Summer is nearly half over and somehow you haven’t gotten around to taking that much-needed vacation. No worries, fall is on the way, and it is an ideal time to travel. You might find prices on all things travel-related cheaper, and with kids back in school, you can be sure that there will be fewer crowds. Plan now for a romantic soiree with your sweetie. Push the envelope a bit, instead of staying stateside, go big and go abroad. It’s likely that for nearly two years there was precious little travel, so you two have earned it.
Here’s where in the world to go for that ultimate romantic getaway.
Say I Love You In The City Of Love
The City of Love is for lovers year round, but the fall is shoulder season in Paris, meaning you can avoid the massive crowds common in summer and the season usually brings deals on hotels. This is a winning combination for sure. Along with the legendary cafes and restaurants, one stop to make is the Wall of Love, a wall that was built to celebrate love and peace. Also, make your way to the Museum of Romantic Life. You might find delight instead of a dark mood at the Père Lachaise Cemetery, which is one of the largest green spaces in the French capital. Although seemingly macabre, a stroll through this cemetery resonates with the many lovers that visit. Walk hand in hand as you stroll the Butte de Montmartre. Discover the quays of the Seine in riverboats and because you two are royalty, no visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Chateau de Versailles.
Go Where Everything Is Irie
Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
When Couples is part of the resort’s name you know they are all about dazzling dynamic duos. Mission accomplished. Love is in the air at this all-inclusive. It doesn’t take much to figure out why one couple after another is full of smiles and laughs. It’s infectious. It was for me and my hubby. If you dare, venture to the resort’s private island for au naturel sunbathing. If you’re too shy, think for your eyes only — get naked for a couple’s massage at the spa. Top it off with a dip in the sea, one of four pools, or a little quiet time in one of the Jacuzzis. Enjoy golf, tennis, unlimited scuba diving, and watersports like water skiing and windsurfing.
Test your love. Do kayaking challenges dissolve into an argument? Make up and cuddle during a catamaran cruise. Dinner is something special at Couples Tower Isle. You can have the concierge coordinate a private dinner on the beach. Or there’s Bayside, where you dine by candlelight overlooking the Caribbean Sea. However, Eight Rivers is where you’re likely to have one of your best meals of the year, in a candlelit, intimate setting, seated next to each other, instead of across from your honey. The ambiance is sweeter still with a serenade on the soprano saxophone from the musician roaming the room. Treat yourself. Go for the new Oasis Spa Villas that include unlimited spa treatments.
Pro Tip: When you’re ready to venture beyond the resort, raft on the Martha Brae River, you’ll be in for a treat.
Best For Water Loving Couples
Word is that one of the world’s most romantic sunsets is at Uluwatu Temple. It’s situated on the sea, so you know you can’t go wrong. Snorkel together at Menjangan Island, it’s just a 10-minute boat ride from the mainland and is part of Menjangan National Marine Park, which is home to some of Indonesia’s best coral reefs. Then there’s surfing at Balangan Beach. The spot for jet skiing is Nusa Dua. For more water fun, explore the area’s waterfalls. Few things are as sexy as swimming in a waterfall.
Make Your Way To The Mediterranean
Romance rules at the Marbella Club. This gem was founded by Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe in the heart of Andalusia’s “Golden Mile” in southern Spain. The boutique’s Mediterranean beachside setting is ideal for a romantic getaway. You’ll love the authentic, whitewashed Andalusian village aesthetic and botanical gardens that are full of orange, lemon, avocado, fig, and banana trees. Relax in wellness facilities surrounded by botanical gardens, and a “clubhouse” social hub of open-air and interconnected bar and dining spaces where you can naturally flow from one space to another based on how you and your honey are feeling. The big question is what are you in the mood for? The clubhouse includes the brand-new, all-day eatery El Patio restaurant, inspired by a dreamy, 1950s California aesthetic. The Marbella Club is also home to an impressive collection of artisan-style villas just steps from the sea, with a dedicated villa host and additional luxury amenities for those who prefer secluded accommodations for the ultimate romantic escape.
For The High Rolling Couple
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The world’s smallest country has bragging rights on the romance Richter scale for being the destination of choice for the wedding of Prince Rainier III of Monaco to Hollywood film star Grace Kelly in 1956. Surely you and yours can find magic here too? See where they said I do, aa Monaco Cathedral. What’s not to love with many spas? There are also Michelin star-rated restaurants with world-renowned chefs, sidewalk cafes, a diverse arts and culture scene, prominent nightlife, along with cool sports events year round. Boat or parasail on the Mediterranean. Take in all that greenery at the Princess Grace Rose Garden. One of my favorites, when I was in Monaco, was the infamous Casino de Monte-Carlo. It’s as glamorous as it is in the movies. Expect to gawk at all the fancy cars and glitz. You can go sedate with a performance at Les Ballets de Monte Carlo or go wild at the plethora of party spots.
Pro tip: Monaco is a convenient location to access both the French and Italian rivieras. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore. You can have breakfast in Monaco, lunch in Italy, dinner in France, and return to Monaco for after-dinner drinks.
Soak Up The Sun In Saint Lucia
Serenity At Coconut Bay, Eau Piquant, Saint Lucia
This all-inclusive, adults-only resort is the kind of place that can resurrect a dying relationship, inspire a wedding proposal, and otherwise bind romantic ties. It’s called Serenity for a reason: there are fewer than 40 plunge-pool suites at this intimate resort, so forget the distracting crowds — couples here only have eyes for one another. You’ll be impressed with your suite, with its private “backyard patio,” with a waterfall-added plunge pool, hammock, outdoor shower, and wet bar. Inside, the room is spacious and plush. Vaulted ceilings frame a four-poster king-size mahogany bed and the oversize soaker tub and shower are so big, it’s clearly an invitation for two.
This is one of my favorite couple’s only resorts that unfortunately I visited without my husband because I was on a working trip when I was there. Trust me though, this is for lovers. While you may not want to leave this heavenly place, pull yourselves apart long enough to take a catamaran trip with views of those legendary Pitons, twin mountain peaks rising up from the sea at Soufriere Bay. Fall is also a good time to go with events like the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival.
Leaf Peep In Switzerland
Grand Hotel Kronenhof — Pontresina, Switzerland
There’s plenty of leaf peeping in Pontresina come autumn. During the fall you and your honey will see awesome views of the Swiss Stone Pine trees and Roseg Glacier from the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Pamper yourselves at the onsite spa and enjoy views of the fall foliage from the rejuvenating indoor pool. When you’re ready for action, it’s a short drive to the Swiss National Park, which offers 80 kilometers of footpaths and nature trails. Anticipate wildlife — alpine Ibex, playful marmots, and majestic red deer. Finish off your day at the Kronenhof Bar. The art will stimulate your senses and the champagne and spirits will take care of the rest.
For Adventurous Couples
Banff/Lake Louise, Alberta
Alberta is a mix of outdoor adventure bookended by urban experiences. Banff and Lake Louise are ideal for couples since they feature hot springs and spas, as well as horseback riding into the high country. What’s more romantic than staying in a rustic backcountry lodge? Rent a canoe and paddle on a lake. Go hard and heli-hike in the alpine of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you do your thing, your guide will set up a champagne picnic in the midst of the Canadian Rockies for you two love birds. Consider staying in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with its surrounding mountain peaks, the Victoria Glacier, and lake. The hotel is in Banff National Park.
Romantic destinations are subjective, but there are many locations in the world that deserve the distinction: