wharekauhau know that agriculture and ardor do mix. At this 5,000-acre working sheep station overlooking spectacular Palliser Bay on the southern tip of New Zealand‘s North Island, you can renew both your spirit and your commitment to one another. Privacy is assured in self-contained cottages scattered throughout the estate. With four-poster beds and full bars, they encourage staying in. But you’ll probably want to enjoy some PDA time as well, with a day spent tasting local wines or an evening lingering over a four-course gourmet meal in the resort’s dining room.
Dinner in an ancient limestone grotto overlooking the sea. A floral bath for two in a jungle-embraced spa. Welcome to Rayavadee, where seclusion and serenity top the list of amenities. Fashioned after an idyllic southern Thai village, this exquisite resort is bordered by three beaches, with multi-level bungalows overlooking either Phranang Beach or tropical foliage. When you’re not snorkeling in the crystal waters of Krabi Marine National Park or learning the art of fiery Thai cooking, you can snuggle up with your beloved on a once-in-a-lifetime elephant ride or sneak in some outdoor affection on a nature hike to the local waterfall.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
For romantics seduced by the vast desert expanses in Bernardo Bertolucci’s sultry The Sheltering Sky, there is Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. This decadent oasis is located in what is called the Empty Quarter of the Liwa Desert, the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. Every aspect has been designed to capture the Bedouin spirit of the region, from succulent meats roasted in fragrant spices to exfoliating sand baths in the spa. Guest rooms, suites and palatial villas feel right out of an Arabian Nights dream, with jewel-encrusted bronze chandeliers and gilded mosaic glassware. Couples desiring an unforgettable wedding should consider the private Royal Pavilion, which enjoys a secluded setting a kilometer from the main resort.