If you’re planning a romantic getaway, these gorgeous hotels and lodges are just the ticket. From bucolic retreats to beach resorts and bijou city boltholes, we’ve scoured the globe to find some of our favourite hideaways for two.
Best for laidback luxury
Nowhere symbolises romance more than a tropical island cast adrift in the Indian Ocean, and Kandolhu Maldives is one of our tiniest treasures. Wow-factors here include a spectacular house reef, swish villas and five à la carte restaurants, plus an in-villa wine chiller with over 30 types of wine.
If you’re looking for a more unusual destination, just off the coast of Tanzania lies Pemba Island, a clove-perfumed haven with beautiful beaches and some of the best diving in East Africa. Stay at Fundu Lagoon, a bohemian-style resort with just 18 tented-style rooms, a fusion spa and an al fresco restaurant serving up fresh Zanzibari fare.
A little closer to home, Italy’s Amalfi Coast is breathtakingly beautiful. You’ll get the royal treatment at Caruso, A Belmond Hotel, Amalfi Coast, an exquisite former palace set above the picturesque town of Ravello.
Best for sheer opulence
Bali is a destination that always ranks high on special occasion wish lists, and those who visit have an enviable photo reel of petal-strewn baths, infinity pools that ‘drop’ into emerald rainforests and ultra-luxurious pool villas. The Viceroy Bali is one of the best; the views, villas and service are nothing short of spectacular.
As home to one of the world’s most romantic buildings, The Taj Mahal, it’s no surprise that India is a destination that is alluring to couples. Our experts can create your own Indian love story on a private car and driver adventure, and we can tailor in a few nights at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. This iconic, ‘floating’ hotel, set on pretty Lake Pichola, has round-the-clock butler service and fairy-tale dining experiences. Don’t miss dinner on board the royal barge, complete with grandly dressed rowers, dance performers and a private chef.
If you’d rather jet off on an exotic beach escape, the Eden-esque islands of the Seychelles are a top choice for unabashed luxury. Through our trusted travel partner, Carrier, we can take you to Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, a five-star sanctuary with a collection of pool-villa cocoons designed by the prestigious architect Bill Bensley. Don’t leave without trying a few of the blissful spa treatments; we especially love the ‘twenty dancing fingers’ massage, where you’ll be pampered by two masseurs.
Best for wildlife encounters
If you have your heart set on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a safari in Kenya doesn’t disappoint. You can live out the African dream with thrilling game drives to spot the Big Five, float over the golden savannah in a hot air balloon and clink G&T’s around a crackling fire as scarlet-clad Maasai warriors regale you with tales of life in the bush. You can’t get much closer to the action than at Little Governors’, an intimate safari camp in the Maasai Mara, where elephants often wander through camp and you’ll likely hear hippos shuffling by your tent at night.
Tanzania is another great choice for a wild holiday. We highly recommend staying a few nights at Lemala Mpingo Ridge, a luxury lodge elevated above the spectacular scenery of Tarangire National Park. The guest tents here are more like super-chic cabins and a shining highlight is the outdoor bathtub with a view. We also love the sunken lounge that converts to an afternoon siesta bed – the perfect spot for a post-safari snooze.
Best for Wellness
Couples that spa together, stay together. At Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives, you can indulge in award-winning spa experiences such as the Full Moon Magic ritual and the ‘His and Hers’ massage. Alongside the incredible spa, the island oozes romance, from trips to Dream Island to being wined and dined in the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant.
The scenery of St Lucia alone will whisk your other half off their feet, and at Ladera Resort, you can take in the dizzying Piton views from the exquisite open-air suites. Start your day with sunrise yoga sessions, enjoy farm-to-table dining and soak up the natural beauty of the rainforest on a thrilling nature hike.
You don’t have to travel far to celebrate a big occasion; Europe is brimming with world-class hotels and La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca is one of the finest hotels in Mallorca. This art-adorned oasis, nestled in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, has dreamy spa terraces and range of unique experiences. We love the donkey trail through their olive groves, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet picnic in a shepherd’s hut high in the hills.
Best for epicurean delights
Woodfired pizza, melt-in-your-mouth gelato, wine fresh from a Chianti vineyard; Tuscany is foodie heaven. At Castel Monastero, a restored medieval monastery surrounded by rolling hills, dining experiences include authentic cooking classes with an esteemed chef, truffle hunting and wine-tasting tours. Plus, there’s the chance to take your love to new heights on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan countryside.
Greece is another European destination that’s big on the culinary scene. For the best in bespoke dining, check out Grace Mykonos, where you can start the day in style with a Champagne breakfast, and enjoy a butler-served picnic by a lighthouse for lunch.
If you’d like a taste of the Far East, head to The Sarojin in Thailand for private dining with a difference. You can book a table for two in a range of extraordinary locations, including shipwrecked-style on a remote sand isle and a magical setting by a candle-lit waterfall.
Best for intimate moments
At Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel in Mauritius, an adults-only enclave hidden away on a secluded peninsula, the concept is on uninterrupted alone time. Soak up the rays on the ‘love nest’ twin sunbeds, sail out on a sunset cruise and enjoy an enchanting evening stargazing on the lantern-lit pier.
Over in the Caribbean, one of our favourite couples’ hideouts is Keyonna Beach Resort in Antigua. Tucked away on a 305-metre long beach, this rustic-chic hotel has just 29 rooms and a laid-back vibe. For the most seclusion, splash out on a Beachfront Pool Cottage, which has a plunge pool, outdoor rain showers and endless sea views.
Santorini is utterly seductive. From wandering hand-in-hand down pink flower-filled alleyways to dining under twinkling lights on the edge of a volcanic caldera, this iconic island is made for romance. Stay at one of Carrier’s most exclusive hotels, Carpe Diem, for jaw-dropping panoramic views from each private pool suite and hyper-personalised service; with a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1, you’re guaranteed the VIP treatment.
For a short and sweet escape, where else would we suggest than the ‘City of Love’? Enjoy moonlit strolls on the banks of the Seine, picnics in palace gardens and hideaway at Pavillon de la Reine, one of the most charming hotels that Kirker Holidays feature in Paris.
This feature was updated on 14th September 2023. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.