10 Romantic Destinations 2006
romantics know that seeking the perfect destination
for a rendezvous is a subjective pursuit. For some couples,
it's all about deserted beaches on quiet isles, while
for others it's about painting the town red. There are
those who desire tranquil, wine-saturated retreats,
and others who need adventure-filled encounters and
pulse-pounding pleasures. For all types of romantics,
we've crafted a list sure to tantalize your global erogenous
zones. You won't find the obvious here—you can
come up with Paris and Tahiti on your own. Instead, we give you wild animals,
old-fashioned waltzes and spiritual settings to get
you in the mood.
There is something about Charleston—the
fragrance of wisteria heavy in the air, the leisurely
pace, the genteel spirit—that beseeches you to
slow down and relish the company of the one you're with.
You might snuggle together during a horse and carriage
ride through cobblestone streets, or linger over breakfast
in bed at Belmond Charleston
Place. If you've ever had the desire to live out
your own Rhett and Scarlett fantasies, make your way
to one of the area's historic plantation houses, like
nearby Boone Hall Plantation, which was used as a backdrop
in “Gone with the Wind.”
their vineyard-dappled rolling hills and libido-releasing
vintages, wine countries are natural choices for romance.
But many of our favorite regions are overrun these days
with would-be oenophiles. To escape the crowds, head
Robles just inland on the central California coast.
This still off-the-beaten-path area is filled with intimate
wineries, quiet inns and friendly, laid-back residents.
Our top pick for lodging: the alluring, Italian-style Villa
reflection of the sun traveling over the red rocks of
Sedona is a seductive scene. Wake early for a sunrise
view from a hot air balloon, or take in the sunset from
your balcony at the aptly named Enchantment
Resort. Sedona has endless quiet corners for sneaking
away, and because it's considered a spiritual vortex,
you'll also find plenty of opportunities for healing…think
Marvin Gaye on this one.
If flirting with adventure is your idea of a sexy date, South
Africa is sure to turn you on. But fanning the flames
of romance Hemingway-style doesn't have to mean roughing
it when the safari is over. At Singita in the Sabi Sands
Reserve, visitors can experience two worlds at once:
the exotic realm of the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants,
rhinos and buffalo), as well as the pampering world
of private plunge pools, massages and 35,000 bottles
of fine South African wine. For a change of pace, and
to discover the source of said wines, move on to the
Winelands, laced with thirteen distinct wine routes
and home to the French-influenced Le
where the dance of choice is still—after all these
centuries—the waltz, wins our prize for the most
sophisticated destination. It feels as if it was created
for urbane lovers, with its cruises along the Danube,
strains of Mozart in the air and outlying Vienna Woods,
dappled with inviting wine taverns and serene garden
cafés. The summer and winter palaces of the Habsburgs
are the architectural embodiment of romance. And the
dark-paneled coffee houses are ideal for lingering for
hours, savoring those intimate conversations you don't
have time for back home.
Cultured French joie de vivre meets laid-back Canadian
insouciance, eh, in Montréal.
Rent a tandem bike and pedal along Lachine Canal, discover
"your song" at the Montréal Jazz Festival
or seek out peace of mind in Suite 1742 at Fairmont
The Queen Elizabeth. You'll be following in the footsteps—or
rather pajamas—of John and Yoko, who used this
room to hold their second "bed-in" for peace
and to record "Give Peace a Chance."
Island is our pick—in the money-is-no-object
category—for the ultimate wedding destination.
Richard Branson's private island can be rented for groups
of up to 26, and events are customized just for you.
Enjoy an intimate ceremony serenaded by a string quartet,
or a convivial bonfire barbecue reception. As for the
honeymoon, sneak away to your own one-bedroom Balinese
villa. Of course, you can always go the way of Robinson
Crusoe and commandeer the whole island for just the
two of you.
Verdant jungles adorned with erotic flowers and sensuous
butterflies, air that turns dewy on your skin the moment
you step outside… Welcome to Costa
Rica, a land ripe for seduction. In this lush country
you'll discover hot springs ideal for a tête à
tête amoureux and accommodations that blend the
provocative styles of Morocco, Bali and India with a
quintessential Costa Rica tree house look. Among the
country's famed spas, Tabacon
Hot Springs is our favorite for a romantic tryst.
its crowded beaches and notorious nightlife, the Indonesian isle of Bali isn't always a first choice for an intimate
holiday. Travel inland, though, and you'll find one
of the most enticing destinations in the world. Home
to the island's royalty and artisans, Ubud is a sleepy
place that feels lost in time. Cultural dances at the
Royal Palace will awaken the romantic in the most jaded
of souls, and rice paddies provide the setting for long,
languorous afternoon walks. We recommend you stay at
COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan
Giri, whose grounds are home to sacred springs.
As you stand in the main market square in the center
of Siena, you will understand the true meaning of the
word breathtaking. In this Italian treasure, you are surrounded completely by ancient buildings
snug against one another. Cafés, shops and medieval
architecture provide the old Tuscan feel you hope for
but that vanished with tourist throngs long ago. Your
imagination will careen from the traditional Palio horse
race held here every year to the nights ahead of you
at Dievole Villa, a ravishing inn and winery on the
outskirts of town.
10 Romantic Destinations