by John O'Ceallaigh and Luxury Travel Editor, The Telegraph, January 25, 2019
Given we’re on the brink of February, time is fast running out should you wish to arrange a getaway for Valentine’s Day. But there’s still time off to pull off something sufficiently spectacular to convince your significant other that you’ve long been thinking about ways to make them feel special.
Read on for our guide to luxury Valentine’s holidays around the world that still have availability in February. If you’d prefer to keep things local, take a look at our guide to luxury Valentine’s holidays in Britain.
If you’re sure you’re in this for the long haul, there’s perhaps a case to be made for creating your own wine to toast anniversaries and special moments in the many years to come. With that being the case you could think of this trip to Tempus, a traditional winery in Mendoza, as an investment.
As part of an extended Argentina and Uruguay itinerary, couples will meet the label’s Biondolillo family, who will teach them about wine production before inviting them to make their own blend from the varietals on offer. Their concoction will be bottled and decorated with a personalised label before being shipped home.
Away from the vineyards, the trip will also include tango and cocktails in Buenos Aires, a beach break at Jose Ignacio and time to relax by the infinity pool at Playa Vik. The trip costs from £15,976 from Black Tomato.
Abutting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chateau de Chambord, Relais de Chambord offers fine French grandeur in spades.
Over the Valentine’s weekend, its proprietors are keen to make a stay at the hotel even more special by offering couples 20-minute helicopter flights over the chateaux of the region (€259) or, more languidly, romantic hot air balloon rides over the countryside (€645).
The flights are available from February 14 to 17. Overnight accommodation at the hotel starts at €238 per night.
The weather could well be brutal, but whatever the conditions intrepid couples are guaranteed a trip to remember should they venture to Iceland’s remote Deplar Farm next month.
The luxury lodge - part of the exclusive Eleven Experience portfolio - will in February provide a comfortable, cosy base for a six-day photography retreat that will reveal the dramatic natural beauty of the surrounding Troll Peninsula.
Led by the property’s creative director and photographer Alex Fenton, guests will undertake excursions including a boat tour of Eyjafjordur fjord, a snowmobiling jaunt in the Fljóta valley (where they’ll hopefully get unobstructed shots of the Northern Lights), a visit to rocks of Hvitserkur by jeep and a scenic flight over the surrounding snowscape.
Plus there are massages, immersions in the hotel’s geothermally heated pool and lots of laidback meals. The experience costs £15,640 on a full-board basis (international flights are extra).
‘Rome’, ‘romance’ - it’s practically the same word and the Italian capital always delivers a stay to remember.
The Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, has gone all out to make Valentine’s Day stays particularly special. Among the experiences on offer are tours of the city by vintage Fiat 1100, followed by a chocolate-making workshop at a local atelier - the combination is offered complimentary to guests staying for a minimum of three nights in select suites, or for €800 to couples in standard rooms, which start at €272.
Available until the end of March, Mandarin Oriental Marrakech’s Romantic Escape package will see guests’ villas filled with 100 roses - a pittance, really, considering the resort’s gardens hold 100,000 in total - and other treats including two 90-minute spa treatments in a private spa suite.
A four-course dinner is also included at Mes’Lalla restaurant and the team can arrange memorable private tours of Marrakesh’s medina or to the dunes of the Agafay Desert by Jeep Wrangler for a picnic in the shadow of snow-capped mountains. Subject to a minimum two-night stay, the package costs from £2,030 per night per couple.
A honeymoon hotspot, the Seychelles is built around couples - and its two Four Seasons resorts are particularly good at meeting their expectations.
On the main island Mahé, Four Seasons Resorts Seychelles is offering a Valentine Weekend Package for couples around the big day. It includes a five-course truffle and caviar dinner at Zez Restaurant (followed by toasted marshmallows by the beachfront campfire), a lazy breakfast in bed and a two-hour couple’s treatment at the spa. It costs from £3,900 for three nights.
At recently opened Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, a 35-minute flight from Mahé, a similar package includes a three-course Mediterranean dinner at Claudine Restaurant and a couple’s treatment at the New Age-sounding Circle of Connection Spa - it concludes with a wallow in a so-called Tropical Love Bath. Stays cost from €3,665.
South Africa’s classic-luxury Blue Train has just announced two additional weekend departures for February, and it seems the fares are something of a steal. Said my contact at the company: “I have never seen a rate this low in nearly 20 years of working for the train… so it’s just about a one-off. Plus it’s the new two-night trip so it’s incredible value for money.”
Travelling from Pretoria to Cape Town from February 2 to 4, or from Cape Town to Pretoria from February 8 to 10, that aforementioned two-night itinerary was launched to allow passengers to better enjoy the remarkable terrain unfurling before them, and to make more time to enjoy the various culinary experiences and entertainment options that are available on board.
Fares, which can be booked through African Pride, include all meals and drinks and an off-train excursion and cost from £585 per person in a Deluxe Suite, rather than the usual £1,000 or so fare.
Sleeping overnight in Swedish Lapland’s Icehotel isn’t particularly comfortable - the famous ice suites are a chilling -5c and the provided expedition-quality sleeping bags can only do so much - but it is magical, and something to remember forever.
As well as sleeping on ice, couples who visit around Valentine’s Day can arrange to travel from the airport to the hotel by husky-drawn sled, take snowmobile rides into the forest and warm up in private saunas illuminated by candlelight.
A three-night stay (with two nights in a conventional heated room), including direct flights from London, costs from £1,199 per person through Discover the World.
In Khao Lak (near Phuket), The Sarojin resort is marking Valentine’s Day with a range of Just for Two experiences. These include private cruises on The Lady Sarojin yacht, private cooking classes and vow-renewal ceremonies, and are complemented by a range of romantic dining experiences.
A special Pool Edge Dinner offering sees couples dine by the water in a private pool pavilion; other locations include a secluded beach or by a jungle waterfall, where they’ll dine by candlelight.
Accommodation at The Sarojin’s Jacuzzi Pool Suites costs from approximately £415 per night. (For flights to Thailand, consider Taiwanese carrier EVA Air, whose business-class fares from London to Bangkok start at £2,243; for more on the experience, read our review of EVA’s Royal Laurel service.)
As the world’s most clichéd luxury honeymoon destination (and for good reason, as it is truly idyllic), the Maldives will next month be offering all manner of romantic experiences. Below are a pick of the best.
At Jumeirah Vittaveli, the Be My Island package will see couples being whisked to their own private sandback for a beach barbecue. They’ll enjoy a live unplugged concert as they dine, and will receive other benefits, such as spa treatments, over the course of their week-long stay (from £11,500).
Joali ’s appeal comes in part from being one of the country’s newest luxury resorts - it opened this winter in the isolated Raa Atoll. Couples can hunker down by their private pools in exceptionally spacious villas or enjoy the expected Maldives indulgences - think a sunset cruise by dhoni, a couple’s massage or lazy champagne breakfasts.
Abercrombie & Kent is offering a seven-night stay from £16,800, including flights and transfers.
Costing $36,500 for a two-night stay in the hotel’s four-storey Tower Suite, the package includes a 2.5-carat diamond engagement ring (no checking one jeweller after another required here), the services of a photographer who’ll document that special moment, and various other treats and surprises. (And as well as all that, this storied hotel also provides a very attractive base from which to explore some of the most beautiful parts of New England.)
For more romantic inspiration, read our feature on how the world's wealthiest honeymoon.
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This article was written by John O'Ceallaigh and Luxury Travel Editor from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]