Il Ngwesi is a beautiful eco-lodge run by the local Laikipiak Maasai tribe in the breathtaking Savannah north of Mount Kenya. It is very remote. We went for our silver wedding anniversary and flew in over Treetops Lodge in a three-seater plane. We were the only ones staying and were met on the air strip and taken to our accommodation, the Prince William Banda, overlooking a waterhole. It was open plan in every sense, including the toilet and shower! We did sleep under the thatched roof the first night, but after that it was under the stars. We were superbly looked after by the Maasai; the walking safaris, sundowners and bush breakfasts were superb and the horizon pool looking over the savannah and back drop of hills was divine. A truly romantic place as I am sure the previous residents, William Wales and Kate Middleton, would concur.
Moorea may win your heart. Her snaggle-tooth volcanic fangs rear from thundering Pacific surf; Arthur Frommer - of the self-named guides - says she is the most beautiful island in the world; and Marlon Brando fell for his Polynesian female lead when making Mutiny on the Bounty here (for a tryst with a twist take the yacht-trip to Tetiaroa atoll, once the Brandos’ private South Seas love-nest).
But Moorea has a love rival: one short ferry ride and suddenly you’re being seduced by Tahiti. See the Gaugin museum then go on to the small village of Mataiea where, beside the lagoon, English war poet Rupert Brooke spent some of the final weeks of a brief life with Mamua, his Polynesian lover. Here he wrote his most acclaimed poem. Called Tiare Tahiti, it was for her.
We had not been abroad for holidays because I was scared of flying and don't travel well. But it was going to be our 30th wedding anniversary and I wanted to do something special for my husband so we choose Porec, Croatia and it was the most wonderful place. The hotel was on its own little island, a five-minute boat ride from the mainland and had incredible views. It was lovely and clean and with little coves and beaches around with beautiful clear blue sea and we would just sit in the sea and watch the fish swim around us. The hotel was clean and the staff really friendly and food was lovely and catered for all. We often walked around the island on the warm evenings or there were boats to take you into the town on the mainland which was lovely because it was not commercialised and quite Italian in style with friendly people. The weather was hot but the place was so romantic and we will remember our 30th wedding anniversary for the rest of our lives.
52440, Poreč, Croatia 794 m W
+385 52 465 000
Google map: bit.ly/w6feBu
A slow train south from Madrid to the Andalucian city of Granada was the first leg of the first holiday my now wife and I took, just weeks after we first met.
The air-conditioned carriage trundled for hours across the baked earth of Castile as we ate tinned olives and shared icy bottles of Heineken.
Spain stretched out before us with the occasional puff of cloud emerging over the horizon. On arrival in the evening, the southern heat was still overwhelming. Our supper was a large plate of sliced tomatoes, garlic and olive oil with a chunk of crusty white bread. Sleepy after the journey, we held hands as we walked through jasmine scented streets in the dark.
You may need directions to find it as it looks like any other house on the street, But step in through the Gate of the walled garden and its like entering a secret garden full of artistic magic (hence the name), because everywhere you look (and I mean everywhere) there is something to make you say "look at that", and almost everything is for sale, from paintings and drawings to sculptures. It's not just thrown around like an old brick-a-brack shop but placed to make you look and look around some more, around every corner and in every alcove there is something to see. You can watch Jan D'esopo (the owner) and her team create right in front of you and you're welcome to get involved, even if its only as an artists model! A truly relaxing place to just sit around and look at things, you could almost be in any colonial house in any part of the world. Or you could take a dip in the unique pool, which is tucked away in the garden. In the evening you can join Jan and guests for a drinks reception or even go to the music room to listen to some live music! there are five different types of room (22 in all) all individually named and decorated, no two the same. I didn't see a single TV and there is an honour bar which was nice. It's the perfect stopover for somewhere different, or to start/finish a cruise. I don't think it would appeal to everyone, however, give it a go you maybe surprised. There is one thing: PLEASE, don't tell anyone as it's a secret!
What better than Verona, the city of ill-fated lovers Romeo and Juliet? Arrive in the early morning sunshine via the sleeper train from Paris then breakfast with the locals on strong black coffee and pastries.
You can spend the day exploring this beautiful old city hand in hand taking the Adige river, Piazza del Herbe, the renaissance garden Giardino Giusti and, if you can brave the tourist hordes, Juliet’s balcony.
In the evening you can experience the joy that is opera under stars in a magnificent roman amphitheatre - Arena di Verona. Then round off the perfect romantic day by following the locals in the know to Bottega Del Vino for a glass of red wine with intimate old fashioned charm.
Among the most beautiful Italian cities, Florence is a favoured location when it comes to romance. This Tuscan city is fairly small and its well-known attractions, such as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, are within walking distances. Although it is a very touristic destination, there are countless quieter spots for a romantic proposal. Couples can enjoy a stroll or a picnic in the Boboli Gardens, or use the service of a “Renaiolo” for a boat trip on the River Arno. Climbing the hill to Piazzale Michelangelo rewards visitors with stunning views of the city and a few more steps take you to another Florentine treasure: San Miniato al Monte. Of course a romantic weekend in Florence would not be complete without the delicious food, wine and ice cream on offer.
On our first trip to New York, my boyfriend and I decided to blow the budget on a yellow cab from the airport. The driver said he normally took the tunnel, but that he would take the bridge so we could get our first view of the skyline as we crossed he Hudson. It was perfect. Manhattan glittered in the sunshine against a bright blue sky, as magical as I had always hoped it would be. I grabbed my boyfriend’s hand and saw that he was feeling the same, and I swear I could hear Gershwin. One view that definitely should be shared, and that I will never forget.
Fate pointed its fickle finger at me in Nelson's Dockyard on Christmas Day. Jamie had sailed across the Atlantic, and I was snatching a do-nothing break between business deals. Up on Shirley Heights our love was sealed with a kiss. By next Christmas we'd given up the rat race, and bought a yacht in Turkey. Seven years (and 10,500 miles) later, we're still sailing.
I can't promise the same will happen for you but if you want an amusing romantic story to tell you could do worse than going to Maeshowe on Orkney Mainland. My girlfriend and I were there a few years ago, standing opposite each other among the rest of the group in this small Neolithic chambered burial cairn. Our Historic Scotland guide (trying to ensure we could all see a particularly fine piece of 12th century Viking graffiti) asked whether I'd like to move to stand beside my wife? My hesitation evidently made her doubt the status of our relationship for she then asked,"You are married aren't you?"... I had to admit we weren't, upon which she promptly offered to conduct the ceremony there and then, telling us she was “qualified”! A response absolutely typical of the generous and ever helpful Orcadians.
But what a magical place to get married! Visit Maeshowe on the shortest day of the year and if the sky is clear the rays of the setting sun will shine for several moments directly along the narrow entrance passageway, dramatically illuminating the wall of the 5000-year-old chamber within.
Regarding the wedding - unfortunately for us no cake had been prepared so we were forced to decline our guide's kind offer. We'll have to go again another year ...
North Seoul Tower (Namsan Tower to some) is one of Korea's most popular tourist destinations and with good reason. The views from the tower observatory are quite stunning; every direction you look shows you a different section of the Seoul metropolis, always contrasted by a mountainous backdrop.
When visiting, you can walk up Namsan Mountain, get a bus, or take a cable car. My recommendation is to get the cable car up and enjoy a leisurely stroll down the mountain on your return. A daytime trip will give you a better view of the surrounding mountains, but visit between 7pm and midnight to see the tower light up in glorious illumination. There are a handful of restaurants at the tower, including a burger bar and the expensive N Grill, which slowly revolves and offers romantic panoramic views of the city as you eat. Booking a table for the latter is a must.
Tickets for the tower itself range from 3,000 to 7000 won. The cable car itself costs 4,800 one-way or 6,000 for a return ticket.
Google map: bit.ly/w7V7aI
A 10-15 minute walk (or a cheap taxi), take Subway Line 4 to Myeongdong Station and leave via exit 3. Take the wide road next to the convenience store and walk straight to the left of the Pacific Hotel. Keep going and you will soon find yourself at the cable car platform. Purchase a ticket on the 3rd floor of the building.
One of the most romantic places in France is the St. Paul de Vence. It is a charming hilltop fortified village in Provence. It has art galleries, boutiques and pavement cafes. Filled with elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls, breathtaking views of mountains and seas, it is truly one of the most romantic places in France.
I went on a camel trek in the Thar Desert with Vijay and proposed to my now wife on a sand dune at sunset. The orange and purple hues, the desert music, the camp fire, the local food were the breathtaking backdrop for a perfect moment in time. Vijay's camel trek is at the heart of 'Incredible India'
Jaipur Road, Bikaner, 334005, Rajasthan
I recommend the beach on the Indian Ocean side of the coral-ringed Chumbe Island, located off the coast of Zanzibar. Chumbe combines sustainable ecological living with luxury; an affordable, private haven with a conscience. As a guest on this island paradise (and there are never more than 14 people at any one time), you have your very own beach, steps away from the front door of your beautiful palm thatched eco-bungalow. The beaches surround a marine protected coral park with world-class snorkelling, as well as being home to a historic lighthouse and the protected (and nocturnal) coconut crabs. The beaches are perfect for relaxation, nature spotting and romance, far removed from those of a typical holiday resort. On our first night, we were the only guests on the island. On our final night, the staff (always attentive without being intrusive) arranged a private, secluded candlelit dinner for two on the beach as a surprise. Bliss.
My favourite winter wonderland in the Arctic Circle is a stay at Kakslauttanen Holiday Village deep in the Finnish countryside. Staying in a traditional log cabin it has a romantic open fire place, private sauna room and outside hot tub. You can also chose to spend a night or two in a heated glass igloo where you can see the Northern Lights from the bed when looking up through the glass on a clear night.
It's a perfect winter location for a Siberian husky sledding experience, snow mobile excursion close to see views across to the forests of the Russian border where you stop for soup around a camp fire, ice fishing with the local Sami people in their traditional costumes or a Reindeer safari in a snow-cloaked forest, all efficiently arranged through Discover the World.
The snow laden pine trees is a perfect location for Christmas, a great romantic break or adventure with your family.
A lovely, relaxed restaurant in a former convent fuses incredible food with a warm atmosphere. Very romantic, reasonably priced and inventive; you're presented with an assortment of incredible starters for 12 euros - don't be scared.
Some of the best food we've eaten abroad, well worth the effort to find it, even if it took our cabbie four stops to ask for help!
This is a great place to grab a drink before heading out to dinner - it’s quiet and low-key and has none of the pretension that most Yorkville bars have. The rooftop lounge has a balcony that has a great view of the city; on a clear day, you can see for miles. With old-style service, this venue is perfect for a first date.
Park Hyatt Hotel
4 Avenue Road, ON M5R 2E8
+1 416 925 1234
Google map: bit.ly/lfDiTc
A short-break to Tromso in Northern Norway to see the northern lights is just the most romantic thing I have ever done.
Never mind you are wrapped up in layers of thermal wear, the light show in the skies are just a thousand times more romantic than a sunset will ever be.
On the Hurtigruten cruise you also get to go to the North Cape, which is really cool to say that you have been. There is amazing food onboard, a really relaxed and non-cruise like feeling, and the hot tub on the top deck is an absolute winner - even in minus five degrees!
All in all it's just a really cool and romantic getaway.
Beautiful, romantic folk take note, the Rialto Bridge is an iconic pedestrian bridge that belongs to the medieval era. It spans over the Grand Canal and is acknowledged as the hub for commercial activities for centuries. You can even find the old stores, jewelry shops and various small counters still running their business. Lots of shops to buy your loved one a special present.
The enticing Rialto Bridge is the oldest and the most fascinating bridge in this beautiful city. The overpass consists of magnificent pillars and amazingly crafted arches. You can witness the stunning view of the Grand Canal while shopping and snuggling up to your lovely partner.
Varenna is a little fishing village on the east coast of Lake Como, which is very pretty. We are getting married in Villa Cipressi in the autumn, on the garden terrace overlooking the lake, at sunset. Romantic!
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org