The Art of Romance is concerned less with the minutiae of time and place and more with the stirrings of the heart, the sentiment of two souls coming together and finding a home in each other.
Romance, noun. 1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. - 2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
We have created a list of ten lesser-known places, easily reachable from big cities, that will help kindle the passion between you and your other half.
1. A Culinary Affair – Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
Where: located on Robson Square, the Wedgewood sits in the heart of the city of Vancouver in Canada.
For the Romantic: you will want to start in the Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge (it has been consistently named one of the most romantic restaurants in Vancouver). Bond over light, modern French cuisine and superb wines with live entertainment nightly. Retreat to the lounge beside the old-fashioned fireplace or to your own private fireplace within the Penthouse Suites – a favorite for romantic, special occasions. And ease into the next day with a soothing massage in the hotel’s spa.
2. A Land Unlike Any Other - Casa Palopó
Where: located 90 miles from Guatemala City, Casa Palopó is a beautiful villa on the hills surrounding Santa Catarina Palopó village, on the shores of Lake Atitlán.
For the Romantic: stand in awe of endless views of Lake Atitlán and its three 10,000 foot volcanic peaks – Toliman, Atitlán and San Pedro. Take in sunsets over the lake from the infinity pool or from the private terrace of your room. Indulge in a massage in the privacy of your room or relax in the solar-heated pool.
3. Two to Tango - Las Balsas
Where: Las Balsas in Argentina lies in the last inhabitable land before the South Pole – in far-flung Patagonia, at the tip of South America.
For the Romantic: Las Balsas, a dreamy hotel with blue facades and a dazzling view of the lake and surrounding mountains views. Take a romantic boat ride, venture out canoeing or on horseback, explore walking trails, or relax together in the spa or over a barbecue. End a perfect day with a candle-lit dinner, a bottle of Malbec and soft tango music as the talented tango dancer, Lucia Mazer and her partner delight you with their “cortes y quebradas”.
4. An Island in France - L'Hôtel de Toiras & Villa Clarisse
Where: L'Hôtel de Toiras & Villa Clarisse are both located on the beautiful island, Île de Ré. Hotel de Toiras is a 17th century shipbuilder’s residence overlooking the port, near the fortress by Vauban. Villa Clarisse, an 18th century townhouse, is a stone's throw away.
For the Romantic: spend time together in the gardens, at teatime or for a cocktail, far from the crowds, or on head out on a private picnic. Explore the island’s more than 150 kilometers of cycling paths along the coastline, salt marshes and bird reserves.
5. Sail Away With Me Honey - Lešić Dimitri Palace
Where: located in the heart of the old island town of Korčula, in Croatia, Lešić Dimitri Palace offers a small number of independent suites overlooking the sea.
For the Romantic: take a slow drive or stroll across the island, through the Mediterranean countryside and small vineyards chiselled into the rocky hillsides. Head out on Vipera, the palace’s classic sailing boat, gliding through the waters of Korčula's archipelago. Dive below the surface to snorkel with the exotic fish life and indulge in the exquisite wines and meals that are inspired by the local environment.
6. Castle of Dreams - Hotel Grad Otočec
Where: The Hotel Grad Otočec is a unique castle hotel on a small island in the middle of the Krka River in Otočec, Slovenia.
For the Romantic: enjoy morning walks with the early birds and gourmet candle-lit dinners in the Castle Restaurant, a glass or two of wine in front of the crackling wood fire or a chilled bottle of Champagne in the name of love and celebrating life. Stroll hand-in-hand on excursions to view the cultural and historical sights of the Dolenjska region or to the nearby thermal pools of the Šmarješke Toplice Spa and Dolenjske Toplice Spa.
7. Romance in the City – AtholPlace Hotel & Villa
Where: on the outskirts of Johannesburg, in the suburb of Atholl, close to Sandton, AtholPlace Hotel & Villa is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Johannesburg in South Africa.
For the Romantic: order room service while cuddled beneath the duck-down duvet of your king-size bed, or on the private balcony of your suite. When you’re ready, emerge and take up a seat in the shade of palm trees beside the large pool, in the quiet library or cosy bar, with an open fire, in the serene gardens.
8. Safari by the Sea - Cape Weligama
Where: in the bay of Cape Weligama, Cape Weligama's residences and villas sit atop a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean.
For the Romantic: retreat to the infinity pool or secluded coves where turtles toddle in crystal-clear shallows. Ride the waves in search of whales and dolphins or take your relationship to a deeper level, while snorkelling, or diving. Alternatively, keep things grounded with a safari that will call on you to share your attention with elephants, crocodiles, buffalo, iguanas and a variety of birds.
9. Rest and Relaxation - Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort
Where: Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort lies in the mountains, an hour’s drive from Taipei in Taiwan.
For the Romantic: be enchanted by the beauty of nature with views of a natural forest and sparkling river from the hotel, which, itself, forms part of the mountainside. Bond with your dearest in the serenity of the private bathhouses, with aromatherapy treatments or during a morning Tai Chi practice. There are two restaurants for you to elope to for fine dining and a glass of wine, because, as wine-keeper, Eddie says, “Tasting life is an art.”
10. You Had Me at “Fireside Bath Tub” - Otahuna Lodge
Where: at the heart of a 19th century Victorian estate, Otahuna Lodge in Christchurch, New Zealand, has striking views over the Canterbury Plains and the Banks Peninsula.
For the Romantic: escape to this charming Victorian mansion with glorious gardens to lose yourselves in - with the hidden glades, ponds, formal parterre and woodland trails. Dine in the cosy library by a roaring fire, in the turret room looking out at the roses or al fresco by the pool on warm evenings.