Love is in the air, and I want to take flight right along with it! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I love an excuse to celebrate by planning a romantic getaway. Planning a trip with your special someone is the perfect chance to reconnect and add some extra passion and adventure to your relationship. From beach breaks to city escapes, here are my top five picks for a romantic getaway this year:`
With coastlines stretching along the Arabian sea, Goa is perfect for a romantic beach escape with plenty of secluded sandy spots to choose from. Butterfly Beach, one of the least crowded beaches in Goa, is perfect for privacy and peace, alongside the marvel of its exotic and beautiful butterflies.
For a break from the beach, take your partner to some of the incredible waterfalls, such as Bamanbudo or Harvalem. At Dudhsagar Waterfalls the drive up is just as romantic as the spectacle of the falls.
As the heat of the day settles in the evening, enjoy al fresco dining in Goa, with plenty of romantic restaurants to choose from. Thalassa in Vagator boasts jaw dropping sea views alongside fabulous live music. Or if oysters are on your mind, head to Simply Grills at The Marriott on Miramar Beach and enjoy a fine dining experience featuring the best seafood in Goa.
Whilst Goa is the smallest state of India, it is known for hosting some of the most exciting nightlife options in the country. Head to Tito’s Lane for a variety of bars and nightclubs or grab a sunset beer that lasts into the night at one of Goa’s famous beach bars like Curlie’s Shack or Palms and Sands.
Accommodation options range from affordable hostels to luxury hotels. Treat your partner to seafront views, a private beach and even on-sight massage services at The Park Calangute. The hotel also features an in-house restaurant with an open kitchen, so you barely have to leave your love nest.
Kyoto is picturesque and rich in history. Stroll down the Philosophers Path and contemplate your love amongst the famous cherry blossoms, or gaze in awe at the giant bamboo in Arashiyama Grove.
For a bit of excitement, why not take a Kyoto Rickshaw Tour? Snuggle up close to your partner in your rickshaw as you take in this wonderful city in style.
Japanese food is simply unbeatable, and Kyoto has so much on offer when it comes to feasting. Take a romantic boat ride to a sake brewery tour and let the wine do the talking or treat your foodie partner to a traditional cookery class, or even a night-time food market tour.
For more quintessential romantic dining, Kyoto is home to some of the most impressive restaurants in the world. Try Premium Pound Gion for a fabulous wagyu steak experience, or Fortune Garden Kyoto for a beautiful setting and cosy ambience. The Sodoh Higashiyama is also one of the best for exquisite Italian influenced dishes that are sure to impress your significant other.
Kyoto’s nightlife scene boasts vibrant bars, exclusive clubs, and music venues. Kiyamachi Avenue along the river is best for cheap and western friendly drinking holes, whilst the alleyway of Pontocho hosts a more exclusive atmosphere with cocktail bars, cabarets, and late-night eateries.
When it comes to accommodation, Kyoto knows how to serve luxury with subtlety and exuberance. The Old Kyoto Machiya features beautifully restored Kyoto machiyas (traditional Kyoto townhouses). Enjoy a private sanctuary for you and your partner, combining Japanese tradition and modern comfort.
Napa Valley, California
Romance and wine go hand in hand, and with over 300 wineries to explore, Napa Valley is the ultimate romantic setting. Embark on any one of the hundreds of wine tours available, where you and your partner can stroll through vines and taste delicious blends. Stomp grapes together with bare feet, or even bottle your romance in your own Bordeaux and make a unique blend of your very own wine.
Treat yourselves to a couples massage and maybe even a mud bath at Indian Springs Castiloga, or for the adventure seekers, why not let your love take flight on a hot air balloon experience over this gorgeous setting.
February is a fabulous time to visit Napa Valley because of the range of romantic accommodation packages available. From bespoke wine tours to couples spa and room packages, the hotels in Napa Valley have your Valentine’s celebrations all wrapped up. Book the Bardessono Hotel and Spa for classic romantic luxury or the Calistoga Ranch for remote romance in a serene wilderness setting.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Passion takes pride of place in Buenos Aires. I could walk for hours hand in hand enjoying all this beautiful city has to offer. Stroll through the fashionable neighbourhood of Recoleta and admire the stunning historic architecture before visiting boutique wine shops and galleries. On weekends enjoy the street fair where you can shop for gifts and treats for your special someone.
For more tranquillity take a walk through the Jardin Japones, a breath-taking Japanese garden that also features a traditional tea house! For some Argentinian culture, marvel at the grand mansion of Museo Nacional De Arte Decorativo and its fascinating collection of period furnishings, sculptures, and paintings.
Buenos Aires is bursting with a huge variety of sumptuous restaurants to treat any foodie. Casa Coupage is a fantastic restaurant situated in the Head Chef’s private house.
When evening comes, enjoy an enchanting opera or beautiful ballet show in a truly stunning setting at Teatro Colón. Or if the bars are more your scene, Buenos Aires’s oldest neighbourhood, San Telmo, is perfect for laidback bars and cool cocktail haunts. Buenos Aires also has a thriving underground speakeasy scene. Surprise your partner at Florería Atlántico in Retiro and find a cocktail bar hidden within this flower shop!
Buenos Aires has great accommodation options at reasonable prices, so you can save your spending on romantic dinners and treats. I love the Tango de Mayo Hotel, for its central location and stunning décor or the Mine Hotel Boutique for bespoke luxury situated near the buzzing Serano Square.
When I think of romance, I think of Italy. Amazing food and wine, stunning scenery and passionate people is a recipe for romance. And what could be more wonderful than a city on water? What could be more filled with indulgence and romance than a gondola ride?
Take a romantic private gondola ride past the stunning baroque and renaissance buildings, or even head out of the city by motorboat to one of the nearby islands. Away from the canal and into the town, browse quiet alleys for romantic gifts like Venetian masks and Murano glass.
You cannot visit Italy without focusing on the food. Take a walking food tour in the day and feed your partner Italian treats as you sip on sumptuous Italian wine. For dinner, Hostaria Castello is a beautiful restaurant serving the exquisite Mediterranean and north Italian cuisine, or Bistrot De Venise is one of my favourites for superb dishes, fantastically paired wines, and wonderful ambience.
For romantic accommodation, there is nowhere better than the Grand Canal. My favourite is the Gritti Palace, overlooking the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice. Dating back to 1475, the Gritti Palace boasts one of the most enthralling views of the lagoon city. This stunning luxury hotel is a place of exquisite art and elegance that has the intimacy and familiarity of a private residence. It does not get more romantic than this.
There are so many wonderful places across the world for every kind of romantic getaway. You don’t even need a partner to take a romantic trip! Take a friend or just yourself: your love for travel will make a visit a treat. Remember that Valentine’s Day is not the only day for love and adventure!