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From sipping wine in the Tuscan countryside to adventuring across the African savannah.
By Emma Al-Mousawi | January 18 2021
Dreaming of a Valentine’s Day escape? With travel restrictions in full force, it may be a little while before some of us can jet away to a romantic destination. However, there is no harm in indulging in a spot of wanderlust, right? So here at Elite Traveler, we have hand-picked some of the most romantic luxury Valentine’s Day hotels and resorts, in the most beautiful of settings, to make for an unforgettable February 14.
We have made sure to include some Valentine’s Day hotels a little closer to home, but do make sure to check local travel restrictions before you book.
Venice has long been synonymous with romance, in no small part thanks to one of its most legendary son, Casanova. The floating city’s ornate Renaissance architecture and labyrinth of canals make it a Valentine’s destination unlike any other. And the grandeur of the exclusive Aman Venice just adds to the allure. The hotel, housed in a 16th century palazzo, is situated on the city’s Grand Canal and has all of the Venetian opulence and grandeur you would expect. Of course, the local gastronomy plays an important role in any visit to Italy, and a stay at Aman will not disappoint. At the hotel’s Arva restaurant, you can expect executive chef Dario Ossola to serve inventive yet authentic dishes using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.
Overlooking the turquoise Bay of Banderas with the Sierra Madre mountains serving as a dramatic background, the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit resort offers a luxurious “beyond all-inclusive” getaway on Mexico’s famed golden Pacific coast. Drink in epic sunsets from the resort’s beach or the Presidential Suite’s private on-terrace Jacuzzi; discover the charm of the nearby historic town, Puerto Vallarta; or indulge your senses in the world-class spa. This February, you can take advantage of the resort’s tailor-made package for couples, complete with strawberries and bubbles, couples massages and a romantic dinner by the beach as the sun goes down.
Perched atop the 1,200-foot peaks of Big Sur with nothing but the Pacific Ocean below, you will feel like you have escaped to the edge of the world at the architecturally breathtaking Post Ranch Inn. The eco-resort is located on California’s famous coastal Highway One, making it the perfect stopover on a romantic road trip. Explore the remote landscape or sit back and take in the uninterrupted ocean and mountain vistas from the hotel’s infinity pools. There’s no better place to watch the sun go down than from the glass-fronted fine-dining restaurant, Sierra Mar, where you can indulge in dishes created using locally foraged ingredients, paired with wine from the restaurant’s tremendous wine cellar.
Only 16 miles from Lisbon but what feels like a world away is the fairy tale town of Sintra, with its dreamy mountains, Moorish ruins and fanciful palaces. It is here you will find the romantic Tivoli Palacio de Seteais. This 18th century palace-turned-boutique hotel exudes grandeur and makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time with its ornate decor and exquisitely manicured gardens. During their stay, couples can opt to take a horse-drawn carriage through town, dine in one of the palace ballrooms or simply unwind together in the luxurious spa.
If you’re looking for a romantic break that will create memories that last a lifetime, then an African safari will deliver by the bucketload. And tucked away in a private corner of the Maasai Mara, at the foot of the scenic Oloololo escarpment (the rim of the Great Rift Valley), is the magical Bateleur Camp. Hot air balloon rides, bush walks and game drives to spot the “big five” await you in this eco-friendly haven. Stay in one of 18 exceptionally luxurious tented suites, which come complete with copper bathtub and are adorned with antiques and crafted artifacts. Of course, dining takes place under the African sky, with dinner for two served by candlelight, while a truly unique breakfast can be enjoyed near the banks of the Mara River – just don’t forget your binoculars.
The luxury 39-acre resort of Montage Los Cabos is situated just where the Baja desert meets the pristine shores of Santa Maria Bay. A stay at this secluded spot offers walk-in access to some of the finest swimming, diving and snorkeling in the region. If you and your partner would prefer to stay on dry land, the award-winning spa offers a wealth of rejuvenating treatments, including the Romantic Escape Massage, with aromas of rose and geranium. In the evening, the $7,750 private dining experience at El Cielo, a one-of-a-kind lookout perched above Santa Maria Bay, will be unforgettable. Sip on Dom Pérignon as you enjoy a five-course tasting menu including caviar, lobster and filet mignon prepared by your private chef, with moonlit views of the Sea of Cortez.
Due to local closures and restrictions, you’ll just have to keep these romantic Valentine’s Day hotels in your back pocket for 2022.
Nestled amid the tropical landscape on the pristine shores of Thailand’s Khao Lak coast, The Sarojin is a secluded sanctuary where guests can immerse themselves in pampered luxury. The pool residences invite the outdoors in, blending seamlessly with the natural surroundings, while the resort’s outdoor spa offers rejuvenating couples treatments. Guests can choose from an impressive list of private dining experiences, including dining by a waterfall in the candlelit forest, or opt to get whisked away via The Sarojin’s private yacht to your own secluded island for dinner under the stars. It’s also worth noting that the award-winning boutique hotel is keen to preserve its beautiful setting and is making strides to reduce its water, plastic and energy usage.
There’s a reason why the Tuscan landscape has played the backdrop for so many romantic novels. Its gastronomy, rolling hills and beautiful sunsets are just some of the factors that have made it a favorite among couples and writers alike. Located in the heart of the countryside within easy reach of the vineyards of Chianti is the enchanting eco-sanctuary of Borgo Pignano. A stay at this restored 18th century villa, nestled within swaths of organic farmland, allows you and your loved one to press pause on daily life and cocoon yourself in tranquility. Explore the olive groves, go horseback riding and dine on alfresco gourmet meals created using homegrown and local ingredients.