In the mood for endless bliss. Photos courtesy of , , , , , and .
The world, it turns out, is a very romantic place. How can we be so sure? Because we tried to narrow down our many lists of The World's Most Romantic Hotelsand couldn't stop.
Private islands in just about every ocean. Hilltop retreats with views to infinity. Seemingly endless stretches of white sand beaches. Curtains billowing in the breeze around the four-poster bed. Seriously, if you can't fall in love in these places, well, you need more help than a travel website can provide. Now go: Get a little lovin' all over the globe.
Where: Hoi An, Vietnam What's to Love: The vast private beach for romantic walks. The private pools outside your even more private villa. The modern take on traditional Vietnamese architecture. The sunset massages at the blissful spa. The breakfast spread. The delicious dinners at the restaurant surrounded by more pools. You'll never want to leave. Good to Know: If you can tear yourself away, nearby Hoi An is a beautifully preserved colonial port town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with museums, shops, temples, and delicious bahn mi street stalls.
Where:Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam What's to Love: Hilltop bungalows are like treehouses for adults. Private villas have plunge pools; personal butlers arrange tours, dinner, massages, and airfare. You will probably extend your stay. Soak in large wooden baths filled with cinnamon bark and look out onto the South China Sea. Good to Know: It's a schlep and requires small planes, small boats, and patience to get there. Worth it. Tour their garden to see an astonishing array of native herbs.
Where: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia What's to Love: Private bungalows with their own plunge pools ensure maximum romance. Spa treatments overlooking Ayung River are pure bliss. Good to Know: The food at the hotel restaurant is among the best in Bali. Jurg, the chatty owner, is always nearby to provide insight into the most worthwhile daytrips.
Where: Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia What's to Love: Incredible views, top notch spa, legendary surf break. Villas have their own pool and outdoor living room. A cabana bar juts out from the cliffs over the Indian Ocean. Good to Know: Ask for the top floor room for a 180-degree sea view. Read More on Popupla: Heaven at the End of the World
Where: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, and Bumthang, Bhutan What's to Love: It's hard not to fall in love with Bhutan, the last surviving Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. Amanresorts has a circuit of five small lodges in the western and central valleys. Your journey will become a pilgrimage, one in praise of simple pleasures. Good to Know: The most romantic of the five lodges is Gangtey, where you can take a classic Bhutanese hot-stone bath in a candlelit hut in the middle of a potato field, and then have a nine-course dinner at a formal table set up inside a potato shed while a bonfire roars outside. Read More on Popupla:Chef Eric Ripert Discovers Bhutan
Where: Udaipur, India What's to Love: Overlooking a majestic lake and the area's grand palaces, this is luxury and romance at its finest. Each room is meticulously decorated, and most have private decks leading right into the surrounding swimming pool. Good to Know: Tour the adjacent wildlife conservatory and take peaceful walks through the lush, manicured gardens. A private butler is not as costly one would think.
Where: Kunfunadhoo Island, Maldives What's to Love: A far-flung, laid-back hideaway among 1,000 sand and coral islets. There's windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, and tai chi by day; telescoping in a celestial observatory by night. Good to Know: When you're tired of your beachfront property, hitch a seaplane ride to Soneva Gili's lagoon.
Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand What's to Love: Feel like a Thai one-percenter with private cottage-like rooms decorated with ancient period details. The common areas are so tranquil and sublime you feel like you're floating, and the food and service at the restaurant are Thai classy but not overbearing. Hidden from the urban bustle, too. Good to Know: Spend time in the library bulging with books and peruse the 19th-century ceramics and lithographs.
Where: Bora Bora, French Polynesia What's to Love: This sandy spit of land has romantic over-water bungalows and perfect views of Bora Bora's iconic Mount Otemanu. Evening starts on the cliffside patio specifically made for viewing the sunset and ends with dinner on the beach, complete with French Polynesian dancers welcoming you ashore. Good to Know: Guests of Private Island have full access to all restaurants, pools, and amenities at the larger , just a few minutes away by boat.
Where: Taha'a, Tahiti What's to Love: Don't go here with anyone you wouldn't like, because it's the most romantic place ever. There's nothing to do but spend time with the person you're with. Good to Know: The five-star property is located on a little islet, accessible by boat, and is a quick, gorgeous helicopter ride to Bora Bora.
Where: Marrakech, Morocco What's to Love: Vanessa Branson's (yes, one of those Bransons) charming contemporary boutique hotel has three courtyards, swimming pools, mint tea and cake every afternoon, and an excellent hammam near bustling Djemaa el-Fna square. Good to Know: Riad Vanessa is the especially lovely and private suite to book. If you fall for the brightly striped Turkish cotton towels by the pool, you can pick some up at Atelier Moro (114 Place de Mouassine; +11-212-24-39-16-78), along with other non-touristy souvenirs.
Where: Marrakech, Morocco What's to Love: A gorgeous 2009 renovation caters to your design fetish. You'll find Moorish and Deco glamour, lush gardens, a marble mosaic hammam, and gleaming Jaguars in the driveway. Good to Know: The Baldaquin Suite is particularly stunning. Two of their four restaurants are led by Michelin-star chefs. Read More on Popupla:A Berber Jewel Box, and I Have the Keys
Where: Atlas Mountains, Morocco What's to Love: 27 suites and nine luxurious Berber-style tents filled with Moroccan antiques in the mountains an hour outside Marrakech. This is Sir RIchard Branson's retreat, the one he discovered while ballooning in the area. Good to Know: Try to tear yourself away from your room to explore the Atlas Mountains on one of their mules and to visit nearby village Asni for the weekly Saturday market.
Where: Maasai Mara, Kenya What's to Love: The boutique tented camp overlooks the flowing Mara River (perfect for hippo watching). There's a wonderful spa and pool to refresh after game tracking. Hot water bottles are placed in your four-poster bed at night along with bedtime stories. Good to Know: Book tent 14 or 15 for ultra luxury. Request Joseph as a guide (though all are amazing). Have a sun-downer on the escarpment where the movie Out of Africa was filmed. Get married amongst the Maasai. Plant a tree on the property and leave something behind to grow.
Where: Quirimbas, Mozambique What's to Love: Palatial villas, white sand beaches, crystal clear water, just-caught seafood. You are completely disconnected from the world in the best possible sense. Good to Know: The diving — in some still uncharted reefs — is incredible.
Where: Kruger National Park, South Africa What's to Love: Fifteen suites with private outdoor showers overlookng the N'wanetsi River, fireplaces, sweeping decks, and expansive views. Private tours, chefs, and butlers are at your service. Good to Know: No children younger than ten are allowed.
Where: Just upriver from Victoria Falls, Zambia What's to Love: Five open-sided thatched cottages on a private island on the Zambezi River. Take an alfresco bubble bath in an antique claw-foot tub. Enjoy the flickering candle light of antique lanterns. Wake up to hippos bellowing in the water. Good to Know: Request Trega, the best personal butler you'll ever know. For the best time, spend a few days at , the sister property a short boat ride away. Read More on Popupla: Our very own Zambiana Jones takes the trip of a lifetime.
Where: Mnemba Island, Zanzibar What's to Love: A private island resort with ten very stylish free-standing bandas, outdoor living rooms, fantastic food, and world-class snorkeling. You can be active or do nothing. How else to know how Robinson Crusoe would have felt as a Zanzibari sultan? Good to Know: There are no real roads, phones, or TVs (though there is wifi). You will be barefoot all the time. You will hear doves along with rare (and tiny!) Suni antelope. Bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper — those doves melodically coo all day and night.
Where: Portofino, Italy What's to Love: The brilliant pink bougainvillea that blooms just off your terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. They don't tolerate diving or splashing at the pool, so you're guaranteed a peaceful time. Good to Know: Spend a day following the path on the nature reserve behind the hotel. You'll emerge in a nearby cove, have a refreshing aperitivo, the take a boat back.
Where: Positano, Italy What's to Love: Everybody adores this classic hotel. Is it the effect of drinking a bottle of rose while sitting in your bathrobe on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean? The epic views from this hillside hotel? The breakfast on the terrace followed by a lazy day in a shaded pool cabana? Good to Know: If you're squeamish, don't drive. Get a driver, and schedule a stop in Pompeii. Take the boat to Capri and enjoy drinks in a cave on the beach.
Where: Capri, Italy What's to Love: Stunning vistas and an infinity pool that seems to stretch to the sea. This place takes al fresco dining to a whole new level with tables overlooking the cliffs of Capri and Ischia in the distance. Good to Know: You can't stay in Capri without hiring a small boat to take you around the island to swim in the coves.
Where: Ravello, Italy What's to Love: The former Palazzo Sasso is truly divine — like you died and went to Amalfi heaven. The best part is the service: truly impeccable. Discreet and exactly what you'd expect when you're spending a month's salary on four nights. Be careful with the room you reserve: Cheaper rooms aren't worth the savings. Good to Know: Breakfast on the terrace is lovely. Be sure to bring along a Hermès or Etro bikini so you fit in at the swimming pool.
Where: Florence, Italy What's to Love: The location overlooking the Arno. The 15th-century building designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The antique furniture, art, and fixtures. The authentic Italian grandness that isn't at all stuffy. Good to Know: The beds are pretty inspiring, too. Read More on Popupla:Love Letter to the St. Regis Florence.
Where: Fiesole, Italy What's to Love: Set high on a hillside overlooking the red roofs of Florence. Have a leisurely lunch at their and try not to faint while passing by the giant blue and lavender hydrangeas spilling out of the potted plants near the entry. Yes, they're real. Good to Know: You ge the far-away Tuscan feel with the benefit of being close to Florence's museums, restaurants, and shops.
Where: Venice, Italy What's to Love: Yes, the Danieli is divine, but we prefer the more private — and ridiculously sumptuous — charms of this canal-front hotel that's part of the Bauer Hotel group. You're at once in the middle of the Venice insanity yet totally removed from it. Good to Know: The rooftop bar has outstanding views. Make breakfast last for hours.
Where: Gargnano, Italy What's to Love: Gorgeous lakeside villa lavishly restored in 1997. Modern and traditional at the same time. Beautiful antiques, Wi-Fi, and an unbelievable view. Good to Know: Heated marble floors to keep your feet toasty in the cool weather.
Where: Matera, Italy What's to Love: The stunning collection of cave dwellings are candlelit, with a freestanding Starck egg tub and pristine linens. Local bread, honey, and cheese are served for breakfast in the deconsecrated cave church next door. Good to Know: The ancient cave city in Italy's Basilicata region looks — no, is! — paleolithic. But the UNESCO site has a thriving music community and nascent contemporary art and design scene. It has been named Cultural Capital for 2019.
Where: Paris, France What's to Love: Cozy, historic hotel in the middle of St. Germain. Good to Know: Use the concierge to secure restaurant reservations in advance of your trip and don't forget to check out the hotel's Michelin starred dining, L'Restaurant. Read More on Popupla:L'Ultimate Hotel
Where: Paris, France What's to Love: Night views of the twinkling Eiffel Tower: It never gets old. Al fresco dining in the garden courtyard is one of the many brilliant touches. Good to Know: Bring your chic. The Avenue Montaigne location means you're surrounded by beautiful shops, beautiful people, and beautiful food. Read More on Popupla:Love Letter to the Plaza
Where: Èze, France What's to Love: Perched (literally) atop a well-preserved medieval town that is itself perched on a Tolkein-esque mountain outcropping above the French Riviera. Ridiculously romantic tiny hotel with shockingly good views that extend all the way to St. Tropez and Corsica. Good to Know: Confirm that your room has a balcony. And unless you have a fear of heights, insist on the balcony table in the Michelin-starred restaurant.
Where: Ménerbes, France What's to Love: Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, this place exudes authentic Provençal charm without being twee. Spend your afternoon watching the chef harvest lunch and dinner from the pottage. Good to Know: The manager has a pug named Sushi.
Where: Reims, France What's to Love: A sumptuous 20-room chateâu in the heart of Champagne. Feels like a mini-Versailles, with romantic four-poster beds, vintage wallpaper patterns, oil paintings, and enormous marble bathrooms. Surrounded by seventeen acres of private park, so you might not want to leave the property. Good to Know: The Michelin-starred restaurant Le Parc serves more than 400 Champagnes, many of which can only be found locally. After dinner, tuck into the cozy La Rotonde Bar for a nightcap.
Where: Santorini, Greece What's to Love: Incredible rooms you'll never want to leave with private terraces perfect for watching the famous Santorini sunset. Good to Know: Book ahead; they only have eight rooms.
Where: Oxford, England What's to Love: Perfect foodie getaway that's only one hour from London. Michelin chef Raymond Blanc's country manor is renowned for seasonal, French cuisine that uses vegetables and herbs sourced from their two-acre garden. Good to Know: The rooms are all individually designed, so take time on the site to find the one that best fits your tastes.
Where: Somerset, England What's to Love: A gorgeous country manor house that's lovely without being pretentious. Great spa with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as mud-bath and double-person Jacuzzi. For super cozy ambiance, ask a staff member to light a fire in your room. Good to Know: Even though Babington House is a part of , you don't have to be a member to stay (though members get better rates).
Where: Cork, Ireland What's to Love: Food, glorious food. The owners have spawned three generations of feisty women chefs who are bringing local produce to the forefront of Irish cooking. Good to Know: pottery is nearby. Bring plenty of cold cash for hot-off-the-kiln crockery.
Where: Meath, Ireland What's to Love: A stately country house injected with the best in modern Irish design. It's hard to leave the property. The rooms and bathrooms are enormous and dreamy. Other distractions include the pool and spa, a happening little library, and the restaurant and bar. Good to Know: It's only 45 minutes from Dublin's city center in a bucolic setting where you can stroll to the river Boyne, fish, shoot clay pigeons, and ride horses.
Where: Lenox, Massachusetts What's to Love: Very romantic year-round, but especially during the winter months when you can make the most of your in-room fireplace. The gardens were designed by Frederick Olmstead, and the restaurant is incredible. Good to Know: Tanglewood — the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — is just down the road. Pack and a picnic and enjoy sonatas under the stars. Read More on Popupla: See our Berkshires Itinerary for tips on what to do, eat, and see.
Where: Lenox, Massachusetts What's to Love: Very old-school, filled with antiques and acres of chintz. The rooms are huge, with four-poster beds, fireplaces, and great movie selections. In the winter, they freeze the tennis court for ice skating and serve oysters on snowballs around a fire. Good to know: Jacket and tie are required for dinner, and beforehand you sip champagne and eat canapes in front of the fire. The dining room is hard to describe: very dark, very ornate, very intimate. Like where Batman would go if he had a big date. Read More on Popupla: See our Berkshires Itinerary for tips on what to do, eat, and see.
Where: Tivoli, New York What's to Love: Gorgeous restored mansion on a hill in the perfectly picturesque upstate hamlet of Tivoli. The bridal suite has views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, and the extensive vintage decor was done by a former antiques dealer. Good to Know: Feels like staying in a palace, and you can take a hike right out your door. Saul Bellow wrote Herzog and Henderson the Rain King while living here.
Where: Russian River Valley, California What's to Love: Tucked away in the backwoods of beautiful Sonoma, the dreamy hotel has a fireplace in every room, fluffy feather beds, and huge soaking tubs. In the lobby, there are different kinds of homemade bath salts and soaps to squirrel away, and they hand you warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk when you check in. Good to Know: Rent a car. The Michelin-starred restaurant is amazing and there are several low-key wineries within a short drive. Take the on-site wine class taught by the restaurant's sommelier. Read More on Popupla:Learning to Sit Still in Sonoma
Where: Rutherford, California What's to Love: Built as if it grew out of the hillside with an unobstructed view of the Napa Valley. Quiet elegance, privacy, very peaceful. Good to Know: The service is immediate and understated. There's no reason to leave you thoughtfully stocked room, but you should for a magical dinner at the restaurant up the hill. Atmospherically, again, the intersection of nature and elegance.
Where: Big Sur, California What's to Love: Everything — from the infinity pool overlooking the Pacific surrounded by Redwoods to the fact that they don't allow kids or visitors around the property. It's perfectly tranquil. Some ocean suites have their own hot tub sitting on the cliff. Oh, and no televisions. Good to Know: There's no need to leave the compound, but if you do, try for fresh pastries and breads as well as rock star pizzas.
Where: Napa, California What's to Love: Cozy private cottages with secluded patios and outdoor showers. Breathtaking vineyard views at the infinity pool. Spa treatments take cues from wine country's harvest and terroir. Good to Know: The Boon Fly Cafe's hearty breakfasts and FARM's elegant Cali cuisine make it hard to leave the rolling property.
Where: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii What's to Love: Totally dreamy. (And totally pricey.) Rooms are buried within leafy foliage, producing a manicured jungle feel. Individual outdoor showers burst with orchids. Good to Know: The pond is meant for snorkeling, and swimming among jewel-colored creatures without fear of hungry sharks or rogue waves is a singular experience.
Where: Kohala Coast, Hawaii What's to Love: One of the rare independent hotels on the island. The amazing beach is a private crescent of powdery sand lapped by calm turquoise water frequented by sea turtles. Good to Know: The staff, many of whom have been there forever, provide indispensable advice for exploring the island like an insider. Read More on Popupla: See our Hawaii Big Island itinerary for tips on what to do, eat, and see.
Where: Jumby Bay Island, Antigua What's to Love: It's. A. Private. Island. In. The. Caribbean. Just you and 300 car-free acres off the Antigua coast on an island discovered by Christopher Columbus. Newly renovated in post-Colonial style. Water is everywhere. Good to Know: The treatment to get at Sense, A Rosewood Spa, is the one where you're in the hammock and the therapist fixes everything.
Where: Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica What's to Love: Originally the private retreat of Ian Fleming, it's where he wrote all his James Bond novels. A lush and fragrant jungle setting, you'd have to be a rock not to feel the romance of this sexy place. Good to Know: Prepare for midnight swims in the calm, warm lagoon. Pack a white bikini for full effect.
Where: Mustique, The Grenadines What's to Love: This place is tough to get to, so it keeps other people away. Rooms are utterly simple — billowing linens and soothing, neutral tones — with tasteful plunge pools so you never really have to leave your suite. Dinner is freshly caught lobster on the veranda; there's a weekly island cocktail party in case you feel like socializing. Good to know: Bring lots of sunscreen. The rays are seriously strong here.
Where: Flamands, St. Barts What's to Love: So many great things about it, not least of which is its idyllic location on the beach, one of the best on the island. Good to Know: Nearby Colombier Beach is a hike or a boat ride away, and the hotel will pack you a picnic lunch.
Where: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos What's To Love: Timeless colonial vibes on your own private island with fresh, healthy, gourmet food. The holistic COMO Shambhala Spa is on-site, and service and attention to detail are impeccable. Sitting by the powdery beach is out of the Corona commercial; the water is that clear. Good to Know: Great scuba diving and private partner yoga on the beach at sunset. Bring home hard-to-find COMO products and get your chakras in check.
Where: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos What's to Love: Gorgeous private oceanfront cabins with sexy decor, private pools, and outdoor showers. Good to know: It's a cool, low-key celeb scene. And at Amanyara, the answer is always yes.
Where: Ixtapa, Mexico What's to Love: The hotel is dramatically built into a cliff and every suite (59 total) faces the ocean. Which you'll love gazing at from your private plunge pool. Good to Know: If you tire of the many spa treatments, you can rent kayaks and explore the coastline. And watch the whale migration during winter months.
Where: Punta Mita , Mexico What's to Love: Only eight villas on 250 acres of pristine rainforest. Private beach, private infinity pools. Takes eco-chic to a new level. Good to know: The new GM's family breeds show horses in Portugal and he organizes midnight rides on the beach for guests.
Where: Ixtapa, Mexico What's to Love: No two adobe-inspired casitas are exactly alike, but all have a private terrace and suites have infinity pools. The private, palm-studded beach is gorgeous; white-linen table service comes to your palapa faster than you can request no salt on your margarita. Good to Know: For a taste of local culture, go to Mercado Municipal, a bazaar of fresh fruits, handmade huarache sandals, and amulets that attract lovers or ward off enemies.
Where: Yelapa, Mexico What's to Love: Beautiful, extremely undeveloped place. Enveloping, outstanding, but unobtrusively designed rustic-modern spaces. Good to Know: From Puerto Vallarta, take a taxi or bus to Baca de Tomatlan. One of the hotel's boats will ferry you to their dock, then it's just a short walk up a mountain to paradise. You won't want to leave, but the spa, fishing excursions, and day trips to the nearby island beaches are worth it. Be back in time for dinner — especially if it's taco night.
Where: Riviera Maya, Mexico What's to Love: Beautiful, boutique hotel on Caribbean waters steps from the beach with the kindest, most personal staff. Paradise: a four-hour flight from NYC. Good to Know: An ocean-view room is a must. Splurge for the suite if you're staying more than a couple days. Breakfast is included and is delicious: handmade tortillas every morning, tableside.
Where: Playa del Carmen, Mexico What's to Love: Beach meets jungle. Privacy meets opulence. Good to Know: The massive Sense spa is on its own island within the complex. The steam grotto is made for mischief.
Where: Molinas, Argentina What's to Love: Isolated vineyard retreat in what feels like the middle of nowhere — and pretty much is. Good to Know: Art lovers will be thrilled by the stunning (and very unlikely) James Turrell museum on the property.
Where: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile What's to Love: Thirty-two rooms enveloped by the Cordillera de la Sal mountain range and an open-air observatory will make lovers swoon. The desert resort has yoga fields, hot springs, wooden decks with six swimming pools, an international bar, and a cozy common room with a fireplace. Good to Know: Rates are inclusive of food, drink, and excursions to to the Tatio Geysers and über-romantic sunsets in Valley of the Moon.
Where: Garzon, Uruguay What's to Love: Francis Mallmann's little hotel? If your soul doesn't turn to romance here, you should get a refund on your genitalia. Good to Know: Seeing as Mallmann is one of South America's most celebrated chefs, it makes sense that food and wine — from boutique bodega Finca La Anita — are covered in the room rate. Dig in.