December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015
10 Over the Top Places to Get Engaged

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you have been having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is still on the road doing World AIDS Day events around the world so stay tuned for new pics and a slide show soon.

I've scoped out some of the most romantic, crazy-amazing hotels around the world — from a 16th century castle to a five-star fantasy overlooking one of the world's greatest monuments for love — where he (or she) can put a ring on it.

County Clare, Ireland: Dromoland Castle
The wow factor: Proposal via a flying hawk

At Dromoland Castle, a grand hotel set on Ireland's spectacular and unspoiled West Coast, couples can go crazy with posh outdoorsy activities like horseback riding, skeet shooting, and falconry. In fact, grooms-to-be can request a hawk to swoop in and deliver the ring while he gets down on one knee. (Trust us, the bird will not eat your diamond — they are strict carnivores.)

Agra, India: Oberoi Amarvilas
The wow factor: Proposal at one of the "new" seven wonders of the world

Check into this opulent resort and you will be in the backyard of the Taj Mahal — 1,900 feet away, to be exact. All 102 utterly lavish rooms at the Oberoi, done up in marbles and teaks, overlook this domed monument to a beloved wife, built in 1632. Celebrate your engagement with a three-hour "Spirit of Ayurveda" treatment, which incorporates traditional massage and shiordhara, where warm oil is drizzled over your third eye to calm the mind.

Rooms from $760.

Proposal package, including a two-night stay, lake cruise, falconry, breakfast, and spa treatments, from $2,551.

Santorini, Greece: Mystique
The wow factor: Proposal in a hidden wine cave

Arguably the most romantic of the Greek isles, Santorini's sunsets are legendary. Couples can watch the sun sink into the Aegean Sea in total privacy from the 150-year-old-wine cellar at this tiny, cream-colored resort — all over a multi-course feast of sea urchin salad, and mussels marinated in fresh coriander and crisp vinsanto wine. Of course, after you say yes, you'll have plenty of time to lounge by the infinity pool or in your airy, white-washed suite.

Rooms from $667.

Montreal, Canada: Ice Hotel in the Snow Village
The wow factor: Proposal in a polar igloo

It's practically mandatory to cuddle in this place, an unbelievably cool (yes, pun intended) mini-town carved entirely from ice, and open January through March. Every year, there's a different theme (this past one was New York, so buildings were replicas of places in the Big Apple). For those staying the night, the 25 room Ice Hotel is split up into different categories: standard rooms (set in the main building), prestige suites, and polar igloos (free-standing ice domes). Guests are given high-tech thermal sleeping bags to keep warm. There's also a highly popular Pommery ice restaurant, and yes, even a chapel made of ice, if you can't wait to wed.

Rooms from $199.

Costa Alegre, Mexico: Las Alamandas
The wow factor: Proposal on a private beach

This untouristed part of Mexico between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo has a spectacular coastline — think craggy cliffs, separated by wide swaths of sand as far as the eye can see. The place to stay is Isabel Goldsmith Patino's famous Las Alamandas, a hacienda style hideaway done up in eye popping pinks and yellows, with three drop dead gorgeous beaches. And though in Mexico, all beaches are technically open to the public, these gems are so remote you won't see anyone, or hear anything, but the sound of crashing waves.

Rooms from $371.

Paris, France: The Shangri-La Hotel
The wow factor: Proposal with a view of the Eiffel Tower

Yes, he could propose at the base of the Eiffel Tower — but you'd have to contend with all those tourists. Enter the Shangri-La, the former home of Napoleon's grand-nephews, where over half of the rooms come with heart-stopping views of Paris's most famous monument. No other hotel in the City of Light has vistas like this — truly, from your bedroom window, you'll feel like you can reach out and touch the Eiffel Tower. Champagne + ring + twinkling tower = a yes, for sure.

Eiffel Tower rooms from $1,500.

London, England: The Four Seasons Park Lane
The wow factor: Proposal in a spa set high in the sky

City spas are often cramped and crowded, an after thought in the basement. Not this penthouse level stunner at the Four Seasons, offering sweeping, 360 degree views of all of London. One a clear day, you can see Big Ben and the London Eye, and all nine treatment rooms have floor to ceiling windows. Reserve an hour in the Sky Suite, which comes with a two person steam shower and magnificent views of Hyde Park, and he can propose pre-massage.

Sky Suite from $228, hotel rooms from $778.

The Maldives: Huvafen Fushi
The wow factor: Proposal in a spa set underwater

Huge with the celeb crowd (Fergie, Kate Moss, Katy Perry) the Maldives are famous for their outrageous resorts — often set on private spits of sand—turquoise waters, and intuitive service. At Huvafen Fushi the pampering gets taken to a whole other level (beneath the sea!) at their spa, home to the world's first underwater treatment rooms. Book the couples' suite, and you can watch rays swim by as he gets down on one knee.

Underwater rituals from $230, hotel rooms from $1,000.

Nevis: Montpelier Plantation Inn
The wow factor: Proposal in a 300-year-old sugar mill

Nevis, a low-key Caribbean island, has loads of gorgeously decayed plantation ruins, many of which have been converted to intimate boutique hotels. At the 19 room Montpelier Plantation Inn, couples can request a private dinner (gingerbread crusted rack of lamb, anyone?) in a towering 300-year old mill — you'll be surrounded by hand cut stone walls and glowing candlelight.

Rooms from $345.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Bellagio Hotel
The wow factor: Proposal in front of dancing fountains

This landmark Strip hotel is famous for many things (sumptuous rooms, Picassos on the walls, Cirque du Soleil's O), but those dancing fountains out front — choreographed to music, mind you — are the true showstoppers. With the Bellagio's Proposal Package, he can reserve the best viewing point in town, the Terrazza di Sogno—Veuve Cliquot, gourmet chocolates and a dozen roses included. Talk about timing: The fountains will rocket 460 feet into the sky the minute you say yes.

Rooms from $159, proposal package from $1,000.

Hope these tips help when you go to pop the question and you have a beary safe and great Saturday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab