Valentine’s Day symbolises a lot of things to different people. For some it is quintessentially romantic celebration of the ones you love most with traditional gifts of chocolates, flowers and a bit of romance. For others, it is the perfect excuse for a romantic dinner and a time to reflect and re-kindle the passion that brought two together. Regardless of which spectrum you fall into, the truth is, when it comes to holiday and travel, you can’t go wrong. Since travelling is one of the best ways to create, share and celebrate new experiences and re-kindle old memories, this year, make it special.
As February the 14th edges ever close, take a few minutes to plan your romantic retreat with a selection of our handpicked destinations from some of the most mesmerising settings in the world. From the classics to the simply luxurious escapes, we take a look at some of the heart-stopping hot-spot to enjoy your union. So brush aside any of the clichés that often weigh heavily on your shoulders and look at some of the seven places to enjoy this Valentine’s (please note chocolates and flowers are included!)
One of the most exclusive destinations on the planet – the Maldives has to be top of anyone’s list for seekers of a divine escape. And on this divine island, the multi-award winning Jumeirah Dhevanafushi resides over the largest water villa front in the Maldives. Small in size, (it will take you ten minutes to stroll around the circumference), but what it lacks for in quantity, it certainly makes up for in quality – whether it’s the spa treatments, the cuisine or the incredible efficiency of the staff. You are in a magic place.
Mauritius has become a popular destination for sun seekers in recent months and it is not hard to see why this Indian Ocean oasis has captivated our imagination. Famous for its natural beauty, white beaches, lagoons and reefs the Island is also home to the five-star Heritage Le Telfair, which you can book for less than you might expect, especially if you travel in low season.
Blue Waters was one of the first hotels to open in Antigua back in the 1960s. It’s been continually modernised and expanded over the years, but manages to retain all of its original charm. The Spa is particularly noteworthy. It’s claimed the title of ‘Antigua’s Leading Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards for the last five years – and it’s easy to see why.
Blue Karma Seminyak is a delightful hotel tucked away in the heart of Bali. Despite being just a short walk away from the island’s fashionable beaches and a number of fine restaurants and boutiques, the hotel is encapsulated with a tranquil and relaxing feel. The main attraction at Blue Karma is the beautiful swimming pool in the centre of the resort, which features a pretty wooden footbridge and sun loungers shaded by colourful Balinese umbrellas. All the rooms are artistically styled, but we love the pool villas – with their open-air washrooms that make it feel like you’re showering in a rain forest!
Layana Resort & Spa is a peaceful, adults-only retreat, overlooking a prime section of Koh Lanta’s sandy shoreline. Ideal for a romantic escape, it features one of the most photogenic swimming pools in Thailand. It’s a small resort with just 51 rooms and suites, all of which have been styled with a clean, contemporary Thai feel. December – March is the best time to go.
Excuse the cliché – but this resort is literally an oasis in the desert, sitting in the middle of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter. Wondrous sun-baked landscapes surround you in every direction (it kind of feels like you’ve gone on holiday to another planet), whilst inside the complex you’ll find immaculate pools, fabulous rooms and a spa like no other. The views at sunset are to die for, as are the twinkling night-times skies; don’t miss the chance to have a starlit open-air dinner out in the desert – a truly unforgettable experience.
One of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Chedi Muscat is graced by pristine pools, a soothing spa and an unadulterated atmosphere of calm. October to April, when the weather outside is a little cooler, are the best months to visit.