100 Small Romantic
Hotels & Places

Come discover 100 of the most romantic small hotels and places in the world.


Romantic Places in India

Northern India

Old desert caravans carried goods eastward from the Himalayas through an historic Mughal empire landscape.

Indian Himalayas

Where the Macedonians marched, the Guptas ruled, and the British raj fled to escape New Delhi’s oppressive summer heat. The Himalayan foothills of northeastern India have terraced hillsides carved out of dense forests; its upper regions are mighty and snowcapped.


Narendra Nagar, Tehri Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh, India

Turn of the century palace built by the Maharajah of Tehri Garhwal and used by the British viceroy as an escape from the summer heat, dust and noise of New Delhi. Now expanded into a spa retreat offering austere luxury and a place to meditate and practice Ayurveda and yoga in the land where it first began. Ananda overlooks the Ganges River, 3,280 feet below.

T: +91 13 782 7500. 75 rooms. $275-


Shimla, Himachal, Pradesh, India

Shimla, the beautiful capital of Himachal Pradesh, was once the British Raj’s summer capital. It was Shimla where Rudyard Kipling wrote and Nehru and Gandhi plotted independence. Today the “Queen of the Hill Stations” still has remnants of this time. The Oberoi Group has several fine hotels here but to experience an authentic Raj experience, stay at Chapslee, former summer home of a Rajahand now operated by his grandson as a hotel.

T: +91 177 280-2542. 6 rooms. $125-

Glenburn Tea Estate

Nr. Darjeeling, India

Stay in luxury suites with four poster beds and teak club chairs. With breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga Mountain Range, Glenburn stretches from an elevation of 3,700 feet down into a Himalayan river valley in the heart of Darjeeling tea country. Originally a 19th century British planter’s house and estate, Glenburn has been meticulously restored by one of India’s pioneering tea families, the Prakashes, who now own it.

T: +91 33 2288 5630. 4 Suites in Burra Bungalow. $400, incl. meals.


17th and 18th century Mughal Emperors made Agra the capital of  India. The area contains superb Mughal monuments, including the magnificent Agra Fort. It also the “most extravagant monument ever built for love”, India’s Taj Mahal, one of the most romantic places in the world. Located in central Northern India.


Taj East Gate Road, Taj Nagri Scheme, Agra

From every room, a view of the Taj Mahal.

T: +91 562 231515. 105 rooms. US$ 370-

Western India, Rajasthan

Grand palaces and majestic forts along northwest India’s ancient silk route and its Mughul-ruled lands. Stay in a thakur’s (a gentleman land-owner, the equivalent of an English lord) home, now open to paying guests.

Rohet Garh

Nr. Jodhpur, District Pali, Rajasthan, India

A palace fortress, immensely old and having seen grander days, today a fully staffed home of a thakur couple, descendants of the first thakur to own the palace. Old photographs of tiger shoots and bejeweled maharajas usher you into the fairy-tale world of pre-independence days.

T: +91 291 311611. US$ 36-

Mihir Garh

Knandi, Rohet, District Pali, Rajasthan, India

Enormous suites in this newly built palatial fortress hotel located one hour south of Jodhpur. They stable Marwai horses and provide guide-led safaris through the desert to nearby tribal villages. Camel rides too.

T: +91 964 6169 665. 9 rooms. US$ 300-

Samode Haveli

District Jaipur, Rajasthan, Samode, India

An intimate nobleman’s house located in the streets of Old Jaipur. Recently refubrished, it is still owned by the family’s descendants.

T: +91 141 263-2370. US$ 200-


Ranthambhore Rd., Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India

India’s first jungle resort is located near the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve—formerly the private hunting grounds of the maharahajs of Jaipur—and now one of the best places on earth to view tigers in the wild. The luxury tents are decorated with breezy sari fabrics, Burmese teak furniture and tiger-striped carpets.

T: +91 7462 23999. 29 tents. US$ 500-

Southern India

Popular beaches line the coast.


The land of surf, spices and coconuts, Kerala is located on a sliver of land between the blue Adriatic Sea and the dramatic Western Ghats mountains on India’s southernmost tip. Kerala is a popular destination with Europeans seeking Ayurvedic de-toxing treatments.

Coconut Lagoon

Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Guests stay in tharawads (traditional wooden cottages) and travel by kettu-vallam (rice boat) in this tropical region of inland waterways, rivers, and lakes.

T: +91 481 524491. 42 cottages. US$ 105-

Malabar House

Fort Cochin, Malabar Coast, Kerala, India

Containing a stylish mix of antiques and modern furnishings, the former colonial mansion is located in the historical district of Fort Cochin.

T: +91 484 216 666


India’s west coast has beaches, Portuguese history and architecture, and a decades-old reputation as an alluring anything-goes party destination. Avoid the overdeveloped southern beach areas filled with hotels and package tourists and go up river and north.


Near Asvem, Goa

Secret beachside setting on a private ten acre spit of land located between the Arabian Sea and a creek. Originally a 19th century family’s summertime retreat the current descendant – a well known fashion photographer – has opened it up to paying guests.

T: +91 982 003 7387. 3 cottages and 3 tents. US$ 125-

Lakshaweep Archipelago

Located 200 miles off the coast of Kerala, these coral islands are India’s smallest union territory. Only 1,500 visitors come a year because of the government’s conservative initiative.

Bangaram Island Resort

Lakshadweep Islands

34 teak beach huts on 128 island acres featuring turquoise blue lagoons, silvery beaches and lush green coconut palms. A total escape from the world: no t.v. or phones.

T: +91 484 266 8221. 30 rooms. US$ 290-

Maldives, Indian Ocean

A necklace of balmy islands southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, favored by Europeans.

Soneva Fushi

Kundfunadhoo Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives

Environmentally sympathetic with a luxurious and natural rustic sensibility, this fashionable retreat was created by the scion of a wealthy Indian family and his Swedish wife, a former model.

T: +960-230 304/5. 65 villas. US$ 560-

Seychelles, Indian Ocean

The Seychelles are among the world’s most enchantingly remote romantic places: Indian Ocean islands with spotless beaches, rare birds, giant palms, warm water swimming and snorkeling.

Chateau de Feuilles

Pointe Cabris – Baie Sainte-Anne, Ile de Praslin, Seychelles

Rooms with views of the ocean and neighboring islands.

T: +248 233 316. 10 rooms. US$ 400-

The Andaman Islands

These 572 islands are located in the Bay of Bengal and form the western perimeter of the Andaman Sea. While the eastern fringes of the Andaman Sea are famous for the upscale beach resort islands of Phuket and Langkawi, the Andaman Islands still retain the original wild and untamed character of this pocket of South East Asia. Only a few Andaman Islands permit tourism.

Barefoot at Havelock

Beach No. 7, Havelock Island, Andaman Islands

Take a two hour flight from Mumbai, a one hour boat ride, and 30 minute drive on a primitive road to reach one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Asia. 15 nearby dive spots are filled with exotic fish but nothing beat a swim with Rajan, the hotel’s tusked male elephant.

T: +91 319 228-2151.18 thatched-roof cottages. US$ 100-