11 February 2019
Bolting love-laced activities such as a candlelit table for two, dinner at sunset or a secluded retreat onto your next holiday is a surefire way to ramp up the romance, so with love in the air this Valentine’s Day, here is a selection of our favourite romantic experiences.
Often hailed as the world’s most romantic city, Venice simply had to feature in this list. There’s no shortage of romantic spots here and, because many of them are dotted throughout the busy network of canals that segment the city, a gondola ride is a no-brainer for romance seekers.
The packed Grand Canal is the place to head to if you want to take in some of Venice’s main sights, but it’s usually busy and packed with other travellers. Instead, ask if your gondolier can take you onto the back canals away from the tourist sights and you and yours can enjoy a quiet ride that’ll be far more conducive to romance.
Away from the canals, climb can be found at the top of the 98-metre-tall bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco, and stay at romantic hotels including Gritti Palace, Belmond Hotel Cipriani and Hotel Danieli.
It isn’t uncommon for a luxury hotel to boast its own rejuvenating spa on site, but Pine Cliffs in the Algarve goes one further with its Serenity Spa, which was named the best in Portugal at the 2018 World Luxury Spa Awards.
Pine Cliffs pulls out all the stops to go full-throttle on wellbeing with a spa that offers things like experience showers, a sauna with Himalayan rock salt, ice fountain, relaxation areas, indoor hydro pool, a water-treading Kneipp pool, steam bath, herbal sauna, outdoor jacuzzi and Hammam Turkish bath. These come in addition to the usual things you’d expect from a spa such as treatments that focus on the face and body, male grooming, hands and feet, and serenity massages.
Why not book a couples package and surprise your partner with an unforgettable experience at one of the world’s best spas?
“The Pine Cliffs Resort is a destination in its own right, so it’s the perfect place for couples to retreat. Aside from the award-winning spa, one of the key features of the resort is the amazing eight-kilometre sandy beach. There are also six outdoor pools to splash the day away in.”
Emma, Travel Counsellor
Another award-winner is the five-star Anemos Luxury Grand Resort, which was named one of the Best Luxury Honeymoon Hotels at the 2018 World Luxury Hotel Awards. This seaside haven, along the northern Crete coastline, has to be on the shortlist for any newlyweds dreaming of a stylish luxury honeymoon in an exclusive setting.
Couples can relax on the resort's majestic beach and escape in a romantic gazebo with a delicious cocktail. Newlyweds will also seize the opportunity to dine on an exquisite private beachfront dinner under the stars or enjoy a soothing olive oil and raki couples massage at the spa. Many of the Anemos’ rooms and suites come with a private or shared pool, too.
Dining under the stars is one thing, but how about dining underwater? That’s precisely what you can do at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant.
Found at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, it’s the world’s first undersea restaurant, sitting 16 feet below sea level. The New York Daily News called it “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” and with panoramic coral garden views accompanying fine wines and flavoursome fusion cuisine, who would argue?
The legislative capital of South Africa is well known for its sensational sunsets and you won’t struggle to find a stellar spot to admire these epic views at the end of the day. Lion’s Head is an involved three-hour round trip but the magnificent views of Table Mountain, Camp’s Bay and the ocean are well worth it. More easily accessible are Camps Bay Tidal Pools and Kloof Corner.
Romantic hotels you could consider during your time in South Africa include Cape Grace Hotel and Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Residence.
Is there a more romantic city for an impulsive weekend away than Paris. The French capital is a hub of love with a wealth of romantic places for couples to visit.
Everyone knows about climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower and gazing across the city at Sacré-Cœur, but there are many more options for you to explore. How about taking a sunset cruise along the Seine, enjoying a picnic at the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, or visiting Montmartre’s Wall of Love (Le Mur Des Je t’aime) where you’ll find hundreds of variations of Je t’aime (I Love You) in 250 different languages and dialects? You could also take a stroll down the idyllic Rue des Barres in Le Marais, or catch a classic film at Le Champo.
Hotels you could stay at during your romantic Paris city break include Warwick Champs-Elysees and the four-star Hotel Le Littre, which sits between the tourist neighbourhoods of Saint Germain des Pres and Montparnasse.
“Paris is one of my favourite cities anywhere in the world. I never tire of visiting the French capital and it never ceases to surprise!”
Vince, Travel Counsellor
If you would like to book a romantic escape, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of a raft of benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.