Called the Red City for its crimson clay walls and ramparts of the bustling medina, the Moroccan city embodies the colour of passion in its ochre sunsets and rust-hued desert sands. Stroll through the honeycomb of markets around Jemaa el-Fnaa square where spices, Berber music and a curious babble of French and Arabic waft in the air. The city’s exotic melange of old-world edifices, such as the sumptuous marble masterpiece that is the El Badi Palace and Dar Si Said museum’s treasures of pottery and carpets, and the lavish French-era streets of Gueliz heaving with Parisian-esque cafes and restaurants have captured the imaginations of filmmakers from Alfred Hitchcock to Steven Spielberg. The Mandarin Oriental Marrakech’s Romantic Escape package includes accommodation in a plush villa, breakfast for two, welcome display of 100 roses, a four-course dinner, two-and-a-half hour spa treatment and airport transfers. From Dh4,839 per person per night; email email@example.com.
North Male, Maldives
If solitude is what you’re seeking, Maldives is the island you want to be castaway on. The Indian Ocean archipelago of 1,192 coral islands is a honeymooner’s paradise with turquoise waters, dramatic sunsets, powder-white sands and lush jungles. In the North Male Atoll, the One & Only Reethi Rah’s stilted water bungalows encapsulate the island nation’s ethereal beauty. The hotel is offering a four-night package at the price of three, including half-board and shared boat transfers to and from Velana International Airport. A beachside dinner under the stars, a private dinner aboard a yacht, a majestic catamaran, or a traditional Maldivian dhoni, and couples spa treatments can also be requested. Water villas from Dh7,823 per night; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Often overshadowed by its better-known neighbour Vietnam, Cambodia has the touristic chops to bewitch visitors for more than just a weekend, and nowhere is this seen better than in the capital Siem Reap. From historic attractions such as the Angkor Wat temple, a plethora of museums such as the Angkor National Museum and War Museum Cambodia, to busy markets like the The Old Market or Psah Chas and the bucolic vistas of lush paddy fields, there is plenty to see and do. Siem Reap is a stone’s throw away from Phnom Kulen National Park and the Floating Village of Kampong P’luk.
The Anantara Angkor Wat’s Romantic Moments package is your gateway to discover the warm Khmer culture and local hospitality. It includes three-night accommodation in a suite, breakfast, dinner, return airport transfers, spa treatments and unlimited tuk tuk services within town centre. From Dh1,095; email email@example.com.
Golden Triangle, India
The Taj Mahal’s allure as a monument to true love has survived centuries but there are other monuments to love in the country that can be discovered at leisure during a tour of the famed Golden Triangle route that covers the capital Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Flying Squirrels Holidays’ eight days Golden Triangle Getaway combines the best of culture and hospitality, history and architecture that the three cities have to offer. In Delhi, visit the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and India Gate, stop at the bustling Chandni Chowk to savour local street food and antique jewellery. At the second stop of Agra, guests can enjoy visits to the Agra Fort, learn more about Emperor Shahjahan’s love for wife Mumtaz at Taj Mahal and gorge on Mughlai cuisine. The Jaipur leg of the journey includes visits to the Amber Fort and Sheesh Mahal — a structure that has mirrors inlaid in such a manner that even two candles lit in a room create brilliant reflections across. The package costs Dh11,769 for a couple; includes accomodation in five-star hotels, breakfast, chauffeur driven private vehicle and entrance fees. Visit flyingsquirrelholidays.com.
Opposites co-exist in sun-soaked harmony in Algarve and the Iberian town of Lagos — quaint fishing villages are flanked by plush golf resorts, beaches stacked with wild cliffs lead inland into sprawling green countryside and orchards of almond and fig trees. While day-time strolls through the medieval Lagos Castle, followed by treks along the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail against sunsets resembling impressionist paintings might make one feel that time stands still, buzzing nightlife makes the evenings whizz past in a kaleidoscope of light and sound. In this Portuguese town, there’s something for you and your beloved to bond over no matter how wildly different the two of you are.
The Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort has a special Romantic Seaside Haven package that includes a five-course tasting menu, private breakfast, a 7 Hanging Valleys trail picnic experience and a couple’s massage. Package starts from Dh1,326 per night; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Kerry, Ireland
In the Emerald Isle, love wears green and echoes in tumbledown medieval castles as lilting Celtic folklore resounds in the waves crashing against Cliffs of Moher, bounding across Dublin’s cobbled streets usurping Paris’ title as the capital of love. But the most timeless courtship — that of Ireland and nature — reverberates in County Kerry’s bucolic composition of mountains, lakes, wild beaches and otherworldly crags such as Unesco World Heritage site Skellig Michael (where Star Wars was filmed) that are distilled in the Ring of Kerry, a 179km driving route around the Iveragh Peninsula. The route starts and ends in the picturesque town of Killarney with stops at several scenic sites. Set up shop at the The Killarney Royal Hotel whose special two-night Valentine’s Day offer will have couples see pink with chocolates on arrival, a three-course dinner and Irish breakfast. From Dh1,414; email email@example.com
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam’s canals, lush parks and cobbled streets, cultural and artistic centres such as Rijksmuseum museum and the The Stadsschouwburg theatre combine the best of romantic European cities such as Venice and Paris but with a charming Dutch flavour making the city of tulips the ideal getaway. The Conservatorium hotel has created a romantic Love Weekend Package that helps couples discover the Dutch capital in luxury. It includes a two-night stay in Conservatorium’s exclusive ‘I Love Amsterdam’ Suite, the hotel’s cosiest room with loft-like features, access to rooftop balcony deck for picturesque panoramas of the city, a VIP shopping experience with a shopping gift card at the luxury department store ‘de Bijenkorf’, followed by a relaxing Oenotheraphy le Grand Cru treatment in the couple’s treatment room at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing. The package includes a private two-hour canal cruise. From Dh24,324; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can be a better location than the land of fire to rekindle the flames of romance? Over the past few years, Azerbaijan has been rising to the top as a tourism hotspot. Nowhere is this seen better than in the Azeri capital of Baku which has shaped up into an architectural and cultural tour de force, dotted with striking buildings such as the striking Flame Towers, the undulating Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center designed by the late Zaha Hadid and the Baku Museum of Modern Art and Azerbaijan State Museum of History as well as a slew of theatres and cultural venues such as Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. The Four Seasons Hotel Baku’s unique Valentine’s Day offer opens up destinations beyond Baku — you can experience skiing facilities on Mount Shahdag, three nights’ stay at Four Seasons Hotel Baku for the price of two, complimentary ski lift pass at Shahdag Mountain Resort and 20 per cent savings on ski equipment at the resort. From Dh3,700 for three nights. Visit fourseasons.com.
Boracay epitomises the phrase big things come in small packages. The 7km island is the Philippines’ leading tourist destination and with good reason too. Postcard-perfect beaches, a lively line-up of restaurants and a host of water sports to choose from make this perfect island escape that’s a welcome change from done-and-dusted locales such Phuket. The Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa is a microcosm of all the adventure and beauty Boracay has to offer with their romantic getaway package that includes a round-trip land and speedboat transfer from Caticlan Airport, romantic dinner for two at Rima Mediterranean Treetop and Dining, 90-minute Philippine Hilot Massage for two at CHI, The Spa. Nestled in a sheltered bay on Boracay’s pristine northern coastline, the resort also offers sea sports, fitness classes and more. From Dh1,222 per night; visit shangri-la.com.
The Balkan country by the Adriatic is an up-and-coming tourist destination, which means that you’ll be able to discover its spectacular seaside scenery, rugged peaks of Durmitor National Park and Prokletije, forest of Biogradska Gora before it becomes a staple on your Instagram feed like its better-known neighbour Croatia. Its mild Mediterranean climate makes it a perfect getaway and there’s plenty to see here — visit the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Ostrog, discover the stunning natural beauty of the Bay of Kotor, and the beaches of Budva. The Regent Porto Montenegro hotel in the capital Tivat is offering guests one night accommodation, candlelit bath, breakfast in bed, 50 per cent discount on spa treatments and facials and a four-course dinner while being serenaded by a live band for an additional Dh147 per person. Package valid on February 14, 15 and 16. From Dh542 per night; email email@example.com.