25 October 2016Last updated


The top 10 romantic places on Earth

It’s the month when Cupid strikes afresh and we go all out to make our better halves feel like royalty. Jet off to a spectacular location and steal a few precious days with them, says Liz Jarvis

By Liz Jarvis
5 Feb 2016 | 12:00 am
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  • Fall in love all over again amid the luxe ambience of Cap Maison in dramatic St Lucia and create lifelong memories.

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Extreme luxury

Cap Maison is a family-owned boutique resort and spa built in Cap Estate on the northernmost tip of the Caribbean nation of St Lucia. It’s one of the island’s most spectacular areas, replete with volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches and bird life. The resort offers dramatic scenery with the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the brisk Atlantic Ocean to the other. It’s also conveniently located near restaurants and various activity hubs offering golf and water sports. Designed in an elegant Spanish Caribbean style, Cap Maison’s 49 suites are spread across three acres of landscaped grounds. Couples have access to a lovely secluded beach and can enjoy bespoke service throughout their stay. They can also charter the resort’s luxury yacht and take trips to The Pitons and Grenadines.

Return fare from Dubai to St Lucia’s George F. L. Charles Airport on Air France and Air Antilles via Paris and Martinique starts at Dh11,560. A garden view room starts from Dh1,431 on twin-sharing basis with breakfast. Visit

Island hideaway





Closer home but no less romantic, Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, Maldives – located in a remote corner of the water-kissed nation – is an island retreat that inspires and encourages relaxation. The exquisite resort boasts white sandy beaches, lush greenery and azure crystal waters; it’s secluded and utterly beautiful. Its Valentine’s package offers pure bliss in the form of a romantic couple’s spa treatment as well as an island excursion at Minimenza with a personal chef, waiter and butler team at your beck and call. For a change of pace, the package also offers jet skiing, which will take you in search of spinner dolphins, and snorkelling for an enchanting view of marine life.

Return fare from Dubai to Malé starts from Dh1,921 on flydubai. The Valentine’s package is tagged at about Dh17,983 for stay in a Beach Revive villa for four nights, inclusive of domestic flight and sea transfers and breakfast. Valid until September 30, 2016. Visit

Arabian nights




During the day, the Madinat Jumeirah is an idyllic five-star oasis with a superb beach, charming waterways and pools and frangipani-scented gardens. There’s even a turtle sanctuary, and the service is exemplary. As night falls, however, the resort becomes impossibly romantic, with lanterns illuminating the exquisite resort as well as an array of excellent waterfront restaurants offering great views and food. Head out to explore the wonderful souk, where you can peruse the fine jewellery on offer, should you need to buy an extra Valentine’s gift or two. The Madinat Jumeirah is really several hotels in one, which means you can choose the ambience and decor that suits you the most.

The resort has three luxurious hotels. A deluxe room at Jumeirah Al Qasr starts at Dh1,530 per night. Visit

Go exotic





Set on a fabulous beach and widely known as one of the world’s best resorts, The St Regis Bali Resort is total escapism on a grand scale, offering acres of sophistication in a verdant environment. It reflects Balinese culture with artistic perfection in every detail across the 125 suites and villas, and is designed to meet the needs of the most discerning travellers. If you dream of waking up to the sound of the ocean, it offers accommodation right on the beach, alongside the excellent Remède Spa.

Go for a romantic dinner at the Cloud Nine Crystal Chapel, which glitters with Swarovski chandeliers. After being greeted by a romantic service butler with flowers, take delight in light canapés and a welcome drink on the terrace overlooking the ocean before being ushered inside to tuck into a fabulous seven-course meal. Tunes played by a private pianist 
are sure to make for a beautiful night.

Return fare from Dubai to Bali on Emirates starts at Dh2,864. Book the St Regis Suite from Dh1,799 per room on twin-sharing basis with breakfast. Visit

Spirited away




An almost movie-like hideaway in nature’s embrace, The Andaman – a quiet luxury resort in busy Langkawi in Malaysia – boasts a breathtaking backdrop of ancient rainforests, and unbelievable views over the white, sandy beaches of Datai Bay of the Andaman Sea. The resort’s V Botanical Spa, perched hillside with postcard views of Datai Bay – touted the ninth-best beach in the world – offers complete relaxation, with a wide range of pampering treatments. The resort also offers detoxifying retreats incorporating yoga practices for holistic wellness, under the guidance of Nepali yoga master Ekraj Gajurel, whose former high-profile followers include Sting and the Prince of Jodhpur. Feel one with nature as you indulge in bird watching, kayaking, swimming and jungle trekking. Guests can enjoy guided eco-tours with the hotel’s resident naturalist to discover indigenous flora and fauna.

Return fare from Dubai to Langkawi via Singapore on Singapore Airlines starts from Dh3,022. Go for the V Soul Connection package at Dh2,826 a night in a Jacuzzi Junior Suite, minimum four nights. It includes daily meals and a wellness schedule for two. Valid until December 19, 2016. Visit

Tropical paradise




If your idea of a romantic getaway means no children (ours does, and no shame in that!), then this is the place for you. A contemporary adults-only property on the platinum west coast of Barbados, The House offers a plush Caribbean retreat. Upon arrival, guests can relax with a complimentary revival massage before indulging in afternoon tea overlooking the stunning Caribbean Sea. Make a beeline for the Romance Getaway Package, which features a dinner on the beach and spa treatment for two. The boutique property also offers water sports and other activities like horseback riding and a visit to Harrison’s Cave.

Return fare from Dubai to Barbados via London on Virgin Atlantic starts at Dh6,813. The package costs Dh5,505 per night, and minimum stay is five nights. Visit

Moroccan magic



If you’re looking for something completely out of the ordinary, then La Sultana Oualidia is for you. A special retreat on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, it’s situated by a lagoon with a rare ecosystem of sandbanks, oyster beds and saltwater marshes. About two hours away by road from Casablanca, its languid pace is a fantastic break from bustling city life. Each room is unique, designed in traditional Moroccan style using local materials, and comes with a private terrace and seawater jacuzzi. Sans doute, La Sultana Oualidia offers one of the most romantic settings for Valentine’s Day in Morocco.

But for an even more amazing experience, choose to stay in a luxurious treehouse cabin that’s hidden among dense foliage on the grounds. Enjoy the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows and a private terrace to watch the sunset. Guests can relax in the infinity pool, experience the underground spa, or go windsurfing and kayaking on the lagoon. The outdoor restaurant, renowned for its fresh seafood, is positioned right on the beach; or, for a more leisurely dining experience, relax on a lounger at the end of the jetty by the lovely silence of the sea.

For Valentine’s Day, a private dinner for two can be organised under a traditional Berber tent for a romantic evening. Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, the beach will be covered with beautiful carpets and lanterns. On the menu will be the ultimate aphrodisiac – fresh oysters from the lagoon and a speciality of the hotel.

Return fare from Dubai to Casablanca on Emirates starts at Dh3,013. Room rates start from about Dh1,151 per night in a Prestige room on twin-sharing basis. Visit

Fairy-tale charm




What could be more romantic than spending a few days in the fairy-tale Danish capital of Copenhagen? The five-star Hotel d’Angleterre in the heart of the city is one of its most historic properties, offering elegant suites ideal for a couple on a whirlwind romance. Enjoy its relaxing spa, and dine like stars at the in-house Michelin-starred Marchal.

Copenhagen is a tourist gem in itself. The hotel is located a few minutes’ walk from the colourful waterfront district of Nyhavn, Kongens Nytorv plaza and Royal Danish Theatre. Of course, a visit to Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid statue is a must.

Return fare from Dubai to Copenhagen on Qatar Airways via Doha start at Dh1,953. Shell out Dh1,719 per night for a Superior Junior Suite including breakfast. Visit

Love by the sea




For total seclusion in a breathtaking setting, Oil Nut Bay is the place to be. It’s a glorious luxury island resort located on the east end of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands that’s accessible only by boat or helicopter. It’s complete with concierge services, a world-class restaurant, casual poolside dining and a spa. The Cliff Suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, a private patio with an infinity pool and an open-air shower.

Needless to say, getting there is quite the journey! Return fare from Dubai to Virgin Gorda on Virgin Atlantic, via London, New York and San Juan, starts at Dh16,198. The four-night Wild at Heart package starts at Dh20,778 for a Cliff Suite on twin-sharing basis. Valid until February 29, 2016. Visit

English romance





Synonymous with romance and special occasions, celebrated chef Raymond Blanc’s hotel, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, is situated in picturesque Oxford, Great Milton. Ideal for couples looking to relax 
in front of open fires, take long walks or explore the surrounding countryside on tandem bikes. Alternatively, you can take a trip to nearby Bicester Village shopping centre to browse through chic boutiques and designer outlets.

The Romantic Escape package includes a selection of delicious pâtisseries du jour served alongside Mariage Frères gourmet tea on arrival, dinner for two and luxurious overnight accommodation in one of the rooms. The following morning, an English breakfast is served and then, to take home, you’re given a gift of four Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons candles created by UK brand Branche d’Olive.

Return fare from Dubai to London on British Airways starts at Dh2,394. The package costs about Dh5,612 a night on twin-sharing basis, and valid through February. Visit

By Liz Jarvis

By Liz Jarvis