Before she had even left, Tiffany Dowd was planning her next couples escape to the Brando, an exclusive resort on its own private atoll in the South Pacific.
“I kept asking my husband over and over when we could come back,” the global luxury hotel expert told Travel + Leisure. During their stay in a beachfront villa, with its private infinity pool and outdoor soaking tub, Dowd and her husband snorkeled, enjoyed spa treatments, and took part in Polynesian cultural activities (she learned to palm weave; he learned to play the ukulele).
“It’s one of the few places in the world I have truly felt away from it all,” she remembered. “You feel like you are in a postcard-perfect setting and it’s just the two of you.”
It’s not just the two of you, of course. The Brando has 35 villas catered to by a staff of 200. But good design — and that whole private island aspect — make everything and everyone else drift away. “The Brando feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you must experience again and again,” Dowd added.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.
T+L readers echoed Dowd’s affection for the Brando, giving it a perfect score for romance in this year’s World’s Best Awards survey. (A staggering nine other hotels this year received flawless marks on the survey as well, ranked below by number of votes).
Regardless of where they are in the world, this year’s crop of romantic hotels all share a commitment to discreet, personalized service, and the opportunity for couples to enjoy intimate moments alone in a gorgeous setting — be it a Tahitian atoll, rural Vermont, or Argentina’s picturesque wine country.