Kindle a little romance and get the fires of passion burning with these dreamy destinations, private journeys and experiences built for two.
2. The Zen Getaway: Kyoto
The romantic vision that is Kyoto almost defies even the most masterly writer’s description or weaving of words. It is simply breathtaking. The people. The temples. The gardens. The historic quarters. The Geishas. Yes, there are still Geishas. Even the neon of the here and now has a delicate beauty, garish in a way that ignites the senses as eye candy rather than screaming signage. Being immersed in such beauty is no mean feat, except here, in Japan, where everything is packaged to please the eye. A tree is trimmed into a sensual shape, a bow is tied just so atop a box of sweets, a lip is lined in Japanese red to punctuate a pale face. We love it. We are almost lost in it, and ready to abandon ourselves to it. This is a place that is a must on every traveller’s milestone and bucket list. And we did mention the Temples? Above, this photo of the Golden Temple was taken on a phone’s camera. At sunset. No filter. Truth. Domo arigato, Kyoto. www.Ilovejapan.ca
3. The City: Prague
Like Paris, Prague has a bridge. Not just any bridge, mind you. You’d pretty much be able to say that about almost any European city where a river runs through it. This bridge is different. A bridge of love, d’amour. It’s laced with locks, their steely arched arms gripping the links of the fencing and railing like a warm embrace, an embrace symbolizing commitment, a need to hold on, of never letting go. Yes, this is Prague, a city that has been compared to Paris in many other ways. Architecture, cultivated cuisine, a beer-brewing history that’s like so much wine poured in the City of Light.
Isn’t it romantic? But, unlike Paris, the bridge of love here is not so easy to find. We are fortunate enough to have a guide, a local Prague-ite who knew exactly where it is. And that is the beauty of travel, but travel done in a way that makes sense in our time-crunched world. Get an expert to help you in the discovery, leave the details like luggage, transportation and even language translation to an expert. www.prague.eu
4. The Resort: One&Only Hayman Island, Australia
It’s Sunday in the Whitsundays. “Sun” seems to be the common denominator, the operative word here. The Whitsundays, are a tiny gaggle of islands, fuzzy pale green dots anchored in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, in the north east of Australia, a snorkel’s swim away from the Great Barrier Reef. It’s sunny on Hayman Island, too, the most northerly of the Whitsundays, where the population is made up of R and R seekers and those that do their best to service that need.
It is also the spot of one of the newest One & Only resorts, the hotel group that counts Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, the Palmilla in Los Cabos to be exact, as well as the Ocean Club in the Bahamas (Daniel Craig famously stayed the night at the resort there in his debut star turn as 007). Add locations in The Maldives, Cape Town, two in Dubai, and Mauritius, and you start to get the picture. Exclusive, private, lush, tropical, reclusive, all words that evoke a sense of getaway, of peace, of romance.
5. The Fireplace: in New York City
If your idea of a little romance is a cuddle with your lover by a roaring fire, then we’ve got your answer. The Royalton New York, a Morgans Hotel Group property, introduces the first-ever artisanal fireplace program: Royalton Fireplace, a full sensory immersion. Located in midtown Manhattan, the boutique Royalton New York – a boutique property that also features 55 wood-burning fireplaces in its guest rooms, the most of any NYC hotel – has introduced The Fireplace Sachet, developed in partnership with Brooklyn-based Wood Sommelier Ted Whitehead (aka The Woodman). Five wood types allow guests to customize their in-room fires/scents. A menu of small plates and craft cocktails are paired to complement each scent. The Fireplace concierge will give you the choice of Oak, Pecan, Maple, Hickory, Apple or “Burn Baby Burn” Cherry wood. Romantic, indeed.
8. The Crown Jewel: Your own Private London
Tully Luxury Travel, a Canadian-based luxe travel agency, has a division that owner Mary Jean Tully has coined the Private Travel Designers. It’s bespoke travel to the max: “This option allows travellers to create the most extraordinary journeys through Tully’s relationships with the very best airlines, hotels, resorts, car services, and tour providers.” In addition to fine dining, a breathtaking Cirque Du Soleil performance or evening perusing London’s Orchid Festival are great ways to create a memorable getaway.