The best vacation spots for couples are steeped in timeless romance. Whether it’s a cruise down the Nile or a saunter through sultry Buenos Aires, some places have simply mastered the art of seduction.
Still, no vacation is one size fits all, and while some couples want to escape to the golden sands of the Caribbean, other people’s idea of romance might look like a getaway to South Africa’s wine country, or seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.
So, how to plan a romantic getaway tailor-made for two? “My favorite piece of advice is to leave room for spontaneity,” says luxury travel advisor Amina Dearmon, the founder and owner of Perspectives Travel. “Our lives are already so over-scheduled, it’s important to have the freedom to do absolutely nothing and enjoy each other’s company, no matter which destination you choose.”
For domestic trips, she loves the wellness-focused resorts in Arizona like Canyon Ranch Tucson and the soon-to-reopen Mii Amo. As for international destinations, she recommends the Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Dominica, and St. Lucia, as well as Venice, Italy. And if you’re going to splurge, Dearmon suggests balling out on your accommodations (“It’s your home away from home”) and opting for extras like VIP meet and greets at the airport (“It’s a service that makes up a small percentage of your total trip cost, but it can make the biggest difference in your travel day.”).
To get a jumpstart on your planning, here are the 27 best vacation spots for couples, whether you crave a blissed-out spa getaway, a culinary vacation, or an adventure-packed itinerary.
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For stretching out on the sand
Cap Juluca, a Belmond Hotel, Anguilla
For beach bliss, cookbook author and “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons recommends a romantic getaway to Cap Juluca, a Belmond Hotel on Anguilla. “Cap Juluca’s beach is as pristine as it gets, with its long strip of powder-white sand, crystal clear water, and views of St. Maarten in the distance,” she says. “Plus, you never have to fight for a beach chair or show up super early, since there’s plenty of room and the staff always has an umbrella set up before you’ve even arrived.” When Simmons and her husband weren’t lounging on golden sands, they went paddleboarding, hit the tennis court, enjoyed massages at the spa, and even went on a snorkeling excursion. The highlight was all the quality time the pair spent together: “I loved how private and remote Cap Juluca felt,” says Simmons. “At times it felt like we were on our very own island.”
La Co(o)orniche, Pyla-Sur-Mer
What could be more romantic than waking up to views of Europe’s biggest sand dune? At this Philippe Starck-designed hotel in the seaside resort of Pyla-sur-Mer, couples enjoy panoramic views of Arcachon Bay and the mesmerizing Dune du Pilat from their beachy-chic guestrooms. Most visitors flock to the area to climb the magnificent dune, which rises 374 feet above sea level, but we won’t blame you for lazing on the sandy beach, breathing in the head-clearing scent of the pine forest.