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Hotels Made for Romance

Palatial Opulence: Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

The newest Shangri-La was originally built for Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon’s grandnephew, who took up residence at the hôtel particulier from 1896 until his death in 1924. Interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon drew upon the Directoire and Empire periods—with a dash of Asian fusion—to restore the property in a manner worthy of its gilded, hand-painted, mosaic- and mahogany-trimmed heyday. The 81 rooms are like Parisian pieds-á-terre, and half have Eiffel Tower views. Nearly as many feature private terraces or balconies.

10 Ave. d’Iéna, 16th Arr.; 866/565-5050 or 33-1/53-67-19-98; shangri-la.com; doubles from $990.

Wildlife Camp: Arkaba Station, Flinders Ranges National Park, Australia

From an 1856 homestead deep in the southern Australian outback, guides lead groups of up to eight on a four-day, 30-mile route through Flinders Ranges National Park. (Your bags await each evening at camp, along with dinner and a hot outdoor shower.) Plush beds and feather duvets on open-air wooden platforms ensure a good night’s rest, although the wilderness doesn’t lack for background noise: Listen for the call of kookaburras and currawongs at dawn and dusk, a kind of outback melody.

61-2/9571-6399; arkabastation.com; from $1,950 per person for a four-day trip, all-inclusive.

Safari Lodge : Olarro, Masai Mara, Kenya

On a hill in a private reserve within the Maji Moto Group Ranch, owned by the local Masai people, this eco-lodge was designed by Anthony Russell, the architect and conservationist behind the award-winning Shompole. The curvaceous thatched-roof structure, built to blend in with the landscape, houses seven guest cottages with polished flagstone floors. The lodge borders the area’s wildebeest migration route; get a front-row seat on your veranda, or book a helicopter ride for a bird’s-eye view of the action.

Masai Mara National Reserve; 254-721/921-966; olarrokenya.com; doubles from $1,370, all-inclusive.

Forest Sanctuary: Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima, Yakushima, Japan

A sense of mystery and magic pervades this secluded retreat on a southern Japanese island covered in old-growth cedars—said to be the inspiration for Princess Mononoke, the 1997 anime masterpiece from director Hayao Miyazaki. The 28 airy suites and villas have sliding screens and delicate porcelain cups from Kyoto. Book the Sankara Suite and ask a spa attendant to draw a bath for two in the open-air tub, where you can contemplate the scroll-like setting of mist-swirled mountains.

553 Haginoue, Mugio, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima; 81-997/473-488; sankarahotel-spa.com; doubles from $515.

City Scene: The Redbury, Los Angeles

The latest from developer Sam Nazarian of SLS Hotels, the 57-room Redbury gives guests preferred access and car service to its buzzy sister properties (Michael Mina’s XIV restaurant; the Colony nightclub). The splashy, eclectic décor—think suzani textiles and nouveau-Rococo furniture—was masterminded by the hotel’s creative director, fashion photographer Matthew Rolston. The Redbury even has its own fragrance, a rich plumeria with oriental notes that greets you at the valet-parking station.

1717 Vine St.; 323/962-1717; theredbury.com; doubles from $299.


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