Romantic rendezvous

Sometimes a box of chocolates just won't cut it. Here, the world's ultimate V-day getaways.

There's nothing like a steamy sojourn to mark February 14 (or any day with the object of your affection, for that matter). To help you plot the perfect trip for two, we’ve chosen the most romantic hotels in 7 hot destinations across the globe. Whether you want to bond on an urban trek, pamper at a spa or snuggle up in the confines of an eco-fabulous enclave, click through the slideshow above to take your love on location.

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  • Santorini


    Where to stay: Sip vino on a cliffside terrace overlooking Caldera as the sun sets over the Aegean Sea at the luxurious Mystique hotel in the postcard-pretty village of Oia. The 22 suites are all designed with captivating cave-dweller decor like tree-branch lamps fashioned from driftwood and floors made from local limestone. Each villa has its own fitness room, outdoor Jacuzzi and ocean view.

    What to do: If you can tear yourself away from your room, tour the island by bike. Stop for some shopping in the capital city of Fira (worry beads make great souvenirs), and sunning at Perissa beach. When you return to Mystique, order the ultimate room service: a massage therapist from the spa. Then, visit the hotel’s 150-year old wine cave for a glass (or two) of grape.

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  • Bali


    Where to stay: Once you're ensconced at a spa retreat like COMO Shambhala Estate, the hours spent airborne en route to Bali quickly melt away. This private haven, overlooking the Ayung River, employs a staff of yoga masters, holistic healers and nutritionists. Book one of the four freestanding villas; all quietly showcase old-world-charm (carved Dutch-style colonial bed, an antique Victorian bath), and come with a private spa room for treatments et deux.

    What to do: A lush jewel of an island, Bali is nestled within the warm waters of the Indonesian archipelago. Be on the lookout for its long sugary beaches, dreamy hillsides dotted with verdant rice paddies, and many ancient temples and shrines — proof of the country’s enduring spirituality.

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  • Barcelona


    Where to stay: There’s lots of buzz about this Catalan city saturated with art — you’ll see plenty of Picassos and Dalis. Some of the most notable modern works (including Frank Gehry’s copper Fish Sculpture) can be found at the Hotel Arts, a 44-story high-rise at the Vila Olimpica (Olympic Port). This beachfront Ritz Carlton property has panoramic Mediterranean views and all the luxury you’d expect from the haute hotel chain. Secure a corner suite with sleek, ultramod furnishings and a killer Bang & Olufsen audio-visual system.

    What to do: The hotel’s grand lobby and lavish Frank’s Bar are always a scene as the international jet set preen for attention. For people watching that’s equally entertaining (and a bit more low-key), follow the lead of the locals and seek the sun at Bareceloneta Beach. Then, peruse the avant-garde boutiques and bold fusion restaurants.

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  • Kenya


    Where to stay: Retreat to your posh quarters at ol Donyo Lodge, a collection of thatched villas boasting cushy furnishings, infinity pools, outdoor showers and rooftop sleeping quarters with magnificent vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro. Everything from daily laundry to candlelight dinners is taken care of by an attentive staff.

    What to do: It’s game on in this cinematic country that served as the setting for Out Of Africa. By day, go on safari where you’re sure to spot the big five (lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, and cape buffalos). Explore the Massai Mara — a national reserve where the animals roam free, of course. Take a hot air balloon ride and see it from above.

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  • Miami


    Where to stay: What better place to look sexy in the sun than at the Soho Beach House? Like its exclusive counterparts in New York and London, this new Miami outpost has serious swagger, combining a private members club, hotel and spa all in a 16-story ocean-front tower. Membership has its privileges. As a guest, you’ll get to enjoy most of them. That means access to: the Club Bar, the Snug Screening room, and the tony Cowshed Spa.

    What to do: You’ll have to mingle with the general public at Cecconi’s, Soho House’s trendy Italian eatery — a Miami hot spot open to anyone willing to endure the wait for a table. If you can’t bear the thought of outsiders, have food bought to your chic art deco room complete with graphic wallpaper and a tricked out minibar that would have made The Rat Pack happy. Soho House's other trump card: location. You’re only a short cab ride away from the divine madness of South Beach’s strip.


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  • Alaska


    Where to stay: Not for the faint of heart, this 49th state is the perfect getaway for intrepid couples. Fly-in lodges are key to the Alaskan experience. One of the best: Winterlake Lodge in Anchorage. Depending on the season, your plane will either splash down on the lake or make a snowy landing at this remote log lodge that corners the market on low-key luxury, complete with chunky handmade wood furniture and plush shag carpets.

    What to do: Husband and wife team Carl and Kirsten Dixon are the charming owners and are always on hand to offer personal guided tours and gourmet meals (Kristen trained at Le Cordon Blue in Paris). Along with spectacular eye candy (oversized mountains, dramatic glaciers, and an overabundance of wildlife), there's also opportunity for adventure with bear-watching or dogsledding along the Iditarod trail.


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  • St. Lucia

    St. Lucia

    Where to stay: For a Caribbean experience that offers more than a spectacular stretch of sand, head to this lush, mountainous island that’s still—thankfully—off the radar. Stay at Calabash Cove, a super chill resort and spa with nine subtly sumptuous mahogany cottages. Each room has a private plunge pool, Jacuzzi, and an outdoor shower.

    What to do: Taking in the green-mantled peaks of the imposing Pitons from the hammock on your private wrap-around verandah just may inspire a hike. For something a little less strenuous, head to the mud baths at Soufriere, where you'll roll around in volcanic mud (a surprisingly sensual experience), then wash off in a warm sulfur spring. Back at Calabash, get a massage for two then dine on coconut-breaded grouper at Windsong, the resort’s open-air restaurant.

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48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.