January 22, 2020
If flowers, cards and chocolates don’t quite cover what you would like to say, consider something really special; a Valentine’s Day holiday for two, with these romantic ideas:
Globally renowned as a symbol of love, the red rose is known for its vibrant beauty and sweet scent. Ecuador is, surprisingly, the third largest rose supplier in the world – this Valentine’s Day treat your loved one to a handpicked rose and why not witness the tropical conditions that allow these roses to grow and thrive? Over nine days, explore romantic Ecuador – from a remote stay on the Amazon basin, with only the jungle for company, to the beautiful natural landscapes and delicious farm-to-fork dining in Otavalo. Kaleidoscopic Ecuador costs from £2,751 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), some meals and excursions. Departures all year. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4774 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Enjoy an unforgettable escape for two in the world’s first luxury converted piste basher at 2,400 m. After a trip in the snow groomer to the top of the summit, the pair will be left in total seclusion (plus a radio for assistance) next to snow-covered peaks, just under the stars. With views over Mont Blanc, a queen-sized bed, mood-lighting, Champagne, chocolates, jacuzzi, and other surprises, this unique accommodation is perfect for an unusual romantic break. Available until 20 April. One night’s B&B in Over the Moon costs from €320/£273 (two sharing), including snow groomer transfer from Plagne Bellecôte. Return flights (London-Geneva) from £52 pp with easyJet. Call La Plagne on +33 (0)4 79 09 79 79 (www.la-plagne.com).
Arrive to a half bottle of Taittinger, sumptuous handmade chocolate and a dozen roses in your beautiful Junior Suite. Don on fluffy dressing gowns and stroll along the spa’s spectacular subterranean walkway for the traditional cleansing ritual, a Mud Rasul treatment to share. In the evening, sit down to a six-course tasting menu with Champagne wine flight, and enjoy a Do Not Disturb Temple Spa box of treats. Wrap up warm for a morning coastal walk after a delicious breakfast and then relax in the spa, with full use until 12 noon on day of check out. This one-night stay costs from £370 pp (two sharing), including all the above elements. Valid on 14 & 15 February 2020 only. Call Seaham Hall on 0191 516 1400 (www.seaham-hall.co.uk).
Treat that special someone to a Spanish fling this Valentine’s weekend, staying at the four-star M House in Palma’s charming old town. Set around a traditional Mallorquin patio with airy, contemporary interiors and a cosy lounge, this pretty whitewashed property is the perfect romantic base from which to explore one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands… or simply to snuggle up. Kirker is offering three nights for two at the hotel during February, from £798 pp (two sharing) – saving £141 pp. The price includes BA flights (Gatwick), private car transfers, B&B and Kirker Concierge Service. Call AITO* member Kirker on 020 7593 2283 (www.kirkerholidays.com).
Undeniably romantic, Finland is perfect for those seeking the Aurora with their beloved. As radiant colours hopefully illuminate the night sky, a search for this spectacular sight with your true love guarantees a Valentines to remember. A stay at the remote Muotka hotel, a dog sled in the Arctic wilderness and a snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm also ensure that guests hold this trip to Lapland in their hearts forever. Departing 13 February, the cost is from £1,395 pp (two sharing), including flights (London), transfers, three nights’ full board, guided activities and cold weather clothing. Call AITO* member The Aurora Zone on 01670 785012 (www.theaurorazone.com).
Holidaycottages.co.uk has some fabulous properties still available for Valentine’s Weekend. Newly-built and noteworthy for its quirkiness, The Nissen (sleeps two) is a brand new WW1-style designer hut hidden in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Kent countryside, near Tenterden. As well as pretty villages and stately homes, this area is famous for its excellent wines. Stroll through the vineyards and enjoy a tutored tasting at Chapel Down. A three-night stay arriving Friday 14 February costs £211 pp (£422 total). Call holidaycottages.co.uk on 01237 459888 (www.holidaycottages.co.uk).
Those seeking a slightly warmer Valentine’s Day this year should look no further than gorgeous St Peter, Barbados. Stay at Leamington Cottage, an idyllic retreat for any couple craving an escape from the grey February sky for a week of sun, sea and romance. Only a five minute walk from Cobblers Cove and Speightstown, this light and airy open-plan villa (sleeps two) provides exceptional views of the horizon and boasts direct access to the Caribbean Sea, while a plunge pool, private palm-fringed sun terrace and reef in front of the property also feature. A week’s stay costs from £2,609 pp (£5,219 total), including concierge and maid/cook service. Flights extra. Call CV Villas on 0207 261 5405 (www.cvvillas.com).
Secluded in over 200 acres of parkland with spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, there can be few locations in Wales as romantic as Bodysgallen Hall, a Grade I-listed country house in Llandudno. Couples can enjoy quality time at the hotel this Valentine’s Day, with beautiful gardens to meander, which feature 17th-century parterre hedges, natural limestone outcrops and several follies, and there’s also a tranquil spa. The one-night St Valentine’s Romantic Break costs from £250 per room total/ £125 pp (two sharing), including use of the spa, £40 dinner allowance, a chilled bottle of fizz to share and freshly cooked Welsh breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: more than 120 specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.