20 Valentine's Day Travel Experiences for a Romantic Getaway

Leave the conversation hearts at home and consider one of these romantic travel experiences to take your Valentine's Day to the next level.

Dining room at the landmark Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California
Photo: Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Roses are red, the Caribbean’s blue, there’s nothing more romantic than a hotel suite for two. 

While a home-cooked meal by candlelight or candy hearts by the handful are tried-and-true classics, if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day idea that really shines this year, think about booking a plane ticket instead of a restaurant reservation. 

Traveling with your partner provides an opportunity to not only experience new places and cultures together, but also see new sides of yourself and your sweetheart that you didn’t even know existed. Once in Bali, my fiancé and I were invited to participate in the Balinese commitment ceremony experience at the Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Every step of the ritual was beautifully authentic and explained to us by a translator so that we understood the significance of each moment. Having my partner by my side during that emotionally significant commitment ceremony felt so intimate and valuable.

When you’re thinking about how best to connect this February, consider one of these special experiences in beautiful locales across the world. From giant chocolate fountains in Switzerland to scouting the northern lights in Iceland, here are some of our favorite romantic Valentine’s Day travel experiences.  

01 of 20

Embark on an Enchanting Love Journey in Bali, Indonesia

Private Dining at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali, Indonesia
Courtesy of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

The spiritual healing of Bali takes root within both of you during a Balinese commitment ceremony. While the ceremony can be used as a wedding or vow renewal ceremony, it can also simply celebrate the love you share. And is there a more perfect time to express that love than on Valentine’s Day? Try the Enchanting Love Journey at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. It starts with a temple purification ceremony and comes with a private six-course dining experience overlooking the Ayung River, and a photography session so you can bring a piece of your Valentine’s celebration home with you.

02 of 20

Hit the Slopes in Saint-Sauveur, Canada

Quebec ski resorts among the best near Montreal include Mont Saint-Sauveur.
Photo courtresy of Mont Saint-Sauveur

Saint-Sauveur has all the romance of a snow-dusted European town, without the long-haul flight time. Just two hours north of Montreal in the Laurentians is the cozy town of Saint-Sauveur. It’s home to Avila mountain, where you can ski, snowboard, or even tube. French is the dominant language in the Laurentians, because of the French Canadian presence, which makes it feel like you’ve been transported to an Alps town near Mont Blanc. Winter sports by day and French food by night is an ideal compromise for the adventurous traveler and the romantic traveler looking for an extra-special Valentine’s Day. Stay at Manoir Saint-Sauveur for their Romantic Package which includes a 60-minute Swedish massage for two.

03 of 20

Go on Safari in the Serengeti, Tanzania

Private Dining at the pool at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

Richard Waite/Courtesy of Four Seasons

The Serengeti is one of the most sought-after safari destinations in the world, playing host to quintessential wildlife experiences, like the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest and zebra cross through Tanzania, often followed by lions and leopards (their predators). Witnessing these animals in action with your partner can give you both new perspective and draw you closer as a result. And if you think there isn’t room for romantic dinners and lodging in the Serengeti, think again. At Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, you and your love can choose from the plunge pool suites or the free-standing villas with private swimming pools. And Four Seasons Safari Lodge is right in the middle of the Serengeti plains, so it’s not uncommon to see animals come right up to the lodge.

04 of 20

Scout the Northern Lights at Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Northern Lights at the Thingvellir National Park in Iceland
Friðþjófur M./Getty Images

Valentine’s Day is the right time to see the northern lights, because the nights are longest in Iceland from September to March. Trying to spot the Northern Lights closest to the equinox is best because that’s when Iceland gets a full 12 hours of darkness. And the lights will be at their brightest, as well, because of the solar wind’s magnetic field around the equinox (March 20 in 2023 — maybe a belated Valentine's trip?). After a few days in Reykjavík, head to Thingvellir National Park, a popular spot to scout the lights not too far from the city.

05 of 20

Wine Taste Your Way Through St. Helena, California

Wine Tasting at Harvest Inn in St. Helena, California
Courtesy of Harvest Inn

Napa is a long-time lovers' destination for a reason. From the Michelin-starred restaurants to the mesmerizing vineyards, it feels like you’ve been transported to the south of France, without the overnight flight. My fiancé and I spent a three-day engagement moon at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, and there’s nothing more relaxing than sharing a stroll through their vineyards, dining at the Harvest Table, and then sharing a local cabernet sauvignon by your in-room, brick fireplace. Harvest Inn will provide transport to several close-by wineries, like the Coppola’s wine estate, Inglenook. And don’t forget to take your valentine to the Castello di Amorosa, the 13th-century Tuscan castle of love.

06 of 20

Experience Italian Romance in Verona, Italy

Valentine's Day at Piazza Dante in Verona, Italy
StrenghtOfFrame/Getty Images

A city for lovers, Verona is the famed home of Romeo and Juliet. Valentine’s Day transforms Verona, with a five-day celebration called “Verona in Love.” Heart-shaped lanterns light up the whole city, and in the middle of Piazza dei Signori is a giant red heart, painted right on the street each year. There are signs of romance everywhere you look for Valentine’s Day in Verona, including free concerts in Piazza dei Signori, a letter-writing contest to Juliet, and myriad local restaurants offering deals for the holiday.

07 of 20

Relax in a Harbor Hot Tub in Copenhagen, Denmark

CopenHot, Hot Tubs in Copenhagen, Denmark
Courtesy of CopenHot

For the love birds who are sick of cold weather and need a little warmth in their lives, there may be nothing better than trying some “Nordic wellness” therapy in Scandinavia. At CopenHot, you can cozy up together in an outdoor hot tub overlooking the Copenhagen Harbor — in the dead of winter. Once you’ve rinsed off, stop in at CopenHot’s panoramic sauna to seal in this wellness treatment.

08 of 20

Try the Private Island Life in Tahiti, French Polynesia

Overwater Bungalows at Vahine Island in Tahiti, French Polynesia
Cedric Angeles/Alamy

Private islands offer perfect seclusion and will seriously heighten the romance factor on your Valentine’s Day getaway. Nothing feels more off-the-grid than an oasis in the middle of the Pacific, which can give you a chance to reconnect after an action-packed start to the year. Vahine Island has only nine beachfront or overwater bungalows, so you’ll want to book in advance if you’re hoping to spend Valentine’s Day sipping cocktails on your overwater porch.

09 of 20

Climb Machu Picchu, Peru

Aerial view of Machu Picchu in Peru

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Swap roses for orchids and Champagne bubbles for mountain mists — Valentine’s Day looks different at this altitude. Share the once-in-a-lifetime experience of exploring the ancient Incan ruins with your partner for memories as precious as a Peruvian opal. Tambo del Inka in the Sacred Valley provides a five-star home base before sending you off on the hotel’s 1920s-style train by PeruRail to Machu Picchu.

10 of 20

Night Kayak in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Serafina Beach Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Serafina Beach Hotel

Puerto Rico is a short, and relatively inexpensive flight from the east coast, and yet once you’re there, you’re in a different world. For an enviable Valentine’s Day experience sure to bring you closer, stay at the Condado Ocean Club and let them arrange an LED night kayaking excursion along the Laguna del Condado for you two. Between night kayaking and lounging by the Condado's infinity pool, you’ll be able to restore your sense of adventure with your honey.

11 of 20

Pamper Your Sweetheart in Singapore

orchid shangrila singapore
The Orchid, an open-air greenhouse designed to complement the hotel's garden and variety of tropical orchids. Shangri-la Hotels.

Take a trip to Shangri-La — the one in Singapore, that is. This paradise in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city is one of the most luxurious hotels around. And the property has a suite of Valentine’s offerings like the Sweet Little Things selection of storybook pastries at the Shophouse, or a private six-course dinner at The Orchid, its open-air greenhouse full of the namesake purple blooms.

12 of 20

Take a Champagne Bath in the Poconos, Pennsylvania

Cove Haven

Courtesy of Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts

If you want a more retro Valentine’s experience within driving distance of New York City, Cove Haven Resort in the Poconos has a seven-foot Champagne glass whirlpool tub, where you can live out your most lavish hot tub dreams. Surrounded by a mountainous snowy wonderland, you can spend your weekend nestled inside by your in-room fireplace. There’s also a heart-shaped heated pool, because everyone needs to lean into an obvious Valentine’s Day celebration sometimes.

13 of 20

Get Cozy in a Five-Star Cottage in Barnard, Vermont

The Best Hotel in Every State
Courtesy of Twin Farms

There are quaint, country bed-and-breakfasts and then there’s Twin Farms. These private cottages tucked into the bucolic wilds of Vermont have been artfully designed with sumptuous details like stone hot tubs and mosaic tile fireplaces. This place was made for quality time. Watch the snow fall from your cathedral windows with a tall pour of a rare Madeira, carve into that fresh powder on the private slopes, and, if you’re feeling social, rub elbows at the nightly cocktails and canapés presentation. The staff will even prepare an intimate picnic for two somewhere on its 300 acres, like the Lift Shack overlooking the ski slopes, where you can cozy up by the fire and dine on seasonal fare.  

14 of 20

Go On a Castle Crawl in Scotland

Exterior of Inverlochy Castle
Sergio Lora/Getty Images

A gothic romance is still a romance, and the wily, windy moors aren’t just for Emily Brontë characters. Scotland is known for its castles, both Medieval and modern, and most are open for wandering and resting alike. Slip on your wellies and take a tour of ancient estates like Edinburgh Castle, Culzean Castle, and Eilean Donan. Stay in one of the plushly appointed rooms at Inverlochy Castle where you and your partner will have 400 thread count Egyptian cotton linens and views of the property’s private loch.

15 of 20

See a 30-foot Chocolate Fountain in Zurich, Switzerland

Lindt Opens World's Largest Chocolate Museum — With the World's Largest Chocolate Fountain

Sure, you could pick up a heart-shaped box of truffles for your lover, or you could fly them to Zurich for the ultimate confectionery experience (in for a penny, in for a pound we always say — or, in this case, 3,000 pounds of decadent chocolate). The Lindt Home of Chocolate proves once and for all the Swiss are the world’s premier chocolatiers. Make your own sweets in the Lindt chocolateria, peruse custom candy in the world’s largest chocolate shop, and, of course, marvel at the 30-foot tall fountain that flows with pure Swiss cocoa. Sleep off your sugar high at a genuine Swiss chalet or Alpine castle. We recommend The Dolder Grand, perched over Lake Zurich. 

16 of 20

Get the Celebrity Treatment in St. Barts

view of St Barths Bucket Regattaon
Studio Borlenghi/ALeA/Getty

Your partner is the most important person in your life but with a jaunt to St. Barts, you can bestow on them the true VIP treatment. This glamorous playground for the rich and famous nestled in Caribbean waters is resplendent in luxury hotels, crystalline private pools, and powdery, sprawling beaches. Cheval Blanc St-Barth, a palace-designated hotel, resides on the sun-kissed shores of Flamands Beach. The Maison features beach suites with personal hot tubs and bay views, bougainvillea-drenched garden suites, and private Caribbean barbecues with French wine.    

17 of 20

Visit Lover's Island in Croatia

Galešnjak, Heart Love Island, Croatia

4FR/Getty Images

In Croatia, you’ll find a heart-shaped experience that doesn’t have “Be Mine” stamped across it. Galešnjak is an island off the coast of the town of Turanj and it gets its amorous nickname from its naturally occurring valentine shape. The remote island is all-natural, absolutely no development, but it’s open to all tourists, beach-goers, and campers so you and your sweetheart can still appreciate its heart-shaped shores. Stay in one of the numerous hotels or Airbnbs on the nearby Dalmatian coast and charter a boat over to the paradisiacal lover’s respite.  

18 of 20

Stay in a Love Nest in San Luis Obispo, California

Dining room at the landmark Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California
Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Get all lovey-dovey at California’s Cupidcore capital. The Madonna Inn, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, takes Valentine’s Day to a new level with kitschy maximalism and vintage charm. Tuck into the Inn’s signature Pink Champagne cake in a rosy booth at the opulent Gold Rush Steak House before sneaking off to your Love Nest suite. Adorned in shades of pink and satin furnishings, with an actual cozy little nest at the top of the spiral staircase, you and your lover are sure to see la vie en rose in this valentine-shaped escape.

19 of 20

Live Like Royalty in Marrakech, Morocco

Aerial view of Royal Mansour's Grand Riad private terrace with pool and lounge areas
Courtesy of Royal Mansour

It’s no mirage: The private riads at the Royal Mansour Marrakech are as lavish as they appear. Enjoy Marrakech’s mild winter weather on your rooftop terrace by the private plunge pool before indulging your sweet tooth at a patisserie workshop. As if the natural splendor of the Ochre City wasn’t enough, the Royal Mansour has a Romance package that includes an intimate dinner and a private spa suite where you and your partner will receive a sensuous massage. 

20 of 20

Escape the Crowds in Paris

Ritz Paris, France
Vincent Leroux/Courtesy of Ritz Paris

What this idea lacks in originality it makes up for in elegance. A Valentine’s Day a la Francaise has a certain ring to it (a five-carat, cushion-cut if you’re lucky) and you’re guaranteed a good deal as winter is the City of Light’s off-season. You and your partner won’t mind the windchill when you’re snuggled up in a lavish suite at the Ritz. Pamper yourself at the spa and hit teatime at Salon Proust before donning that vintage Dior you just bought and strolling arm-in-arm along the Seine in the sparkle of the Eiffel Tower

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