All You Need Is Love

Romance 101

Whisk your darling off to one of these romantic European destinations and take a cue from the locals by indulging in flowers, chocolate, Champagne, and more at these Leading Hotels of the World.
Curl Up by the fire in the sumptuous living room after a walk through the countryside surrounding this Irish manor.
Relax with a couples' mineral therapy or choose from an assortment of over 150 other spa treatments at the luxury hotel in this Czech town famous for its restorative thermal springs.
Wine Taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino after soaking in the natural springs at this Tuscan spa resort.
Channel the glamor of previous guests like Sophia Lorena and Gary Cooper in this Roman medieval hideaway.
Tour the Nestle chocolate factory and bring back samples to this palace hotel with Alpine views.
Sip champagne and gaze at the stars on Paris's most romantic rooftop just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe.
Waltz along the Blue Danube at this old-world property whose interiors exude Belle Époque splendor.
Live la dolce vita with a private painting class at this Florentine gem, right on Piazza della Repubblica.
For those dreaming of beachtime with guaranteed sunshine during the dark winter months, it's hard to beat the center of the globe. These Leading Hotels of the World near the equator come complete with long days, beautiful sunsets and warm temperatures year-round.

Kanuhura Maldives

Lhaviyani Atoll, Republic of Maldives

With their turquoise lagoons and white sand beaches, the Maldives inspire visions of the ultimate castaway fantasy, but the Spa at Kanuhura takes unplugged pampering a step further. The design, complete with soft lighting, timber flooring and delicate scents that permeate this holistic sanctuary, provides a perfect backdrop for the forty treatments, many using all-natural marine products. The spacious guest rooms, which range from beach villas with their own stretch of sand to dramatic over-water villas with private sun decks and direct access into the warm Indian Ocean, continue the sense of serenity. Unlike many of the Maldives' couple-centered resorts, Kanuhura also caters to families, with extensive children's programs that offer such activities as fish feeding, shell hunting and dolphin watching.

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The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud

Bali, Indonesia

The Balinese are revered for their uncanny ability to celebrate beauty and grace in the everyday. Renowned hotelier Adrian Zecha was inspired by this philosophy when he conceptualized The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, outside the village of Ubud. Set amongst more than 12 acres of emerald green rice paddies, the resort radiates tranquility. At the entrance, an arrangement of flower adorned Ganesha sculptures lends a spiritual ambiance, while the property itself features serene lotus ponds, reflecting pools and private villas. The interiors blend harmoniously into the landscapes, and each villa has its own butler to help with everything from unpacking to poolside pampering. Ubud, with its bustling restaurant and art gallery scene, is nearby, though most guests choose to simply stay put.

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The Residence Zanzibar

Zanzibar, Tanzania, United Republic Of

Once the haunt of Sultans, musicians, and artists, Zanzibar is tipped to become the new “in” place, and what better place to be seen at than The Residence Zanzibar. Swaying coconut palms, azure-colored waters and a cooling tropical breeze showcase the island’s newest and chicest arrival, with 80 acres of lush forest, gardens and a mile of white sand beach embracing the resort’s pool-villas and exquisite spa (featuring Paris-based Carita products). Indulge in a gastronomic journey under the stars in one of the two restaurants, while your personal butler attends to every need. Travelers may take a bicycle ride around the area or explore the rich and ancient history and markets of this fascinating island.

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Many associate romance with cities like Paris and Venice, but for the more adventurous, India can sweep anyone off their feet. Moving from the capital of New Delhi south to Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal, here are five Leading Hotels of the World that perfectly capture the country's colorful and captivating atmosphere.

Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad

Hyderabad, India

Dating from 1884, the Taj Falaknuma Palace was once the private residence of the Nizams family, who welcomed such illustrious guests as King George V and Tsar Nicholas II to their hilltop palace overlooking Hyderabad. Today, following a meticulous ten-year renovation by Taj Hotels, the palace is open to visitors, and the regalia of its stately past is on sparkling display. Built from Italian marble with unique Tudor-meets Italian architecture, the palace resembles a scorpion when seen from above, its two stings housing the Historic Suites. The interiors brim with museum-quality antiques from around the world: French tapestries adorn the walls and hallways of the public spaces, original frescoes provide Baroque flourishes, and forty Belgian-cut Osler chandeliers are suspended from the ceilings. It is a palatial enclave fit for royalty.

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The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

Mumbai, India

Following his stay at The Taj Mahal, George Bernard Shaw famously exclaimed that he no longer needed to visit the original in Agra—a bold, if succinct, way of capturing the wonder of this breathtaking colonial hotel. Built in 1903 by J.N. Tata after he was (reportedly) refused entry to another hotel, it was instantly the most luxurious address in Mumbai. Sitting on the Colaba waterfront overlooking the Arabian Sea, the hotel features myriad architectural styles, including Oriental engravings on Gothic window frames topped by a Florentine dome, and a tower that boasts a modern Moorish aesthetic. Accommodations are housed in this sleek contemporary building, as well as in the opulent Palace Wing, whose period rooms are filled with antiques.

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The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi

New Delhi, India

In one of the most elegant neighborhoods of New Delhi, the Taj Mahal Hotel is known for its attention to detail and unparalleled service. It is the one address visiting dignitaries and heads-of-state prefer, given its stateliness and security, its culinary innovations, and the air of quiet, restrained luxury that permeates every visitor’s stay. The building is 12 stories with a graceful pink sandstone façade. The warm, pristine white lobby has beautiful domes, intricate motifs and walls with inlay work. It also has six restaurants, two of which have won international acclaim: Varq, which serves modern gourmet Indian cuisine and Wasabi by Morimoto for contemporary Japanese fare. Guests will appreciate the proximity to city landmarks: India Gate and the Khan Market.

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Leading Spa Umaid Bhawan Palace

Jodhpur, India

The mystical city of Jodhpur boasts forts and palaces that rise against the backdrop of the surrounding Thar Desert and walled old city. The most spectacular is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, an architectural marvel designed for the Maharaja in the late 1920’s. Part of the palace remains the official abode for Jodhpur’s royal family, while another houses a luxurious heritage hotel that makes guests feel like nobility. Interiors are opulent, with Art Deco touches, gilded furniture and colored murals. The Palm Court, with a soaring 105-foot cupola, stops many visitors in their tracks, as do the royal suites, the former residences of the Maharaja Umaid Singh. Service is unparalleled and the concierge can set up such activities as tennis, village safaris, horseback-riding, polo and croquet.

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