Listopedia: The Perfect Dozen. Romantic Hotels around the World
It’s that time of year again, when store windows turn pink and roses are on every flower stand. Before you buy that perfect dozen, why not do something different this year?
From private plunge pools to killer sunsets, here’s our Listopedia of the 12 most romantic hotels around the world.
At first glance this brand new five star hotel looks like it stepped straight out of a German fairytale but it’s nowhere near Europe. Instead it sits mountainside in the Liaoning province, located in China’s northeast. The palatial property perches over Dalian, known as China’s Capital of Romance, and is appropriately decked out with plenty of marble, chandeliers, heavy drapes, claw foot bath tubs, fountains and manicured lawns. The 292 rooms are accessed via the grand staircase, perfect for proposals, weddings or the princess in us all.
Bright colourful furniture, striking tiles, white washed walls, overflowing bookshelves, dramatic art pieces and stunning views straight out to the ocean – this is the holiday home you wish you’d won the lottery and could buy. Filled with objects from the owner’s travels, each room has its own theme. Bright, white, blue, nautical – you’ll want to try them all. A private staircase leads straight down to the quaint Marina Grande fishing village while you’re just a 15 minute walk from Sorrento’s main township.
Long before Kim and Kanye swept out the famous doors to the waiting hordes of paparazzi, this hotel has always been a favourite for loved up couples visiting the City of Love. There is nothing restrained about the luxury in this property, which dates back to 1928. Expect flowers in every room (and on almost every surface), gilded furniture, delicate tapestries dating back to the 18th century, marble bath tubs and plenty of Parisian grandeur. The hotel’s famed underground wine cellar houses 50,000 bottles of wine. What better excuse to try one or two in the Michelin starred Le Cinq restaurant.
Big, bold and beautiful is the best way to describe these extra special spa suites. Housed in their own complex at the Hyatt Regency in Thailand’s resort town of Hua Hin, suites start at 126 square metres and only go up from there. More of a villa than a suite, each one has his and hers bathrooms and walk in wardrobes , hammam steam room, enormous spa bath, day beds, in room massage table for two and custom made emperor king beds. Ground floor suites have private plunge pools and all guests get one free massage per day at The Barai Spa, which is connected to the suites.
Good food and good company are often the best recipe for a romantic getaway – but a gorgeous setting always helps. The Andaz has 15 acres of beachfront space for guests to bliss out. The property’s island chic style extends from the sand pit in the lobby (think zen garden meets waiting area) to the private plunge pools in the villas. The lagoon pool’s cabanas are hot property but there’s also an adult-only pool for quiet time.
Bruges is well known for its charm, captured at best on day featuring a canal boat ride and a stroll through the streets. Cobblestones and chocolate are always a winning combination – add quaint rooms in the rafters and you have a city designed for romantic getaways. Rest your head at Hotel de Orangerie, a stunning heritage hotel that looks out at the bell tower and backs onto a canal. The sounds of horse hooves on the cobblestones and the bells in the distance will wake you up in the morning and put you to sleep at night.
The Middle East isn’t just about sand dunes and shopping malls. This luxury property is an oasis you won’t want to leave. Adventurous couples can check-in via paraglider but if that’s not your style, there’s always picnics on the mountainside, beach front dinners, beautiful copper bath tubs and private plunge pools to be enjoyed. And of course, the private beach is a big selling point.
A world away from the party beaches of Cancun, the Viceroy Villas sit right on the beach but reach back into the jungle. Private plunge pools with views of the Caribbean, shaded cabanas and hanging day beds in the gardens hint at how this whole property is designed to help guests de-stress and relax. A shaman and traditional fertility ceremonies are also available upon request.
Tucked into the bush land in Australia’s spa country, these luxury villas look like demountables lined up on the hillside. Step inside, and it’s an entirely different matter. A big electric fireplace, decadent velvet lounge and a fluffy king bed await. But that’s not the best part – taking up a fairly significant section of the space is a glass-walled bathroom, with a square spa bath sitting practically in the centre of the entire villa. Even though the famous Hepburn Bath House & Spa is across the road, this tub just begs for another soak.
There’s a reason five star resorts are a dime a dozen in the Maldives. Crystal clear water, bright white sand – nature has already provided a few key ingredients for a romantic getaway. The Conrad’s two tiny islands are a world away from worries of any kind. The biggest decisions you’ll have to make is when you want your massage – held in an overwater pavilion with a clear floor so you can watch the fish swim by. And when you’d like to have dinner – in the famous underwater restaurant. That’s if you can tear yourself away from water villas perched out over the lagoon.
Where do you go for a romantic getaway when you live in an actual palace? William and Kate chose this luxury lodge for a few days of romantic downtime during their whirlwind visit to New Zealand last year and we can see why. Uninterrupted views out over Lake Wakatipu, Jacuzzis on the balconies, open fireplaces, big bath tubs and private terraces make this the perfect escape from reality, even for real life princesses.
Want to get a world away from the rat race without leaving your creature comforts behind? Just a 12 minute flight south from Broome via light aircraft, Eco Beach Resort sits on the coast and commands some of the best views of sunrise you’ll see anywhere. The 30 Eco Tents bring you back to nature but ensure you do so in style, with ensuites, full size beds and a private deck. The solar powered Eco Villas are for guests who don’t want to go glamping. Aside from hammocks on the beach and cocktails by the pool, the resort encourages guests to learn more about the Yawuru Aboriginal Land on which the property sits. Tours with traditional landowners include stories at sunset on the beach.