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50 Romantic Retreats

Taha'a Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, FRENCH POLYNESIA If you've always thought Gauguin had it right when he swapped Paris for Tahiti, then this newly opened 60-room resort is bound to light your tiki torch. Each bungalow is airy, with bark cloth paintings, dried-leaf light fixtures, and a private plunge pool. There's plenty to keep active guests busy, but quality time is best spent lying on your backs, side by side, during banana-leaf wraps and vanilla-oil massages. Or reenact Gauguin's Two Nudes on a Tahitian Beach with a picnic of champagne on a deserted atoll.
Doubles from $540; Motu Tautau, Society Islands 800/841-4145 or 689/608-400; www.pearlresorts.com

natural wonders
Surround yourself with the outdoors and use it as your inspiration—its lack of restraint, its changing moods, its voluptuous sensuality

Eichardt's Private Hotel, NEW ZEALAND In Queenstown's cool climate, the best way to stay warm is with possum-fur throw rugs, open fires, champagne, deep double baths, and someone you love. Eichardt's five handsome suites offer almost all of the above (you'll need to bring your own companion) plus serene views across Lake Wakatipu and beyond to snowcapped Walter Peak.
Doubles from $470; Marine Parade, Queenstown, N.Z.; 64-3/441-0450; www.eichardts.co.nz

King Pacific Lodge, BRITISH COLUMBIA Wilderness-lovers are making the trip up the north coast by floatplane to a 17-suite retreat without phones or televisions. No need to share a sleeping bag: luxury accommodations prevail, along with guided hikes in bear country; midnight kayak trips through phosphorescent waters; and soaks in deep Osaka tubswith bath salts, petals, and floating candles. The staff will even prepare a picnic and drop you both on a beach alone, with only a walkie-talkie to connect you to the outside world.
Doubles from $4,600 for a three-night package (May-September); Princess Royal Island; 888/592-5464 or 604/987-5452; www.rosewoodhotels.com

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, TANZANIA Longing to play Tarzan and Jane?Then climb up to one of 10 tree houses high in a mahogany forest, on the shores of remote Lake Manyara. Only 20 guests are allowed at a time—which means a personal butler and a private wraparound viewing deck for every couple. From that vantage point you get open vistas of the rugged landscape, and perfect sight lines for the lions, elephants, and ibex that roam the camp below.
Doubles from $950, all-inclusive; 27-11/809-4300; www.ccafrica.com

L'Auberge de Sedona, ARIZONA Before you walk into one of the 33 redesigned cottages—furnished with French provincial armoires, mahogany beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and enough crimson fabric to carpet a stadium—the mood is set. Red, the color of love, is everywhere in Sedona, from the weather-worn canyon to the blooms on the cacti. The concierge will direct you to the least-trafficked hiking trails, and can arrange a balloon ride or pink jeep tour through the fiery canyons. And on warmer days, even in winter, active hours spent outdoors are rewarded with dinner served beside a trickling stream.
Cottages from $315; 800/272-6777 or 928/282-1661; www.lauberge.com

Lion Sands, SOUTH AFRICA Settle into your River Lodge or South Camp suite outfitted in Old African style, then take advantage of what's included: late-night astronomy sessions, guided full-moon walks, and lamplit dinners in the bush. Only one lucky couple per night can experience the landscape in an outdoor bed elevated above the veld and draped in mosquito netting. From there, instead of sheep, you can (safely) count animal eyes reflecting red in the moonlight.
Doubles from $830, all-inclusive; 27-13/735-5000; www.lionsands.com


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