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1. IL SALVIATINO - Florence, Italy

Standing amid lush gardens perched on the hills of Fiesole above Florence, this 15th-century villa has all the ravishing good looks and debonair charms of a Merchant Ivory hero. Sweeping candlelit staircases, comely button-back sofas and cherub-sweetened frescoes soften an architectural grandeur that recalls the severely sexy set of Eyes Wide Shut. The Ojetti Suite has to be the ultimate room with a view: its dramatic glass-floored sun room hovers above the massive main stairwell. Even if you only have eyes for each other, you won't be able to resist peeking at the stunning vistas of the Florence skyline from the jacuzzi on your private terrace. Thrill-seekers may prefer the Salviati Suite, which gives you the use of a Ferrari sportscar for the day.


The latest addition to super-hotelier Andre Balazs' stable is developing something of a reputation as the sexiest stopover Stateside. This gloriously glassy high-rise lords it over the Meatpacking District, with witty minimalist interiors and gob-smacking views. Standard Suites steal the top prize for over-the-top glamour, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls on three sides. Make the most of the spectacular sunsets from the free-standing bathtubs with a glass of champagne, but bear in mind that daring dashes from bath to bed may be visible by stollers in the High Line park.


If you're a die-hard lounge-lover with an aversion to synthetic fibers, the thought of camping will be as arousing to you as cold showers, torn tent flaps and tinned baked beans. Allow us to disabuse you of your preconceptions: fringed by coruscating coral and lapped by warm Indian Ocean waves, beachside bush camp Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef offers get-back-to-nature charm in intimate under-canvas enclaves. Tent 5 is a 'suite' with an extended deck and living area.

4. KANOPI HOUSE, Jamaica

This sky-skimming treetop trysting spot between the Blue Lagoon and the Blue Mountains has more green credentials than you can shake a sustainably-sourced stick at, so eco-tourists can enjoy its staggering skyline views and locally caught lobster guilt-free. Sat deep in the rainforest, flanked by 100-foot, vine-wrapped banyans, Kanopi House's beautifully crafted in-canopy cabins take treehouse living to new heights. Almond Tree has a huge, hand-carved four-poster and doors that open onto the rainforest. Spanish Elm is the largest treehouse, with its own dining and lounge area, an alfresco shower and a wraparound deck fit for a filmstar.

5. CHATEAU DE ST PATERNE, Normandy, France

All the world's a stage, according to Shakespeare, but nowhere provides a more fitting setting for your own romantic drama than this French fairytale castle in the heart of the Loire, where mediaeval King Henri IV once laid his head. Every room is dressed with individually-sourced vintage props - a floral garland here, a needlework footstool there. With an open bathroom, vast wooden bed and a wall covered in a hand-painted 19th-century backdrop from Barcelona, the self-contained Superior Suite L'Orangerie is theatrical, seductive and soundproof.

6. PONTA DOS GANCHOS, Santa Catarina, Brazil

An unparalleled private paradise on a secluded stretch of Brazil's southern coastline, this relaxed rainforest retreat is set on its own peninsula, fringed by tropical trees, oyster beds and sparkling blue sea. Each individual bungalow has a king-size bed, walk-in wardrobe and hammock on the veranda. Steam up in the sauna of a Super Luxo Bungalow then head out to the wooden deck for bubbles and bay views in the jacuzzi; or live the high life in the Special Emerald Villa Bungalow - pick your own wines from its cellar, pretend to work out in its underground gym and float carefree its infinity pool.

7. MUTHI MAYA Khao Yai, Thailand

If calm and tranquility are your favorite romantic escape partners, you won't find better bedfellows anywhere other than at Muthi Maya. Overlooking the UNESCO-protected Khao Yai wildlife park with a breathtaking backdrop of mist-wreathed mountains, this supremely serene resort provides stress-melting views and an atmosphere so relaxed you'll stay supine for days. Guests stay in one of several spectacular private villas, each with its own infinity pool, day-bed-strewn decking, kitchenette and 24-hour butler service.

8. MISSONI HOTEL, Edinburgh, Scotland

With the opening of this most stylish of weekend abodes, Edinburgh has cast off any last vestiges of dour but diligent schoolmarmishness, and embraced a far more Italianate credo of passion, fun and intensity. Clad in Missoni's vivid trademark color combinations and eyepopping geometric patterns, this boutique bolthole is the perfect place for worn-out shoppers to curl up and canoodle. All the suites have settle-into-me circular sofas for two and fantastic city views; the Lawnmarket Suite occupies a 16th-century building and feels like a loft apartment, with beautiful beamed ceilings and vistas stretching across the rooftops to the Arthur's Seat.

9. POST RANCH INN, Big Sur, California

Like some grand architectural dream from the pages of Ayn Rand's masterpiece The Fountainhead, the Bauhuas-meets-Middle-Earth cabins and cottages at Post Ranch Inn are strung along a rocky-ridged slip of Californian cliff. These recycled-redwood rooms offer total seclusion and nothing but soaring condors, starry nights, breathtaking views and a wood-burning fire for company; you won't ever feel a sense of space and freedom like this anywhere else. The Ross room has a triple veranda to make the most of those awe-inspiring landscapes and scarlet-streaked sunset skies.

10. PERENTZADA HOTEL, Ithaca, Greece

Perched above the seafaring town of Vathi, a former neoclassical naval college has been transformed into a light-filled boutique hotel. Modern design combines with whitewashed romance to create an irresistible harbor haven that would have had Odysseus hurrying home quicker than you could say 'seductive sea sirens'. Style aficionados will swoon over every stick of furniture in Bluebell, a junior suite with iconic pieces such as an Eames rocking chair and a private terrace offering uninterrupted sea views. The multi-level bathroom has glass walls, a sunken bath and a walk-in monsoon shower. In the original building, try the Secret Room or the Fairy Tale; they have muslin-draped four-posters, beamed ceilings and lines of Greek poetry inscribed on the walls.