From foodie breaks with beau to dream weddings, vow renewals and classic couples’ retreats, the ways in which we discover the world together are endless. And with mini moons and baby moons revolutionising the way we think about the humble honeymoon, there’s lots to love about twosome travel right now.
But is it too soon to spoon? Want to take things slow before holidaying as a couple? Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings suggests the 1:1 ratio approach. This simple formula equates to one day of holiday per month of being together, and helps couples decide how long they should jet off for. Fledgling romance? Book a long weekend. Seven months and going strong? You’ve earned yourself a week’s holiday to take your relationship up a level.
Whether you’re living love’s young dream or looking to celebrate a longer liaison, there’s a world of choice out there for you. So join Kenwood Travel’s destination experts as we take the plunge and reveal our favourite romantic holidays of the moment.
I Do, Take Two
If Las Vegas’s drive-thru wedding chapels are bit too crude to get you in the mood, try America’s more far-flung destinations for a romantic break, say our USA holiday team. New York has the silver-screen glamour of a horse and carriage ride through Central Park of course, but for the ultimate couples’ holiday, nothing beats an island escape. Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach on Oahu Island in Hawaii is ‘destination devotion’ for married couples looking for a special place to reaffirm their relationship. The resort’s Hawaiian Vow Renewal is a complimentary ceremony using the rising sun and a stunning beach venue as the stage to fall in love all over again.
Secrets of Santorini
The beautiful Greek island of Santorini. Could it be the most romantic place in the world? That’s its reputation among many love birds, and who are we to argue. The iconic isle does possess jaw-dropping scenery after all; think whitewashed villages, golden beaches and rugged cliff faces rising majestically from the glistening blue waters of the southern Aegean. From Santorini’s volcanic landscape to the ancient relics of its turbulent Minoan past, there’s enough drama on show to stir the passions too.
But you’ll want a bit of luxury to wrap up your romantic holiday to Santorini. Step forward Kenwood staff pick, Mystique. A favourite among discerning couples, Mystique resort has a genuinely exclusive feel, and its limited number (just 35) of suites and villas are nicely tucked away within a beautifully landscaped setting to provide privacy and seclusion. Share memorable moments together at the infinity-edge pool, Aura Bar, Charisma Restaurant and even a secret wine cave. Short haul holidays to Europe never looked so attractive.
Their serene sunsets, sublime beaches and sizzling food make our Caribbean getaways some of world travel’s most popular picks for romantic holidays. What you might not know however is how much extra value you’ll find to sweeten the deal in this most authentic of destinations. Kenwood Travel hotels like The House by Elegant Hotels in Barbados and Unico 20°87° in Cancun & Riviera Maya each exceed expectations when it comes to generous inclusions. The latter hotel’s unlimited spa treatments*, free room upgrade for honeymooners, free wedding package and free vow renewal package are sure to turn heads, while complimentary champagne breakfast, free Simply Elegant wedding package, free honeymoon package and complimentary 30min massage per person are all part of the price at The House.
For couples’ retreats to Arabia, our Middle East holiday experts have selected a trio of love nests where romance rules. At One&Only the Palm in Dubai, some say it’s the fact that all rooms have private verandas, gulf or garden views and grand bathrooms with free-standing bathtubs that make this hotel such a hit with honeymooners. At Shangri-La Al Husn in Oman, people talk about how the resort’s Ottoman interiors, glamourous butler service and broad private beach backed by soaring mountains create unforgettable romantic holidays. Finally, Ras Al Khaimah’s Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach brings acclaim from loved-up guests for its secluded Arabian Gulf setting, private pool villas and luxury fine dining… Guess you’ll just have to find out for yourselves.
Do Not Disturb
An amorous adventure awaits couples on a romantic holiday to the Indian Ocean. From champagne breakfasts to, ahem, skinny dipping, our destination experts have got the low down on where’s hot for ‘do not disturb’. JA Manafaru in the Maldives is one such hideaway. All villas have a private pool so you won’t need to leave the privacy of your own room to take a dip. If you do decide to enjoy the infinity edged adults’ pool (located a safe distance from the children’s pool), the rest of the resort will feel uncrowded because everyone has the same idea. The romance begins with a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne on arrival for all couples, and the romantic gifts keep coming for honeymooners: scented bath setup; turn-down service with cocktails, canapes and chocolates; and an in-villa romantic breakfast experience, all included.
Romantic holidays are all about putting your feet up – your own villa host will see to that at JA Manafaru – but if you do want to dive into a bit of adventure, the resort has an impressive house reef. You can also bliss out at the spa or just kick back and enjoy the elegant but casual vibe (no need for heels ladies). For maximum privacy, we recommend booking a Beach Bungalow Villa. The pool is in the garden at the back where high walls provide total privacy for swimming naked, should you feel inclined.
With just the right balance between rustic and slick, the vibe at La Vela Khao Lak resort in Thailand is at once contemporary and traditional. The innovative architecture and design promote a peaceful atmosphere; perfect for couples on holiday in Thailand looking to recharge and reconnect without distractions. The tranquillity provided by the lush, tropical setting – itself modishly contrasted by angular green spaces within the resort – means romance seems to fill the air at La Vela Khoa Lak.
But the real appeal for couples goes deeper than that. If your idea of romance falls into the ‘long walks on the beach’ category, you’re in luck. Bang Niang beach is one of Khao Lak’s best, and it’s right on your doorstep here. Meanwhile, why not retreat to the hotel spa for a spot of pampering as a pair? Kenwood Travel holidaymakers at La Vela resort now receive a 60-minute Couples’ Aromatic Massage, absolutely free.
*Subject to 20% supplement.