21 Jan 2016
Koh Samui, Thailand
Despite its popularity, Thailand still retains a bewitching exoticism that attracts and ensnares romantics. Its beautiful island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand is a stunning destination, not just for its natural paradise island charms – the beautiful beaches, the palm trees, the enticing, clear water – but also for the matured and polished infrastructure for visitors, which has evolved over the years the island has featured as a top destination. As well as its many natural charms, Koh Samui now boasts an array of five star accommodation, luxurious spas and world class cuisine, making it a truly premier setting for romance.
Five-star dining on Bophut Beach combines both these elements of what's best of Samui. Savour the sophisticated gourmet tastes of your meal while sharing the simple pleasures of your feet in the powdery sand, the warm breeze caressing your skin as night gently falls.
You and your companion could also take to the seas aboard a traditional Burmese junk for a sunset cruise around the island and nearby Koh Som while enjoying dinner on deck. Or how about a more modern catamaran sunset cruise instead, with your own onboard chef, and a choice of three beautiful routes?
21 Jan 2016
Phuket is Thailand's largest island and offers a wide variety of attractions befitting its size, including an abundance of riches for even the most demanding of romantics. It is an island of contrasts, but like Koh Samui, a thick vein of luxurious attractions pulses right alongside its sun-bleached beaches and other natural charms.
One could spend a dream day here with a loved one – or soon to be wooed one – starting by sweeping them literally off their feet for a millionaire's style view of Phuket's spectacular landscape and seascape with a helicopter ride. Fly over the stunning beauty of Phang Nga bay with its dozens of seemingly gravity-defying limestone stacks which jut upwards from the pristine emerald waters. See the foreboding James Bond island – as it's now known, due to its inclusion in The Man with the Golden Gun – but from the air, just like in the in the movie, and fly past the floating village of Koh Panyi, built entirely on stilts.
Twilight can be spent snorkelling on Coral Island, working up an appetite in the warm waters, exploring the wondrous reefs below the surface, before being sped by boat back to the mainland for a cocktail and romantic sunset dinner on the beach.
21 Jan 2016
The names of few destinations provide more for the mind to conjure with than Bali. Perhaps it’s the richness of its marine life, forming as it does a tip of the famous Coral Triangle, the area with the highest marine biodiversity in the world. Or perhaps it’s the richness of the local culture, renowned as it is for its traditions of dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music. Or perhaps it's the Balinese themselves, a mischievously humorous but welcoming people, the product of the whole vibrant mix of this wonderful island. Unsurprisingly, it makes a dream destination for a romantic trip, any day of the year.
Here, couples can enjoy all the sublime wild beauty and balance of the Balinese jungle, along with a picnic of the finest fare from civilisation, served by one's own private butler by the side of the Ayung River.
Try an "Aphrodisiac Picnic" from an antique eighteenth century bed, situated on a private moonlit beach in Canggu. Enjoy cocktails as the sun sets and then a gourmet picnic illuminated by oil lanterns and moonlight. This will be an evening to remember. But, before that, an evening to truly, madly and deeply experience!
21 Jan 2016
The very next island to the east of Bali is Lombok, relatively undiscovered still compared to its more famous neighbour. With perfect beaches, enchanting waterfalls, and its looming volcanic centre, a scenic crater lake and hot springs, Lombok remains very much a tropical island paradise.
How about a long weekend here, cruising in the Southwest Gili islands? Live aboard a luxury yacht for three days and explore this largely uninhabited collection of 13 islands, with their pristine, white sandy beaches and exquisite turquoise waters, teeming with brightly coloured tropical fish, huge sprawling blue starfish and turtles magically gliding by.
The pristine beaches of Kuta in the south are ideal for taking your companion horse riding, on a picturesque route past coconut plantations, mangrove trees, and fishing villages. You can complete the ride with an ascent of Mount Nyale to catch the sunset as it kisses the beaches of Bali's east coast.
21 Jan 2016
Langkawi is yet another tropical paradise, an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. Clear waters combine with pristine beaches and thriving jungle landscapes, and life goes on here in the same laid-back manner it always has. Its main island of Pulau Langkawi is no different but also features plenty of spas, seafood restaurants and beach bars, seamlessly blended into island life.
Here, couples might enjoy hours of island hopping, visiting the legendary, beautiful freshwater lake of Pulau Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), nestling within dense rainforest covered slopes. Witness also the amazing wildlife, such as eagles diving for fish, and see crab-eating monkeys. At the Pulau Beras Basah you can take a dip in the crystal clear water or simply relax on the uninhabited beach.
Or try chartering your own private 72-foot classic yacht for the day and enjoy the sublime natural beauty of the Langkawi archipelago from the comfortable, spacious and shady deck.
Here in Langkawi, you can also get up close and personal to some of the majestic local fauna with a birdwatching tour. Langkawi has a rich diversity of ecosystems and habitat types, including lowland broadleaf rainforest, mangrove forest, orchards, scrublands and mudflats. This means a correspondingly rich diversity in birdlife on the island, with over 220 species of birds recorded.