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Dana Givens
December 27, 2016

Winter is finally upon us.

It's time to take all the stress of this year and leave it at home while you take a much-needed vacation with you and your significant other. Christmas and New Year’s are an excellent time to travel for a chance to see the holiday spirit in a different city, and the beginning of a new year is great for exploring a new destination—whether it's a winter wonderland or an island escape.

Here are six romantic winter trip ideas for starting 2017 off right.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Why Go:

There’s always an excuse to take a tropical getaway to escape the cold and Jamaica is a place that makes an excellent vacation at any time of the year. The scenic beaches make for a relaxing and romantic vacation.

Where to Stay:

The Hibiscus Lodge Hotel is off the beaten path from the closed off tourist resorts but if you want a delightful travel experience, rubbing elbows with locals for a more authentic trip to the Caribbean island. For something more upscale with all the bells and whistles of a comfortable retreat, check out the Jamaica Inn.

Romantic Date:

Take a trip at sunset to the Almond Tree Restaurant in the Hibiscus Lodge for pleasant views of the ocean that you will never forget. I would recommend the lobster dinner and their cocktails are divine.

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Paris, France

Why Go:

Paris has been, and will always be, the city of eternal love. Christmas and New Year’s is a very special time in Paris and to see the streets of French capital light up with gorgeous lights the lined the exquisite architecture. From the Christmas markets to special winter excursions, Paris is a beautiful destination for lovers during the holidays.

Where to Stay:

The artistic Montmartre neighborhood is a beautiful area to stay in Paris with some of the best views of the city. Hotel Arvor Saint-Georges and the Terrass’’ Hotel are excellent choices in the district.

Romantic Date:

Take a trip to Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte just outside of Paris to see a beautiful castle or take a dinner cruise down Seine River.

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Martinique

Why Go:

When I traveled to Martinique last December, it was the first time I discovered what the word "paradise" truly means. The breathtaking French island has always been a haven for European tourists looking to enjoy their holiday, and recently more Americans have been discovering the beautiful island in thanks to Norwegian Airlines. Compared to its sister island, Guadeloupe, Martinique is quieter, and the scenery makes it the perfect destination for lovers looking to rediscover their passion while enjoying its vibrant beaches and peaceful ambiance.

Where to Stay:

The Hotel Bakoua is a 4-star retreat with its beach and infinity pool with all the luxuries you could ever want with plenty of nearby restaurants and lounges to enjoy.

Romantic Date:

Wine is plentiful and very cheap on the island. Grab a bottle and head to Anse Mitan beach (most of the beaches are free with minor exceptions). Pull up a beach chair and enjoy a glass watching the sunset with your lover.

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New York, New York

Why Go:

New York transforms into an enchanting winter escape during the holidays. The whole town truly embraces the spirit of the season with plenty of chic dates you and your spouse or partner can enjoy together.

Where to Stay: 

A boutique hotel gives you a more intimate feeling of the lively city. The Time Hotel is located in the center of Manhattan and close to a lot of attractions. For a more upscale experience, The London Hotel provides a five-star experience you will never forget.

Romantic Date:

Go ice-skating in Bryant Park and grab a treat from the Christmas market filled with delicious holiday treats and gifts.

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Bridgetown, Barbados

Why Go:

The island of Barbados has been a favorite escape for international tourists looking to escape the cold with lots of fun, romantic activities to do during your stay.

Where to Stay:

The Little Arches Boutique Hotel is perfect for travelers who want relaxation and seclusion for a more intimate feel. For a more luxurious experience, Sandy Lane is the cream of the crop of romance in Barbados.

Romantic Date:

Go out for a dinner date at the soulful blues and jazz restaurant, Waterfront Café in Bridgetown with great music and delicious island cuisine.

Zürich Tourism / Martin Rütschi

Zurich, Switzerland

Why Go:

The city of Zurich turns into a winter wonderland that embodies the spirit of holidays through Swiss traditions. It is one of the most beautiful escapes you can take during the winter and is a wonderful trip for couples to indulge in each other.

Where to Stay:

The Widder Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel in the city located in the heart of Zurich nearby all the attractions with the modern jazz-themed Widder bar.

Romantic Date:

Take a guided tour to see the city draped in lights and end the night in the picturesque Niderdorf quarter to the city's oldest Christmas markets.

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