While September now tops June as the most popular wedding month, February holds its own (with December) on proposals. Valentine’s Day has much to do with the popularity of planning your engagement in one of the most romantic places on earth. Here are five dreamy, ridiculously romantic places to propose for lovers.
No surprise really, as the City of Light has long been considered one of the most romantic places on earth. From the sparkling-at-night Eiffel Tower to the Louvre to the beautiful bridges crisscrossing the Seine, there are romantic proposal options at seemingly every turn. One of our faves: Pont Neuf, one of the oldest standing bridges on the Seine – and a popular spot for lovers since its first stone was laid (in 1578). The bridge is most stunning at sunset when the sinking sun, bathes the riverside buildings in gold.
Continue the Romance:
For an intimate, private – and yes, romantic – stay, check into one of the city’s loveliest hotels – Hotel Esprit Saint Germain on the leafy residential Left Bank. The vibe is like staying in your best friend’s Parisian apartment Rooms, featuring a warming beige-cream color palette, were completely renovated in 2021. Curl up by the fireplace in the living room, help yourself to aperitifs and French champagne, and awaken to coffee, fresh-baked pastries, and a view overlooking the City of Light’s famed rooftops.
Despite the fact that Romeo and Juliet were fictitious characters and their creator (Shakespeare) never set foot in Verona, Juliet’s house and balcony are forever immortalized here. Couples of all ages swear their eternal fidelity at Juliet’s house, known as Casa di Giulietta. The city of Verona reportedly bought the house from the Dal Capello family more than a decade ago. Because the name (Dal Capello) was so similar, the city declared the house to be the family residence of the Capulet family. In addition to the famed balcony, the house, now a museum, showcases Juliet’s medieval-themed bedroom (used in Zeffirelli’s classic 1960s movie, Romeo and Juliet) and is also home to a well-rubbed statue of Juliet and piles of love notes tacked unromantically to the wall with chewing gum.
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For a fun stay near Romeo and Juliet’s ‘hometown,’ book into the 16th-century Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà. Here owner Dino Facchini (founder of the fashion line Byblos) has created a whimsical, colorful interior – a frescoed ballroom, artwork by world-famous artists (Philippe Starck, Ron Arad), and 58 art-designed rooms. There’s a romantic side of the hotel too: sink into the Roman-style pool, opt for side-by-side treatments in the spa and savor candlelit dinners – sea bass sweetened with rose petals.
New York City
Exciting. Glamorous. Dazzling. There’s nowhere quite like New York City which is why popping the question here is perfect for every couple type. From atop the Empire State Building to the Brooklyn Bridge to Lincoln Center, there is no shortage of romantic and memorable proposal and date night options. But a proverbial classic remains the 843-acre Central Park. Iconic Bow Bridge (setting for films such as Manhattan, The Way We Were, and Keeping the Faith) and Bethesda Fountain, one of the largest in the city and known for its ‘Angel of the Waters’ statue are among the most popular spots.
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Follow the proposal with dinner at legendary chef Thomas Keller’s Per Se (be sure to reserve months ahead). Let the restaurant know the reason for your celebration and also request a park-view table near the fireplace. End the magic day with a stayover at nearby Mandarin Oriental, a destination unto itself. Savor drinks in the lobby bar overlooking Columbus Circle and make time for a couples’ treatment in the spa.
Big Sur, California
If nature and sea are more your romance language, look no further than California’s stunning Big Sur, known for its craggy coastline and giant redwoods. Rent a convertible (vintage perhaps) and follow highway 1 south of Monterrey. Two of our favorite proposal spots: McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that empties directly into the ocean, and Bixby Creek Bridge, the 714-foot-long bridge made popular in the hit HBO show, “Big Little Lies.” Pfeiffer Beach, with its purple (not pink) sand, adds another nice touch.
Continue the Romance
Continue the celebration of northern California’s sea and mountains – and each other – with a decadent over-the-top stay at Post Ranch Inn, a coveted honeymoon destination. Rooms overlook the sea and many come with fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs. An undisputed highlight: dinner at Sierra Mar, set on the hillside overlooking the ocean (exclusive to resort guests), and an overnight in the Tree House where you can experience the bliss of sleeping in your own tree canopy high above the forest floor, stargazing from your bed through the treehouse skylight.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more romantic setting for a proposal (or loved-up honeymoon, or destination wedding for that matter) than the idyllic tropical paradise of Barbados. The Caribbean island, in the West Indies, is beloved for its pristine sandy palm-lined beaches and stunning turquoise waters. Spend romantic days soaking up the sun (Barbados has some of the most diverse and beautiful beaches in the world), snorkeling with sea turtles, and immersing yourself in the vibrant Bajan culture while exploring its fascinating history and British colonial past. Pop the question at a gorgeous boutique hotel or oceanfront resort, where the champagne will be waiting on arrival and an elevated, all-inclusive experience curated for couples is all part of the allure.
Continue the Romance
Fan the eternal flame at The House by Elegant Hotels an intimate adult-only luxury boutique hideaway on Barbados’ Platinum Coast where you can lap up the luxury of your very own ‘Romance Concierge’ — a 24/7 service ambassador, devoted to your every whim. Fall in love all over again with a champagne breakfast, romantic sunset dinner on the beach, cocktails around the dreamy beachside pool, or cozy afternoon tea on the oceanfront terrace. As part of your bespoke all-inclusive VIP treatment, couples start their romantic journey with a ‘jet lag’ massage on arrival (while your suitcases are unpacked) and the immersive bonding experiences continue with sunset cocktails and canapes, water and soft adventure experiences like water-skiing, sailing, and stand-up paddleboarding and culinary classes with the executive chef.