Now THIS is a romantic getaway
Connecting with that special someone doesn’t have to mean spending a week gazing into each other’s eyes on a double sun lounger – that is unless you want it to. Whether you’re a fitness freak or food fanatic, it’s easy to find a holiday that will get your heart racing.
Forget candlelit dinners, walks along the beach and couple’s spa treatments. This year, when it comes to booking a perfect getaway hotel for two, avoid the clichés and think outside the box with this round-up of really romantic escapes.
Routeburn Track. Credit: Miles Holden/ Tourism New Zealand
If your favourite pastime involves lacing up your walking boots, you’ll love New Zealand – the activities are endless. Swish down Queenstown’s ski slopes, tackle the rugged Routeburn Track in the Fiordland region, sail away on Lake Wanaka or paddle the crystal clear waters of Abel Tasman National Park in a two-person kayak. And to share an extra-extreme adventure, how about flying through the air together on a tandem bungee or flying fox? What could be more romantic?
The best part is that enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t mean you need to rough it. Check out Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ New Zealand collection, which offers easy access to many of these activities.
Forget gondolier rides in Venice, art lovers and history buffs head to Rome when they want to get their hearts racing. From centuries-old architecture to contemporary exhibitions, couples can stage their own mock battle in the ancient Colosseum, race each other up the sweeping Spanish Steps for stunning views of the city, listen to an enchanting love story being sung on stage at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and write their initials on a padlock and attach it to the Ponte Milvio bridge. And before you leave, make a wish to return to the eternal city together soon by throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
United by a love of new gourmet experiences? Then tickle your taste buds in Tokyo – where the frenetic Tsukiji Market, multi-course traditional kaiseki menus and sparkling fresh sushi served from a conveyor belt await. From figuring out how to buy a bowl of ramen from a vending machine to pouring each other cups of fragrant tea in a laneway restaurant close to the atmospheric Senso-ji Temple, there are hundreds of memorable culinary experiences to be shared in the Japanese capital.
With its party atmosphere and renowned fine-dining establishments, fashionable Ginza is your best bet for accommodation. Use the recently opened Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo as your base, and book a table at one of the area’s many sky-high bars to enjoy views of the twinkling Tokyo Tower while deciding where to eat that evening.
From Britpop greats like Oasis to the throbbing acid-house beats that once shock the foundations of the legendary Haçienda club, Manchester has long been associated with some of the UK’s best homegrown musical talent. If you and your partner love singing along – or tapping your feet in unison – at live performances, then you are bound to fall for the tuneful charms of the city. And there are plenty of great venues to choose from when it comes to partying the night away, from Band on the Wall – a legendary jazz club situated on the edge of the bohemian Northern Quarter – to the Neo-Gothic glory of The Deaf Institute – home to a cavernous dance hall and regular DJ sets.
Travelling with a loved one? Here are some other cool ideas.