Top Romantic Destinations
WHETHER you’re looking for the perfect place to pop the question, celebrate your love or rekindle the flames of passion, there’s a perfect escape for everyone, writes Dilvin Yasa.
From cobblestone streets filled with cosy cafs to crystal-clear lagoons dotted with tiny private islands, there are worse ways to celebrate your love for your partner than by surprising them with a trip to one of the most romantic locations on the planet.
Stuck for ideas? Consider heading to one of the following:
One need only to look at pictures of Italy’s national soccer team to ignite the flames of passion, but nothing sustains that heart-thumping feeling quite like spending time in the country’s most romantic city, Florence.
Filled to the brim with architectural masterpieces and galleries, this destination is all about drinking chianti in quaint cafes, taking walks along the Arno River and watching the sun set daily at Piazzale Michaelangelo, which with its terracotta-tiled cityscape views is arguably one of the best lookouts in the world.
The icing on the cake? Checking into the super-romantic Portrait Firenze, a luxury boutique property located next to the Ponte Vecchio, making it the best located hotel in all of Florence.
Got money to burn and a desire to live out the ultimate castaway existence, albeit in complete luxury? The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora has long remained the honeymoon destination of choice for the society set, and with its white sand private beaches and azure lagoons teeming with a rainbow coloured fish, it’s easy to see the island’s appeal for romantics the world over.
Insist on a luxurious over-water bungalow (hint: it doesn’t get much better than Four Seasons Bora Bora or St Regis) and fill sun-bleached days with leisurely swims, kayaking a deux, sunbathing on deserted motus and, oh yes, clinking Champagne glasses over endless romantic meals.
Dig if you will a boat ride under a canopy of cherry blossoms, the artist formerly known as Prince most certainly did not sing, but it’s worth considering anyway — especially if you colour it in with the vision of you and your partner snuggling as your boat slowly makes its way down the blossom-lined Okazaki river.
Considered by many to be the epitome of traditional Japan, Kyoto appeals to romantics for its multitude of tranquil gardens, majestic palaces and old-school ryokans (Japanese guest houses) — quiet spaces which allow reflection on what’s really important in life.
Aim to visit in spring (end of March/early April) when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and romance (as well as a few allergies) are in the air.
It will never make it into any tourism brochures, but you’d have to be dead inside to not have your heart fluttering in what really is the city of love (or lights, depending on who’s doing the talking).
Check into the Shangri-La Hotel with its sweeping rooftop views of the Eiffel Tower and remember that it’s all downhill from there. On the bright side, downhill in Paris can only ever mean meandering the cobblestone streets of Montmarte, picnicking along the Seine (complete with bottles of surprisingly cheap wine, cheese and baguettes), candlelit dinners in dark and decadent Michelin-star restaurants, and strolling hand in hand in gardens which look as though you’re painted into a Monet masterpiece. Now that is copy worthy of a tourism spiel.
They say that in space, no one can hear you scream and some might say that might also be true of Maasai Mara National Reserve, a preserved savannah wilderness in Southwestern Kenya.
Here, in a landscape of rolling hills dotted with distinctive acacia trees, the only nosy neighbours you’re likely to encounter are lions, elephants and zebra and let’s face it, they’re likely to stay quiet.
Check into one of the many luxury tented accommodations sprinkled around the reserve and give yourself over to a daily routine of traversing the plains, vino in hand as you view all manner of game prowling under a fiery sunset. Enjoy sunrises from your private plunge pool and enjoy long dinners under a heavy blanket of stars.
If you can, time your visit so that it falls during The Great Migration (estimated to be late July/early August in 2018).
Stealing the ‘movable feast’ title well away from Paris (who, let’s face it, already has more than enough monikers to lean on) is Fes, a city which overwhelms each of your senses with its striking souks, fragrant spices and melodic calls to prayer around every which corner.
Considered to be both the cultural and spiritual heart of Morocco, Fes offers those looking for a little romance stunning riads in which to stay (try Riad Fes, a Relais and Chateaux property), opulent spas in which to relax, covered markets in which to shop, and stunning scenery encompassing colour and electricity as far as the human eye can see.