Looking for a Valentine’s Day escape? We’ve asked 10 industry insiders to tell us which hotels around they world they think embody romance.
“Working in the travel industry I’m fortunate to have been to some amazing places in the world. When it comes to romance though, there is something very magical about Kasbah Tamadot, where I’ve been able to spend time my wife.
“It’s set at the foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and from the moment you arrive and are greeted by the aroma of rose petals and mint tea, you quickly realise that a stay is a treat for all the senses. Sitting on your own private terrace looking out over the valley with a glass of Moroccan Rose in hand, eating olives that have been grown locally, you become entranced by the sounds of the valley; the birds, the gentle trickling of the stream and the sound of the call to prayer that’s carried on the breeze.
“A personal highlight is always dinner on the roof. It’s the perfect spot to watch the changing colours of the mountain that’s at the forefront of the view; as the sun sets it turns a striking red before the moon casts a silvery glow and the sky is lit like someone has pulled a star cloth over it. There’s no better, or more romantic, way to end an evening than by stargazing.”
Jon Brown, managing director of Virgin Limited Edition
“A former military fortress set on an exclusive 2km peninsula in the beautiful bay of Palma, this honey-hued luxury retreat is one of my ultimate go-tos for a romantic getaway. Some people will tell you that the key is an unbeatable dinner reservation, and while that’s all well and good, at Cap Rocat the real highlight is the delightful breakfast hamper delivered to your room every morning.
“Stroll just a couple of yards from your bed to your private cabana and enjoy a quiet breakfast for two with uninterrupted views over the Bay beyond. It’s truly an incredible way to begin your day in Mallorca.
“Get to know the surrounding area on horseback or hop on a bike and peddle around the countryside for a breath of fresh air. Whatever you do, do it with a freshly packed Mallorcan Picnic. For something that bit special, I recommend taking a trip to the coast to visit some of the secret beaches, such as Cala Comtessa in an awesome little cove with a handy café to keep you hydrated.”
Tom Marchant, co-founder of tailormade travel company Black Tomato
“Located on a mountain ridge, the Ladera Resort is a unique romantic hideaway that offers some of the best views of St Lucia’s famous Pitons in Soufrière. The resort is styled around the resort’s breath-taking views, with all of the suites, the restaurant and reception area ‘open walled’, providing undisturbed views of the outstanding backdrop.
“On the north of the island is Rendezvous, a couples only resort that is perfect for a romantic getaway. Rendezvous’ high standards of service and luxury make it a popular choice amongst couples seeking only the best. Pretty much everything is included in this romantic retreat, allowing couples to truly unwind.”
Martyn Jones, Caribbean destination specialist at Hayes & Jarvis
"The Jalakara is my idea of heaven: a remote boho-chic hideaway tucked in a lush jungle landscape with incredible views from its infinity pool. Set on Havelock island in the Indian Andamans, it’s a real journey to get here but that’s half the point.
“There are seven gorgeous rooms, all different; the Jalakara Villa has a private yoga deck with a giant hammock and an Ayurvedic copper plunge pool, and a film projector so you can have screenings under the stars.
“Seafood suppers and tropical breakfasts are said to be divine; as you’d expect really, as the owner is a chef. And then there’s Havelock itself, with some of the most spectacular beaches on earth and incredible snorkelling and diving. Shame, I’ve already had my honeymoon.”
Liz Simpson, editor of i-escape.com
“I am a sucker for pristine beaches and Robinson Crusoe barefoot luxury, so, this resort ticks all of my boxes.
“I love their no news, no shoes ethos. Every villa at this beautiful over water resort comes with a Mr Friday who will even make up a bed on your roof terrace so you can sleep under the stars.”
Gaynor Pickard, writer at designer travels
“I especially love The Oriental in Bangkok. Not new, but so enduring, this is the queen of hotels, whose gracious service and wonderful location have sailed happily through the vicissitudes of time, always creating a sense of magic like no other hotel can ever emulate.
“Dining on the candle-lit terrace at night with a table next to the river is the absolute essence of romance, following a hectic day amidst the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok.”
George Morgan-Grenville, founder and CEO of Red Savannah
“So many elements need to come together for the mix to be just right and for me, it’s a combination of the setting, the quality of the experience and, of course, the right company.
“It starts with the hotel. Somewhere that’s absolutely beautiful, fairly private and definitely peaceful, with comfortable beds, great food and wine and a discreet service that makes you feel on top of the world.
“Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa in Northamptonshire is one such example for all of those reasons. It is surrounded by 2,000 acres of rolling countryside and beautiful formal gardens and the historic house, dating back to the 1760s, oozes character and charm.
“The hotel blends contemporary design with a number of original features such as exposed brick walls, intricate wood panelling, beamed vaulted ceilings and huge stone fireplaces that wrap guests in a bygone era yet create a warm and a welcoming atmosphere.
“The Cedar Restaurant has a somewhat unconventional yet cosy layout, with several alcoves ideal for romantic candlelit dining and there is also a private cinema and intimate spa for even more relaxation.”
Julia Hands, chairman and CEO of Hand Picked Hotels
CenterHotel Midgardur, Iceland
“Book your romantic Icelandic break to the stylish CenterHotel Midgardur, conveniently located in the heart of Reykjavik and the newest of the hip CenterHotel group. With comfortable and modern rooms, a Nordic fusion restaurant, a cosy, ambient lounge, a secluded garden with an outdoor hot pool and an exquisite spa, you won’t want to leave the hotel.
“The hotel has a host of diverse attractions on its doorstep, making it the ideal choice for those seeking cultural, outdoor and retail adventures in between alone time.”
Emma McWhinney, deputy editor at Secret Escapes
“At Soneva Jani in the Maldives, the most romantic room comes with a water slide so you can slip from your top-floor deck straight into the waves below.
“And to top that, you can press a button and watch your roof recede to reveal the twinkling stars. Being able to stargaze from a bed above the ocean is pretty special – especially when your butler can summon ice-cold champagne to toast the moment.”
Tamara Heber-Percy, founder and CTO of Mr & Mrs Smith
“Enjoying one of the best positions in Sicily’s Taormina, immersed in nature between the sea and Mount Etna, this hotel has incredible views. It’s very private, high up in Taormina where you can dine by candle light on the terrace with views stretching out along the coast ”
Lulu Townsend, founder of Chic Retreats