Song Saa, Cambodia
Australian newlyweds Rory and Melita Hunter fell in love with the Koh Rong Archipelago, a cluster of uninhabited virgin islands off the coast of Cambodia’s Sihanoukville province. Today, the couple operates Song Saa (“sweethearts” in Khmer), a sustainability-focused resort where seclusion lends itself to a romantic getaway. Each villa has its own private pool and veranda, as well as an oversize sunken bathtub and king-sized bed outfitted with Ploh linens. Spa treatments cater to couples: Indulge in a 150-minute Couples Connect Night Spa Ritual which focuses on chakra alignment to promote love and acceptance. No sunset here is without Champagne, but go the extra mile—via traditional longtail boat—and picnic on a neighboring island’s white-sand beach, or tour through Koh Rong’s sinuous mangroves. Extend your love to the Song Saa Foundation: donations help aid marine conservation and provide clean drinking water to the neighboring villages.
Auberge du Soleil, Napa
No resort respects the natural sultriness of wine quite like American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner Auberge du Soleil, a hillside paradise with sweeping panoramas of Napa Valley. The spacious rooms are decked out with California king beds and commodious soaking tubs outfitted with candles and bath oils. The Auberge Spa is anything but ordinary, with wine by the fireplace, morning soaks at their three on-site natural spring-fed pools, and massages incorporating crushed grape seeds, Port, and dark chocolate. Dine on the vineyard-facing terrace of the property’s Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves Mediterranean–inspired cuisine and boasts one of Napa’s most comprehensive wine lists. For an extra romantic touch, Auberge can also arrange a picnic within 33 acres of olive groves, or a chamomile-infused bath (for two) in a private garden.
Perivolas, Santorini, Greece
At Perivolas, the luxe pearly white Cycladic houses surround an infinity pool so close to the Aegean Sea that it appears there’s no barrier between them. The minimally decorated, whitewashed suites allow fuchsia- and lavender-hued pillows and linens, as well as fresh-cut local flora, to speak for its sparse elegance. (Not too shabby, considering some of these rooms are 300-year-old caves.) We prefer the New Perivolas Suite for its fluid living and sleeping rooms and private, heated outdoor pool that stretches out to the Caldera-facing terrace. At Perivolas, splurge on a boat tour of the island, from which you can explore the area’s many secluded coves with a pair of fins. Contemporary Greek mezedes are served poolside during lunch, as well as creative Greek cuisine for dinner in the converted wine cellar restaurant or in the private terraces around the pool. The nearby village of Oia, while hectic with cruise tourists in the afternoon, is pleasantly jovial at night—especially near the charming local tavernas on Ammoudi Bay.
Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
Dubbed the “Venice of the East” for its seven canal-linked lakes, Udaipur is one of India’s most magical cities, and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, located on the 200-year-old hunting grounds of the Maharana of Mewar, is among the country’s most luxurious hotels. Book a private dinner under the marigold-curtained dome facing Lake Pichola, with bespoke dishes curated by the hotel’s highly skilled chefs; or, book a private lunch on a traditional Shikara boat, where views of two nearby palaces—the City Palace and Jag Mandir—accompany a choice selection of rare teas, gourmet coffees, homemade fruit scones, sandwiches, tarts, and more. Book the red-and-gold Luxury Suite, which also has a private pool, courtyard enclave, pillow menu, and 24-hour butler service. The made-for-couples Ayurvedic massage helps relieve tension and stimulates marma points around the body, but our pick is the picture-perfect milk-and-roses bath, one of the spa’s four bathing options. The hotel can arrange tours of Udaipur and nearby temples, but guests can also opt for painting lessons at the Mewar School of Art, just a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy
A vibrant, red ochre-hued building perched on a cliff, Le Sirenuse Hotel, American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, offers dreamlike views of Positano made even more vivid thanks to fragrant lemon trees surrounding the hotel pool. The intimate, 58-room boutique property is closed to children under the age of six, making it the ideal home base for couples looking to relax after exploring the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. Those who prefer to enjoy the creature comforts Le Sirenuse has to offer (rather than the many shopping and sunbathing opportunities in Positano) will delight in the hotel’s Spa Suite treatment room for couples, which offers synchronized massages for two like the signature treatment with Amalfi citrus and cedar wood oils. Candlelit dinners take on a new meaning at La Sponda restaurant, where 400 candles illuminate the dining area and creeping vines adorn the walls. Executive chef Gennaro Russo specializes in lighter Neapolitan fare, emphasizing fresh seafood and produce with dishes like scampi soup with white peaches, buffalo ricotta, and red basil.
COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives
Proximity to pristine water is this COMO resort’s most breathtaking feature, with 33 thatched-roof bungalows and villas that seem to hover over the lagoon. For ultimate privacy, book one of COMO Cocoa Island’s one-bedroom villas, each perched on its own jetty, which come complete with an outdoor shower and a terrace perfect for sunrise breakfasts. Late risers might prefer a dinner of South Indian fare on the sand, close to the water’s edge. Couples treatment rooms, an open-air yoga pavilion, and massages satisfy a myriad of holistic wellness seekers. As for keepsakes, leave rather than take: the hotel lets guests sponsor a frame that aids coral growth under those turquoise
Twin Farms, Vermont
Formerly the home of writers Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson, this Relais & Chateaux property offers unparalleled cozy romance just five hours from New York (and three from Boston). Each of Twin Farms’ 20 accommodations (including 10 cottages) has unique touches: Japanese, Moroccan, and Tuscan aesthetics dominate the Orchard, Meadow, and Woods residencies, respectively, and art by legends like Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein adorn the Jed Johnson–designed Studio. Chef Nathan Rich and wine manager Keven Ring pair seasonal, farm-fresh food (think Vermont strawberries, Cavendish quail, local cheeses) with selections from the hotel’s ample wine list. The property’s spa treatments, Japanese furo bath, and selection of all-natural skincare products make for excellent accompaniments to the range of outdoor activities on offer, including cross-country or downhill skiing, canoeing, and hiking.
Imanta, Punta de Mita, Mexico
The mountains and beaches of Banderas Bay on Mexico’s west coast provide an ethereal backdrop to any getaway. This boutique hotel is surrounded by lush greenery, which inspires many of their spa treatments—including a detoxifying session in an Aztec temazcal, or sweat lodge, tucked away in the jungle. For a gorgeous view, book the standalone Ocean View Casona, which features a luxuriously appointed boudoir, a private terrace and infinity pool, and an outdoor king-sized beach bed. The on-site restaurants emphasize fresh-caught seafood, authentic Mexican cuisine, and creative cocktails. Imanta’s 250-acre natural reserve is ripe for hiking and bird watching, too.
andBeyond Vira Vira, Chile
In Chile’s scenic lakes district, andBeyond Vira Vira, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, is a five-star estate sitting in full view of the Villarrica Volcano. Of the property’s 20 suites and villas, couples should opt for the standalone, multi-level villas, which feature a fireplace, private terrace, and romantic outdoor bathtub. When couples aren’t stargazing on their private deck, they can hike otherworldly terrain to see Chile’s awe-inspiring mountains and lakes. Guests of andBeyond Vira Vira can even book tours with the on-site helicopter, for a bird’s eye view tour of the Villarrica Volcano.
Crillon Le Brave, Provence
A rendezvous at Crillon Le Brave, a cluster of 17th- and 18th-century buildings on a hilltop, exudes an impressionistic charm unique to the French countryside. The 34 rooms and suites with Vi-Spring beds and Frette linens overlook Mont Ventoux or the Rhône Valley. The hotel’s convenient location makes it easy for guests to saunter into the village for a taste of local Provençal cuisine. There is also on-site gourmet restaurant La Madeleine, where guests can experience leisurely fine dining accompanied by a bottle from the nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape. For a more casual dining experience, visit La Table du Ventoux, known for sourcing flavors from the on-property herb garden, located a level beneath the scenic swimming pool.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
Post Ranch Inn, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, towers over the Pacific on a cliff 1,200 feet above sea level—a sight known to leave guests speechless. There are no televisions or alarm clocks (or children under 18), which allows guests to turn their focus to their gorgeous surroundings with guided nature walks, stargazing lessons, and an edible tour of the chef’s garden. The two couples spa treatment rooms—one with a fireplace and the other with a walk-in shower—overlook the Ventana Double Cone twin peaks. The property’s award-winning treatments go beyond pampering; shaman sessions and massage classes equip guests with skills they can apply in the comfort of their own top-of-the-line hotel rooms, or homes. Choose between ocean- or mountain-facing suites, all of equal merit, though some, like the Pacific and Peak, have the added bonus of heated floors. Open only to Post Ranch Inn guests, Sierra Mar restaurant offers a traditional four-course, prix-fixe dinner menu incorporating local specialties like Monterey abalone and produce grown on-site.
Amanwella, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Nestled in a coconut grove along a crescent beach on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner Amanwella is the escape for couples looking to unwind in a tranquil, intimate setting. Each of the resort’s 30 suites has a king-size bed, freestanding bathtub, twin vanities, plus a private plunge pool and terrace with an alfresco dining area for two. (For the best ocean views, book one of the resort’s Ocean Suites.) Couples can enjoy a romantic meal on Amanwella’s floating lounge as it sails the Mawella Lagoon. And the Aman Spa also offers couples’ massages; a highlight is the Abhyanga Massage, which uses a rejuvenating warm-oil Ayurvedic treatment.
The Yeatman Hotel, Porto, Portugal
The first five-star hotel in the romantic area of Porto, The Yeatman, an American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts partner, offers sweeping views of the Douro River and the UNESCO World Heritage city that lies on the other side. Each of the hotel’s 83 rooms (including 13 suites) has a private terrace, but its most exclusive, intimate space is the Bacchus Suite. Named for the Roman god of wine, this 1,615-square-foot suite features a high-vaulted wooden ceiling, a freestanding fireplace, a round copper jacuzzi with city views, a rotating bed, and a large exterior terrace with a small fountain and deck beds. The Yeatman’s gastronomic restaurant (helmed by chef Ricardo Costa) has two Michelin stars, but guests can also arrange for a romantic al fresco meal on their private terrace. The hotel’s Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa boasts a wide array of treatments (barrel bath immersions, Vichy shower massages) and facilities, including a Roman bath, hammam, and an indoor pool.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, RI
Housed in one of Newport’s historic mansions, The Chanler at Cliff Walk radiates old-world opulence for a new-world audience. Each of the hotel’s 20 uniquely designed rooms has a fireplace—perfect for curling up while admiring views of the Atlantic Ocean. Couples can also take advantage of in-room spa treatments, 24-hour room service, and the hotel’s aromatherapy bath service, in which a Chanler butler will draw a bath with your choice of essential bath oils from Aromatherapy Associates. Among the hotel’s multiple dining options is Cara Restaurant, which serves up seasonal, global takes on classic New England dishes and offers an elaborate six-course tasting menu. Guests can also explore Newport in style, with access to complimentary point-to-point transportation in The Chanler’s custom luxury Buick Enclaves.
Vana Belle Koh Samui, A Luxury Collection
Of all the Thai islands to visit on a honeymoon-esque getaway, Koh Samui is one of the very best for couples. Koh Samui is all about slowing down and spending time together while diving into sparkling waters and reveling in the remarkable island hospitality. Cozy up together at Vana Belle Koh Samui, A Luxury Collection and an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner. Let the property arrange snorkeling expeditions for you in Angthong National Marine Park, or spend your days tanning with your toes nestled deep into the sand of Vana Belle’s gorgeous beaches. The property has a beachfront infinity pool—but you may not even make it there, because each of the 80 suites and villas have a private pool and soaking tub. Reserve the Tropical Pool Villa, outfitted with an expansive outdoor sitting area and pool and a Champagne bar—need we say more?
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii
An experience unlike any other in Hawaii, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort—also an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner—is a divine wellness program tailored to your exact needs. Perfect for couples looking to embark on a healthier lifestyle together while enjoying the wild natural beauty of Lanai, guests are often paired up with a Sensei guide who will schedule customized treatments and yoga classes. Couples can hike to watch the sunrise together and enjoy fresh, seasonal meals at Sensei by Nobu. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, and more in touch with yourselves and each other.
Le Quartier Franschhoek, South Africa
One of the most romantic experiences in South Africa is exploring the stunning, colonial wine towns outside of Cape Town. An easy weekend trip, just an hour from Cape Town, couples can luxuriate in the romantic and hyper-local atmosphere in Franschhoek Wine Valley. Post up at American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner Le Quartier Franschhoek, where each villa has a private pool and the property’s alluring gardens make for a delightful picnic venue. Couples can book treatments at Leeu Spa, and then retreat to their villas to share a bottle of Cap Classique, the South African interpretation of sparkling wine.
Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco
Escape to the Royal Mansour Marrakech, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, for a palatial Moroccan escape with your partner. From the authentic medina and luxe riads on property to the lush gardens and hammam at the Royal Mansour Spa, there are endless cozy hotspots for couples. Book a tailored couples treatment at the spa, and of course, reserve a table at Sesamo, the first Alajmo brothers venture outside Italy. For an over-the-top couples experience, stay together in a prestige riad, which has a rooftop pool, a private hammam, and a fireplace where your butler will draw a crackling fire for you to enjoy in the evenings.
The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anatara, Zambia
Wake up to a safari in your backyard at The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner. From romantic sundowners to once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters, this Zambia escape is sure to bring the two of you closer than ever. Dine together al fresco at Kubu, which overlooks the Zambezi River, or book a Boma dinner, which is a traditional African fireside dining experience. Couples can even enjoy an old-world, luxury train experience with dinner on The Livingstone Express. Stay in the Presidential Suite, which has a private river-view terrace and illustrious Victorian furnishings.
Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, California
One of the go-to Southern California venues for luxury weddings, Belmond El Encanto is now offering small commitment ceremonies and elopements for couples. The scenic American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner is nestled into the Santa Barbara oasis and feels like a romantic European riviera getaway. Belmond El Encanto just launched gourmet picnics, with delicious offerings from Maine lobster rolls and a spread of California cheeses to a bento-inspired basket complete with spicy tuna tartar and taro root chips perfect for a romantic afternoon with your sweetheart. Couples can get off the property to shop downtown on State Street and sample wines from the central coast of California. Back at the chic hotel, unwind in one of the Belmond specialty suites, with a private terrace and indoor fireplace.