Inspired by Valentine’s Day, Luxury Defined presents five sumptuous homes in some of the world’s most romantic locales, special places for a proposal of marriage, a wedding, a honeymoon, an anniversary. Paris is the place for proposals, and a vintage pied-à-terre overlooking the River Seine and Eiffel Tower awaits. A wedding in Manhattan in a luxury West Chelsea loft puts all of New York City’s glamour and excitement at your feet. Consider a permanent honeymoon in a tropical lakefront villa on the island of Kauai, or within the walled gardens of a Spanish-Colonial hacienda in Mexico’s romantic San Miguel de Allende, or in a fairytale Renaissance palace overlooking the Eternal City. Remember: The world will always welcome lovers.
And in the service of St. Valentine, we have gathered the advice of experts on how best to celebrate the revels of the heart, whether popping the question, tying the knot, honeymooning, or dancing the anniversary waltz.
Gay Paree! Epicurean delights, high fashion, fine art—no city can surpass the City of Lights, and of love. The mother of romantic destinations for honeymooners and dreamers alike, but if a proposal is in the cards, make it in Paris to make it unforgettable. The wedding planning website The Knot concurs: “Paris is full of urban parks and gardens, and the beautiful Seine River runs right through its heart. Tease your beloved by visiting all the standard pop-the-question spots—the Eiffel Tower, the steps of Montmartre and Luxembourg Gardens. But surprise them with that question on bended knee when the spirit moves you—along a romantic lamplit back street, at the tip of Ile St-Louis or in the lovely Place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris.”
Beloved by residents and visitors alike, New York City is one of the most popular destinations for a glamorous city wedding. According to The Knot, the Big Apple offers something for everyone with its “Broadway shows, museums and galleries, four-star restaurants, crazy-fun nightlife, block after block of tiny boutiques, as well as classic tourist attractions such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square.
When it comes to wedding-planning resources, too, there’s no shortage: You’ll have innumerable caterers, florists, photographers, and bands to choose from.” And it’s easy for your guests to get around: “With taxis on every block, there’s no need for them to rent a car, wrestle with maps, or designate drivers.”
Extraordinary light and scale define this converted warehouse in New York’s coveted West Chelsea Arts District. Meticulously restored and tastefully modernized, this unique home has 6,400 square feet of column-free, exposed-brick living and entertainment space with interlocking double- and triple-height ceilings and two entrances, which make it ideal for an artist, gallerist, or collector. The residence flows through multiple airy levels, accessible via a series of stairs and a footway bridge. The property includes two en suite bedrooms, a great room with living and dining areas, an open-concept kitchen, a library, office, terrace, and private garden. The zoning, as well as an additional 6,000–12,000 square feet of buildable air rights, allows for a further expansion of this dramatically proportioned home.
Mexico´s most romantic city, San Miguel de Allende is consistently ranked among the top destinations in the world. “The beautiful Spanish-colonial city in the Mexican Highlands is also the top wedding destination in Mexico, hosting up to a dozen weddings each weekend,” says Ann Dolan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CDR San Miguel, the exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region. “Brides are drawn to the city’s history, culture, magnificent architecture, and warm ambience. There are the traditional parades of the wedding party that pass through the cobblestone streets serenaded by mariachis; beautiful churches are the ceremonial heart, while elegant intimate venues play host to bustling receptions.”
Brides are drawn to the city’s history, culture, and warm ambience.
One of Ann’s most exclusive listings is Casa Key He, a romantic hacienda in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. This lavish residence features 12,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor living spaces, ideal for entertaining on an intimate or grand scale. The two-story foyer features an elegant curved stairway with a chandelier by award-winning sculptor Ana Thiel. A loggia opens to the pool, Jacuzzi, and barbecue area; it is flanked by two guest wings. The reception rooms include a formal dining room, living room, and a bar, which leads to a wine cellar. The second floor houses the master suite, gym, office, an additional guest suite, and a loggia with sweeping vistas of San Miguel. Casa Key He has every possible amenity: 24-hour security, Wi-Fi, Sonos sound system, water filtration, 10 fireplaces, radiant heat. The residence is offered fully furnished and even includes a stocked kitchen.
With its breathtaking architecture, meandering cobblestone streets, romantic trattorias, and legendary history—the Eternal City is a certainly at the top of anyone’s life list, but for honeymooners, it provides a truly unforgettable experience. “Rome is truly a feast for the senses,” says The Knot. “Rome contains as many perfect backdrops for romance as it does churches and ancient ruins. Think: centuries-old piazzas you can amble through at sunset, charming gelaterias filled with tables for two, and the Spanish Steps, one of the landmarks on which Gregory Peck wooed Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. All this means it’s a perfect destination for couples.”
In the heart of the city, this remarkable three-story penthouse built during the height of the Renaissance has witnessed nearly six centuries of Roman history. Housed in a former 15th-century palazzo, the residence is framed by the majesty of the Piazza Venezia, the Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, and the National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II. The home has been restored and upgraded for contemporary living. The grand staircase takes residents to the formal reception area, composed of a sequence of gracious halls. The master suite is sumptuous with its ornate boudoir, dressing room, and his-and-her bathrooms—the perfect honeymoon hideaway. Five large terraces and glass-enclosed garden rooms overlooking the city are ideal for both a romantic dinner or grand-scale celebration with friends and family.
With their tropical climate and raw, natural beauty, it’s easy to understand why the Hawaiian Islands are considered among the most beautiful places in the world for a home or honeymoon. “When it comes to romance, one would be hard pressed to find a more magical destination than the island of Kauai,” says Amy Frazier, a luxury real estate broker at Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, the exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Kauai. “Beloved for the active lifestyle it offers, the island has its own intimate ambience, too, with fine restaurants, boutiques, and galleries, and world-famous beaches.” Amy offers more Kauai lifestyle tips on her blog.
When it comes to romance, one would be hard pressed to find a more magical destination than Hanalei Bay in Kauai.
This secluded compound known as Hanalei Waterfalls is one of Amy’s top listings. Two turnkey fully detached residences are privately framed by lush tropical landscaping that allow for the feeling of seclusion while still being centrally located—just a short stroll away from the beach and town. An outdoor shower adds to the romance of the surroundings, and with the town and beach just steps away from your front door, you can live, work and play without ever having to get in your car. Now that’s a romantic getaway!Explore International Luxury EstatesLucy Carsen
Christie's International Real Estate