When we first took on the assignment of looking for the sexiest hotels in the world, we thought it would be easy to come up with a short list, and then we thought—well, what makes a hotel sexy anyway? That in itself is quite subjective since sexy means different things to different people—it could be a property in a sexy city, perhaps Hong Kong or New York; it could be a property that drips with tantalizing couples’ spa treatments; or it could be a property in a romantic destination like Paris or the Fiji Islands. But as we zigzagged around the world looking for the ultimate in a hotel stay, we kept getting lured by hotels that had one thing in common—drop-dead gorgeous views. Beyond the pampered indulgences, inspired amenities, exclusive guestrooms and outstanding guest services, the three properties we finally decided to put on a pedestal offer the ultimate when it comes to “a room with a view.”
the twelve apostles hotel and spa, south africa Voted one of the “Best Places to Stay in the World” on the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2010, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is truly one of the most magnificent properties in the world. This 55-room and 15-suite resort is flanked by Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, and sits regally overlooking the Atlantic Ocean—in other words, “a stunning location” doesn’t even begin to do the surrounding scenery justice. Located only a few minutes from Cape Town in South Africa, this five-star hotel is tucked away on its own paradise setting. Here, romantic imaginations gain inspiration from picnic lunches amidst wilderness trails, walks along golden beaches, and vineyard explorations. The guestrooms are just as evocative, offering an airy and peaceful ambiance with an eclectic mix of contemporary African style, classic European comfort, and effortless, up-to-the-minute technology. The rooms’ cool colors and rich fabrics bring about an elegant and serene ambiance, and couples will have a hard time choosing between sea or mountain views. The Asian-inspired Sanctuary Spa is otherworldly, luring in spa-goers with a masterfully created tranquil environment. The hotel’s Honeymoon package includes accommodations; unpacking of luggage upon check-in; English breakfast in bed; a selection of romantic DVDs served with popcorn and hot chocolate one evening; bottle of wine; rose petal and candle turndown; a 60-minute dual mountain gazebo massage; a Romantic Moments in-room dining and more. Rates start at approximately $634 per room per night.
eagles nest, new zealand The fact that this 75-acre retreat is home to only six villas is reason enough to get weak in the knees—this is utmost privacy at its best. But it’s the spectacular location—a private peninsula overlooking the Bay of Islands in New Zealand—that really sets this “estate,” as the property calls itself, over the top. That’s enough to lure couples looking for paradise, but those with a penchant for the good life will also go head over heels for Eagles Nest’s personal chefs, personal trainer and spa therapists. Couples can wander off to explore the Bay of Islands, made up of over 150 islands and where they can go sailing, diving, bush walking, helicopter flightseeing, engage in a cultural experience with a local Maori or indulge in a romantic picnic. But with names like First Light and Sacred Space, it’s those villas that really set this retreat apart. The property points to the 2-person First Light as the most romantic of villas, with seascape views, a floor-to-ceiling glass shower, a louvered skylight over the bed, an indoor/outdoor fireplace and bi-folding glass walls that open onto a sundeck with a pathway that leads to a private jacuzzi nestled in the native bush. The resort’s Luxury Honeymoon package includes 4-night accommodations in First Light, champagne upon arrival, box of handmade local chocolates, fruit platter, two 1-hour massages, a 20-minute private helicopter tour, chef-prepared dinner nightly with wine, and more. Approximately $1,700 per night.
For couples seeking a less far-flung locale, but no less exotic, there’s a Caribbean refuge that has us all giddy. The Viceroy Anguilla is pure heaven. The guestrooms are phenomenal, the setting to die for and those views—we just can’t tear our eyes away. Situated on 35 lush acres, with more than 3,200 ft. of beach frontage along Barnes and Meads bays, this little piece of heaven evokes a laid-back yet polished ambiance. Here, everything is complemented by exquisite scenery—whether that’s the 166 superbly designed accommodations; the signature restaurant, Coba; the Sunset Lounge and cliffside Half Shell beach bar; the spa; or the Sunset Pool, which also offers romantic nooks and lounging beds. There are custom-designed oceanfront villas, beachfront suites, and blufftop guestrooms, all with private pools, but tell the romantically inclined to go for the rooftop suites, overlooking the Caribbean Sea with their own balcony and circular staircase leading to the rooftop deck, with a private pool. The 7-night Honeymoon package includes accommodations in a rooftop suite; an aphrodisiac tasting menu, with candles surrounding the pool, plus champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries; nightly amenities; daily breakfast for two (including one breakfast served in bed), one couple’s massage; and a 3-course, candlelit dinner beachside or blufftop. From $935 per night.