Top Luxury Getaways for Valentine's Day

The Brando has 35 villas on white-sand beaches. The resort was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture.
The Brando has 35 villas on white-sand beaches. The resort was designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture.

We asked John Clifford of International Travel Management to name his favorite romantic getaways; here are his top picks.

The Brando

Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

When many travelers dream of romantic destinations, that ever-present over-the-water bungalow often springs to mind. None other than the long-anticipated The Brando, on the private island of Tetiaroa, has more embodied eco-conscious luxury idea.

This oasis, which Brando purchased in the 1960s, is his life dream realized. Not only is the palm-shaped spa enticing, but the spectacular, three-mile wide lagoon takes your breath away.

One of the secluded 35 villas is sure to delight with private pools among the must-have romantic amenities.

Aman Canal Grande Venice’s 1,108-square-foot Alcova Tiepolo Suite displays 18th-century frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Aman Canal Grande Venice’s 1,108-square-foot Alcova Tiepolo Suite displays 18th-century frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

Aman Canal Grande Venice

Venice, Italy

Aman is a global brand more often known for ultra-remote luxury in exotic destinations. So when they opened their neo-renaissance, 16th-century palazzo with only 24 rooms, Aman junkies were stunned and delighted.

The property’s roof terrace is the perfect place to view the sunset and see as far as the Alps on a clear day. As if the hotel’s grandeur, historic frescoes and reliefs weren’t enough to enchant, the hidden, private garden full of grand trees is a respite from Venice’s bustle.

The Alcova Tiepolo Suite is a favorite for romantics, who are captivated by the 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo himself, as well as the seductive view of the gardens.

Casa de Uco

Uco Valley, Argentina

Vinophiles know the famous Mendoza wine region of Argentina produces sultry Malbecs, but what they may not know is this region’s Uco Valley, south of the city of Mendoza, which is hailed as “the next Napa Valley,” has a new, stylish winery and resort.

With views of the vineyards and the Alps in the distance, you feel miles away from urban life. Only 16 sumptuous rooms and suites make this modern darling a perfect place for a getaway.

Their Master Suites are sublime, featuring private terraces floating over the reflecting lake below. New freestanding bungalows should be completed shortly. Bodega days, horseback rides, relaxing spa time and organic dining are all elements of a great getaway with your special someone.

Keep in mind, it’s summer here in February, meaning hot days and pleasant nights.

Romance Is in the Air

We asked the travel advisors at Royal Travel & Tours, whose president, Kendra Thornton, is featured on our cover this month, to give us their input on Valentine getaway hotels. Here’s what they suggested.

Andrea Tingue

Post Ranch Inn — Big Sur, CA

High atop the cliffs of Big Sur, 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, sits Post Ranch Inn — ideal for romance and creating memories. The resort embraces the coast’s dramatic beauty with private-, panoramic ocean- or mountain-view rooms. Couples can experience unforgettable, savory dining at the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant and can rejuvenate at the spectacular award-winning spa.

Montage Laguna Beach — Laguna Beach, CA

Montage Laguna Beach offers a romantic, seaside destination unlike any other. Set on a coastal bluff in the picturesque arts community of Laguna Beach, Montage combines the genuine warmth of a cozy, craftsman-style estate with pristine, white-sand beaches. Couples can relax in the 20,000-square-foot, ocean-inspired spa and enjoy the outdoors playing golf or tennis, or kayaking — just to name a few.

Kim Launer

Jade Mountain — St. Lucia

I would say Jade Mountain in St. Lucia with its breathtaking views of the Piton Mountains. As a plus it is in a private sanctuary and comes with impeccable service.

Brittney Magner

Cheval Blanc St Barth Isle de France — St. Barthelemy

From the private garden to ocean bungalows, Guerlain spa and rose petals sprinkled on the bed, Cheval Blanc is perfect for a romantic getaway. Savor an exquisite locally inspired French cuisine created by Chef Yann Vinsot at La Case de l’Isle restaurant, overlooking the pool and the ocean, or at La Cabane de l’Isle for a feet-in-the-sand lunch or a private dinner.

Courtney McCarthy

Trump National Doral — Miami, FL

Following a $250 million resort transformation, couples are immediately transported to an oasis of tropical tranquility upon arrival at Trump National Doral. Located just 10 minutes away from Miami International Airport, the property is set on 800 acres of sprawling, lush greens, making guests feel like they are in an exotic locale far away from the bustling city.

All new guest rooms create the tone for romance with a palette of elegant neutrals accentuated with mahogany veneers and gold-leaf Spanish revival details. Guestrooms are spacious and have decadent king-size beds and Italian linens by Bellino.

BLT Prime, the resort’s signature restaurant, sets the mood for the evening where couples can order a glass of wine or a cocktail at the center bar before being escorted to their private table for a dinner — either in the warmly lit dining room or on the verandah enjoying al fresco seating with vistas of the resort’s championship golf courses.

Couples who play together, stay together, and this is especially true at Trump National Doral. A little challenge on the golf course will add the perfect touch to a getaway, and afterwards, they can ease away any sore muscles with a romantic couples massage at the spa in a private cabin for two.