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50 Romantic Escapes

Hugh Stewart

Photo: Hugh Stewart

Michelin three-starred chef Michel Bras continues to bring big-city cooking to his hometown of Laguiole in this high-tech, glass-walled restaurant. From a table overlooking a dramatic bluff, you can watch the sun set over the French countryside while sampling Bras's legendary fried foie gras, fillet of Aubrac beef, and herbed ice cream made with wild local meadowsweet.
T+L TIP After dinner, head upstairs to one of the 15 rooms. 33-5/65-51-18-20; www.michel-bras.com; dinner for two $275.

FRANCE La Ferme du Mont-Mussy
The rustic Ferme du Mont-Mussy, in the foothills of the Jura mountains along the Swiss border, has neither running water nor electricity, but that doesn't stop the chef-owners from tempting visitors with guinea fowl and mushrooms in the fall, strawberries and young asparagus in the spring. Sip a brandy and make sure you have nowhere to go afterward—fast food is definitely not part of the local lexicon.
T+L TIP Take a table under the canopy of trees and catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc across the lake. Then get a little lost on the nearby walking trails. Divonne-les-Bains; 33-4/50-20-24-52; www.montmussy.com; lunch for two $35.

CAYMAN ISLANDS Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Two new restaurants have chef Eric Ripert (of New York's Le Bernardin) at the helm, and no one does fish better. Blue and Periwinkle, situated along the waterways that pulse through the British-colonial resort's 144 acres, marry fresh seafood to Caribbean flavors in a modern, nautical-inspired setting.
T+L TIP Schedule a private sailing and have the captain drop you off on Periwinkle's terrace for grilled shrimp in a papaya-orange vierge sauce. Seven Mile Beach; 800/241-3333; www.ritzcarlton.com; dinner for two $90 (Periwinkle), $170 (Blue).

HONOLULU The Hanohano Room
The 30-story ride in a private glass elevator to the grand Hanohano Room at the Sheraton Waikiki is the perfect occasion to steal a kiss. Once you've arrived, settle into a table with views of Diamond Head and the Waikiki surf breaks to the east and Honolulu's city lights and the Koolau Range to the west. Chef Ron Amasol is winning fans for modernizing the menu with crisp-skinned Hawaiian threadfish in cilantro-ogo sauce and rice cracker–coated jumbo shrimp doused with sesame tartar sauce.
T+L TIP Book a table for six o'clock on the west side of the restaurant for the best sunset views in the winter months. 2255 Kalakaua Ave.; 888/488-3535; www.sheraton.com; dinner for two $125.

ARGENTINA Cavas Wine Lodge
Chef Sebastián Flores runs the tiny candlelit restaurant of this 14-room property, set on 35 acres outside Mendoza, offering plates such as rib-eye steak with a pepper chimichurri sauce. Dine with a view of the mountains to the sound of chirping crickets, then sleep it off in an adobe villa with a private plunge pool.
T+L TIP Order a bottle of Quimera 2002—an acclaimed blend from the nearby Achaval Ferrer estate—from the lodge's well-stocked private cellar. Agrelo; 54-261/410-6651; www.cavaswinelodge.com; dinner for two $50.

Off the Grid

CHILE Amilik
Chosen for the lightness of their footprint on 586 acres of unspoiled wilderness in Chile's remote lake district, Amilik's 10 luxury guest suites (with billowing platform beds) are linked together by elevated paths. Guided treks take you through emerald forest, and holistic treatments emphasize mystical Mapuche Indian therapies.
T+L TIP Dine in the forest under a canopy of stars, or in the floating restaurant, where dishes are prepared with ingredients from the resort's organic farm. Puelo Lake; 877/532-6737; www.amilik.com; doubles from $1,000, all-inclusive.

NAMIBIA Ntwala Island Lodge
It doesn't get much more out there than this: at the junction where four African countries and two major rivers meet, a series of islands are linked by floating walkways. On one of the islets stand the four spacious villas that make up the Ntwala Island Lodge. Each one comes with its own plunge pool and private beach. Can you say bliss?
T+L TIP February through April is the rainy season, the best time of year to soar over Victoria Falls, only a 30-minute charter flight from Ntwala. Kasane; 27-11/706-7207; www.islandsinafrica.com; doubles from $610.


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