Top 10 most romantic luxury hotels in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (February 10, 2020): most romantic luxury hotels in the world.

This week is all about Valentine’s Day and love, and one of the best ways to celebrate it is by checking into a fabulously romantic hotel with your special someone. For some travelers, a romantic escape is all about decadent luxury, private dining, and poolside spa treatments. For others, it means a getaway into remote wilderness spot surrounded by pristine scenery (count me in!). And then of course, there are the exciting-seeking romantic souls who prefer sensational thrills and high-adrenaline sports over relaxation and pampering. Whatever your preference, here’s a list of my 10 favorite romantic hotels in the world  where lovers can reconnect together.

There is more info (with reviews and YouTube clips) below my slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite romantic hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. TAJ LAKE PALACE, UDAIPUR, INDIA

Rising like a mirage from Lake Pichola, the white-marble-and-mosaic Taj Lake Palace beckons to travelers. The palace itself dates back to 1746, when it was built by Maharana Jagat Singh II. Today, guests are treated like royalty by an entourage of butlers who ensure that every creature comfort is provided. Recreational facilities include a pool, traditional cultural performances, heritage walk of the palace, yoga & meditation, astrology, Bazar, private boat rides, bird watching, and romantic sunset cruises on Lake Pichola. There’s also an intimate spa, which draws rich idioms from millennia-old Indian wellness and healing therapies, resulting in a menu of aromatherapy massages, body scrubs and wraps that are sure to rejuvenate even the weariest body. From mid-October to mid-April, the hotel’s rooftop Bhairo restaurant is open and serves contemporary European cuisine with spectacular lake views.


9. POST RANCH INN, BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA, USA

Nestled high above the cliffs of Big Sur, the acclaimed Post Ranch Inn perches 400 m (1200 ft) above the Pacific Ocean encircled by towering redwoods, majestic mountains and panoramic ocean vistas. With natural architecture embracing the coast’s dramatic beauty and the surrounding forests, the 39 rooms blend rustic elegance, comfort and privacy with panoramic ocean or mountain views. Each room features a wood-burning fireplace, private deck and complimentary minibar. The hotel’s restaurant Sierra Mar is renowned for its exquisite food, and features floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast. There’s also a luxurious spa on site, offering pampering treatments to help ease away tension and relax muscles. From the hotel, guests can explore all that Big Sur’s incredible nature has to offer, or take a short drive to the picturesque towns of Monterey and Carmel.


8. HÔTEL DE CRILLON, A ROSEWOOD HOTEL, PARIS, FRANCE

Originally built in 1758, Hôtel de Crillon enjoys an unrivaled position overlooking Paris’ Place de la Concorde. The property reopened in 2018 as a Rosewood Hotel after undergoing an extensive four-year restoration, its past providing a rich backdrop for its modern-day story. During the hotel’s closure, artisans and designers worked tirelessly to strike a deliberate and delicate balance between conservation and transformation. The hotel’s 78 rooms, 36 suites and 10 signature suites embody an expressly Parisian residential style that is equally warm and refined. Karl Lagerfeld, renowned designer and a great 18th century admirer, has decorated two exceptional suites on Place de la Concorde – together called “Les Grands Appartements” – which convey his personal vision of French chic and modernity. Hôtel de Crillon also features fine dining venues, a newly created pool area, and a spa.


7. THE BRANDO, FRENCH POLYNESIA

The Brando is an ultra-romantic luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Tahiti. The Brando offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature and is designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture . With access to the island by private plane, the resort features 35 villas on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. Guests can snorkel or dive with tropical fish, sail in the lagoon, paddle board to a neighboring island, take a kayak above coral gardens, stroll the long stretches of beach, enjoy a guided or unguided marine excursion, or simply spend a day in the spa and wellness center. It was in this natural wonderland that the legendary actor Marlon Brando settled down, and finally found his home.


6. KATIKIES SANTORINI, GREECE

Katikies – a complex of bridges, cubist cottages and infinity pools – is considered one of the most romantic boutique hotels in Santorini. Hugging the dramatic volcanic rim, the property is a natural fit for honeymooners, romantics and couples. The white washed suites have classic arched ceilings and majestic views of the Aegean Sea, which can be enjoyed from the large terrace with an open-air dining area, sun deck and two-person Jacuzzi. For the ultimate romantic meal, the restaurant provides the perfect setting with just four candlelit tables perched on a secret verandah rooftop overlooking the Caldera. The better-known Kirini pool restaurant offers the same breathtaking panoramas, plus a fresh, seasonal menu of traditional Mediterranean dishes. Awe inspiring views, sublime Santorini sunsets and perfectly manicured pink bougainvilleas provide the magnificent backdrop for this perennially gleaming, glistening white luxury hotel that spills down the cliffs of the impressive caldera.


5. THE SILO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

The Silo Hotel is a magical space, towering above the V&A Waterfront and surrounded by the scenery of South Africa’s Mother City. The Silo has been built in the grain elevator portion of a historic grain silo complex, occupying the six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), which rivals the likes of the Tate Modern in London and Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. The exterior of the building was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Principal of the London-based Heatherwick Studio. From the outside, the greatest visible change to the building’s original structure is the addition of pillowed glazing panels, inserted into the geometry of the hotel floors, which bulge outward as if gently inflated. By night, this transforms the building into a glowing lantern or beacon in the harbor. The Silo hotel has 28 lofty rooms, including a spectacular one bedroom penthouse.


4. HUKA LODGE, NEW ZEALAND

Huka Lodge, Taupo is located 300 m (1000 ft) upstream from the famous Huka Falls on the banks of the Waikato River. This iconic property has been consistently chosen by many media outlets as one of the top retreats in the world for many years. It offers a location of great natural beauty and luxurious hospitality, gourmet cuisine and 17-acres of perfect peace and quiet. The 25 guest suites and two superb private cottages are tucked amongst mature, manicured gardens along the banks of the hypnotic turquoise blue waters of the river. In the evening guests gather in the main Lodge Room to enjoy pre-dinner drinks before being presented daily with a superb five-course menu featuring the finest local seasonal produce and complemented by seamless service. Over 20 sublime private and romantic indoor/outdoor dining venues are also a unique feature of the hotel.

  • Hotel website: Huka Lodge
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and a complimentary three-course lunch for two guests).


3. AMAN VENICE, ITALY

Neo-Renaissance grandeur meets refined modern aesthetics at Aman Venice. As sumptuous and romantic as the city itself, the hotel is located within a phenomenal 16th-century Palazzo Papadopolion on the Grand Canal. Currently the most (ultra)luxurious property in the city, the hotel is home to museum-quality treasures including Tiepolo frescoes, gilded ceilings and centuries-old leather wall coverings. A private water transfer delivers guests to the resort’s dramatic reception hall, with direct access to its private gardens (rare for this city). More home than hotel, Aman Venice offers the rare privilege of space in the center of the Floating City. High ceilings and spacious light-filled salons are joined by two mature outdoor private gardens and a small rooftop rarely seen in the city. With views to the hotel’s private garden or the Grand Canal, many of the 24 rooms and suites feature protected frescos and reliefs. The hotel is managed by Aman, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands.


2. JADE MOUNTAIN, ST LUCIA

From its inception, Jade Mountain has been hailed as the Caribbean’s most romantic hotel. Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain. The bold architectural design – individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky – makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. The location of the property is unsurpassed, rising majestically above the private estate of Anse Chastanet with 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft, sand Caribbean beaches with pristine coral reefs just off shore. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called “sanctuaries”) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of  St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.


1. SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES

Located on an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, the Maldives’ most romantic hotel is fringed by pristine beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted Indian Ocean views. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private lap pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. The culinary experiences at Soneva Jani are diverse: in addition to the delightful dining venues, guests can indulge in culinary adventures such as a Robinson Crusoe-style castaway picnic, organic garden lunches and cooking classes. The resort’s selection of experiences caters to every kind of traveler and includes everything from nature walks and spa treatments to  and beyond.

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Jani (e.g. resort credit, two personalized Soneva experience, and more).



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