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Kakslauttanen glass igloo Valtteri Hirvonen Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

25 Amazing romantic experiences

We have curated a list of the most lavish romantic experiences you can enjoy across the globe. From sailing the seven seas to starry nights in the south pacific, exploring the world can bind you to the one you love.

Rekindle your relationship and put the spark back into your world with these 25 divine suggestions for romantic travel.

RAY BRADBURY ONCE SAID THAT‘WE TRAVEL FOR ROMANCE, WE TRAVEL FOR ARCHITECTURE, AND WE TRAVEL TO BE LOST’. FROM SAILING THE SEVEN SEAS TO STARRY NIGHTS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, EXPLORING THE WORLD CAN BIND YOU TO THE ONE YOU LOVE. WE HAVE CURATED A LIST OF THE MOST LAVISH ROMANTIC EXPERIENCES YOU CAN ENJOY ACROSS THE GLOBE.

WATCH NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM BED IN KAKSLAUTTANEN FINLAND

Could there be anything more romantic than cosying up beneath the blazinaurora borealis? The mystical Northern Lights are one of the seven wonders of the natural world; a vision of flashing gold and green across the midnight sky. At the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland, you can watch the show from your own private glass igloo. The heated igloos boast soft beds, en-suite bathrooms and striking sky views. If you can tear yourself away from the arresting sight then there are snowy sleigh rides, simmering saunas, Santa’s Celebration House and five-star suppers to enjoy. kakslauttanen.fi

TAKE A SUNRISE BALLOON RIDE AT LES MAISONS DE CAPPADOCE

Rising above gorgeous Goreme in the glow of first light is an otherworldly experience. The lunar like landscape of sculpted rock formations, towering limestone cliffs, and golden plains offers a stark contrast to the bright balloons scattered across the Turkish sky. Soar above the UNESCO open air museum, filled with rock churches and ancient frescoes dating back to the 10th century. Indulge in boutique bliss with a stay at Les Maisons de Cappadoce. Designed by French architect Jacques Avizou, the stunning cave dwellings are a vision of white washed walls, flickering fireplaces, and sweeping views over the fairy chimneys. cappadoce.com

SAIL THE CINQUE TERRE AT BELMOND HOTEL SPLENDIDO

Belmond Splendido Sailing to Cinque Terre
Belmond Splendido Sailing to Cinque Terre

Italy’s poster child destination is best appreciated from the warm teak deck of a yacht. The vision of crumbling pastel painted houses clinging precariously to steep cliffs is mesmerising; especially in the warm summer months when the air is thick with the scent of lemons. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso – these are the villages that make up the famous five. Take a sailing trip around the coast – stopping at the finest seafood spots, splurging on soft leather sandals, and sipping limoncello on pretty piazzas. Be sure to check in at the Belmond Hotel Splendido over in nearby Portofino. The hotel is housed in a 16th-century Benedictine monastery and offers lush gardens, swish suites, and harbour views. www.belmond.com/hotel-splendido-portofino

HAVE A CHAMPAGNE HELICOPTER TOUR OVER THE MILFORD SOUND FROM BLANKET BAY

Blanket Bay
Blanket Bay

Mountains, glaciers, and ribbon like fjords – the Milford Sound is renowned for having one of the most dramatic backdrops in New Zealand. To truly soak up the majesty of Mother Nature, a helicopter tour is the best way to explore. The exhilarating flight glides over waterfalls and ancient forests, and even includes a glacier landing on Mount Tutoko. Throughout the flight, you can sip champagne before touching down at the romantic Blanket Bay. As one of the world’s best luxury lodges – you can rest easy beside the roaring fire in your private chalet, unwind in the mountain view jacuzzi, and dine on local venison and sommelier selected wines. www.blanketbay.com

BLIND DATE IN BUDAPEST WITH THE FOUR SEASONS

Four Seasons Budapest
Four Seasons Budapest

Romance your taste buds with a signature experience from the Four Seasons. The prestigious brand offers an exquisite dinner with a difference, as you enjoy a concept feast carefully curated by the chef and sommelier at Kollazs restaurant. With an award-winning wine expert and passionate modernist chef, you can lose yourself in the emotional pairing of Hungary’s local taste and texture. Afterwards, return to the art deco splendour of the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. With postcard views of the Buda Castle and an impressive mosaic and glass filled lobby – romance has never been so regal. www.fourseasons.com/budapest

RELAX ON MARLON BRANDO’S PRIVATE ISLAND IN TETIAROA

Bandro
Bandro

Tetiaroa was once the Polynesian playground of kings, and now it belongs to the Godfather himself – Marlon Brando. A vision of rare orchids, freshwater pools, and coral gardens – Tetiaroa is the ultimate Tahitian escape. With only 35 villas and access via private plane, couples will find all the privacy they need on the sugar white sands. The accommodation at The Brando beautifully blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor space, with signature Polynesian touches, outdoor bathtubs, and lagoon views. Spend your days paddle boarding, diving with manta rays, and enjoying Polynesian dance and handicraft lessons beneath the swaying palms. thebrando.com

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ HOTEL IN LONDON

The Ritz London Palm Court
The Ritz London Palm Court

Buttery scones, clotted cream, fizzing champagne and tea – the penultimate British experience. Romance abounds at The Ritz and a celebratory afternoon tea is the perfect remedy for rest and relaxation with loved ones. London’s Palm Court delivers a scene straight out of Louis XVI with lashings of marble, gilded gold and white linen tables. Nibble on delicate finger sandwiches and sip rich Assam tea to the soaring sound of piano keys. Three-tiered cake stands overflow with pastel macaroons and fruit tarts to finish on a sweet note. For those staying at The Ritz – the palatial Royal Suite is a welcome spot for an afternoon nap with its well-dressed bed surrounded by antique furnishings and fine fabrics. www.theritzlondon.com

STAY AT INVERLOCHY CASTLE IN SCOTLAND

Fabled love deserves fabled places and Inverlochy Castle sets the scene for a dreamy weekend away. Queen Victoria’s favourite Scottish spot, the castle sits at the foot of Ben Nevis and is a vision of lochs and rolling green glens. Inside, there is plenty to feast your eyes on, from Jacobite wallpaper to French empire frescoes, country style suites, and full afternoon tea spreads. Days are well spent taking nature photography tours, rowing around the loch, and sampling the finest whiskeys in the warm bar. The in-house restaurant La Gavroche is famed for having 3 Michelin stars for its highland inspired cuisine. http://inverlochycastlehotel.com

SEE THE SUNSET IN SANTORINI AT KATIKIES HOTEL

Kalkies Hotel master suite
Kalkies Hotel master suite

The blue and white wonder of Santorini always makes it to the top of the list when it comes to romantic destinations. Wandering through the streets of Oia with its sea washed buildings, beautiful boutiques, and amazing Caldera views is special enough, but the sunset is the jewel in the crown. You are best catching the flaming spectacle from a boat out on the water, or from one of the pretty terraces perched on the cliff edge of Fira with a cold glass of wine in hand. Stay at the Katikies Hotel and indulge in rooftop dinners, tranquil infinity pools and cave like linen coloured rooms with private whirlpools and soaring ceilings. www.katikies.com/katikiessantorini

STAY AT HOSHINOYA KYOTO RYOKAN IN JAPAN

With its cherry blossom blooms and peeping geishas, Kyoto offers one of the most romantic experiences you can have in Japan. A ryokan stay can bring you closer to the traditional culture and Hoshinoya Kyoto invites you in to the former playground of court nobles. Hidden in the woods, the ryokan is accessible by riverboat, and wild deer roam around the grounds. Suites are bedecked in traditional style, with paper screens, tatami lounges and Cyprus wood baths for a dreamy Onsen experience. Tea drinking ceremonies, calligraphy and clean grilled salmon breakfasts are the finishing touches to this tranquil haiku like scene. hoshinoyakyoto.jp

SHARE THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE ICE-CREAM NEAR BURJ AL ARAB

Sharing an ice cream is certainly a first date experience, but Dubai adds more than a cherry on top for decadence. The world’s most expensive ice cream can be found in the Scoopi Café where a single scoop costs close to $800. The Black Diamond sundae brings together the Madagascan vanilla bean, strands of Iranian saffron, rare black truffles from Italy and sprinkles of 23-carat gold – all served in a stylish Versace bowl to take home. After gorging yourself on the sweet treat, head back to the Burj Al Arab – the world’s first seven-star hotel adorned in precious marble, gold leaf and butlers who call you by name after a single meeting. Step up the romance by booking a romantic moonlight swim, where butlers fill the pool with rose petals and serve strawberries and champagne. www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab

DINE ON THE RAMPARTS OF INDIA’S MEHRANGARH FORT WITH UMAID BHAVAN PALACE

Umaid Bhawan Maharani Suite balcony sitout
Umaid Bhawan Maharani Suite balcony sitout

As twilight spills over the blue city of Jodhpur, the Mehrangarh Fort is the perfect place to be. The 15th-century fort is a sight to behold – with its soaring battlements, courtyard mazes, and magical maharaja’s quarters. After a champagne tour of the interior with the museum’s curator, you are invited to dine on the majestic ramparts, where fine food and fabulous views leave you speechless. In keeping with the theme of historical romance – stay at the Umaid Bhavan Palace. The Umaid Bhavan was designed by Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester and captures the opulence of a bygone era. The art deco palace boasts sumptuous gardens to get lost in, private stables, and historical suites. taj.tajhotels.com/en-in/umaid-bhawan-palace-jodhpur

BUY GEMS IN JAIPUR AT SAMODE PALACE

The Pink City of Jaipur eloquently suggests romance with its rose hued homes, but it is also one of the finest shopping destinations in the world – especially for gem lovers. If you are seeking an engagement ring or precious piece to take home, then the gemstone capital is sure to have a solution. The Gem Palace has been cutting stones for nine generations, and is filled with craftsmen honing raw emeralds and polishing silver. After splurging on exotic pieces, head to the aristocratic townhouse of the Samode Palace for fresh basil tea, four poster beds dressed in damasks and the best breakfast in Rajasthan. www.samode.com/samodepalace

WANDER THE LOST CITY IN LUXURY WITH BELMOND LA RESIDENCE D’ANGKOR

Belmond La Residence D'Angkor Pool
Belmond La Residence D’Angkor Pool

Rich, complex and swallowed by the tangled vine of the jungle – Angkor Wat is pure magic. Cambodia’s UNESCO city of temples has stood the test of time since the 9th century and pulls in over two million visitors a year. Lose the crowds and enjoy the intricate carvings, giant tree roots and Tomb Raider visions without another soul in sight. The private tour will guide you through lesser known temples and secluded spots, over the Tonle Sap lake and to authentic stilted villages. On the final day finish with a sunrise view, watching the dawn light up the temples. Stay at the Belmond La Residence D’Angkor for intimate luxury with careful Khmer style beyond the cathedral like lobby and scent of frangipani. www.belmond.com/la-residence-d-angkor-siem-reap

GO STARGAZING AT SONEVA KIRI IN KOH KOOD

Soneva Kiri Cinema paradiso by paul raeside
Soneva Kiri Cinema paradiso by paul raeside

The milky midnight sky littered with a thousand stars is an arresting sight to snuggle up under. Koh Kood Island in Thailand boasts one of the best viewpoints for catching the universe in all her splendour. With little light pollution, proximity to the equator and nothing but the rainforest to reflect upon, Koh Kood is stargazing heaven according to astronomers and including Buzz Aldrin. The sophisticated Soneva Kiri Resort even has its own observatory and a telescope with a view to 4000 celestial objects. When you aren’t watching the stars at Soneva Kiri you can languish in fully sustainable luxury suites, participate in yoga and Pilates, and delight in the truffle stuffed chocolatier room. www.soneva.com/soneva-kiri

TAKE A THAI COOKING CLASS TOGETHER AT THE RACHA PHUKET

Racha ariel image overview
Racha ariel image overview

Racha Yai is a tiny island south of Phuket capturing the desert island dream that makes Thailand so famous. A beautiful boutique hotel – The Racha offers a chic eco-friendly space for soaking up the surrounding coconut plantations and roaming buffalo. The five story Lighthouse Villa is the pinnacle of romance with endless space, jacuzzi tubs, landscaped bathrooms, and a panoramic observation lounge on the top floor. Participate in a Thai cooking class and whip up some spiced wonders with a five-star chef, utilising the bounty of the breathtaking landscape and the blue sea. Finish the day with a candlelit supper, tasting your creations paired with exotic cocktails beneath the stars. www.theracha.com

ESCAPE TO THE ISLAND SANCTUARY OF TIME + TIDE MIAVANA, MADAGASCAR

Time + Tide Miavana
Time + Tide Miavana

The air scented with sweet vanilla, the sea as warm as summer, and a museum brimming with dinosaur bones and buried treasure – Miavana is one of the wonders of Madagascar. A five-star eco luxury resort, this island paradise invites couples to luxuriate in their love. A glittering infinity pool that ebbs out to the horizon, an Italian inspired grotto, and nearby forests on the mainland filled with lemurs – the heavenly retreat is a hidden pocket in the Nosy Ankao archipelago. With only 14 private villas, the island’s population is sparse and exclusive – ensuring plenty of privacy for lovers to engage. With interiors designed by award winning architects Silvio Rech & Lesley Carstens there is just the right marriage of Italian renaissance and laid-back beach luxury. timeandtideafrica.com/miavana

DISCOVER SPICE AT ZANZIBAR’S MNEMBA ISLAND

Mnemba Island Lodge
Mnemba Island Lodge

A 15-minute speedboat ride from the rich cinnamon and saffron of Spice Island, the &Beyond Mnemba Island boasts one of the most glamorous experiences in the whole of southern Africa. The inspired resort only accepts a handful of guests at a time, ensuring a private hideaway for honeymooners with your very own stretch of sand. Beachfront bandas are a vision of four poster muslin draped beds, handmade rattan furniture, warm wood and wildlife views. With a 2.1 ratio of staff to guests you can enjoy the attention of your own private concierge for cultural trips to Stone Town, PADI dive school experiences, and dhow sundowner trips to watch dolphins dancing offshore. www.andbeyond.com/our-lodges/africa/zanzibar/andbeyond-mnemba-island

TAKE A PRIVATE ALEXA CRUISE OF INDONESIA

Alexa Cruise
Alexa Cruise

Romance on the high seas has never been so special then when sailing the breadth of Indonesia on an Alexa Cruise. Imagine living the life of Riley aboard your own private and traditional Phinisi inspired charter. With only two boats in their fleet, each vessel boasts elegant lounges, designer sleeping quarters, a private library, and under the stars sleeping area for moon gazing when out at sea. A private chef is there to whip up all your meals and a cruise master helps to plan every second of the day. Sail to see the mystical Komodo dragons, watch dolphins from the comfort of the deck with a bottle of champagne, dine on fresh lobster suppers, and hunt for antiques on the fascinating islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago. www.alexaprivatecruises.com

FOLLOW MARIE ANTOINETTE’SFOOTSTEPS AT TRIANON PALACE OF VERSAILLES

Trianon Palace Versailles A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Trianon Palace Versailles A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Walk in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette with a stay in the majestic Trianon Palace and an after-hours tour of the Palace of Versailles. The historic hotel is perched on the edge of Louis XIV’s royal domain, boasting beautiful views across the chateaux and garden. Soaring ceilings, marble corridors and opulence can be found at every turn in the stunning hotel, with the Palace Suites delivering the grandest experience. Macaroon colour schemes are complemented by picture windows and garden views, and breakfast is fabulously French with pastries, brioche and regional cheeses. Book a late-night tour to see the grand apartments, the hall of mirrors, and the Queen’s famous country estate without the crowds. www.trianonpalace.fr

ENJOY A SUNRISE PICNIC AT HOTEL TUGU IN LOMBOK

Bale Kokok Pletok Hotel Tugu Lombok
Bale Kokok Pletok Hotel Tugu Lombok

A stone’s throw from the Gili Islands and with striking views over sacred Mount Rinjani, Hotel Tugu is the pearl in Lombok’s hand. Flanked by Sire’s virginal white sands and neighbouring an 18-hole golf course, this soulful Indonesian hotel has all the ingredients you need for a romantic epic. Seafront villas are just a few steps from the beach and are named after heavenly gods and ancient temples. Some suites face giant outdoor halls filled with statues and others boast sunken tubs in the garden carved from boulders. The hotel has its own unique design shop and art gallery for aficionados who want to take a piece of Indonesia home. Enjoy a romantic sunrise picnic watching the first light flow over Mount Rinjani. www.tuguhotels.com/hotels/lombok

EXPLORE SON TRA NATURE RESERVE AT INTERCONTINENTAL DANANG

IHG Danang Heavenly Penthouse Living Room
IHG Danang Heavenly Penthouse Living Room

Mythology meets sheer luxury on the Vietnamese peninsula of daring Danang. With the Son Tra nature reserve right on your doorstep, you can trek the ancient forest and admire the thousand-year-old Banyan tree. Take a ride in a basket boat and even learn how to make beautiful paper lanterns. The stunning town of Hoi An with her romantic bridges, rows of tailors and midnight markets is also close by, and a must for those seeking a slice of romance in Vietnam. Back at the Intercontinental, the penthouse is a perfect luxury nest with a private infinity pool and outdoor bar, along with dedicated personal butler service and a lavish afternoon tea experience. danang.intercontinental.com

FOUR SEASONS MALDIVES AT LANDAA GIRAAVARU

Four Seasons Landaa Maldives
Four Seasons Landaa Maldives

The Maldives has forever been synonymous with the art of romance and no brand lives up to its five-star name like the Four Seasons. Lovers who dream of a lavish tropical world that delves into conservation will adore this resort on Landaa Giraavaru. The whole island resort sits in the UNESCO world biosphere reserve, famed for its sea of stars. Moonlit walks on the beach, sophisticated Ayurveda wellness treatments at the 3-acre spa, and a marine discovery centre ensure that guests never feel restless. The expansive beach villas with their thatched roofs and open-air lounges feel beautifully authentic, especially when padding down the secluded paths that lead to the dreamiest beaches in the remote Baa Atoll. www.fourseasons.com/maldiveslg

CYCLE THE RICE TERRACES AT SOORI BALI IN INDONESIA

The southern side of Bali seems wilder, with its jade green rice terraces and rich volcanic sands. The Soori beneath the rising splendour of Mount Batukaru is the perfect place to play out your romance. Designed and operated by the famous architect Soo K. Chan, the resort is an expression of inspired Asian style with a full-service transformative therapy spa and stunning dining options. With only ten rooms offering private courtyards and swimming pools, you can remove yourself from the outside world. Watch the sunset over the 16th-century Hindu shrine of the Tanah Lot and take a serene tandem cycle through the rice terraces. sooribali.com

EXPLORE THE RAINFOREST IN BRAZIL’S PONTA DOS GANCHOS

Ponta Dos Ganchos
Ponta Dos Ganchos

For couples seeking a splash of ease and adventure for their romantic escape – the Ponta Dos Ganchos in Brazil may be just the place. A dramatic verdant backdrop meets the emerald coast, and in-between is the Ponta Dos Ganchos with its soothing natural style, soft Egyptian cotton, open fireplaces and plunge pools facing the sea. The restaurant understands how to make a night magical, with candles and crystal lights and ten-course taster menus. Spend your days sipping caipirinha cocktails, cycling to swim in nearby waterfalls, and alternating between jungle and ocean in this fine tropical paradise. www.pontadosganchos.com.br

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