There's nothing lovelier than getting into a bath and staying there as long as you like. And when that tub has a soul-soaring view, well, heaven. Here are some of the world's finest tubs with a tableau worthy of an amorous splurge.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Among the globe's most incredible locations for a hotel, the Cliff House residence and the Pacific Suites at Post Ranch Inn have indoor and outdoor bathtubs with unbroken 180-degree views of California's coastline. Set 1,200 feet above the crashing waves, the outdoor tub is stainless steel, made for two, heated to 104 degrees and facing the purple-hued sunset. The only living creatures spying on you are the sea gulls. Order chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of Champagne and submerge for some natural splendor. For a more modest tab, there are doubles from $675 a night. (800) 527-2200, http://www.postranchinn.com. Adults only.
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Two-and-a-half hours west of Quito, this lodge is set in the Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve. After an often-muddy day trekking to waterfalls and rivers (it is called a rain forest for a reason), the ideal ending is lounging neck-deep in a Philippe Starck-designed bathtub in a Yaku Suite gazing out at a cloud-shrouded mass of emerald branches, twisted vines and Jurassic Park-sized leaves. If you lie still, you might just be eye-to-eye with birds such as the rainbow-feathered Rufous Motmot, the crimson-chested Masked Trogon or an Emerald Toucanet. Who needs binoculars? Rates start at $1,296 a person for a minimum two-night stay. Includes meals, tours and transport to and from Quito and sights along the way. (888) 572-0166, http://www.mashpilodge.com.
Hayman Island Resort, Australia
The resort's eight beach villas, on a private island at the edge of the continent's celebrated Great Barrier Reef, are the ultimate in oceanfront digs. Walk straight from the azure sea and talc-white sand into your 1,290-square-foot suite and choose between the free-standing bathtub, with a view through glass walls to the ocean, or your private heated pool. In fact, there is little reason to leave your pad, which comes with a gratis mini-bar, a private patio and a butler who will bring you just about anything, including meals from one of the resort's four fine-dining restaurants. Of course, it would be sad not to venture forth at least once and experience that legendary underwater life. If a beach villa, at $1,863 a night, doesn't match the budget, doubles at the main resort are from $614 a night. Includes breakfast. 011-61-7-4940-1234 http://www.hayman.com.au.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater, a
Matakauri Lodge, New Zealand
Perched on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and blessed with one of the most iconic, "Lord of the Rings"-style panoramas in the country, Matakauri is close to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, but far enough away to be blissfully private. Six deluxe suites, sequestered in native forest, have oversized tubs with picture windows facing the lake's turquoise glacial waters and the snow-capped Remarkables mountains. The lodge is the ideal jumping-off point for bungeeing from bridges, leaping off cliffs with a paragliding guide, zip-lining over forest canopies, whitewater rafting, fly fishing or hiking the Routeburn Track. Or alternatively, stay in your suite, crank up the stereo and draw bath after bath. Lodge rooms from $592 per person, per night; deluxe suites from $1,006. Includes pre-dinner drinks and hors d'oeuvres, gourmet dinner, full breakfast and complimentary mini-bar. 011-64-3-441-1008, http://www.matakauri.co.nz.