Sunday, November 23, 2014

The 10 Most Romantic Places in the World to Propose

For nature lovers: Ladera Hotel

All you need to set the scene for a special proposal is a room looking out over the dramatic Piton mountains. A private plunge pool and a four-poster bed round out the romantic ambience at this adults-only resort. Ladera also hosts destination weddings, so you can revisit the moment by saying your vows with the Pitons as your witness.

For Downton Abbey fanatics: Ashford Castle

Cong, IrelandIndulge your fantasies of swanning around a turn-of-the-century estate at this sprawling medieval castle. The five-star property offers endless opportunities for proposing, including lake cruises and horseback riding. The rooms are equally romantic, particularly the staterooms located in the oldest part of the castle, dating back to the 13th century. Original fireplaces, claw-foot bathtubs, and sherry decanters help set the mood.

For the ultimate escape: qualia

Hamilton Island, AustraliaThis luxurious Barrier Reef resort features private pavilions complete with plunge pools, and the option to dine on the deck while watching the sunset. If that's not romantic enough for you, take a helicopter ride over Whitehaven Beach, one of the loveliest stretches of sand in the world. Or choose qualia’s Island Interlude package, which lets guests indulge in champagne, a gourmet picnic, and a sunset cruise that seems tailored for proposals.

For a peaceful city respite: Bow Bridge, Central Park

New York, NYNow's the time for a proposal at Bow Bridge, located at 74th Street in the middle of Central Park. With a backdrop of rowboats on the lake, the last of the season, and the leaves turning, there's an air of tranquility to the spot. Weekdays will likely be less crowded, and afterward you can head over to the Boathouse for celebratory drinks.

For hopeless romantics: Fern Grotto

Kauai, HawaiiThis grotto in Wailua River State Park is cloaked by hanging ferns, with a gentle waterfall nearby. Since the natural formation lends itself to stellar acoustics, musicians are often on hand to perform the Hawaiian Wedding Song, after which you’re asked to kiss the person next to you. (Proposing seems like the obvious next step.) Although you can no longer enter the grotto itself due to storm damage, a viewing platform still lets you enjoy its natural beauty.

For something magical: Puerto Mosquito

Vieques, Puerto Rico In 2008, Guinness World Records named Puerto Mosquito in Puerto Rico the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. Despite its intimidating moniker (Mosquito Bay?), the bay is magical; imagine a proposal at night, when you feel like you're surrounded by starlight. It's also precious, with the lights going out this summer for a period of time. Tread carefully and only on weekends.

For traditional romance: Four Seasons Hotel George V

Paris, FranceInstead of dealing with the throngs of tourists (ever the mood killer) at the Eiffel Tower, head to the Four Seasons Hotel George V, where you have your pick of options. In particular, the chandeliers, grand piano, and 19th-century paintings in La Galerie lounge create an ideal ambience. Of course, you can have the best of both worlds by booking the hotel’s penthouse suite, guaranteeing a stress-free view of the Eiffel Tower while enjoying an intimate meal.

For something unconventional: Grotta Palazzese Hotel

Polignano A Mare, ItalyIn a country full of postcard-perfect views, castles, and quaint villages, it’s impossible to pick just one place as the most romantic. However, the seaside restaurant at the Grotta Palazzese Hotel is a strong contender. The limestone cavern has entertained guests since the 1700s, when local nobility would hold banquets there. We suggest a nighttime proposal, with soft mood lighting and the sound of waves crashing. (It’s only open from May to October, so start planning now for 2015.)

For the adventurous: Victoria Falls

Zambia, Southern Africa If you want to go big, skip Niagara Falls and opt for a trip to Victoria Falls instead. Proposing at the edge of this natural wonder—the largest waterfall in the world—with mist rising around you would be breathtaking. Alternatively, if you stay at the nearby Tongabezi Lodge , which was designed with romance in mind, the hotel can arrange a boat ride to Livingstone Island to view the spectacular falls.

For a good reason to cuddle for warmth: Quebec City, Canada

With cobblestone streets and a walled fortress surrounding the city, Old Quebec resembles a quaint 17th century European village. It's lovely to visit any time of year, but the romance is ratcheted up in the winter thanks to guaranteed snow and holiday markets. Book a room in the city’s Ice Hotel for an extra excuse to stay warm—not like you need one. More in romance travel:Romantic Travel Spots Off the Beaten PathThe 15 Most Romantic Places to Kiss Around the WorldOver-the-Top Destination Weddings in Italy, France, and More