Whether you're a pair of sun-seekers or a couple in search of culture, a romantic luxury holiday can be whatever - and wherever - you make it. If it's loved up luxury you're looking for, we've conjured up a list of locations guaranteed to spark your travel plans together for this year.
For Old Fashioned Romance
Sometimes, the oldest love stories are hard to beat - but adding a touch of luxury only makes them even better. The rolling vineyards, winding country roads and sun-kissed stone buildings of Tuscany have long set the scene for old-school romance in Italy, and to this day, nothing has changed. Hidden in a historic, 4,200-acre Tuscan estate, Villa Scuola at Casali di Casole perfectly pairs private life in the countryside with the sublime services of a five-star hotel. Spend dreamy days unwinding together in your private Jacuzzi, or lounging on your private terrace with a glass of local wine, before wandering along the cypress path to one of the estate's eateries; choose Pazzia trattoria for traditional yet tantalising food, including homemade pastas and pizzas, or indulge at romantic Ristorante Tosca, where dazzling crystal chandeliers hang overhead and hundreds of international vintages adorn the walls, which the estate's expert sommelier is happy to pair with your mouthwatering meal.
Exterior at Villa Scuola at Casali di Casole
While a gondola journey along Venice's rivers may be another age-old Italian love affair, Crystal Cruises are elevating the allure of river cruising to a whole new level. The brand's seven-night 'Romantic Rhine' journey encompasses the storybook village of Cochem, the fairytale-like landscape of Koblenz and the cultural powerhouse of Amsterdam - to name just a few - while also passing through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, which is simply spectacular. From attentive private butler service in every suite, to flawless farm-to-table cuisine served in equally sublime settings, you'll travel like royalty throughout your time onboard with Crystal Cruises. When you aren't seeing the city sights or soaking up intriguing local culture, why not sample the craft cocktail menu at the ship's 'pop-up' Vista Bar, or blissfully watch the day go by from the 360-degree-view Vista Deck?
For Culture Couples
Not every vision of romance features just the two of you. Step out of your loved-up bubble and you'll unearth a world's worth of richly diverse and fascinating culture to explore, and equally intriguing people to meet. Cascading effortlessly down the hillside in a quiet bay, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui may seem like just another peaceful paradise, but it's a gateway to the island's most captivating cultural and natural attractions. From a private couple's cruise through the rainforest-fringed islands in Ang Thong Marine National Park, to an insightful tour of the iconic Big Buddha at colourful Wat Phra Yai, immersive experiences aren't in short supply in Koh Samui. In the resort itself, experience culture with a punch as you both try your hand at Thailand's centuries-old sport of Muay Thai, led by a professional fighter in the purpose-built hilltop ring. For even more compelling Asian culture, venture to Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam where cultural tours are in abundance; race to Bay Canh by speedboat to view the famed Bay Canh Lighthouse or explore Con Dao's back roads and small dwellings together for a glimpse into daily life, before returning to the resort to bask in your villa's private infinity pool, or relish an energy-balancing couple's aroma bath with calming lavender oils.
Romantic Dinner at Six Senses Con Dao
Daily Life Tour at Six Senses Con Dao
Private Desert Picnic at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Styled after a traditional Bedouin camp, culture is at the heart of Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa. Every morning and evening - the coolest part of the day in the desert - brings a new, exciting encounter or activity that perfectly captures Bedouin tradition. Take a leisurely camel ride out to the crest of a dune for a delicious desert picnic, or experience the art of Falconry, a sport which dates back to the 13th century BC in Arabia. With a prime location in Dubai's Desert Conservation Reserve, passing Arabian Oryx and gazelles are a common sight as you sip Champagne on your sundeck too, while romantic dune dining set on elaborate Persian carpets surrounded by traditional flaming torches is a mouthwatering moment not to be missed.
For Lovers of Lazy Days
Occasionally, all you need is a few days of uninterrupted bliss together - and we know just the locations. The 'no news, no shoes' philosophy at Gili Lankanfushi makes this paradisiacal island in the Maldives the ultimate couples' getaway. The enchanting natural surroundings promise privacy and pure relaxation throughout, and when you aren't walking hand-in-hand along the powder-soft sands, Gili's thoughtful settings and soirées for romantic rendezvous are enough to reignite any dwindling spark. As daylight fades, step aboard a traditional Dhoni and cruise across the Maldives' calm turquoise waters and into the sunset, before returning to land for sand-between-your-toes dining by candlelight, with a menu of flavourful local ingredients prepared by the resort's Executive Chef. You could even spend the evening sleeping under the twinkling stars in a bountiful bed on your private rooftop terrace, easily organised upon request by your attentive Mr Friday butler.
Over on Antigua's sandy shoreline, Blue Waters has been a longstanding favourite with lovers since 1960. Amongst the lush greenery and bougainvillea, you'll find intimate rooms and suites, sublime swimming pools and dining settings to take your breath away, including dramatic clifftop restaurant The Cove, where you'll be led down a charming candlelit hallway to your table with panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. Playful pairs can relish watersports and sailing in the calm surroundings waters, or if it's laid-back loving you're looking for, there's no shortage of luxe loungers on which to sip your piña colada. In search of something more serene? A couple's massage at The Spa at Blue Waters is the perfect pampering à deux, with your personal preference of aroma filling the air for a magical, multi-sensory spa journey.
For Partners in Adventure
For daring duos who love to dive in at the deep end, action-packed adventures may be more your style. From snow sports to safaris, what could be more exciting than exploring your dream destinations together? Sir Richard Branson's Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is one of South Africa's hottest safari lodges, featuring treehouse-style suites reached via rope bridge for a wildly romantic experience. The promise of once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters is enough to entice most couples, with the elusive 'Big Five' regularly spotted on bush walks and game drives in the wilderness, but this secluded Sabi Sands sanctuary has plenty more to amuse adventure aficionados; from stargazing to spa treatments, your wild side will feel completely satisfied by the time you depart.
Horsedrawn Carriage Ride at Four Seasons Hotel Megève
Safari Lodge at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Lion in Sabi Sands
For sweethearts who would rather relish snow than sun, Megève's central square, cobbled streets and charming village exude endless romance. Just ten minutes from the town's car-free, centuries-old heart is Four Seasons Hotel Megève, an alpine chic abode on the Mont d'Arbois ski slopes. This intimate and inviting setting is perfect for a cosy couples' winter retreat, but is inevitably adored for the superb skiing! Following seamless boot-warming and ski-waxing every morning, you'll reach the slopes together in style, travelling by romantic, horse-drawn carriage. Once you've raced the runs and relished boundless snow-fuelled fun, return for dinner à deux at the hotel's two Michelin Star restaurant Le 1920, where you're bound to fall in love with the traditional French cuisine, and the undisturbed views of the majestic, snow-capped mountains.