A table for two at a garden restaurant in Florence. A quiet canoe trip through Botswana’s Okavango Delta. An afternoon spent wandering around a centuries-old fort in Rajasthan. These are the moments that inspire us to fall in love, not just with the surroundings but with the person who’s beside us. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, we searched the planet to find the most romantic places. Whether you’ve visited these spots, you plan to go, or you’re just an incorrigible dreamer, they’re certain to get you in the mood for love
Fresh Catch at the Tanjung Rhu Resort
A cove of white sand encircled by rainforest. Torches flickering all around. No sound except the whooping of jungle birds as the embers of the dying sun slip below the waves. Waiters silently bring wine and platters of spicy Malaysian food to your table. Curl your bare toes in the sand, and watch the breeze off the Andaman Sea make the lantern light dance.
Even for Italy, a languidly paced meal on the sprawling loggia of Villa San Michele—a former 15th-century monastery with a façade attributed to Michelangelo—is as romantic as it gets. Savor a classic bistecca alla Fiorentina
in the open-air dining room while you look through arches framing exalted views of Florence. Overheard at the next table: “Ti Amo tanto.”
Thai for Two
Pick one of the Banyan Tree’s traditional villas and sink yourself into its open-air bath. Inhale the jasmine, look out over the lotus ponds and gardens, and try to recall ever feeling more at ease. You won’t be able to—unless, of course, you book the Intimate Moments treatment, which includes incense, orchids, wine, and atmospheric music for two under an endless sky.
Dine on the Hotel Bel-Air’s terrace under bougainvillea vines, and you’ll know there isn’t a more romantic spot in Los Angeles, even though Sunset Boulevard is but a hop and a skip away. Cast your glance on the pond, where white swans glide behind the branches of weeping willow trees, and breathe in the ubiquitous fragrance of avocado. These are the reasons Valentine’s Day dinner reservations are almost as hard to get as tickets to the Academy Awards—though the dinner is certainly more exciting.