Travelling currently feels like a far-flung fantasy, but we can...
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We round up the best places to propose across the globe...
Pop the question at a real-life palace
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur is a magical floating Palace escape in the middle of the glistening Lake Pichola, complete with exclusive spa boat and rooftop restaurant offering private dining experiences for the most intimate and romantic proposal.
This 270-year-old white marble palace floats like a mirage in the middle of Lake Pichola and looks dazzling from the shore, making it one of the most private and exclusive romantic hotspots in the world. Reached by a short boat ride, it was built as a summer retreat by Maharana Jagjit Singh who ruled Udaipur in the 17th century. It has undergone major refurbishment which has gone a long way to restore its palatial feel with marble floors and rich furnishings, making incredibly opulent and ideal for an unforgettable proposal.
The hotel is home to 65 beautiful rooms with original royal features and 18 spectacular suites, including The Grand Presidential Suite for couples who truly wish to splash out. Couples can enjoy idyllic meals from Neel Kahal - a fine dining option specialising in signature Rajasthani food which overlooks the famous lily pond and Bhairo which is a romantic’s dream - a breath taking rooftop restaurant offering scintillating views of the beautifully lit Palace of the King of Mewar and the sparkling waters of Lake Pichola.
Special experiences at Taj Lake Palace include the in-house fortune teller who is available each afternoon to read guests palms, beautiful traditional dance performances each evening to be enjoyed alongside cocktails and relaxing treatments onboard the hotel’s exclusive Jiva Spa Boat. Those really looking to ‘truly push the boat out’ can enjoy a special evening aboard the royal barge ‘Gangaur’, equipped with seven rowers, private dance performers and private chef. This boat was purchased by the hotel after it was refurbished for the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’, in which the boat and hotel famously featured and is ideal for romantic sunset drinks, private dinners or a cookery class.
HOW: Rates at Taj Lake Palace start from approx. £541 per person per night on a B&B basis. For more information please visit www.tajhotels.com
Overlooking snow-dusted mountains or under the Northern lights
Go off the grid and plan the ultimate proposal at the unique Icelandic lodge Deplar Farm, set on the remote Troll Peninsula. Experience a romantic retreat uninterrupted by the real world, as you escape into the depths of Iceland. Surrounded by 3,000 ft snow-dusted mountains, guests have unrivalled access to over 1,500 square miles of untouched mountain terrain, offering an unparalleled adventure experience that allows couples to truly reconnect with nature, and each other.
An exhilarating menu of outdoor pursuits allow couples to spend the day sea-side Icelandic skiing, heli-skiing, sea kayaking, whale watching in the surrounding fjords, astro-touring and fat biking special trails around the valley. With more hours of darkness than light each day, spring is the optimal time to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights – and couples can spend the evenings stargazing out across the clear Icelandic night sky from the lodge's impressive geo-thermally heated outdoor pool, as the extraordinary Northern Lights dance across the sky, filling the backdrop with waves of pink, blue and green – creating the perfect moment to pop the question.
This phenomenal property also offers a range of world-class facilities for couples looking to relax and unwind after an active day outdoors, including an extensive wellness area, Nordic inspired cosy and stylish interiors, a resident mixologist and private chef to serve local Icelandic delicacies.
HOW: Rates at Deplar Farm during the winter season (1 November - 14 March) start at £2,000 per person per night (based on double occupancy). This includes customised adventure itineraries, all gear necessary for activities, pre-arrival planning with an Experience Manager, all in-house meals, house alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, daily housekeeping and airport transfers to/from Akureyri. Flights to Akureyri start from £400 return per person with Iceland Air. www.elevenexperience.com
Propose on a private sandbank under the stars in the Maldives
Spend the night with your new fiancée on a private sandbank transformed to mirror a Milaidhoo Villa for an overnight experience like no other·Complete with a private yacht anchored nearby, providing couples with luxury amenities
Milaidhoo Island Maldives is taking once-in-a-lifetime experiences to new heights with their romantic new offering – 'sandbank glamping under the stars'. Couples at the hotel can opt spend the night as castaways under the stars on their very own private sandbank – creating an out-of-this-world setting for a proposal. Transformed with the luxury facilities of a Milaidhoo Villa, the sandbank comes with a canopied four-poster bed draped in muslin and a private yacht anchored nearby, complete with a dressing room and bathroom with all the amenities guests would expect to find back at the hotel.
The castaway experience kicks off with a sunset dolphin cruise aboard either a luxury yacht or a traditional Maldivian sailing boat. Couples will be served champagne and canapés by a private butler as dolphins swim around them and the sun begins to set and after arriving at the secluded sandbank, cocktails are served followed by a four-course dinner specially created according to guests tastes. After dinner, as the crew sail away, couples are left to enjoy post dinner drinks by the fire before heading off to sleep under the stars surrounded by candles and lanterns that have been scattered across the sandbank. A phone is provided with direct access to the personal butler should guests need anything throughout the night.
As the sun rises, guests can kick-start the day with the Milaidhoo Yogi who will take them through a sunrise yoga session before the butler arrives to serve a freshly prepared breakfast. Maldivian-owned Milaidhoo opened in November 2016 and is proudly rooted in local island traditions. A small, elegant island in Baa Atoll's beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it has 50 spacious thatched-roof villas each with a private pool as well as three top-class restaurants, a fitness center, spa, incredible house reef and spectacular diving.
HOW: Milaidhoo can be easily reached via a 30-minute seaplane from the international airport in Male or a 15-minute domestic flight to Dharavandhoo domestic airport in Baa Atoll, followed by a 15-minute speedboat to Milaidhoo Island. Rates start from $1,625 (approx. £1,235) per night in a Water Pool Villa on a half board basis, based on two sharing.The new 'Sleep Under the Stars Experience' at Milaidhoo starts from $3,000 (approx. £2,438) per night for two people. For more information and booking please email email@example.com or visit www.milaidhoo.com
Pop the question at the Amalfi Coast's most romantic hotel
A former monastery suspended over a cliff edge, complete with spectacular sunsets, a Michelin-star restaurant and award-winning spa await at Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa. This spectacular former 17th-century monastery has been restored into just twenty beautiful sea-view guest rooms and suites. Hidden away on Italy's iconic Amalfi Coast – the hotel boasts one of the most private and romantic setting to propose in this part of Italy.
The family-run hotel is nestled into the side of a cliff, allowing for panoramic views over the breath-taking Gulf of Salerno. A true refuge from city life, Monastero Santa Rosa is the ideal romantic holiday destination and a truly opulent getaway. Guests can while away hours between the hotel's incredible heated infinity pool, stunning landscaped gardens and the unique, award-winning Spa that has been created within a labyrinth of historic monastic spaces and outdoor pavilions. The wide selection of treatments on offer have been exclusively created for the hotel using Santa Maria Novella products.
Monastero's gardens, set over five tiers, are impeccably groomed with beautiful water features, tactfully placed benches, and day beds for admiring the vibrant flowers and amazing views. Monastero Santa Rosa also boasts a superb Michelin-star restaurant serving authentic and seasonal dishes, incorporating the freshest local ingredients. For couples keen to explore, the hotel is perfectly located just a 20-minute car or boat ride from some of the coastline's most scenic towns including Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. What's more, Monastero recently launched a 'health and hike package' allowing couples to explore the stunning Italian coastline and escape the crowds by hiking the little-known route known as 'Valle delle Ferriere' or 'Ironworks Valley'.
HOW: Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa is open between April – November and is approx. 1h 15m drive from Naples International Airport. Rates start from 400 (approx. £350) on a B&B basis plus taxes www.monasterosantarosa.com
A Balinese beachside proposal
Catch Seminyak’s spiciest sunsets from the exclusive ocean-facing pool staying in one of the country’s most iconic and romantic hotels - The Legian Seminyak, Bali. Built over 20 years ago, The Legian Bali is one of island’s most iconic and best loved hotels. It has truly stood the test of time and is one of the most romantic hotels in the world. Situated in Seminyak, it offers an unparalleled elevated location on one of Bali’s best beaches – a stunning location to pop the question. It’s chic, locally-inspired design by Indonesian architect Jaya Ibrahim exudes rustic charm through the use of Balinese and Indonesian architecture, natural fibre furniture and indigenous artefacts, all framed by lush tropical gardens, making the most exquisite setting for a romantic getaway.
For those looking for ultimate privacy, can opt for a stay in The Club at The Legian Seminyak. The Club is an exclusive retreat, separated from the rest of the hotel and houses a 28-metre lap pool, private outdoor seating area and one-bedroom and three two-bedroom pool villas to choose from. All villas come complete with personal butlers and meals and sundowner cocktails can be served there. If guests can tear themselves away from their villa, they can discover a delicious range of restaurants the hotel has to offer. Foodie couples will delight at fine-dining eatery, The Restaurant, which overlooking the hotel’s iconic three-tiered infinity pool, which seamlessly incorporates Asian influences and local cooking techniques and focuses on organic and sustainable ingredients.
The Legian Seminyak is also home to an exquisite spa, offering an extensive treatment menu of signature experiences and rituals using products by ila and Hommage for men, incorporating ancient Indonesian methods. Once energy has been suitable restored, couples can head out and explore beautiful Bali, with help from the hotels expert concierge team. From the quiet black sand beaches and playful dolphins in the north to the majestic Gunung Agung with the mother temple of Besakih in the east, Bali offers countless cultural and natural treasures for guests to explore.
HOW: The Legian Bali is a mere 25-minute drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport and is situated on Bali’s southern coast. Rates start from $498 (currently approx. £381) per night on a B&B basis, excluding taxes. For more information please visit: www.lhm-hotels.com