Treat yourself and your other half to a romantic luxury break.
Hearts and flowers and chocolates and champagne might be perfectly acceptable Valentine’s Day fall-backs, but for ultimate romantic brownie points organise a secret break for your other half, with help from boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith. FYI, V Day falls on a Thursday this year, so we’re thinking luxe long weekend at one of these three sexy, serene stays.
Japamala Resort, Tioman Island, Malaysia
Just 13 remote chalets, accessible only by boat, offer privacy you can usually only dream about at rustic-chic Japamala Resort on Tioman Island, a short flight from KL or Singapore off the east coast of Malaysia. If all that’s not impressive enough, book the Seaview Sarang, a secluded villa with a plunge pool on a timber deck overlooking the ocean. Set yourself up on the sand with a book and a cool cocktail, luxuriate at Samadhi Spa or bag a table at over-the-water Mandi-Mandi, the hotel’s Italian restaurant. There’s also Tamarind, set in an open-sided pavilion and serving Thai and Vietnamese dishes. You’ll be pleased to know life moves at a very relaxed pace here, but if you’re the type of couple who needs some action, scuba diving and boat trips to islands, villages and waterfalls are easily organised.
Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Perched atop the famous village, hilltop boutique resort Alila Ubud is inspired by traditional Balinese life. Each of the 64 rooms has a panoramic view of the valley, the River Ayung that runs through it and the ring of volcanoes that surrounds the hotel. Since you’ll be turning the love dial up to 11, check in to one of the Ayung River Villas, with a wraparound deck gazing over the gorge and a huge bath sunk into a lotus pond. Revive your body, as well as the romance in your relationship, with health-conscious cuisine at Plantation, the property’s canopy-set restaurant, a massage at the spa and rides through the forest on the hotel’s mountain bikes. There’s a shuttle service into Ubud should you want to fill your baskets at the town’s markets.
Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand
You won’t be the only one making a good impression when you whisk your beloved to Thai temptress Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. From your arrival in the stunning, aubergine-walled courtyard to the 54 grand villas – airy temples to indulgence with gigantic beds, outdoor bathing areas, plunge pools and Lanna art – and Andaman Sea outlook, this escape is certainly a stunner. For an unobstructed view of the islands and an infinity-style private pool, try to snag the keys to room 30, a Royal Andaman Sea Villa. Bring your yoga pants if you want to take part in Pilates, yoga or meditation classes, visit Thailand’s only destination spa and eat your way around the property at its five restaurants. Love will definitely be in the air if you organise dinner à deux on the private rooftop at Lae Lay, where locally caught seafood is the specialty.
To book any of these romantic Smith stays visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers.