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By Lauren Hill | January 26 2017
By Lauren Jade Hill
From Europe’s heritage-rich cities to the mountains of New Zealand and California’s cliff-tops, some of the world’s most romantic settings are home to impossibly luxurious hotels, lodges and resorts. We’ve picked out some of the most outstanding properties from this elite offering, where guests are ensured an unforgettable Valentine’s stay.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, Mexico
Situated on the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, between the historic town San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, the Rosewood Resort Las Ventanas al Paraiso overlooks both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, making it an extraordinarily scenic and wildlife-rich setting. This already magical location then becomes even more special with the hotel’s exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences; gaze up in awe at your own bespoke fireworks display, sip champagne under the starlit sky, and dine in the resort’s impressive wine cellar.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
There aren’t many settings more romantic than a private island in the Caribbean. And Richard Branson’s Necker Island is without doubt one of the most exclusive. This Valentine’s Day, couples have the opportunity to book an individual room instead of reserving the entire island for a group of 34 friends and family, making it perfect excuse for a romantic escape for two. On the island, guests can look out to sea from the freshwater pools and any one of the island’s outstanding dining venues.
The Ritz Paris, France
The Ritz has long been one of Paris’s most iconic hotels, and it has continued to surpass all expectations since its four-year $200 million refurbishment and 2016 grand reopening. In its location on the city’s prestigious Place Vendome, the hotel is a picture of timeless romance, with each room lavishly exhibiting the palace’s grand heritage. On Valentine’s Day, guests can tuck into the Valentine’s tasting menu, which has been carefully curated by Pastry Chef Francois Perret, featuring decadent dishes and daring flavor pairings.
Aman Venice, Italy
Along with Paris, Venice is one of Europe’s most romantic destinations. Here, it’s the ornate Renaissance architecture and maze of canals that people find most enticing. And the splendor of Aman Venice just adds to this appeal, situated right on the city’s Grand Canal,while exhibiting the style of architecture and interiors that are typical to the city. Of course, the local cuisine plays a role in any trip to Italy, and a stay at Aman is no exception. Here, Executive Chef Andrea Torre uses local ingredients to create modern interpretations of Italian classics.
Post Ranch Inn Big Sur, United States
The architecturally stunning Post Ranch Inn sits high atop the 1,200 feet high cliffs of Big Sur, on California’s scenic Highway One. This remote setting between the ocean and mountains creates the perfect backdrop for a romantic Valentine’s escape, with ample opportunity to get out into the surrounding landscape, or take in the uninterrupted views from the hotel’s infinity pools. When the sun goes down, watch it dip below the horizon from fine dining restaurant Sierra Mar, where plates can be paired with any of the fine wines found in the restaurant’s 14,000-strong bottle collection.
The Sarojin, Thailand
Tucked amid tropical gardens on the white-sand shores of Thailand’s sublime coastal region, Khao Lak, The Sarojin affords guests an extraordinarily picturesque setting, along with the tranquility that comes from being in such a secluded location. The light-filled Garden and Pool Residences are stylishly furnished using natural materials, with an expansive spa to retreat to. And along with The Sarojin’s open-air dining venues, guests can opt for one of the private dining experiences hosted by the resort, including dining by a waterfall in the candlelit forest.
Tivoli Palacio de Seteais, Portugal
Found amid Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, the Tivoli Palacio de Seteais is ideally situated for a romantic Valentine’s stay. Within these dramatic surroundings, the 18th-century palace exudes grandeur, from the ornate architecture and resplendent decor, to its sprawling manicured gardens. Guests even have the opportunity to reserve the entire palace at a rate of $31,462 per night. During their stay, couples can take a horse-drawn carriage ride to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Sintra, and dine on lobster and Algarve oysters with champagne in a pool-side pergola, overlooking the picture-perfect surroundings.
Blanket Bay, New Zealand
Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Blanket Bay luxury lodge lies amid New Zealand’s snow-capped Southern Alps. In this secluded setting, the focus falls on the beauty of the surroundings, so it’s natural that days would be spent exploring the landscape. Set out on horseback, kayak across the still water and stroll through nearby vineyards. Then on returning to the lodge, take in the views from the outdoor terrace while keeping warm by a roaring fire.
Find more inspiration in the Elite Traveler Hotels, Resorts and Spas guide.