The romance of Valentine’s Day is descending. Yes, love – and a veritable vortex of pheromones – is in the air. It’s time to get down on one knee and whip out that life-pledging bling. But first, you need a Jumbotron-free, knock your socks off (and other bits) setting, where flash mobs fear to tread. We’ve swiped Cupid’s quiver and taken aim at some of our most romantic hotels, where popping the question will be met with a resounding ‘yes’ (or an appreciative ‘no’ and a friendly handshake, at the very least).
THE HISTORY BUFF PROPOSAL CONTINENTALE, FLORENCE
Every ardour-inflaming angle of the hotel’s Penthouse Suite, set atop the 13th-century Consorti tower, is proposal ready: lovebirds can spy the Arno from the canopied bed, the Duomo from the bijou terrace and Palazzo Vecchio from the plunge-pool-size bath tub.
Seize the moment Ask hotel staff to set a seductive scene on your terrace (candles, champagne on ice and all the trimmings), assume the position, and let Florence do the rest.
Once you’ve popped Glide along the Arno on a barchetto (the Florentine version of a gondola) then toast your tryst with a martini in the hotel’s view-blessed terrace bar.
THE FAIRYTALE PROPOSAL KEEMALA, THAILAND
One-of-a-kind villas shaped like seed pods and bird’s nests, man-made waterfalls and a magical hinterland setting: Keemala offers a mystical Lord of the Rings-style stay, which needn’t involve role play, unless Gandalf gets you going – we’re not ones to judge.
Seize the moment Take the plunge on your terrace: the private infinity pool and open-air bath tub are shielded from fellow guests’ prying eyes, and both overlook superlative scenery.
Once you’ve popped Stargaze using your villa’s telescope, or book the resort’s goodie-packed proposal offer for a post-‘yes’ photo shoot, couples’ massage and gourmet picnic.
THE REALLY WILD PROPOSAL ALILA JABAL AKHDAR, OMAN
Supermarket roses = kind of sad. A bouquet of pink damask roses from the mountainside terraces of this jaw-dropping Omani stay = acceptable. Slick modernist suites, set 2,000 feet above sea level, are surrounded by dramatic desert vistas; and come spring, slopes are carpeted in candy-floss-hued flowers. It’s remote yet incomparably romantic.
Seize the moment Pick up a picnic, then hike to Wadi Ghul canyon, invoking an Indiana Jones-style swagger against the bad-ass backdrop will set your fiancé(e)-to-be’s pulse pumping faster than a spin on a quad bike.
Once you’ve popped Head to the spa for his-and-hers Balinese treatments: a sandalwood body scrub and rose-infused facial for madam, a volcanic-clay mask for sir.
THE CLASSIC PROPOSAL SAINT JAMES PARIS, FRANCE
Hear us out: we know you can barely swing a baguette in Paris without whacking a gooey-eyed pre-groom square in the ring box, but Saint James hotel is a Narnia-esque escape from the ‘city of love’ clichés. Say oui to Bambi Sloan’s brilliantly bonkers decor, Michelin-star-sprinkled meals and inner-city seclusion in a handsome 19th-century mansion.
Seize the moment Proposing on, in and around the Eiffel Tower is as done as the ‘holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa’ pose. Engage your beloved under a hot-air-balloon in the grounds and score points for originality.
Once you’ve popped Clink flutes of Vilmart & Cie Champagne (a favourite of the sommelier) in the library bar, then let the chef surprise you with a mystery tasting menu.
You put a ring on it, so now for our romantic honeymoon hotels.