You've consulted friends for love advice before, right? (Funny how they always know us better than we know ourselves...)
That's what we did for this year's edition of the World's Most Romantic Hotels: We asked our favorite travel industry insiders and globetrotting tastemakers to share theirs. We were extra charmed by the responses from couples, so we, um, coupled them.
The resulting list of hot and steamy hotels around the world prove that "romance" can mean many different things.
By the way, you're our favorite travelers, too, and we want to know what you think. .
Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
What's to Love: Lose yourself in self-indulgence with the most stunning views of the Aravalli Hills while receiving royal treatment in the palace of 16th-century Rajrana Sajja Singh II. Perks include old-school service, an unbelievable spa, crispy clean sheets in freshly renovated rooms, and an outdoor candlelit dinner — to name but a few.
– Carla Paravicini Sersale, CEO,
Rates from $315. .
Old Havana, Cuba
What's to Love: I love, love, love this boutique guesthouse in Old Havana where Carla and I spent six days this Christmas. The six-room guesthouse is charming and well-located, and you are looked after like royalty.
– Antonio Sersale, owner, (... and married to Carla Paravicini Sersale)
Rates from $100. .
Los Angeles, California, USA
It's Perfect For: Couples as well as families.
What's to Love: The residential feel, the beautiful outdoor spaces, the pool, the small bungalows furnished with fireplaces, and the fact that you're hidden away but still close to the action.
– Christian A. Boyens, Directeur Général,
Rates from $635. .
Austin, Texas, USA
It's Perfect For: The ghost of Gram Parsons, and pretty much anyone who knows who Gram Parsons is.
What's to Love: It's a mesquite-and-mezcal-scented, sun-dappled, rock-n-roll Narnia. The hotel is only a five-minute walk from the coffee bars, taco stands, and honky tonks of South Congress, but feels miles and decades removed, like you'd expect to see a Court and Spark-era Joni Mitchell walk in and take a seat by the fireplace. And while other hipster hotels stick turntables and vinyl in guest rooms, only the Saint has a record collection you'll want to steal.
— Peter Jon Lindberg, Director of Inspiration,
Rates from $475. .
Lenox, Massachusetts, USA
It's Perfect For: New Yorkers and Bostonians seeking an urbane Berkshires escape, as well as food pilgrims, design lovers, and music and theater aficionados (Tanglewood and Shakespeare & Co. are both down the road).
What's to Love: My husband and I were married here, so whenever we return we can't help but picture a few dozen of our closest friends and family dancing in the gorgeous Tsao and McKown-designed lobby, or sipping Champagne on the hillside overlooking Stockbridge Bowl, or swimming in the moonlit pool with a cooler full of wine (stocked by the amazing mostly European staff). It's a stunningly beautiful, unabashedly fancy hotel with soul in one of our favorite parts of the country.
– Nilou Motamed, editor-in-chief, (and wife of Peter Jon Lindberg)
Rates from $925. .
Sartène, Corsica, France
It's Perfect For: A once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway or honeymoon.
What's to Love: A stay in your own painstakingly renovated 17th-century farmhouse surrounded by 5,000 acres of natural farmland and miles of private beach is the best expression of rustic luxury I have ever experienced. You can order meals to your cottage for complete privacy, dine under an arched rock roof in a cave for a touch of society, or dig your toes into the sand at a beach restaurant made entirely of driftwood for an unforgettable moonlight dinner.
– Paul Salmon, chairman, and
Rates from $183. .
Asolo, Treviso, Italy
It's Perfect For: Dirty weekends — you won't bump into anyone you know here — and old souls who just want to walk hand-in-hand through cobbled streets and remember why they love each other.
What's to Love: The verb asolare means to pass time in an agreeable and purposeless way. Combined with the mountain air and delightful surroundings, what more could you hope for from a romantic weekend? Despite being tucked away north of the Veneto, the views from Villa Cipriani rival that of any hill town in Tuscany. I particularly love breakfast on the terrace of room 102, especially if you arrive in the dark the night before.
– Emily FitzRoy, founder and CEO,
Rates from $245. .
Surigao del Norte, Philippines
It's Perfect For: Surfers who like unstudied style and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
What's to Love: Designed by the furniture company of the same name, the hotel has my heart. I love how every detail is perfect without trying — the bed, the swinging cocoon seats, the trampoline, the incredible surfing. It's like a sexy grown-up camp, and the natural beauty is insane, not compounded.
– , travel writer
Rates from $830. .
It's Perfect For: Couples who want a real getaway and don't mind riding a donkey to get there.
What's to Love: Checking in feels like stepping into a different century. Lost colonial Casablanca vibe, low-key Swahili culture, and beautiful beaches all come without posh jet-set pretension in this ancient Muslim enclave on the Kenyan coast.
– John Voigtmann, owner and general manager, (and husband of Ondine Cohane)
Rates from $209. .
Miami Beach, Florida, USA
It's Perfect For: Everyone, from everywhere, especially if you're madly in love with your significant other.
What's to Love: It's a magical place that takes soulfulness, culture, myth, and luxury and marries them into a romantic fantasy. You can visit with your honey and not leave the dreamy interiors for a week — between Francis Mallmann feasts, the Turkish bath-style spa, and floor-by-floor butler service that brings you champagne at the ring of a bell.
– Kristina O'Neal, principal,
Rates from $650. .
It's Perfect For: Couples escaping London, and everything else.
What's to Love: The Louis-XIV-meets-lavish-ski-lodge design makes for delicious fun. Bedrooms teeter on overly eccentric, and many come with a stunning stand-alone copper bathtub that sits at the foot of an elegant sled bed. The bar downstairs is as elixir-savvy as any place in Williamsburg, Hackney, or Downtown LA, and there's an outdoor swimming pool.
– Imran Hussain, director,
Rates from $365. .
Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal
It's Perfect For: Living a fairytale without leaving the city.
What's to Love: The six-room hotel is warm and intimate and feels remote, even though it's in the middle of the oldest part of Lisbon. I had to walk down a hidden alley to find it, and my first steps inside (and the owner's homemade pancakes) were both highlights.
– , photographer (one of Popupla's 24 Best Instagrammers)
Rates from $294. .
Harbour Island, The Bahamas
It's Perfect For: Singles and doubles looking for a nice weekend escape.
What's to Love: I found this house very charming and romantic. There wasn't a particular reason, but the whole experience made my weekend unique. The pink-sand beach, the vintage hotel bar, the music they were playing, the rain at night, the book I was reading, the horseback riding on the beach. It was all very special.
– Ori Kafri, founder,
Rates from $300. .
It's Perfect For: Having a glass of Champagne while looking over the French Alps and the surrounding chalets.
What's to Love: A home away from home where I am always greeted very warmly and wonderfully. The furniture and decoration in a warm local style suit the hotel's secluded atmosphere. I have so many memories here, particularly when my now son-in-law asked my daughter to marry him three years ago.
– François Delahaye, COO,
Rates from $1,176. .
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
It's Perfect For: Those looking to connect with nature, their soul, their body, or their partner.
What's to Love: The cathedral of all spas — grand, energizing, and naturally spiritual — is located on a hill overlooking the Ayung River. You are immersed in nature (and sometimes cloud mist) with views of rice fields, and can stay in your own villa, each designed differently with their own soul and personality.
– Serge Dive, CEO and founder,
Rates from $570. .
St Germain-des-Près, Paris, France
It's Perfect For: Living the Parisian dream for a night or two.
What's to Love: Sure, the smallest five-star hotel in Paris is luxurious, but it is luxury with soul, style, and history. Rooms are decorated individually with beautiful antiques, the underground private hammam is perfect for couples, and that the hotel is in the middle of a quintessential Parisian neighborhood means you can see the city's most gorgeous rooftops from your balcony.
– Katie McKnoulty, founder, (one of Popupla's 24 Best Blogs and Websites)
Rates from $372. .
Cape Town, South Africa
It's Perfect For: Couples with a sense of adventure and a taste for the good life (and the budget to match). It's also ideal for anyone looking to get engaged. It's impossible to say no to anything at Ellerman House. (Trust, me, I speak from experience.)
What's to Love: The property is arguably the best spot in the world to view a sunset — the elegant mansion and its stately terraces spill down the dramatic cliffs overlooking the shark-infested waters where the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet. The superb food, elegant wines, and tranquil spa complete the picture, creating a cocoon of indulgence that's almost impossible to leave behind, even with compelling charms of Africa on your doorstep.
— Norman Howe, CEO,
Rates from $767. .
It's Perfect For: History buffs and time travelers.
What's to Love: A modernized palace in an offbeat, medieval-flavored corner of the Middle East with spare but beautiful artisanal details, a very nice hammam, and a rooftop patio where you can take in the sunset, chattering birds, and call to prayer. Owner Uri Buri has an award-winning, grotto-like fish restaurant just down the street.
– Darrell Hartman, co-founder, (one of Popupla's 24 Best Blogs and Websites)
Rates from $420. .
New York, New York, USA
It's Perfect For: Couples who share an appreciation for all things creative.
What's to Love: The design-driven hotel mixes eclectic art, bold contemporary interiors, and a plethora of daring colors and fabrics that, in a rare occurrence, doesn't detract from its homely charm. It is where I proposed to my wife in 2015 — we started and finished a day of romance here, which made the moment all the more special. The neighborhood is all quiet cobbled streets, artisan shops, street stalls, hidden bars, and amazing eateries that span from high-end restaurants to hole-in-the-wall burger joints. It's definitely a place you can lose yourself.
– Stephen Howard, PR director,
Rates from $675. .
Huahine, French Polynesia
What's to Love: The remote island of pearl divers is the perfect place to reconnect with the person you are with. It's like a small Eden with amazing water bungalows.
– Francesca Bortolotto Possati, president and CEO,
Rates from $230. .
Southern Serengeti, Tanzania
It's Perfect For: Those seeking serenity after seeing the Big Five. Mwiba is located on a private reserve that used to be hunting property, which means wildlife viewing isn't prolific, as it takes time for the animals to feel safe again.
What's to Love: Romance is a cocktail of ambiance, privacy, and comfort, made even better in a dramatic setting far away from everyday life. The hotel feels like something out of Architectural Digest, set against the soothing sounds of a Arugusinyai River rushing below and the lions roaring in the midnight bush.
– Brooke Lavery, partner,
Rates from $1,750. .
It's Perfect For: Couples who love to get up at nine, order room service at ten, walk around the city for a few hours, have a long, leisurely (and perhaps boozy) lunch, and then come back and crash in their room or at the hotel spa. This is a quintessential Parisian hotel for people who want to marinate in the ambiance and details without pursuing an aggressive itinerary.
What's to Love: Le Bristol feels like your very own classic Parisian home. Arriving in the warm lobby, you're greeted with soft music, staff who know you by name, the faint scent of fresh flowers and the signature Bristol candles, and the sassy strut of one of two resident Birman cats who stroll by unimpressed.
– Alexandra Erdman, partner,
Rates from $967. .
Casole d'Elsa, Tuscany, Italy
It's Perfect For: Couples who want to linger, savor, gaze, and see life simplified and nature celebrated and amplified.
What's to Love: The hotel is sincere, rich in heritage and modern comforts, and not in the least bit pretentious. The pool deck, carved into a hillside, is a great perch from which to sip Prosecco and enjoy sweeping views of the countryside, a beautiful tapestry of greens and taupes. In the restaurant, flavors are proudly local and the staff is superbly attentive. All of which make the perfect backdrop for pressing the pause button and cherishing each other.
– Craig Reid, CEO, (whose wife is clearly Italian)
Rates from $513. .
Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos
It's Perfect For: Anyone who needs to get away and really decompress.
What's to Love: The island resort is almost entirely self-sustaining, and while it's not a new property or terribly sophisticated, it is chic in its simplicity and has an energy that makes a long weekend feel like a ten-day getaway. (.)
– Evan Orensten, co-founder, (one of Popupla's 24 Best Travel Websites)
Rates from $725. .
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
It's Perfect For: Young adventurers who want a bit of class and comfort in a design-savvy setting that's unmistakably Balinese, but could also be anywhere in the world.
What's to Love: My husband and I love everything about it — the lobby-less design, the vibrant ground-floor bar and restaurant scene, the in-room craft cocktail mini-bars, the hand-burnished brick work, the on-site shopping featuring fantastic local artisans, and so much more. (.)
– Josh Rubin, co-founder, (who is married to Evan Orensten)
Rates from $587. .
Gargnano, Lake Garda, Italy
It's Perfect For: Couples who want to truly unwind.
What's to Love: It's a fantasy place to relax. I love their amazing spa with their super treatments, the view from the outdoor warm water pool over the Garda Lake, and their restaurant's very efficient and friendly staff.
– Claudio Meli, general manager,
Rates from $205. .
It's Perfect For: Couples looking to relax, especially after climbing Kilimanjaro.
What's to Love: There's nothing quite like standing on a pier overlooking the Indian Ocean. The grounds are undeniably stunning, and it's easy to feel like you're truly getting away from it all.
– Sarah Murphy, co-founder,
Rates from $290. .
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
It's Perfect For: Couples, families, and surfers.
What's to Love: Incredible cuisine, impeccable views, and endless surf. What's not to love?
– Stefaan duPont, co-founder, (and partner of Sarah Murphy)
Rates from $749. .
Ao Nang, Thailand
It's Perfect For: Everyone, except couples traveling with children.
What's to Love: Located in the middle of a luxuriant jungle, the quiet resort is the ideal retreat for those in search of peace and relaxation. Lush vegetation, tropical birds, and an imposing rock face are just a few of the elements that make this place special.
– , photographer (one of Popupla's 24 Best Instagrammers)
Rates from $71. .
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
It's Perfect For: Couples, solo travelers, friends.
What's to Love: The ten-room desert hotel is the only lodge that runs on a private guide system, making each stay completely personal. My favorite experience was returning to my room after a trek through the Quebrada de Guatín to find a charcuterie picnic spread with Chilean wine, which I enjoyed just as the sun began to set in a breathtaking burst of red.
– , photographer (one of Popupla's 24 Best Instagrammers)
Rates from $1,150. .
Le Marais, Paris, France
It's Perfect For: A classy, continental tryst.
What's to Love: The 54-room Neoclassical hotel, tucked away behind the world-renowned Place des Vosges, has a stunning courtyard of its own, and is designed, from lobby to bedroom, to feel like a metaphorical trail of roses.
– Ross Belfer, founder,
Rates from $323. .
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
YOUR TURN TO #TRAVELWITHFATHOM
Feeling inspired? .