Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels

The One & Only Ocean Club

Where: Paradise Island, the Bahamas

For who: The self-indulgent; beach bunnies

Why it’s romantic: You’ll find warm breezes, sand and sea, plus luxury spa treatments for two here. A couples package currently offered includes accommodation, breakfast, a 110-minute massage treatment, plus a nighttime “bathing ritual” in your room during which masseurs scrub your feet and draw a bath for two.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts and Spa

Where: Vancouver Island, British Columbia

For who: Nature lovers

Why it’s romantic: This spot is all about luxury in the wild woods. Helicopter into the pristine Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve; enjoy hiking, kayaking and horseback riding or spot whales and bears with a naturalist guide; then relax in front of a towering stone fireplace or in one of the white canvas guest tents appointed with antique dressers, queen-sized beds and down duvets.

The Plaza Athenée

Where: Paris

For who: Foodies, shoppers

Why it’s romantic: This is classic Paris at its most glitzy. Venture here and see and be seen on Avenue Montaigne, the last word in luxury shopping with Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci among the many boutiques. When you get tired of high fashion and spotting the celebrities who frequent the area (Katie Holmes was recently spied at Armani and Sex in the City filmed at the hotel) stroll hand-in-hand across the Seine. Starred chef Alain Ducasse oversees the hotel’s five restaurants.

Scottsdale Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch

Where: The Sonoran Desert (near Scottsdale, Ariz.)

For who: Golfers, tennis players, stargazers

Why it’s romantic: Private lakeside casitas overlooking the Sonora mountains have rooftop decks for prime stargazing. The spa is offering a couples’ Valentine’s special that includes two-and-a-half hours of foot and body massages and facials. The more active can enjoy top-notch golf and tennis facilities.

Little Palm Island Resort and Spa

Where: The Florida Keys

For who: Sun and sea worshippers; privacy-seekers

Why it’s romantic: It’s a private island. Suites have outdoor showers and king-size beds. The turndown service that comes with the Romance Package includes candles throughout the suite, Taittinger champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and a hot bath with rose petals and body oils.


Where: Central Java, Indonesia

For who: Adventurous culture and history buffs

Why it’s romantic: The resort overlooks Borobudur, the ninth-century Buddhist sanctuary. Rice paddies and distant volcanoes complete the landscape. Couples looking for something special should book the Dalem Jiwo suite, which has a private 15-meter infinity pool and a personal butler on call around the clock.

Hotel Savoy

Where: Florence, Italy

For who: Art lovers, café loungers

Why it’s romantic: Stay here and you’ll step out your door into the heart of Renaissance Italy. The concierges recommend a horse and carriage ride around the old city; many an alleyway turns up fantastic Tuscan cuisine. A Valentine’s day special includes a four-course dinner in the hotel’s L’Incontro restaurant overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica, and a champagne breakfast in your room.

The London NYC

Where: New York City

For who: theater-goers; urbanites

Why it’s romantic: You’ll find bright lights, big city and cutting-edge interior design here. Walk to Broadway, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park. A Valentine’s Day package includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé; dinner is by Scottish-born Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay. Concierge service from Quintessentially satisfies whimsical requests for last-minute theater tickets, elusive restaurant reservations and charter jets.

Hotel Astoria

Where: St. Petersburg, Russia

For who: Art and literature fans

Why it’s romantic: Snow falling on history. Take a troika ride through the parks of the czar’s palaces, stroll to the Hermitage Museum or walk in the footsteps of Pushkin and Dostoevsky. A three-night Valentine’s package includes breakfast, entrance to the Hermitage, a city tour and a massage. Vodka additional.

The Blantyre

Where: Lenox, Massachusetts

For who: Traditionalists

Why it’s romantic: It’s a castle, replete with turrets and gargoyles, set on a sprawling estate in the Berkshires. Rooms are unique--try the Maplehurst, located in the estate’s old carriage house and featuring a bathtub and four-poster king-sized bed. Gentlemen, jackets and ties are required for dinner, which will be superb French cuisine.

By Elisabeth Eaves