Taj Lake Palace Forget island getaways—the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, India, located in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan, is its own island. Because the white marble palace covers most of a four-acre island, it appears to float majestically on Lake Pichola. According to legend, Maharana Jagat Singh II built the eighteenth century palace to woo royal ladies—and his desire to impress is still apparent in the exquisite architecture. Today, the hotel has two restaurants and a spa offering couples' treatments, Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. And if you need a break from the palace's lush excess, take a romantic walk through the colorful streets of Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East. Tajhotels.com; (011) (91-294) 2528800; $630 per night, deluxe room with lake view
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Le Château des Comtes de Challes Your knight in shining armor may learn a thing or two from a visit to Château des Comtes de Challes, which was built in the fifteenth century by armor-clad gents. Located in the charming village of Challes-les-Eaux near the town of Chambery in southeastern France, the hotel combines the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the elegance of an old-world castle. Get cozy in your plush guest room, feast upon market-fresh produce in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, or wind through the many courtyards sprinkled across the grounds. Outdoors, build up a royal sweat hiking, mountain biking, or paragliding. Chateau-alpes.com; (011) 334 79 72 72 72; $198 per night, double château bedroom