What are these criteria?
They are several: First, the destinations must themselves be of
interest to sophisticated travelers. Thus, we include here numerous cities
that have cultural, political or historic importance; rural retreats where
one can enjoy world-class gardens, stroll through pleasant country paths or
admire views of mountains, lakes, rivers or streams; especially scenic and
interesting resorts; and picturesque towns, villages and hamlets.
Second, the hotel, inn, chateau, castle or other place of accommodation
we recommend must be worthy in our opinion of a “five star” rating,
combining excellent dining, attractive public spaces, fine service, impeccable
condition and good location.
Third, the rooms we recommend must be very special: they must be “rooms
with a view” that are spacious, open and sun-lit, with multiple, large
windows, preferably on the corner, and they must have well designed and attractively
decorated interiors with comfortable sitting areas. We look for rooms with
balconies or terraces, particularly when the view from them is exceptional.
And it is essential that our perspective when we lie in bed be unrestricted,
since we think that it greatly diminishes the experience to have the view from
the bed confined to looking at walls or doors or other obstacles that separate
the viewer from the openness of the room or rooms beyond. For this reason,
the photographs of the rooms we recommend show the view they have from the
bed, as well as from the windows or terraces, so that you, the prospective
traveler, can see what they look like from these perspectives for yourselves.
Of course, our criteria means that the rooms we recommend will
not be inexpensive and so our recommendations are for affluent travelers and
those who wish to enjoy the very best on that very special romantic occasion.
And the best is difficult to find. It is not enough simply to ask
the hotel manager or a travel agent for the most expensive room or suite in
any given hotel. Often that means an “executive suite”, a pair
(or trio) of rooms that commonly are large in dimension but frequently are
short in charm. It will take numerous phone calls, faxes, e-mails and website
viewing to find the really special rooms that are available in the grand hotels
in which you may wish to stay, and in many instances no amount of diligence
on your part will uncover them until you arrive at the hotel, are displeased
by the room assigned to you when it is shown to you and go searching the hotel
for what you really want. We know, for we have done this ourselves repeatedly
before finding the quality rooms we have depicted in this work. And we are
pleased now to offer them to you with our hope that you will enjoy them as
much as we did.
Since romantic rooms deserve flowers, we have included in rooms shown in this publication images
of flower arrangements courtesy of www.800florals.com