The World’s Most Romantic Islands

Bora-Bora seduces couples with visions of overwater bungalows above a turquoise lagoon. But that’s not all: the island offers coral reefs and, should you need backup, the St. Regis romance concierge (duties have included spelling “Marry Me” in coconut husks on the beach).

The Tahitian island has certainly captured the hearts of Travel + Leisure readers, who voted Bora-Bora the No. 1 island for romance, a new category in this year’s World’s Best Awards survey. Spin the globe, and you’re bound to land by one of the top romantic islands. From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, they share the powerful ingredient of fantasy. There’s nothing like escaping to an island with your loved one to bring out starry eyes in the most jaded traveler.

Consider the Hawaiian island of Kauai, whose dramatic scenery — primeval rainforest, photo-ready waterfalls — has enough film credits to rival those of an A-list actor, including The DescendantsAvatar, and the steamy noir, Body Heat.

“People see an island on screen, and they want that fantasy,” says Worldview Travel consultant Adam Rog, citing the influence of movies and books on romantic getaways. Celebrities also raise an island’s profile, as is true of St. Bart’s, a white-sand favorite in the French West Indies, and Mustique, part of the Grenadines, a Caribbean island chain where Mick Jagger owns a villa.

And the secret is out about the more accessible Puerto Rican island of Vieques, with a significant national wildlife refuge — protecting sea turtles, lagoons, and mangroves— and a dreamy bioluminescent bay. The eco mindset carries through at the intimate Hix Island House, which recently opened its solar-powered six-room Casa Solaris.

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