Where Is the World’s Most Romantic Spot to Propose?
Where is the best place to get engaged? Writer Claire Wrathall shares her selection of the world’s most romantic spots.
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love and marriage are in the air. You’ll never forget the site and circumstances of your marriage proposal, so naturally you want to choose a setting that is appropriate to the occasion. So where do you think is the most romantic place to pop the question? Here are four spots that are sure to appeal to the romantic in all of us.
Paris: The Cristal Room at Maison Baccarat
There really is a sense that you have passed, like Alice Through the Looking Glass, into a topsy-turvy world when you enter Maison Baccarat on Paris’ Place des Etats Unis, the former palace of Marie-Laure de Noailles, fabled party giver or donna des fêtes magiques, as the French put it. Designed by Philippe Starck at his most whimsical and fantastical, it’s museum-cum-showroom for the upscale crystal brand, filled with over- (and under-) size furniture and installations that play tricks with your vision and sense of perspective. It also has a restaurant in what was its châtelaine’s dining room, the Cristal Room, a place of wafting pink chiffon, black chandeliers, gilding and velvet-upholstered walls ceilings. Utterly romantic and just a little decadent. Get engaged here, and you’ll always have Paris.
Shanghai: The Cupola
Three on the Bund, the first steel-framed structure in China and formerly an insurance company, is now a glamorously reconfigured complex containing an Armani store, Evian spa, the Shanghai Gallery of Art and a number of restaurants. The jewel in its crown, however, is The Cupola, a hidden domed dining room right at the top, a stunning space so exclusive and, it has to be said, small, that two diners and a butler (who will knock before he enters) is all it can accommodate. The food comes from the kitchens of Jean Georges [Vongerichten’s] restaurant (or Xavier Mauerhofer’s New Heights or Yap Poh Weng’s Whampoa Club, if you prefer; or perhaps a course from each) downstairs, and the neon-lit futuristic 360-degree cityscape views are like nothing you’ve ever encountered.
Bora Bora: Sunset Over Mount Otemanu
There are few more extraordinary places from which to watch the sun set than the veranda of one of the overwater bungalows at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. For there, across the turquoise lagoon, rise the dramatic jagged peaks of the Otemanu volcano, black against the Technicolor sky. Toast your decision in champagne, and follow it with a private dîner à deux on the beach, serenaded by a trio of ukulele-playing Polynesian musicians—yes really, that’s how they do things here—though only if the mood takes you.
If the romance of the occasion prompts you to forget the ring, have no fear. The Milanese jeweller Gianmaria Buccellati has a branch in the courtyard that leads from the street, Tverskoi Bulvar, into Turandot (26/5 Tverskoi Bulvar, Moscow; 7 495/739-0011), a gorgeously palatial restaurant. Named after Puccini’s opera of a Chinese princess reluctant to commit to a suitor, this is a place to put you—improbably—in mind of Versailles (the staff are periwigged and in 18th-century dress), though the eclectic menu is essentially Chinese. The extravagantly gilded downstairs dining room is perhaps better suited to an intimate dîner à deux than the noisier one upstairs, which is lit as it is by a 1.5-ton crystal chandelier and crowned by ice-blue dome painted with clouds, but both are utterly romantic.
Now, it’s your turn. Where do you think is the most romantic spot to propose?