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50 Romantic Retreats

Château de l'Isle-Marie, FRANCE Looking for a place to get away from it all, French country-style?Château de l'Isle-Marie in Normandy has what you want. Meadows and woodlands that invite promenades. Six antiques-filled guest rooms folded into a neo-Renaissance castle. Three apartments in a 17th-century manor house with toile de Jouy bed-curtains sewn by the chatelaine (a countess) herself. Even an Italianate chapel—designed by Mansart, the architect of Versailles.
Doubles from $170, apartments from $200; Picauville; 33-2/33-21-37-25; www.islemarie.com

Dar Mimosas, MOROCCO A 3 1/2-acre compound lush with bougainvillea and oleander, Dar Mimosas is for living out your craziest Moroccan fantasy—and then some. The nine seaside suites are filled with a souk's worth of traditional furnishings and crafts, including the eye-popping zelliges tiles in the bathrooms. For an exotic experience, head down to the beach for a ritual sunset camel ride.
Suites from $350; Essaouira; 212-44/475-934; www.darmimosas.com

De Koperen Hoogte, THE NETHERLANDS Atop a decommissioned municipal water tower, De Koperen Hoogte is a luxury hotel where every room comes with views of the Ijssel River and a city laced with canals in the heart of Holland. The bedroom in the Top Suite is the only place to be at night: the copper-clad tower's two-level penthouse has a moon roof that retracts to reveal the star-dappled sky.
Doubles from $360, including breakfast and dinner; 51 Lichtmisweg, Zwolle; 31-529/428-428; www.dekoperenhoogte.nl

La Maison du Village, ST.-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE This beguiling five-suite B&B on a lovely side street is the latest, news in St.-Rémy, the über-Provençal village American travelers can't seem to get enough of. Wrought-iron flea-market beds and freestanding bathtubs big enough for two offer an object lesson in l'art de vivre à la française. La Maison's residential feel makes it just the thing for anyone who has dreamed of setting up house in the south of France.
Doubles from $220, including breakfast; 10 Rue du 8 Mai 1945; 33-4/32-60-68-20; www.lamaisonduvillage.com

Lodge on the Bay, SOUTH AFRICA Set on deserted Robberg Beach in Plettenberg Bay (300 miles east of Cape Town), an arc of aquamarine visited by dolphins and whales, the six-suite streamlined lodge appeals to devotees of Arne Jacobsen and Ian Schrager. Its public spaces create a self-sufficient universe: the library holds 1,000 books, the therapists in the spa can untangle any knot, and a better than 1-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio ensures that all desires are tended to promptly. Sunrise strolls along the beach are worth an early wake-up call, but the heated bathroom floors, African-influenced room-service menu, and good company may make it difficult to leave the room.
Doubles from $345; 77 Beachyhead Dr., Plettenberg Bay; 27-44/501-2800; www.thelodgeonthebay.com

Palms Cliff House, HAWAII John and Michele Gamble held nothing back in creating a paradise at the end of a palm-lined drive, 15 minutes north of Hilo on the Big Island. The eight-room Victorian sits on a 100-foot cliff overlooking Pohakumanu Bay, and has jaw-dropping views of the blue breakers and—on clear days—snowcapped Mauna Kea. Hike down the jungly Akaka Falls Trail beside twin 400-foot cataracts to secret swimming holes, or lounge the afternoon away on the wraparound lanai, watching whales play against the horizon.
Doubles from $175, including breakfast; 28-3514 Mamalahoa Hwy., Honomu; 808/963-6076; www.thepalmshawaii.com


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