So you’ve found ‘the one’. You’re on top of the world. There’s just one small hurdle to overcome: the proposal. You’re only planning to do this once, so why not make it spectacular? No need to wait until your honeymoon to travel the world, gents; pop the question in a romantic, inventive spot and she’s bound to say yes. We’ve picked out a selection of our favorite places to take the plunge, and we solemnly swear there is not an Eiffel tower or Lover, Wiltshire reference in sight. Here are ten of the best places to pop the question – and one for luck.
A PRIVATE ISLAND
Forget the trailer for Castaway, there is something unquestioningly romantic about being marooned on a private island. One of the largest of the British Virgin Islands, Necker Island is available for hire during certain times of the year. Renting out the 74 acres of pure white sand, tropical forests and stunning shorelines gives you access to Temple House, which just so happens to be Sir Richard Branson’s private home and, unsurprisingly, Sir Richard hasn’t scrimped on any luxury. Whether you wish to pop the question whilst enjoying the gorgeous sea view from your free-standing marble bath, or after a gourmet dinner made by a Michelin trained chef, or even submerged in the impossibly clear Caribbean waters in your own 3-person submarine – the choice is yours. Sounds pretty good to us.
SURROUNDED BY BOOKSHELVES
Whether you have a love for books, history or you’re just longing for those carefree student days, there is something innately romantic about a good old fashioned library. If you are looking for a place that combines historical architecture and stunning design, look no further than the Admont Abbey Library in Austria. The largest monastery library in the world, it was built in 1776 and at 70 metres long and 13 meters high, there’s more than enough space to find a romantic spot. Bathed in natural light from the library’s 48 windows and with a ceiling adorned with frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte, this place makes a picture perfect proposal spot.
AT THE RACE TRACK
A marriage is the coming together of two people, and there is no reason the proposal shouldn’t reflect the interest of both parties. Boys, we know you know about the Monaco Grand Prix. But did you know the site of the Formula One motor race is renowned for being the location of glamour and prestige? Why not combine the excitement and fervour of the race with the allure of the Place du Casino, the five star hotels and the exclusive boutiques – very 007.
WITH THE VIEWS FROM A LIGHTHOUSE
An eternal symbol of love, lighthouses have long been the thing romantic dreams are made of. Perhaps it’s due to the undying love Quasimodo had for Esmeralda, or the breathtaking views of the ocean, but you won’t go wrong at such a beautiful spot. The Harlingen Lighthouse in the Netherlands was extinguished in 1998 and is now a one room hotel for two people only. With panoramic views and a champagne breakfast (with optional red rose delivery) it is the ideal place to pop the question.
IN A DESIGNER GARDEN
So you know your special someone likes flowers and romance, but you don’t want to fall into the trap of lining up at a popular tourist attraction, bouquet in hand, trying to navigate the throng of visitors to find the space to take a knee. Well, how about the more private personal gardens of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent? The stunning cobalt blue accents of The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech make it easy to distinguish from just your typical botanical estate. Created in the 1920’s by painter Jacques Majorelle the garden even has a nail polish named after it. Buy a bottle on the way home and the sparkling ring won’t be the only thing your soon-to-be wife will have to remember the occasion.
UNDERWATER IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN
If you’re looking for a way to break the mould and really surprise your partner, how about doing it during a tectonic plate dive in Iceland? Submerge yourselves in the crystal clear waters among the craggy rocks and propose underwater in a nearly untouched part of the planet. We suggest heading out in summer because if you take a midnight dive the sun will still be shinning bright – an out of this world experience.
WITH THE HIMALAYAS AS A BACKDROP
You have to be a mountaineer, explorer or adventure buff to reach the Himalayas, right? Wrong – if you fancy an incredible overnight train ride and just over an hours walk through a dazzling forest, then you can conquer this historic mountain range – and propose in front of an incredible view.
Why not go big. Selous National Park in Tanzania is a gigantic 50,000 square km reserve where you will find all of the Big Five as well as the incredibly rare wild dog. Just ask your private guide for the best place to pop the question and, against this wild backdrop, how could they refuse?
OVER CANDLE LIGHT
A festival is a great excuse to whisk your loved one away without giving away your ring-bearing secret. We’re not, however, suggesting a stop-off at a muddy music event where you’ll have to propose amongst head-bangers and port-a-loos. A more romantic destination is the Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand, also known as the festival of lights – and lovers. Once a year, in the twelfth lunar month, which is usually November, people gather around water bodies and release balloons, leaves or bowls with lamps inside of them. These glowing lanterns float in their thousands along all the coastal areas and water bodies, bathing the whole country in candle light. Sure tops a candle lit dinner.
ON A BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO
If you like your adventure with a side of some of the world’s best wine, then why not propose on a romantic bike tour through the stunning wineries and tranquil scenery of Clare Valley in South Australia. Hire a bike and take to the Riesling Trail, which travels through quiet townships and vineyards and boasts breathtaking views. You can pop the question at any one of the restaurants, cafes and cellar doors you’ll cycle past. If you’re feeling truly romantic, you can always hire a tandem bicycle…
AT THE GREAT WALL
For an unforgettable proposal it’s hard to look past one of the world’s great wonders; The Great Wall of China. But, instead of simply kneeling next to the wall after a day at the Terracotta Warriors, let us organise a private dinner atop your own private Great Wall watchtower surrounded by nothing but mountains. We can even arrange some live music to serenade you whilst you dine. Talk about romantic gestures on a grand scale.