Let us use our expertise to plan the perfect getaway for two. We’ll help add in the little touches to make the holiday truly yours. From sleepouts in Africa to champagne by zip-line in St Lucia, here are some ideas to raise the romance stakes on your next holiday.
Champagne Zip-Line at Cap Maison, St Lucia
Saint Lucia has long been the Caribbean island of choice for newlyweds and old romantics alike. Rugged and tropical, its soft white sands and spectacular Pitons are the perfect backdrop to an intimate meal for two.
The pinnacle of private dining on the island can be found at Rock Maison, a private wooden deck built on a shoal below Cap Maison’s excellent Cliff at Cap Restaurant. Send for an ice-cold vintage via the unique champagne zip-line, which runs from the cliff-top restaurant right down to your table. Staff will also send mouth-watering canapes alongside your champagne bucket. It’s an impressively flamboyant touch as well as a great way to ensure your reverie remains undisturbed.
Surrounded by the ocean on three sides, you’ll feel like the only people on earth as you dine in absolute privacy while the setting sun turns the sky a fiery red. After dark, lanterns and tiki torches light the night sky while the waves crash in the background.
Malori Safari Sleepout at Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
There are few more romantic ways to spend an African evening than sleeping out underneath a star-filled desert sky. Set within the Tswalu Kalahari camp in a private slice of the Kalahari Desert, the Malori is possibly the most picturesque sleep-out deck of them all. Malori means ‘dreamer’ in Tswana, and a night here is certainly the stuff of fantasy. After a sweeping savannah sunset and romantic candle lit dinner, you’ll head to the raised platform to cosy up for the most luxurious camp out you’ll ever experience. Wake up at dawn to the sound of birdsong while the sun’s first rays light up the surrounding wilderness. You can then choose to have breakfast served on deck, or as a picnic on your way back to the main camp.
Taj Mahal Twilight Thali at Oberoi Amarvilas, India
Forgive us if this one seems a bit obvious, but the world’s greatest monument to love takes some beating in the romance stakes. Heartbroken Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife, and while we can’t all match that level of romantic gesture – an in-suite dinner overlooking the Taj from your balcony is a pretty good alternative.
The Oberoi Amarvilas is the only hotel in Agra with uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal from every room. The Taj-facing balconies were practically designed for proposals, and the staff here know exactly how to maximise the moment.
Your personal butler will appear on cue, before leading you out to your flower-strewn, candle-lit table where one of the chef’s signature Royal Indian thalis is laid out. Feast on the flavours of the Raj while enjoying the views over the landscaped gardens to the unmistakable silhouette of the Taj itself.
Caldera Catamaran Cruise at Grace Santorini, Greece
Is Santorini the most romantic of all the Greek Islands? With its combination of whitewashed towns, pretty blue-domed churches and scorching sunsets, we think so. That’s not to mention its array of luxury boutique hotels, of which Grace Santorini is among the best.
A day cruising around the caldera coastline on your own sleek catamaran is the perfect way to eschew the crowds. Discover volcanic formations and choose your very own swimming and sunbathing spots. Or, explore as far as Ios and Mykonos aboard a luxury motor yacht, visiting sandy beaches while enjoying local delicacies prepared just for you.
Enhance the romance by opting to stay in the Honeymoon Suite at the Grace. Expect chic white décor, ultimate privacy and peerless views of the Aegean Sea from your own private plunge pool. Stays of five nights or more are rewarded with champagne and strawberries on arrival, sunset cocktails and an intimate four-course dinner. Combine this with a stay at equally amorous sister property Grace Mykonos and you have a Greek getaway of which Eros would approve.
Sunset Sea Kayaking at Pousada Picinguaba, Brazil
Beach hideaways don’t come much more hidden away than Pousada Picinguaba. Set above a sleepy fishing village on the edge of an unspoilt rainforest, this converted colonial mansion offers the perfect ‘back to nature’ experience for couples.
Kayak out into the turquoise waters of Picinguaba Bay, keeping your eyes peeled for sea turtles and stingrays while you paddle. Cross the bay until you reach Praia da Fazenda beach, which you’re almost certain to have all to yourselves for a sunset swim. Sunrise is equally romantic, and offers the opportunity to venture along the mangrove swamps of the Picinguaba River while exotic butterflies flutter overheard.
With no TVs, intermittent wi-fi and limited mobile coverage, there’s nothing to distract you from the natural beauty, and each other. Rainforest hikes, surf lessons and boat trips to snorkel the crystal-clear waters can also all be arranged. Afterwards, it’s back to the pousada to swing lazily in a hammock with a passion fruit caipirinha in hand, before a candle-lit dinner of the day’s fresh catch.