10 over-the-top places to get engaged
If a marriage proposal is on your horizon, it may be the perfect time to plan a luxurious vacation for two. We searched all over the world—from India and the Maldives to Mexico and Canada—for romantic and decadent hotels where you can relax on the beach, take in famous landmarks, and oh yeah, get engaged.
County Clare, Ireland: Dromoland Castle
The wow factor: Proposal via a flying hawk
At Dromoland Castle, a grand hotel set on Ireland's spectacular and unspoiled West Coast, couples can go crazy with posh outdoorsy activities like horseback riding, skeet shooting, and falconry. In fact, grooms-to-be can request a hawk to swoop in and deliver the ring while he gets down on one knee. (Trust us, the bird will not eat your diamond—they are strict carnivores.)
Proposal package, including a two-night stay, lake cruise, falconry, breakfast, and spa treatments, from $2,551, Dromoland Castle
Agra, India: Oberoi Amarvilas
The wow factor: Proposal at one of the "new" seven wonders of the world
Check into this opulent resort and you will be in the backyard of the Taj Mahal—1,900 feet away, to be exact. All 102 utterly lavish rooms at the Oberoi, done up in marbles and teaks, overlook this domed monument to a beloved wife, built in 1632. Celebrate your engagement with a three-hour "Spirit of Ayurveda" treatment, which incorporates traditional massage and shiordhara, where warm oil is drizzled over your third eye to calm the mind.
Rooms from $760, Oberoi Amarvilas
Santorini, Greece: Mystique
The wow factor: Proposal in a hidden wine cave
Arguably the most romantic of the Greek isles, Santorini's sunsets are legendary. Couples can watch the sun sink into the Aegean Sea in total privacy from the 150-year-old-wine cellar at this tiny, cream-colored resort—all over a multi-course feast of sea urchin salad, and mussels marinated in fresh coriander and crisp vinsanto wine. Of course, after you say yes, you'll have plenty of time to lounge by the infinity pool or in your airy, white-washed suite.
Rooms from $667, Mystique
Montreal, Canada: Ice Hotel in the Snow Village
The wow factor: Proposal in a polar igloo
It's practically mandatory to cuddle in this place, an unbelievably cool (yes, pun intended) mini-town carved entirely from ice, and open January through March. Every year, there's a different theme (this past one was New York, so buildings were replicas of places in the Big Apple). For those staying the night, the 25-room Ice Hotel is split up into different categories: standard rooms (set in the main building), prestige suites, and polar igloos (free-standing ice domes). Guests are given high-tech thermal sleeping bags to keep warm. There's also a highly popular Pommery ice restaurant, and yes, even a chapel made of ice, if you can't wait to wed.
Rooms from $199, Ice Hotel in the Snow Village
Costa Alegre, Mexico: Las Alamandas
The wow factor: Proposal on a private beach
This untouristed part of Mexico between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo has a spectacular coastline—think craggy cliffs, separated by wide swaths of sand as far as the eye can see. The place to stay is Isabel Goldsmith Patino's famous Las Alamandas, a hacienda-style hideaway done up in eye-popping pinks and yellows, with three drop-dead gorgeous beaches. And though in Mexico, all beaches are technically open to the public, these gems are so remote you won't see anyone, or hear anything, but the sound of crashing waves.
Rooms from $371, Las Alamandas
Paris, France: The Shangri-La Hotel
The wow factor: Proposal with a view of the Eiffel Tower
Yes, he could propose at the base of the Eiffel Tower—but you'd have to contend with all those tourists. Enter the Shangri-La, the former home of Napoleon's grand-nephews, where over half of the rooms come with heart-stopping views of Paris's most famous monument. No other hotel in the City of Light has vistas like this—truly, from your bedroom window, you'll feel like you can reach out and touch the Eiffel Tower. Champagne + ring + twinkling tower = a yes, for sure.
Eiffel Tower rooms from $1,500, Shangri-La Hotel
London, England: The Four Seasons Park Lane
The wow factor: Proposal in a spa set high in the sky
City spas are often cramped and crowded, an after-thought in the basement. Not this penthouse-level stunner at the Four Seasons, offering sweeping, 360-degree views of all of London. One a clear day, you can see Big Ben and the London Eye, and all nine treatment rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows. Reserve an hour in the Sky Suite, which comes with a two-person steam shower and magnificent views of Hyde Park, and he can propose pre-massage.
Sky Suite from $228, hotel rooms from $778, Four Seasons Park Lane, London, England
The Maldives: Huvafen Fushi
The wow factor: Proposal in a spa set underwater
Huge with the celeb crowd (Fergie, Kate Moss, Katy Perry) the Maldives are famous for their outrageous resorts—often set on private spits of sand—turquoise waters, and intuitive service. At Huvafen Fushi the pampering gets taken to a whole other level (beneath the sea!) at their spa, home to the world's first underwater treatment rooms. Book the couples' suite, and you can watch rays swim by as he gets down on one knee.
Underwater rituals from $230, hotel rooms from $1,000, Huvafen Fushi
Nevis: Montpelier Plantation Inn
The wow factor: Proposal in a 300-year-old sugar mill
Nevis, a low-key Caribbean island, has loads of gorgeously-decayed plantation ruins, many of which have been converted to intimate boutique hotels. At the 19-room Montpelier Plantation Inn, couples can request a private dinner (gingerbread crusted rack of lamb, anyone?) in a towering 300-year old mill—you'll be surrounded by hand-cut stone walls and glowing candlelight.
Rooms from $345, Montpelier Plantation Inn