When it comes to the world’s romantic getaways, Alan and I have experienced quite a few. In our opinion, intimate accommodations are at the heart of our favorite romantic travels. For us, that means small boutique hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts or lodges that offer privacy and special touches that separate the great from the not-so-great. If they also happen to be luxurious, even better. Take a look at some of our favorites.
Romantic Getaways in South Africa
Why is a South African safari romantic? First of all, there’s the exotic landscape filled with wild animals. But staying at a luxury safari camp takes romance to a new level. Maybe it’s the tented bed or private plunge pools.
Our secluded villa at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge offered privacy, elegant furnishings and a private plunge pool with a view of Krueger National Park. A floral greeting decorated the bed in a welcoming touch. Coffee was served to us each morning through a butler’s pantry door for a private wakeup call. And sharing each day viewing South Africa’s wildlife was a bonding experience that we’ll always remember.
Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge
Chiseled into a rocky outcropping on the border of South Africa and Botswana, even the views at Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge are romantic. Besides the typical plunge pool, our room also featured an old-fashioned claw foot tub on a private outdoor patio. And then there was the evening we returned to the villa to find candles surrounding the bathtub and a bubble bath waiting to be enjoyed.
After the business of a safari, Alan and I traveled to Birkenhead House in Hermanus for rest and relaxation. The property tumbles down a hillside in a series of elegant rooms and outdoor settings. On our last evening, the staircase to our room was illuminated by candlelight. Rose petals were scattered about the bed and a rose-covered bubble bath was waiting to be enjoyed.
An Italian Romantic Getaway
One could argue that the entire country of Italy is romantic. Alan and I certainly think so, especially in the smaller cities and villages.
For an off-the-beaten-path Italian romantic getaway, Sovana Hotel tops our list. Surrounded by Etruscan ruins and olive orchards, history (and romance) oozes from this forgotten corner of Tuscany.
Romantic Getaways on Vancouver Island
Nature is the star on a romantic getaway to Vancouver Island. Alan and I have favorites on both the East and West coasts.
Inn the Estuary
A few miles on the outskirts of Nanaimo, Inn the Estuary is both a wildlife haven and an architectural masterpiece on Vancouver Island’s East Coast. Passion and love for the land are part of the inn’s ethos, making it one romantic getaway that we can’t wait to repeat.
A Relais & Chateaux property, Wickaninnish Inn provides luxurious accommodations in the wild setting of Vancouver Island’s West Coast. Alan and I are anxious to return to watch the dramatic winter storms crash into the surf at the inn’s location on Chesterman Beach. A fire and wintry view accompanied by outstanding cuisine is calling to us right about now.
Romance in Australia
The entire country of Australia offers so much in terms of romantic travel. There are so many destinations that we’ve yet to experience, especially the Great Barrier Reef and the Kimberly Region. But we’ve visited Sydney several times and always enjoy our time in the vibrant city.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
What’s so romantic about a high-rise hotel in the heart of Sydney? The view of the Sydney Opera House from a junior suite, that’s what. Plus the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney includes a convenient location and over-the-top personal service. We’d happily do this one again.
A Romantic Getaway on New Zealand’s South Island
What is it about distant destinations that make them so romantic? That’s how Alan and I feel about New Zealand, especially the South Island.
Shelbourne Villa Inn
On an off-the-beaten-path trip to Nelson, Alan and I discovered the romance of Shelbourne Villa Inn. A huge room, heated towel racks and delicious breakfast made an impression on us, as did the charming town of Nelson.
Romance in the Arizona Desert
Is it the balmy nights with a dark sky filled with million stars? Or is it the other-worldly vegetations where cactus raise their arms to the sky? Alan and I lived in the Arizona desert for eleven years and we can attest to its romantic ambience.
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain
Can a hotel’s design be romantic? Absolutely. The architecture of Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain seamlessly merges with its desert environment in the Tortolita Mountains near Tucson. I appreciate the use of Arizona’s natural elements like leather, turquoise and copper in the interior design. Watching a desert sunset from the outdoor patio adds to the romance. Alan and I both appreciate the prickly pear margaritas.
Romantic Getaway on Maui
Okay, everything about Hawaii is romantic. But, when it comes to Maui, we favor the quieter vibe of Kapalua Bay.
Montage Kapalua Bay
When I dream of a romantic getaway on Maui, Montage Kapalua Bay comes to mind. A series of outdoor pools tumble down the hillside with plenty of private alcoves for communing with your sweetheart. The low-key vibe and extraordinary personal service are part of the romantic experience. Alan and I hope to return for a romantic getaway soon.
California Wine Country Romance
When it comes to romance in the wine country, we recommend a drive up the California coast before turning inland for a romantic getaway in Sonoma.
You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven when staying in a junior barn suite at the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, California. Alan and I appreciated the two-way fireplace in the bedroom and patio area. Making up my own concoctions at the spa bar added to the fun. After a day of touring Sonoma wine country, we enjoyed a romantic dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant before sitting by the fire on our patio. Oh-so-romantic!
Montana Romantic Getaways
Alan and I are on a mission to experience romance Montana style. Take a look at what we’ve found so far:
Triple Creek Ranch
When we heard that one of the best hotels in the world was located just down the Bitterroot Valley from us in Darby, Alan and I had to try it. The luxury log cabins at the all-inclusive Triple Creek Ranch have become our go-to for a romantic Montana getaway.
Grey Cliffs Ranch
The intimate lodge and wide-open spaces of Grey Cliffs Ranch really speaks to Alan. Located on 5,200 acres in the Madison Valley, there’s plenty of space to roam. Gourmet meals, an outdoor hot tub and the small size (only 5 guest rooms) fit Alan’s parameters for relaxing, off-grid getaways. Mine, too.
Coyote Bluff Estate
Overlooking Flathead Lake, Coyote Bluff Estate oozes luxurious romance. Exquisitely furnished rooms include the latest in home technology. And it’s only a short drive to Glacier National Park. When Alan and I are looking for a romantic getaway near Kalispell, Coyote Bluff Estate is our choice.
Luxury Cruise Ships: The Ultimate Romantic Getaway
Pick a luxury cruise, any luxury cruise, and you’ll be treated to the ultimate in service and romance. It’s our favorite way to celebrate a romantic occasion.
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