Luxurious Locations for Romantic Getaways
words and photos by Tom Wuckovich
often been said that "absence makes the heart grow fonder." But then,
it's also been said "absence is the wind that fans the flames of love-or
outens the dying embers." So what are we to believe? Why not just err on
the side of caution and not only spend more time together, but make certain that
it's really quality time.
One proven way to get closer, and fall more madly
in love, is to vacation to some idyllic location where romance is...well, inevitable.
While there are myriad places in this great, big, wide wonderful world that makes
those tender hearts skip a beat, we can't list them all. So here are a few of
our top favorites.
|Vacation by sailing away from it all - just the two of you.
you never considered this one. Imagine boarding a sleek, white, elegant yacht,
complete with captain and cook and sailing to anywhere in the Caribbean your heart
desires. Think it's too expensive? Meant only for the rich and famous? Not so.
This very affordable vacation is definitely within your budget. A seven-day sailing
trip on a fully provisioned Moorings Yacht starts at about $165 per person per
day and is all-inclusive.
Moorings, a Clearwater, Florida, company with offices worldwide, has yachts ranging
in size from 27 to 75 feet. You can plan your own itinerary and decide how much
time you want to spend at each island. You can be dropped off on a secluded beach
where there are no other footprints except your own, snorkel in a nearby cove,
or drop anchor in a quiet bight where you can sample the incredible food served
up by the cook while the gentle waves lap at the boat. At night, with the brilliant
stars as your canopy, you can laze on deck, sipping a glass of wine or champagne
after dinner, nestled in each other arms with nothing to disturb the tranquility.
If you're into snuggling, you're definitely up for this.
Guanahani, St. Barts
we're still thinking Caribbean, think St. Barts, that absolutely French Island
that lures the commoners as well as the Jet Set. On this verdant landscape, just
over the hill from the main town of Gustavia, is the Hotel Guanahani. This cozy
resort complex, which features individual cottages decorated in Creole style is
nestled in a coconut grove between the Atlantic Ocean and a lagoon. It's not only
a place to begin your love life, but a spot to rekindle it.
resort offers a host of amenities, including a fitness center, beauty treatments,
and sports that include sailboating, catamaran rides, helicopter rides, horseback
riding, and shopping in Gustavia. If you really want to splurge, opt for the double
room suite that comes with its own swimming pool. Privacy, serenity and intimacy
is assured in this delightful setting.
are several packages to choose from, including a "Romance on the Waves"
offering that includes, among other things, a French champagne toast, car rental,
several meals and choice of cottage.
Seas Plantation, Captiva
folklore is ripe with stories of pirates, buried treasure, and hidden
cays, inlets and harbors that provided refuge to buccaneers who plundered the
gold-laden ships of the Spanish Main.
Southwest Florida, off the coast of Fort Myers, Captiva Island nurtured its reputation
as once a haven for treacherous pirates such as Jose Gaspar, who was rumored to
have buried gold deep in the sandy soil and kept pretty women captive on the five-mile-long
barrier island-hence the name.
was certain he had found the perfect sanctuary. And so did South Seas Plantation,
which sits at the very end of the tiny barrier island and the ideal place to enjoy
the company of your favorite companion. The beaches are still pristine and relatively
secluded, the vegetation thick and lush, the wildlife numerous and varied. Carefully
blending in to the landscape is South Seas.
Accommodations, more than 600,
range from deluxe hotel rooms and villa suites to three-bedroom beach homes and
include a full range of water sports, aerobics, tennis, golf on a tight, but fair
9-hole course, a fitness center and cruises through the barrier islands aboard
the Lady Chadwick. Off-property excursions also consist of trips to the J.N. "Ding"
Darling National Wildlife Refuge, or renting a bicycle and pedaling off to explore
some of the nearby shopping and restaurants.
Slip away to South Seas.
It will captivate you.
couple enjoys the romance of the Seine during a trip to Paris.
Paris can be anytime, not just April! Strolling the Champs Elysées arm-in-arm,
past the notable landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, tuning in to the magical
charm generated by the people of this city, or sipping delightful French wine
at a quaint outdoor cafe as Parisians and visitors walk by can be an exhilarating
experience. Paris just seems to exude romance. Everywhere you look, lovers embrace.
Whether it's in the numerous parks, along the banks of the famous River Seine,
on street corners, or even atop the inspiring Eiffel Tower, love is in the air.
matter where you stay in Paris, it's just being there that matters. Accommodations
can range from the very affordable to the very expensive, such as the Hotel Plaza
Athenee, but to really experience the City of Lights, spend as little time as
possible indoors. There's too much for lovers to do. Tour the very places that
are always mentioned: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Notre Dame Cathedral,
a dinner cruise on the Seine, Avenue de Montaigne, where all the fashionable Paris
boutiques are located, and the famed Moulin Rouge.
offers one of the most romantic getaways in the world.
No other word so stirs the soul, or tugs at the spirit of romance and adventure
within us — or offers such hope of mystery and escape. Escape from worldly cares,
from the mundane, even from civilization itself. It opens its arms like a beautiful
temptress to lovers, dreamers, artists, romantics - the quintessential haven for
those seeking true happiness.
islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora together, comprise the
Societies, one of five archipelagoes which make up French Polynesia. The others
are the Tuamotus, a series of coral atolls; the Marquesas; the Australs; and the
Gambiers. The islands are often mistakenly referred to collectively as Tahiti,
probably because it is the largest and most populated.
thoughts of Tahiti can be slightly dramatic, due in part to the illusion created
in books and films. You envision bronze-skinned natives fishing from outrigger
canoes, and beautiful, flawless women clad in the familiar pareus, with the fragrant,
porcelain tiare blossom placed behind their ear and the strains of sweet, drum-driven
Polynesian music providing the backdrop. Still somewhat true. But the outside
world has come to Tahiti. Beneath this new exterior beats the same, vibrant heart
of the true Tahiti, the one so many tried to capture in words and pictures.
Beyond Papeete, in the emerald-green hills, flush with swaying palms, waves of
pink bougainvillea, and cool mountain streams and valleys are as pure as the day
they were created. The simplicity, the beauty, will make you think of Paul Gauguin
who had preserved this grandeur on canvas. The sea can make you forget daily
water changes colors dramatically with the depth-alternating from indigo to Alice
blue, and you can see coral heads, sea grass and schools of fish. Couples
can walk along the shoreline groves of banana trees and palms, separated
from the sea by a hem of beige, powdery sand. As the sun fades, the jagged volcanic
peaks draped in sunset hues signal a perfect end to the day. Amid this startling
kaleidoscope of changing colors, romance burns brightly.
If You Go...
19345 US Highway 19 N #4
Clearwater, FL 33764
Hotel Guanahani, St. Barts
Grand Cul De Sac
97133 St. Barthelemy
Visit Florida: Captiva Island