Romantic trips don’t necessarily have to mean a couples’ retreat with his-and-hers matching bathrobes; the best destinations are the ones with their own sense of magic, culture and history – and the chance to escape the real world. From European cities to private Caribbean islands, take a look at our top five romantic destinations below.
Imperial grandeur meets contemporary elegance in Vienna, a city perfect for strolling through by day, stopping off at the cosy coffee houses, and sampling the BeisIn (bistro pubs) and incredible music at night. Vienna is the place to go if you want luxury and a dose of intellectual culture; stay at Hotel Kärntnerhof, a charming hotel that blends Viennese Art Nouveau with Italian elegance.
San Sebastián, Spain
Spain may have Barcelona, Madrid and Seville, but San Sebastián is the best place to take your significant other. The city in Spain’s Basque Country is renowned for its food, with its restaurants boasting no less than 16 Michelin stars in total, making it the perfect destination for a real indulgent break. Don’t miss out on its unrivalled pintxo (tapas) culture either, where locals spill out of bars onto the cobbled streets – glass of wine in one hand, innovative small bite in the other. Stay at the Iriate Jauregia Hotel for contemporary minimalism meets 17th century elegance.
Sitting on the edge of Central America, Belize is a unique destination that blends laidback Caribbean ease with a Latin American edge. The pace is slow – really slow – meaning you can’t help but just sit back, relax and take in the natural beauty and history of the place. Stay at Cayo Espanto, a private island three miles out from San Pedro. With just seven private villas dotted around the island, this is a luxury getaway at its finest.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The home of Tango, it’s hard not to get swept up in the passion of Buenos Aires. The city is European-meets-Latin American, with culture and sex appeal oozing from its wide avenues, narrow cobbled streets and grand buildings. Palermo Viejo is the barrio to stay in for independent boutiques, bohemian atmosphere and some of the best restaurants in the city. Set in an old restored factory, Home Hotel is an 18-room boutique hotel where mid-century design meets Scandinavian minimalism – stay here for an intimate, home-from-home place in the city.
Nothing says paradise quite like Bali. With a rich, diverse culture, incredible cuisine, clear blue seas and soft white sand, there’s nowhere else quite like it. Visit centuries-old temples, spend your days exploring the island’s many beaches and take in the five waterfalls between Bedugul and Singaraja. Stay at the Alila Ubud Hotel, a secluded hillside retreat that blends traditional Balinese architecture with contemporary design.
Words by Angharad Jones